Understanding what conditions to expect is a crucial part of sufficiently preparing for your visit to the arctic paradise.
On the following connection, you will be able to get a better idea of the day/night cycles up here.
TEMPERATURES AND THE WIND
In the winter it is not unusual for the temperatures to fall below -30 degrees celsius (-22 Fahrenheit), and we have already had -40 as well, though that's rare. Out on the frozen swamps, lakes, and forests, the temperature is always a little bit lower than in Kiruna town (as a rule of thumb deduct 5 to 10 degrees).
And when the snowstorms start, and there is a blizzard, the environment becomes even harsher.
For us insignificant humans, that means layering up on thermal underwear, wool socks, and fluffy jackets. Do your best with what you have, and we will provide you with anything extra deemed necessary.
You can read more about the temperatures on the following link: WeatherSpark - Kiruna (and don't forget to choose your preferred measurements in the top right corner).
HOW TO DRIVE A DOG SLED SAFELY
As the driver of the sled, you will be required to keep your hands on the sled at all times to prevent potential accidents, or falling off yourself. There are no navigation options, the dogs take care of that part, while you are in charge of the speed. You have two break systems which the guides will show to you before the tour and explain how they work. You can use them during the entire tour, based on necessity. Again the guides will show you the best technique for the given day's conditions and weather. The average speed of commercial dog sledding is around 20km/h, slowing down to walking speed on difficult spots.
Always make sure there is enough space between your front dogs and the next sled, just like on a snowy road driving a car.
The perfect temperature for our dogs to run in is -15 degrees celsius. Therefore we sometimes have to stop and let them cool down, or completely cancel tours (in advance) if the temperatures are too high (around 0 degrees) - the snow also becomes unpredictable and very difficult to drive on. For us, it might be cold, but for them, very low temperatures are the best environment! Read below (hover over the images on the computer, double tap on mobile) our DOs and DONTs during a tour.
Alaskan Husky, what exactly is that?
"Alaskan Husky", unlike "Siberian Husky", is not a specific breed, much more it is an umbrella term for all sled dogs that have been bred specifically for this sport. Therefore there also isn't any specific standard or type, as the dogs are what are commonly known as "mutts", or cross-breed dogs. This is also the reason behind each dog practically being unique in shape, size, and color, however, retaining a recognizable character and performance, as they have been bred with durability, speed, intelligence, and tolerance for extreme weather in mind.
You can read more about their history and genetic variety on the Alaskan Husky Wikipedia Page.