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The Arctic Adventure 2021

Challenge level: 5 out of 5

When can I go?

6 March - 13 March 2021 On Sale
Duration 8 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info £299
Remaining amount
Total commitment Info

The Arctic Adventure 2021

Join us in in the real-life Narnia of Northern Finland on a challenge like snow other. Together, we navigate and snowshoe as a team through the wilderness, camp in the snow, build our own meal plans and even make an igloo.

We start with a day and a half of sub-zero survival preparation, acclimatisation and challenge training with our Arctic experts in Kuusamo. Then we transfer into the wild.

Left in the pristine middle of nowhere with our Arctic Experts and two doctors, it’s our task to navigate as a team to our finish point. We head our compasses North and trek together through the gorgeous Riisitunturi National Park. Carrying all the gear we need in sledges, we’ll snowshoe by day and make our own meals and set our own camp at night and we may even see the Northern Lights!

We’ll also learn literal life lessons, like making meals sufficient to survive in the cold, a fire without matches and a home entirely out of snow.

At the end of our expedition, we’re transferred back to Kuusamo for a well-deserved sauna and an optional ice fishing tour on the biggest spring in Europe, Lake Kitka.

Please note, there's no down-hill skiing in our Arctic Adventure, but you have the opportunity to visit the Ruka Ski Centre on an optional excursion on Day 7.

Giving back to the planet

As a company dedicated to practicing responsible tourism, we're delighted to assure you that we've designed this amazing itinerary especially to give back to the places we visit.

We have chosen local challenge leaders and Arctic experts that share our commitment to supporting the local economy, so that everyone benefits. This means the money goes where it should go: to the local guides, bakers, fishermen and women and other small producers and local partners that make you feel like part of the local community.

Sustainable travel 

Both Dream Challenges and our Arctic experts believe nature is the most important thing on this planet.

Our amazing local challenge leaders for the Arctic Adventure do everything they can to ensure the lakes, forests and natural beauty can be enjoyed and preserved now and for generations to come.

Places for this extraordinary challenge are likely to go faster than skiers down slopes, so register early to avoid disappointment.

 

Your itinerary

Day 1
London - Kuusamo, Finland

Our Arctic Adventure begins when we meet at the airport in London and catch our flight to the Winter Wonderland of Kuusamo. A coach transfer later, our awesome local ground handlers welcome us to our base camp in Kuusamo’s Narnia-like countryside.

As we admire our magical, snowy surroundings, we tuck into a delicious lunch of local food, followed by a challenge briefing. Now it’s time to prepare for our challenge. Together with our Arctic Expert Challenge Leader, we’ll work out our route through the wilderness and get familiar with our gear. We’ll take time to ensure we have everything we need to stay safe, warm and dry in the -1 to -38 degrees conditions.

Next, we try out orienteering, skiing and snowshoeing for the first time, preparing for much more to come and acclimatising all the while to our new environment. We end our day with a traditional Finnish sauna and a refreshing roll in the snow.

Day 2
Kuusamo – Into the wild | approx. 5-8km

Our prep and orientation continues today, as we work out what we’re going to eat during our challenge. After fueling up with a hearty homemade breakfast, we’re split into teams to prepare our meal plans. Then we learn how to cook the meals we’ve promised ourselves. This wilderness cooking lesson isn’t like anything you’ve experienced before. Together, we learn how to make an open fire without matches and cook our lunch over the blaze, using expedition cookers.

We have a final gear check after lunch and then it’s time to transfer to our challenge starting point. A bus ride later, we alight in the pristine wilderness of Lapland transfer to our challenge starting point, in the wilderness of Lapland.

Now our challenge begins. We head our compasses North and then, carrying the gear in expedition sledges, we snowshoe as a team to our first night’s camp. We may feel alone, but please don’t worry. Our professional wilderness guides will be skiing nearby and we’ll have a walkie-talkie connection with them at all times.

The trek should take us about three hours and then we prepare for our first night in the wild. Everyone pitches their tents in the snow and we’ll cook the evening meal together over the campfire.

Tonight, we're reunited with our professional wilderness guides, who'll accompany us for the rest of our challenge.

Day 3
Expedition in Riisitunturi National Park | approx. 8km

We rise to the stunning view of bright snow and start our day by preparing our own hot breakfast. Then, always leaving the No Trace policy, we pack up camp and continue our journey through the natural winter wonderland.

