What is Fjällräven Polar?
Arctic wilderness, 20 teammates from across the globe and a 300km journey you’ll never forget. We call it Fjällräven Polar – but what is it, exactly?
In April 2024, Fjällräven Polar will bring together 20 people from across the globe for a 300km dog sledding expedition across Arctic Scandinavia, and Fjällräven is inviting anyone curious enough to apply for a place on the team. If you earn a spot, you’ll learn to drive your own dog sled through vast frozen landscapes, experiencing a world completely different from your own. You’ll also learn essential survival skills and adapt to life in the Arctic where temperatures can drop to minus 30°C. We believe anyone can become an Arctic explorer. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure proves it.
Cold windy and dark, far, far away from home... and I’ll enjoy it?
We believe you will. Following Fjällräven’s mission to inspire people to spend more time in nature, this expedition demonstrates that with the right knowledge, equipment and support, anyone can enjoy nature in Arctic conditions, regardless of previous outdoor experience.
What you can expect during Fjällräven Polar 2024
The journey starts in the Jukkasjärvi area of Swedish Lapland, around 17km east of Kiruna, where you’ll be given all the training and essential survival skills you need for the expedition. You’ll also meet your team of six dogs whom you’ll look after for the duration of the journey.
Setting off, you’ll drive your dog sled through what appears to be inhospitable wilderness: across barren tundra, frozen lakes, and mountain forests. You’ll spend time learning, travelling and collaborating with the dogs and your teammates throughout the 300km journey which will take you north through Sevujärvi, Kattuvuoma, Råstojaure and Pältsa – one of Europe’s largest areas of permafrost – before finishing at the edge of the Norwegian fjords in Signaldalen.
You’ll spend several nights sleeping in a tent or under the open sky. You’ll learn to feed and manage your dogs, set up a winter camp, cook outdoors, and adapt to constantly changing winter conditions which can be harsh and unforgiving.
Throughout the journey, you’ll have support from an experienced Fjällräven team and professional mushers who will provide guidance. But most of the work will be done by you.
Inspired to inspire others: A short history of Fjällräven Polar
Back in the early 1990s Fjällräven’s founder, Åke Nordin, met Kenth Fjellborg, one of Sweden’s leading dog-sled drivers. Kenth had just participated in Iditarod, the world’s most difficult dog sled competition through the harsh Alaskan wilderness, and this inspired Åke.
For almost a decade, from 1997 to 2006, Fjällräven Polar was a competition like Iditarod, declaring a winner at the end of the race. But this didn’t sit well with Fjällräven’s core values: to inspire and encourage people to discover outdoor life. Consequently, the event took a break in 2006 and came back in 2012 with a new, updated format. This time the focus was not on racing; it wasn’t even designed for dog-sledding experts. It was for curious, everyday people.
It sounded crazy. Taking a group of people without wilderness skills or experience into one of the world’s harshest environments: Arctic Scandinavia. But Fjällräven believed that with the right support, equipment and mindset, this adventure was for everyone. The event was a success, most notably because of the spirit of those first participants. They showed that with guts and gusto, advice and guidance from experts, and high-quality cold-weather gear, anyone could take on the challenge of Fjällräven Polar.
Over the years, participants have faced everything from blizzards and minus 30°C temperatures, to the beautiful, sun-drenched white landscapes of the Arctic tundra. For a few lucky people, Fjällräven Polar is the opportunity to test their limits on the adventure of a lifetime.
Since 2012, thousands of people have applied for the chance to join this all-expense paid expedition. In 2020 and 2021, Fjällräven Polar was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It returned in 2022, and nearly 15,000 people applied from all over the world. The competition was fierce and raised the bar higher than ever for the quality and quantity of applications. This year, Fjällräven Polar is back with a fresh set of challenges. We’re ready to find the next 20 participants who want to join this unique Arctic expedition. Are you in?