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 2023, Fjällräven Polar will bring together 20 people from across the globe for a 300km dog sledding expedition across the arctic tundra. For six days, participants will drive their own dog sled across the vast landscapes of northern Scandinavia, experiencing a world completely different from their own.
Fjällräven Polar is not a dog sledding competition, nor is it an event that you buy a ticket for. It is an expedition that offers a way into winter outdoor life for ordinary people who want more wilderness in their lives, and it provides the inspiration and input needed for a fulfilling life in the great outdoors.
Cold, windy and dark...
..but will you enjoy it? We believe you will. Following Fjällräven’s mission to inspire people to spend more time in nature, this expedition proves that with the right equipment and the right knowledge, anyone can discover and enjoy nature in arctic conditions, regardless of previous outdoor experience.
What can you expect from Fjällräven Polar 2023?
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.
You’ll then set off, driving your dog sled in 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 19 teammates throughout the 300km journey. You’ll travel north through Sevujärvi, Kattuvuoma, Råstojaure and Pälstsa – one of Europe’s largest areas of permafrost – before finishing at the edge of the Norwegian fjords in Signaldalen.
You’ll spend four 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, live in temperatures as low as minus 30°C, 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-sled 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: the arctic tundra. But we believed that with the right support, gear 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 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, Fjällräven Polar opened itself up to many different people from many different countries – until 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fjällräven Polar was forced to take a break. That's why we’re so excited that Fjällräven Polar is finally back and we hope you are, too.
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Join the adventure of a lifetime.