Soon, we enter the Riisitunturi National Park, where we enjoy our lunch over an open fire, with enchanting panoramas. Then it’s back on our feet to crack on with our trek.

We reach the awesome Littolampi Pond in the early afternoon, which marks our day’s end point. Here, we set camp, before drilling holes into the frozen water and ice fishing for tonight’s dinner. (This isn’t obligatory, so if you don’t eat fish, you can prepare something else.)

Day 4
Riisitunturi National Park | approx. 10km

Day 4 sees us continuing our exploration of the gorgeous Riisitunturi National Park. After a warming breakfast and packing up camp with no trace left, we venture into the heart of the National Park, known as a paradise for winter hikers. 

Hearing nothing but each other and the crunch of snow shoes in snow, we trek through unending amazing panoramas. Along the way, we can look out for the park’s variety of birds, including whooper swans, yellow wagtails and meadow pits. We may even see other snowshoers and get a chance to swap stories with the locals.

As we reach the more remote parts of the National Park, we pitch our tents and explore our surroundings in the utter darkness. Looking and listening out for hawk owls, we return to camp and cook our dinner. If we’re lucky, the Northern lights may dance for us tonight!

Day 5
Igloo building and overnight in an igloo | approx. 2 - 6km

After a hot breakfast and clearing up with no trace, as has become routine, we take an approx. 3km trek to tonight’s camp. The trek may be short, but this is by no means an easy day. Now, we have the awesome challenge of building our an igloo! This is a full-day activity and we’ll work as a team to start the base – a huge pile of snow, which we’ll let freeze and harden until afternoon.

While we wait for our base to harden, we enjoy an optional short expedition to what some say is the most “Instagrammable” spot in Finland. Have your camera at the ready! We tuck into our lunch next to a wilderness cabin and then we’re back to finish the igloo.

Tonight, we’ll feel the fruits of our labour, as our new snowy home is much warmer than outdoors. After tucking into a hot dinner, we’ll nestle down into igloo and sleep like Santa after Christmas.

Day 6
Igloo - Adventure Apes Lodge

You’ll be pleased to know that our work here is done. After our last breakfast in the wild, we clear up the last traces of our challenge and transfer to our finish line: the Adventure Apes Lodge. Here, we complete gear maintenance and enjoy a traditional Finnish lunch, before resting our tired muscles in the heat of the sauna.

This afternoon, we have the chance to join our Challenge Guide for a short walk and an optional ice-fishing tour in the biggest spring in Europe, Lake Kitka. A chilled evening awaits and we enjoy a relaxing stretch in the sports hall, before our dinner at the lodge. 

Day 7
Kuusamo or Optional Ruka Adventure (98€)

We have earned a joyous day of rest to end our challenge. You can either kick back at the lodge and take the opportunity to use its sauna to your heart's and muscles' content.

Alternatively, you can take part in an exciting optional adventure in Ruka*. We’ll learn about reindeer husbandry, you will also have a chance to meet and feed the reindeer and talk with the reindeer herders. Next, we get a chance to spend some time at the Ruka Ski Centre to enjoy as you wish. You may book activities, such as downhill skiing/snowboarding or an ice swim and sauna. 

Alternatively, you can find a nice cafe or restaurant or spend your time reading your favourite book. 

Tonight, we toast our extraordinary achievement, having conquered an incredible challenge in the extreme cold!

*Please note, the optional Ruka Adventure is not included in your challenge costs and amounts to an additional 98€ per person (not including lunch or optional add-ons, like skiing/snowboarding and the ice pool). If you'd like to take part in the reindeer and ski centre visit, you'll also need to budget for this and book in advance. When the Ruka Adventure is open for bookings, we'll put a link to the booking page here.

Activities in Ruka, like skiing and ice swimming with sauna are add-ons at an extra cost and will require advance booking.

Day 8
Kuusamo – UK

Today sees us journeying back home. Bidding goodbye to our awesome Arctic Guides, we transfer to Kuusamo airport and catch our flight back to London. This is where we part ways for home and a very good rest in the relative warmth of the UK!

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Funding options

Self Funded

£1,750

Pay the balance

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Pay the challenge cost yourself 12 weeks before the challenge starts.
  • Choose to fundraise as much as you can for the charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice with no minimum target, or make a personal donation.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £150), your food, accommodation, transfers, guides, equipment and medical support, including two doctors.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £150) and winter gear rental (approx. 80€)
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Sponsorship

Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.

