How time flies! It has been almost five months since I applied for an outdoor adventure of superlatives last November: Fjällräven Polar. A funny Polar lego video, millions of nerve cells, thousands of clicks and hundreds of embarrassments later, I almost had a heart attack at work on December 20, 2017, when the organizer Fjällräven announced the names of the last four participants on its Facebook page who will be allowed to join me on the “Adventure of a lifetime”… and I am one of them.
Without a clou
Since then, Fjällräven has kept quite a low profile with information about the polar region. Clothes and shoe sizes have been checked, flight tickets have been organized and just two weeks ago I received an email with instructions on what to take with me: almost nothing. Comfortable clothes for the flight from Berlin to Stockholm and the return flight. Toothbrush, sunscreen and sunglasses. The rest of the necessary equipment will be given to the participants on site.
On site, that means for the first day (i.e. this Monday) Sigtuna, the oldest town in Sweden. There all participants of 2018 will meet, get a briefing for survival in the arctic wilderness and then, yes, then it will be Christmas for everyone. You can see what we are going to wear in the illustrated video of Sofia who will accompany us on the adventure.
What happens then?
Good question. As I said, we have not received much information. Tuesday morning we will take the plane to Tromsø in northern Norway very early. There we will set up our tents, in which we will sleep for the next nights, on a trial basis and probably also learn to warm water with the special gas cooker for arctic areas.
On Wednesday we will finally meet our faithful companions and speedsters over the ice in Signaldalen: the huskies. 5-6 dogs will pull one sled each. I am already curious how many times I will tip over with the sled when the huskies accelerate. From here on it goes 300 km through the mountains, through snow, through cold. I hope so much for northern lights.
But one thing is already clear to me: it will be exhausting. Very exhausting. Fjällräven Polar is not for recreation and certainly not for sleeping in. It will be hard work. But it will be more than rewarded by unique experiences.
Excited? You bet!
So tomorrow morning I am getting on the plane to Zurich. Right. Zurich. I guess the direct flight with SAS would probably have landed too late in Stockholm, so instead of two hours I’m allowed to fly a total of 6 hours, but this is my first and probably last time in business class.
Apart from kilograms of Powerbanks, I will also take my InReach satellite messenger with me and switch it on whenever the sleds start.
And it is certainly worth checking out Fjällräven’s Facebook page, because a film team will always be by our side and will report on our adventure in the ice from time to time.