Q&A Fjällräven Polar: A call to the curious
Fjällräven is searching for curious individuals to join a 300km dog sledding expedition across Arctic Scandinavia in April 2024. Here, Global Events Manager and outdoor expert, Carl Hård af Segerstad, explains the challenges, opportunities, and the reason why this winter adventure is life-changing for participants.
What makes Fjällräven Polar the adventure of a lifetime?
So many details and aspects of this journey make it a very special event for participants. First, anyone can apply to join Fjällräven Polar. It brings together 20 people from all over the world to travel 300km across the Scandinavian wilderness, completely removing them from the everyday life they’re used to. They’ll drive their own dog sleds and learn how to adapt to life in Arctic conditions. To experience real wilderness is, unfortunately, quite rare nowadays – Fjällräven Polar proves that anyone can enjoy nature in Arctic conditions with the right knowledge and the right equipment.
Do you need to be experienced in cold climates to take part in Fjällräven Polar?
This is the great part about Fjällräven Polar – we provide all the equipment and know-how needed for participants to undertake an expedition like this. So, if you have an open mind, and are in good mental and physical condition, you'll be ready to take on an adventure like Fjällräven Polar.
What are the biggest challenges you face during Fjällräven Polar?
Partly the weather and the potentially hostile conditions that can prevail. But it’s also a mind game, knowing that you are exposed to the elements and the fear that can build up if you’re not used to being outside your comfort zone. But we have a team of experienced mushers and outdoor experts on hand to make sure everyone – no matter their level of experience, can feel safe and confident throughout the expedition.
How can people be part of this adventure?
For Fjällräven Polar there are no tickets for sale. To experience this once-in-a-lifetime event, you need to apply for one of 20 places through the application process.
A Fjällräven jury, which includes expedition alumni, will then select the 20 participants that get to go on Fjällräven Polar.
The application process will focus on three challenges that involve nature, sustainability and inspiring people to spend time in nature. We want genuine, natural, curious explorers to apply to Fjällräven Polar because we truly believe that anyone can be an Arctic explorer with the right mindset.
Conditions in the north where Fjallraven Polar takes place are demanding, and people need total confidence in their equipment. How do you make sure Fjällräven products withstand these harsh environments?
Fjällräven was founded on the idea of inspiring people to spend time in nature by providing products that make people feel more comfortable and secure in the elements.
As a Swedish brand, we know the challenges that a harsh winter can throw at you and in our long history, we’ve learned a lot about staying comfortable, even in the harshest environments.
Fjällräven Polar specifically has taught us a lot about sleeping outdoors in the wintertime and staying warm while sleeping, for instance. This knowledge has transferred over to parkas and trousers for outdoor use in the winter – for example, the fur collars on our sleeping bags are also used on many of the winter parkas. Another area is how we combine synthetic, wool and down to get the best insulation capacity and therefore the warmest products for Arctic conditions. The same principles apply to our Expedition Down Series, which has proven itself on many expeditions since its birth in the 1970s.
Carl, you’re a Fjällräven event expert and have experienced many treks and adventures. Can you share a life-changing moment you’ve had on Fjällräven Polar?
What I think appeals to people and what impacts them most is the ability to really take control of a situation. In the outdoors, this often means you learn to master the elements: keeping warm when it's wet and cold, getting fed when you’re hungry, and feeling secure and safe so that you can sleep. The experience of mastering these undertakings in the outdoors empowers many people to take control of their lives and the consequences of this can be life-changing. There are plenty of amazing stories of former participants who completely changed their life after Fjällräven Polar. One particular participant quit their office job to become a dog musher in northern Sweden, so it really can be transformational.
The first step in your application is to pre-register and attend the global launch event taking place at 16:00 CET on October 30th 2023. The event will introduce the expedition and give applicants all the information they need on how to become a Fjällräven Polar 2024 team member. The global launch event is not mandatory, but it will give applicants a head start in their application.
Join the adventure of a lifetime.