£3,500

Minimum sponsorship target

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Fundraise the minimum sponsorship target for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice.
  • Your charitable funds must be paid in 12 weeks before your challenge starts.
  • Providing you have raised the funds, the charity you are supporting will pay the challenge costs on your behalf.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £150), your food, accommodation, transfers, guides, equipment and medical support, including two doctors.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £150) and winter gear rental (approx. 80€)
  • Please note that not all charities are happy to commit to the minimum sponsorship option. If you choose this option, we contact the charity you want to support on your behalf. If they are not happy with the minimum sponsorship option, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
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FAQs
The Arctic Adventure 2021

This trip is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. We do not recommend this challenge if you suffer from back pain, epilepsy or heart problems. By the time the challenge comes around, you'll need to be physically strong in order to set up camp. Once you have signed up for the challenge we give you a realistic training programme, which gradually builds up as the challenge gets closer.

Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up for this challenge on their own. Once you've registered, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone taking on the Arctic Adventure 2021. Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow challengers on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to the fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.

Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the Arctic Adventure 2021 is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone over the age of 18 is more than welcome to join us for this extraordinary challenge.

The Adventure Apes team will have specialist winter gear ready for us all to hire upon arrival in Kuusamo. Skis, snowshoes, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, sledges, backpacks, cooking gear and utensils, ice fishing gear are all provided and included in your challenge costs.

The gear hire is at an additional cost of 80€, so please make sure to budget for this. The hired gear includes:

  • Thermal underlayer (trousers and shirt)
  • Woolen socks
  • Fleece or heavy sweater
  • Winter jacket
  • Winter trousers
  • Winter boots
  • Small hat + big hat for extra cold weather
  • Gloves + mittens
  • Buff
  • Balaclava to be used in the igloo

We'll supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the challenge well before your departure date.

We'll spend our first and last two nights at ​the fab Adventure Apes Lodge​ in the countryside of Kuusamo. Once a public primary school, the guesthouse has been newly renovated to provide clean and cosy, standard-level accommodation. The dorm-style rooms have bunk beds with a maximum occupancy of six people per room with private bathrooms. Bed linen, towels and access to the traditional wood-heated sauna are included.

During our challenge, on nights 2-5, we'll be divided into small teams, who will share tents and sleeping with proper sleeping bags and sleeping mattresses in the tents. You may also have the option to spend one night in the igloo we build! All camping equipment is included and designed especially for Arctic conditions, to keep us warm and dry.

Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay you will need to come out of our group flights. Please let us know if you decide to do this at least 14 weeks before our departure date, so we can take you out of our group flights and deduct the cost from your balance.

In addition to paying your registration fee, you will need to budget for:

  • Your airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (currently £150 but subject to change – up or down)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Winter gear hire (80€ per person, to be booked and paid for in advance - we will let you know when bookings for this are available) - this will include all the specialist Arctic gear needed for the challenge
  • Gratuities & personal expenses
  • Optional Ruka Adventure tour (98€ to be paid and booked in advanice - we will let you know when bookings for this are available), lunch in Ruka and any ski centre add ons you choose to partake in (eg. ice pool, skiing, snowboarding)

 

You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy, which we will send you details of. You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a trekking, snowshoeing and skiing challenge in Finland. Currently, UK nationals don't need a visa to visit Scandinavia. We'll let you know if this changes.

The optional Ruka Adventure on Day 7 is not included in your challenge costs and amounts to an additional 98€ per person (not including lunch or optional add-ons, like skiing/snowboarding and the ice pool). If you'd like to take part in the reindeer and ski centre visit, you'll also need to budget for this and book in advance.

When the Ruka Adventure is open for bookings, we'll put a link to the booking page here.

No, absolutely not! We don't expect you to have previous snowshoeing or skiing experience . There is likely to be both skiing and snowshoeing during the tour. It isn't down-hill skiing, but off-road skiing. We'll have some snowshoeing training during our orientation sessions on our first day in Finland. This will give us the chance to get used to the snowshoes before we set off on the adventure.

There's no down-hill skiing in our Arctic Adventure, but you have the opportunity to visit the Ruka Ski Centre on an optional excursion on Day 7. At the Ski Centre, you can choose to use their skiing equipment hire and facilities, as an optional extra.

As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.

We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.

NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

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