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Fjällräven Polar application tips

How to apply for Fjällräven Polar and score a spot on the expedition of a lifetime.

Fjällräven Polar | 6 Minutes read

One of the most common questions we get asked about Fjällräven Polar is how to score a spot on the journey of a lifetime. Alongside the Classic events, Fjällräven Polar is the biggest event that we run at Fjällräven. This year scoring one of the 24 places in 2020 is no exception to the previously fierce competition, but the reward of taking part is worth all the effort of applying and getting votes.

What is Polar? A recap

Fjällräven Polar is a journey through 300km of Arctic wilderness, accompanied by more than 200 highly skilled sled dogs, and a group of ordinary people just like you. The route takes you from Signaldalen to Jukkasjärvi and passes through a number of spectacular locations on the journey to the far north. Originally, the seed for the idea of Fjällräven Polar was planted back in the early 1990s when Fjällräven founder Åke Nordin met Kenth Fjellborg, one of Sweden’s leading dog-sled drivers. Kenth had participated in Iditarod, the world’s most difficult dog sled competition through the harsh Alaskan wilderness, and this inspired Åke to create a less arduous version of the race open to anyone and everyone to participate. Nowadays Fjällräven aims to open the experience up to as many people, from as many different countries, as possible. Fjällräven Polar stays true to the aim of increasing interest in and spreading knowledge of the environment and outdoor activities. To read more about Polar and the origins of the event click here.

The application routes

To apply for Fjällräven Polar it is necessary to upload photos, optionally a video and a short, written explanation as to why you should be chosen to take part. Applications are then published on the Polar website here. The second part of the application phase is to compete with other entries from your country/group for the popular vote. The person who receives the most votes in each country/group is chosen to participate. A Fjällräven jury chooses the second person from each country/group. In 2018, we had applications from 92 different countries and a total of 2,183 applications to take part. The quality of applications is constantly improving, and we are so humbled and impressed by all the hard work that participants are putting in. Fjällräven Polar has become a viral success online - every year hundreds of thousands of people are visiting the Polar webpage, and hundreds apply for the chance to join Polar. So what can you do to make your application stand out from the crowd?

Increase your chance to win the popular vote

The first way to win a spot on Fjällräven Polar is to collect the highest number of votes within your country/group.

First of all, activate your network - ask your friends, your neighbours, your colleagues, your school mates, and anyone else you can think of to vote for you. We’ve heard stories about participants baking cookies and distributing them to friends and colleagues to step up their vote count. Or even take to the streets, create posters to stick on walls or lampposts, smile at strangers and canvas your way to success. Additionally, use your social media channels to activate your wider network and encourage other’s to share your application across their network as well.

The second tip is to apply early. Applications for Fjällräven Polar opened on the 14th November and close on the 12th December. The longer your application is online, the more time you have to gather votes. A top tip is to have your application ready to publish as soon as applications are open to increase your chances. But, just in case you don’t have it ready straight away, don’t feel discouraged - we have had successful applicants on Fjällräven Polar who published their applications both early or later in the process and still managed to bag their spot.

Probably the most important tip that we can give you is to be creative. With the number of applications for Fjällräven Polar rising every year every little bit of creativity counts. Think about your personal skills and strengths and use your application to showcase something unique about yourself. We find that applications gathering the highest number of votes are ones that stand out from the crowd - and that doesn’t always mean with a higher production value, instead creative effort goes a long way.

How to impress the jury

We will tell you a secret here - the jury loves to watch the videos that you create. It is an optional part of the Fjällräven Polar application but we highly encourage everyone to apply with their own video creation. The jury is not as interested in perfect editing, or a high production value, as they are in hearing and watching your story. We want to understand your personal motivations behind taking part in Polar and what touches you about the experience. Any creative spin, or exciting way of telling that, is just an added bonus.

Additionally, the Fjällräven Polar jury is always impressed to see any extra efforts you have made to spread the word. The challenge is how big you can think and take action. In the past participants have activated their local or national newspapers, magazines and been featured across all kinds of different publications.

Don’t give up

The most important message we can possibly impart throughout the entire experience of applying is that you should not give up. Many Fjällräven Polar participants have applied twice, or more, before managing to secure their spot on the adventure. The key is perseverance. To read an inspirational story from a Fjällräven Polar participant, who changed her whole life after taking part in the event, and applied twice before scoring her spot click here.

If you are interested in applying for Polar 2020, applications are currently open and there is not a minute to spare. Click here to start your application today. We look forward to checking out your application and reading about your personal motivations to take part and most importantly your story.

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