Set 150km south of the Arctic Circle, we are immersed in the wilderness. The first part of our challenge is about adjusting to life in this extreme environment, with expert instruction and supervision as we learn how to get around, how to find food, light fire and build shelters. Activities include cross country skiing, snow shoeing, ice fishing, husky sledding and snowmobiling. Later in the challenge is a three day survival phase where our training is put to the test. Moving away from our log cabin, as a group we construct our own accommodation for each night. This includes a Scandinavian tent, a shelter and a snow hole. This is a harsh environment to test your survival instinct, whilst enjoying the peace, tranquillity and beauty of the wilderness and starry skies.
Day 1: London to Raftlaven
Travel from the UK to Sweden's capital Stockholm where you then take an internal flight one hour north to Ostersund in the Jamtland region, just 150km south of the Arctic Circle. Upon arrival at Ostersund we are met by our local team, and travel for one hour by minibus to our cosy log cabin near Raftlaven. The cabin is wonderfully rustic with no electricity; just a wood burner, a basic kitchen, dining table and beds. We have time to settle in before a briefing on the days to come. Overnight: Log cabin.
Day 2: Cross Country Skiing
After a warm and hearty breakfast, and allocated with a 'buddy' for the week we venture out to explore the surroundings on cross country skis, following tracks through the forest and along by the frozen river. There is also a chance to try snowshoeing. Later on we start construction of the snow hole which will be our home for a night later in the week. Overnight: Log cabin.
Day 3: Husky Sledding
Today's challenge see us learning how to steer and race a team of huskies! After breakfast the husky teams arrive at our cabin and we will have a short instruction lesson. You will then be able to take control of your own dog team dogs for a ride through the frozen forest, before we gather around an open fire for a hot lunch and coffee, whilst enjoying fabulous views across the landscape. We return to the cabin this afternoon and continue building our snow hole. Overnight: Log cabin.
Day 4: Snowmobile safari
Get ready for another exhilarating day - this time on snowmobile safari! After an early breakfast we travel in the minibus (approximately 1 hour) to the start of our snowmobile safari. After an important safety brief, in pairs we set off to a nearby frozen lake to practice handling these powerful machines. You will be paired up and each person will take the controls for half of the 6-hour ride. Once everyone is happy we head off through the forests and up into the mountains. On a clear day from the vantage point there is a magnificent view across to Norway. On the way back down we stop for lunch either out in the wilds or at a mountain hotel (depending on the weather). From here its time to swap with your partner for the ride back. Once back at the cabin it's time to prepare for the survival phase of the challenge. With our bags packed for the following three days and nights we head out into the night on cross-country skis to a remote location where we erect a traditional Scandinavian tent complete with log burner. During the night we take it in turns to stoke the log burner and keep everyone comfortably warm! Overnight: Scandinavian tent.
Day 5: Shelter building
Our main task today is to build an A-frame shelter out of the surrounding trees, complete with a trench in the middle for a fire. Full instruction will be provided. Once complete, it's time to light the fire and move in, in time for dinner. Once again we take it in turns to stay awake and stoke the fire throughout the night. Overnight: Shelter.
Day 6: Snow hole
Today is our final chance to construct and finish off our snow hole, tunnelling with spades and ice axes to carve a domed ceiling. Two to three entrances will be made, along with a ski pole in the roof for ventilation. Inside is a cosy, relatively warm 0C. Again we take it in turns over night with our buddy, this time for 'candle watch'. Placing candles in the snow hole not only gives light but very importantly indicates sufficient oxygen is present inside. Overnight: Snow hole.
Day 7: Hot tub and sauna!
After breakfast in the snow hole it's time to ski back to the cabin. With the survival phase complete, it is time to relax with the sauna and hot tub available for your use. There is also a final chance to ski, snow shoe or ice fish should you wish. In the evening we have a celebratory dinner in the cabin and bid farewell to our Swedish hosts. Overnight: Log cabin.
Day 8: Ostersund - Stockholm - London
We depart from the cabin for the transfer (approx 1 hour) back to the airport at Ostersund for our short domestic flight to Stockholm where we change planes for the international flight back to London.
Note: The day-to-day program is subject to flight schedules, weather, general conditions and the progress of the group. While we do not anticipate any changes to the itinerary, we cannot be held responsible for changes made due to unexpected circumstances. Ultimately the safety and health of the group takes priority in all circumstances.
What is included
- Return flights from the UK
- Airport taxes and charges
- Local transfers and transport in Sweden
- Accommodation in cabin, tents and snow holes!
- All equipment for activities
- English-speaking guides and support crew
- Different Travel UK tour manager
- All meals as per itinerary
What is not included
- Any necessary vaccinations
- Travel insurance
- Spending money (tips, drinks, souvenirs)
- Transport to/from UK airports
- Personal trek kit