How do you feel about freezing your butt off while dog sledding across the Scandinavian arctic? If that sounds like your cup of crazy, then Fjällräven would like a word.
The Swedish outdoor retailer has announced its 19th edition of the annual Fjällräven Polar, set to kick off in April 2024. This dog-sledding race invites 20 people from around the world to navigate a grueling 186-mile journey across the Scandinavian tundra. And if you’re wondering whether you need Ernest Shackleton-level experience with winter survival — the answer is no.
The event is about showing that “anyone” can tackle this challenge, as long as they receive top-notch cold-weather gear and some guidance from experts. “Guts and gusto” are prerequisites as well, Fjällräven wrote in a press release.
“Over the years, participants have faced everything from blizzards and -30°C temperatures, to the beautiful, sun-drenched landscapes of the Arctic tundra,” Fjällräven said in the release. “For a few lucky people, Fjällräven Polar is the opportunity to test their limits on the adventure of a lifetime.”
Fjällräven will only accept applications until Nov. 19, 2023, so if you’re interested, apply sooner rather than later.
What Is Fjällräven Polar?
Fjällräven Polar is an Arctic expedition that traces its roots back to the early 1990s. That’s when Åke Nordin, the founder of Fjällräven, was inspired by the grit of an experienced Swedish dog-sled driver who had conquered the treacherous Iditarod race in Alaska.
Initially, Fjällräven Polar was a race in the spirit of the Iditarod, but in 2012, the event underwent a significant transformation. It shifted its focus from competition to inclusivity, inviting everyday individuals with little to no wilderness experience to participate.
Over the years, participants have braved extreme conditions while experiencing awe-inspiring Arctic landscapes. Notably, the expedition has also achieved success online, the company said, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to its website annually and garnering thousands of applications from around the globe.
However, in 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a hiatus, but the event made its return in 2022, drawing nearly 15,000 applications.
How to Apply
The application process begins with completing the Fjällräven Polar 2024 application form, available on Fjällräven’s Experience Hub. This step is mandatory, and applications will not be considered unless the form is filled out.
After that, hopefuls can begin completing three challenges on Instagram, released on a weekly basis. The first challenge was revealed during a global launch event on Oct. 30.
Participants can submit their responses in the form of videos, images, or text on Instagram while tagging @fjallravenofficial, using the hashtag #FjallravenPolar2024, and specifying the challenge number (#Challenge1, #Challenge2, or #Challenge3). Detailed information about the challenges and the application procedure are available on the Fjällräven Experience Hub.
Following the closure of the application phase on Nov. 19, the Fjällräven “jury” — Fjällräven Polar alumni, ambassadors, and company employees — will select 20 individuals for the 2024 expedition. Fjallraven will reveal the selected adventurers on Dec. 11, 2023.
This season, give yourself the gift of adventure. Good luck, dog-sledders!