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Adventure Apes cabin under the Northern Lights in Finland

The Arctic Adventure 2023

Challenge level: 5 out of 5

When can I go?

18 March - 25 March 2023 On Sale
Duration 8 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info £299

Awesome Black Friday Offer!

Book before midnight on Tuesday 30th November 2021 with the code BLACKFRIDAYDC you can get 50% off your registration fee!

Remaining amount
Total commitment Info

The Arctic Adventure 2023

Join us in the real-life Narnia of Northern Finland on a challenge like no other. Together, we'll navigate and snowshoe as a team through the wilderness, camp in the snow, build our own meal plans and even make a snow shelter.

We'll kick off with a day and a half of sub-zero survival preparation, acclimatisation and challenge training with our Arctic experts at our adventure base lodge in Kuusamo. Then we'll head into the wilderness.

Surrounded by nothing but pristine nature, we'll navigate as a team to our finish point, with our Arctic Experts and at least one challenge doctor on hand every step of the way. We'll head our compasses North and trek through a serene, snowy wonderland. Pulling 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 a campfire and cooking meals sufficient to survive in the cold and navigating with a map and compass in the snow.

At the end of our expedition, we’ll be transferred back to Kuusamo for a well-deserved sauna and a chance to build and sleep in our own quinzhees, a type of snow shelter!

If that’s not enough to get excited about, you can also jump on an optional ice fishing tour on the biggest spring in Europe, Lake Kitka.

We’re also offering optional excursions to visit a reindeer farm and to either enjoy a gondola tour of the stunning Ruka Ski Centre or to take on a husky safari.

Exclusive Pre-Challenge Online Course
To set you up for success on your Arctic Adventure, our awesome local Arctic Experts are providing an exclusive online course for all participants, included in your challenge costs!

The compulsory online course will give you a chance to meet and chat to our expert challenge leaders (online) and will consist of weekly webinars, self-studying on the exclusive online platform and informal live Q&A virtual campfire sessions. Altogether, you will complete four fantastic modules over a course of around 8 weeks: Introduction, Gear, Camp life and Safety, hygiene and gear maintenance.

The course is free for all participants, but you'll need access to a computer/tablet/laptop with internet access. We'll send you the full details as the challenge draws closer.

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.

chance to get 5% off your challenge costs!
We're delighted to offer you an opportunity to save 5% on your challenge costs. Simply put, if you pay your challenge costs in full by the end of November, we will deduct 5% from your challenge balance. That's a saving of £90.

If you'd like to get in on this limited-time special offer, please call us once you've registered on 01590 646410 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm).

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 adventure 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 and skiing 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. 7km

Our prep and orientation continue today, as we work out what we’re going to eat during our challenge.

After fuelling 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 and how to use a fuel burning cooker.

We have a final gear check after lunch and then it’s time to head into the serene wilderness of Lapland.

Now our challenge begins. We head our compasses North and then, pulling 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 lead us through this adventure. Keep your eyes peeled, as we may see some reindeer.

After a half-day trek to our camp, we prepare for our first night in the wild. Everyone pitches their tents in the snow and we’ll cook the evening meal together under the stars.

Day 3
Expedition continues | approx. 5-7 km

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

After lunch, we continue towards the remote parts of the forest and reach our next camp late in the afternoon. We spend the rest of the day setting up camp and cooking together before nestling down in our tents for a good night’s rest.

Day 4
Summit expedition | approx. 5-7 km

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

Hearing nothing but each other and the crunch of snowshoes in snow, we trek through unending amazing panoramas. Along the way, we can look out for the park’s variety of birds, including Siberian jays, yellow wagtails and capercaillies.

As we reach the summit, we pitch our tents and explore our surroundings in the utter darkness. Looking and listening out for hawk owls, we return to our camp and cook our dinner over a campfire. If we’re lucky, the Northern lights may dance for us tonight!

Day 5
Return to Adventure Camp | approx. 9-10 km

Rising to a hot breakfast, we clear up with no trace, as has become routine, we snowshoe the last stretch to our challenge finish line! From here, we bid the wilderness goodbye and head back to the adventure base lodge.

After a long and rewarding day, we complete gear maintenance, before enjoying a traditional Finnish dinner, a fantastic way to celebrate our success! Finally, we soothe our tired muscles in the heat of the sauna, setting us up for a great night’s sleep.

Day 6
Quinzhee building

After a big homemade breakfast, we take on the awesome challenge of building our own quinzhee, a type of snow shelter like an igloo! We work as a team to start the base – a huge pile of snow, which we’ll let freeze and harden until the afternoon.

In the afternoon, we tap into our strength to shovel some snow from the quinzhees and finish their construction.

