Find out everything you need to know to prepare for an Arctic ski expedition, from weather and climate, to client profile, to health and safety remarks, accommodation and transportation.
You do not need to be a super human! Individuals that are active and of normal health can easily join our tours.
However, you should be able to comfortably walk the distances mentioned in the tours, and also keep in mind that being reasonably flexible and agile is an advantage when pitching the tent in the snow and manoeuvring inside the tent.
No prior experience to skiing or winter camping needed.
On the expedition, high calorie food is of course an essential part, as we burn much more energy than in our everyday life! It also needs to be easy to prepare, as we basically only bring along a gas burner (Whisperlite) and a kettle, and also because we are in a sub-zero degree (Celsius) environment.
Therefore, main meals are made by adding boiling water to freeze dried food. Maybe this doesn’t sound like a gourmet experience, but it is definitely possible to make a tasty meal still. Also, almost any food tastes well after a long day of physical activity in cold weather!
In the contact form you can describe, if there are any specific dietary limitations, allergies, or needs, and we will pass it on to NIBIO Conference Centre and take it into consideration when preparing the expedition meal/snack options.
We are located in Northern Norway in the remote Pasvik Valley – the scenic narrow strip of land between Russia and Finland – near the town of Kirkenes. Kirkenes has a regional airport with daily connections to Oslo.
Norwegians know a thing or two about handling and clearing snow on the runway and on their roads in general, so cancellations because of the weather conditions are very rare events.
NIBIO Svanhovd, a beautifully constructed research institute with multiple functions including accommodation and catering, is the natural start- and end point for our tours in the Pasvik Valley.
NIBIO Svanhovd is situated in the small village of Svanvik by the Norwegian/Russian border, and it monitors and studies the unique biome of the Pasvik Valley.
Besides accommodation and catering there is an excellent sauna, a cosy tv/fireplace lounge and conference rooms. On top of this, you will also find the visitation centre for Øvre Pasvik National Park with an exhibition where you can learn more about the virgin forest and the most distinctive bird- and animal species that live here as well as the culture and history of the people of the Pasvik Valley.
At your own cost, it is possible to stay at NIBIO Svanhovd before the tour starts and/or continue after the tour ends.
The distance travelled per day differs from tour to tour and also depends on the group profile and terrain. On the ‘day-experience’ and ‘one-night experience’ it will be around 4-6km, on the 4 and 5 night expeditions it will be 8-13km, and on the 7 night expedition expect 15-20km. It is important to stress that there is no emphasis on ‘speed’ or ‘mileage’ on our tours – UNLESS all in the group desires a more physical challenge.
There are – surprise – no toilets available while on tour. When you need to ‘go’, you just move a little outside the path to find a little cover and you do what you need to do. And Arctic Outlaws highly recommends trying to substitute toilet paper with…snow:-)!
Whether you are a group of friends, a couple, a solo traveller, a family with teenage/grown children you’re welcome. A tour may therefore consist of different profiles that all, among others, have in common that they enjoy fellowship with other travellers.
As a general rule of thumb, participants should be at least 18 years of age if on a multiple day trip, unless a minor is in the company of a responsible adult. Our tours in Kirkenes, the ‘day-experience’ and the ‘one-night experience’ are very suitable for families with older children.
Couples and friend/family groups will always share the same tent(s), and solo travellers will be paired. The tents typically have a capacity of three persons, but for comfort we will just have two persons in each – unless you would like to have three persons inside. A group of three can thereby choose to all be in the same tent, or can choose that one person pairs up with e.g. a solo traveller.
No, all we ask is that you bring curiosity, patience, and perseverance :-).
No. Skis, poles, boots, skins, pulks, harnesses, tents, sleeping mats/bags, stoves, kitchen utensils, etc. are provided by Arctic Outlaws. You will only have to bring your own winter clothing.
We aim for groups sizes of 6-10 guests. This gives a good intimacy and energy, and it gives the guide good time to attend to all guests during the tour, as well as it encourages the participants to get to know each other and share. Also, the guests can more easily be included in the decision making.
Being out in nature we are humble and respectful guests wanting to cause the least possible negative impact while enjoying the great outdoors. Thus, we will travel and camp in areas that are judged sensitive to wildlife, trees or plants, we will carry all our trash (that the guide will dispose of correctly upon return from the tour), we will leave what we find, we will respect wildlife, and be considerate to our co-travellers and other travellers we may encounter.