How about a trip through the snowy regions of Scandinavia behind a sled pulled by huskies? The experience can be amazing and well worth the drive.
One activity that attracts a lot of attention in Scandinavia is certainly dog sledding through the snow.
The relationship between sled dogs and the Nordic people goes back a long way, and even today these animals are part of the local culture and tourism.
What do you do on a cold day in Sweden, Norway or Finland when everything is covered with snow?
For those who love nature and adventure, the recommendation is a husky tour through an incredible landscape and the northern lights.
Given the harsh winter in the northeastern countries, we have to keep discovering new things to break the monotony and get excited about the subzero temperatures.
Today, the dog sled is used as a means of transport or work only in the Nordic countries and Canada. However, it is believed that this activity was already practiced by the inhabitants of the Arctic Circle 10,000 years ago.
As a safe and fun way to travel through the snow, this tour can be a good option for anyone who wants to enjoy a cross-country skiing tour, see the northern lights, be close to nature and enjoy every moment of this trip.
For safety and comfort, it is recommended to take this tour with experienced guides.
Gliding through the snow
Husky dogs are the stars of dog sledding and a part of the culture of the Nordic peoples. Huskies are naturally curious dogs that love to run and have a high tolerance for low temperatures.
In addition, this breed of dog is still used today in expeditions to the poles, where the cold and snow are very strong. They are animals that are used to walking and living in the cold.
Secondly, because sled dogs do not work alone. The sled driver has to do his part and accelerate the sled in the fluffy snow so that the dogs understand that they have to start running.
That’s why a guide with experience is so important. In other words: If the pilot doesn’t exert himself, the Huskies literally don’t move. It’s a team effort.
Husky sledding only takes place between the beginning of December and the end of March, during the intense winter season when snow has covered much of the vegetation.
In the summer, the dogs take a vacation from sledding and go on hikes and expeditions to other colder regions.
The experience of the tour
As with most guided tours, it is necessary to meet the tour guide at a specific pre-arranged location from where the journey to the departure point will begin.
When you arrive, there are usually thermal clothes to buy, rent or, depending on the package, a loan of the clothes. The tourist also has the possibility to bring his own clothes, but do not forget to plan and buy clothes suitable for a stronger cold.
Even on a sunny day, clothes and waterproof shoes are essential for the ride, as the cold wind is very strong during the sled ride.
Soon after you can meet the dogs and the guides will explain how the sled works. Usually the ride is done with two people per sled, one sitting and the other standing, controlling the speed and direction.
The dogs do not run alone. You have to push the sled so the huskies understand that they have to run, and their speed varies depending on the force exerted by the driver.
The dogs actually obey our command and accelerate when we step on the gas. This shares some of the responsibility between dogs and humans.
On average, at least six dogs are used per sled, lined up in groups of two. The two front dogs are the best trained and understand the pilot’s commands.
The ride takes place in a line, always with a guide at the front and another behind the group.
During the ride, the dogs guiding the sled keep looking back. This happens when the speed is reduced for some reason, either because of the altitude, the different nature of the snow, or when the dogs feel they need direction from the pilot. The dogs are very well trained and very intelligent animals.
Travel packages last an average of 8 days, and the trip lasts a few hours per day, depending on the itinerary.
The view of the snow, nature, frozen lakes, trees and the sight of other animals make the trip an incredible experience.
But the most fun is controlling the dogs and understanding how they behave. It is wonderful to make them understand what you want them to do, for example, change direction by simply shifting their body weight to the right or left.
Unlike horses, who know when to run or walk, dogs do not have the discipline to control their pace or stop running.
They spur each other on with barking and run until they can’t anymore. So the person driving the sled must constantly control the speed and give commands to the dogs to turn right or left or stop.
The experience of a dog sled ride can be amazing and very special. Dog sledding is highly recommended for those who love nature and animals and have a good physical condition.
Proper attire, thorough research of the schedule, and choosing experienced guides make all the difference.