Tonight, we feel the fruits of our labour, with the opportunity to sleep in our new snowy home! After tucking into a hot dinner, we nestle down in our quinzhees (or back in the lodge) and sleep like Santa after Christmas.

Day 7
Kuusamo or Optional Ruka Adventure

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. You’ll learn about reindeer husbandry, you will also have a chance to meet and feed the reindeer and talk with the reindeer herders.

Next, you will transfer to Ruka Ski Centre, where after a short, guided tour and a gondola ride, you will have some free time to enjoy the afternoon as you wish. You may go downhill skiing/snowboarding on your own or you can find a nice cafe or restaurant for lunch or do some souvenir shopping.

Another option (for a different price) is to transfer from the reindeer farm to a husky farm, where you will take a husky safari in beautiful snow-covered forests. A pair will share a sleigh pulled by 5-8 huskies and will take turns in driving and being a passenger.

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

* Today’s meals and optional excursions are not included in your challenge costs. We will send all participants the full details and prices closer to the challenge.

Day 8
Adventure Lodge - Kuusamo – UK

This morning, 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.

Returning back to the lodge, we bid goodbye to our awesome Arctic Guides and 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

Pay your registration fee and your challenge costs yourself.

£1,799

Pay the balance

  • Pay the non-refundable registration fee, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Pay the challenge cost of £1,799 yourself 12 weeks before the challenge starts.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £190), your food, accommodation, transfers, outdoor remote first-aid-trained challenge guides, equipment and medical support, including a UK-registered doctor with expedition medicine training.
  • 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.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £200) and winter gear rental (approx. 100€)
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Sponsorship

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

£3,598

Minimum sponsorship target

  • Pay the non-refundable registration fee, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Fundraise the minimum sponsorship target of £3,598 for a charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice at least 12 weeks before your challenge starts.
  • Providing you have raised the funds, the charity you are supporting will pay the challenge costs of £1,799 on your behalf.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £190), your food, accommodation, transfers, outdoor remote first-aid-trained challenge guides, equipment and medical support, including a UK-registered doctor with expedition medicine training.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £200) and winter gear rental (approx. 100€)
  • 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 2023

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.

Our Arctic expert 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 100€, 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.

 

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 our adventure, we'll send you a training programme, to help you get fit as the challenge gets closer.

No skiing or snowshoeing experience or training is required as we expect everyone to be at a beginner's level, but we strongly recommend that you do some strength training.

This will make it easier for you to set up camp and will also help improve your balance while moving in snow.

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 2023.

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 2023 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.

We'll spend the nights of Day 1, 5 and 6 at the adventure 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 2-4, 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 in Finland, simply get in touch and we can find flight options for you.

Please let us know if you decide to do this at least 14 weeks before our departure date by emailing us at events@dream-challenges.com.

Your registration fee of £299 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.

Your challenge costs of £1,799 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the Sponsorship option) cover:

  • An exclusive pre-challenge online course to set you up for success.
  • Your flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £190).
  • Meals throughout the challenge.
  • Accommodation and all camping equipment*.
  • Snowshoes, skis, sledges, backpacks, cooking gear and utensils and ice fishing gear.
  • All transfers in Finland.
  • A team of awesome, outdoor remote first aid trained Finnish/English speaking expedition staff and our fab Dream Challenges staff.
  • Full support from the Dream Challenges office in the lead up to and during your challenge.
  • Medical support, including at least one UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will accompany the group the whole time.
  • Your Arctic Adventure medal and t-shirt.

Please note, the challenge costs do not include airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £190) and winter gear rental (approx. 100€).

*Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis while camping and dorm-style rooms at the lodge. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a tent to yourself on our nights spent camping, we can arrange this for you for an additional cost of approx. £100.

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

  • Your airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (currently £190 but subject to change – up or down).
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Additional specialist winter gear required for the challenge hire (100€ per person, to be booked and paid for in advance - we will let you know when bookings for this are available). 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 quinzhee.
  • Gratuities & personal expenses.
  • Optional Ruka Adventure tour. (Extra cost: £140-280 including a visit to a reindeer farm and either a short guided tour and gondola ride at Ruka Ski Center or a husky safari and husky sleigh ride. Meals, optional activities and souvenirs at Ruka are not included.)
  • You may also choose to pay £100 for a single supplement and have a tent to yourself on the nights we spend camping.

You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.

Dream Challenges has a policy, which also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19 and we will send you details of this once you sign up.

You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a trekking, snowshoeing and skiing challenge in Finland.

Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.

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 £140-£280 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 farm visit and either the husky safari or the 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 send you all the details.

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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