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Polar Shakedown Training (Norway)

5 days with PolarExplorers   Rating: Budget

Click for Dates and Prices Day 1: Longyearbyen, Norway
This training kicks off in the afternoon of the first day with team introductions and a review the schedule. If the guide(s) have not already checked your kit they will review your c lothing and equipment to make sure you have everything you need. Your guide(s) will also do an in- depth review of his/her kit to show everyone how each item is used and offer tips, suggestions and helpful modifications. Dinner offers a nice opportunity to get to know your other team mates, some of whom may be joining each other on future expeditions.

Day 2-4: Longyearbyen, Norway
We will start off the morning with a hearty breakfast and a couple of indoor classes. Then it is time to hit the trai l for some polar training (our Iceland training includes a transfer to the glacier on th is day). Our time on the trail will provide many learning opportunities, both impromptu lessons as well as formal classes.

Topics to be covered include: staying warm in the extreme cold; the threat of overheating; personal comfort & hygiene; layering systems; packing a pulk or dogsled (for people on dogsled Shakedowns) ; the basics of skis & bindings; tents & tent maintenance; sleeping systems; stove basics; cooking sim ple meals; accident prevention; traveling on ice; encountering leads (open water); insurance tips; evacuations & other logistics.

Days will be spent traveling between camps by ski or dogsled (for people on dogsled shakedowns) while evenings will find us preparing expedition- style meals and talking about all things related to expedition life. Nights will be spent in the same polar tents and sleeping systems we use on our expeditions.

Day 5: Longyearbyen, Norway
A late afternoon return to ci vilization will allow us to wrap up the training with individual meetings between participants and guides. Your guide will review the experience and discuss your strengths, areas for improvement and how you ca n continue your training. If you are participat ing in the USA Shakedown you will also have the chance to learn and practice the art of escaping cold water. Conditions allowing we will cut a hole in the ice of a frozen lake and demonstrate what to do if you break through or fall into open water. This i s especially useful for any participants headed to the North Pole. Hot showers, a well- deserved dinner and a comfortable night in a lodge or hotel top off this day.

Day 6: Longyearbyen, Norway
This training officially ends after breakfast. Participants on our Shakedowns in Iceland or Longyearbyen should consider spending a day or two participating in one of the many guided tours that are offered (dogsledding, snowmobiling, etc.) Participants who are continuing directly on to one of our North Pole expeditions may have one day off between the Shakedown and the start of the expedition. We are happy to make recommendations on things to do during your free time. Contact us for suggestions!
All This Included
Whether you are training for an upcoming polar expedition or simply looking to learn some new skills our Polar Shakedown Training is the best way to build your confidence and level of experience. We cover everything from polar clothing and equipment systems, to navigation, safety systems, food and menu planning, cooking, camping routines, efficiency, and travel by ski or dogsled. Days are spent skiing and/or dogsledding in conditions similar to those you will find at the Poles. Classes are scheduled throughout the day to maximize your learning, and to give you opportunities to ask questions. Evenings are spent making camp and learning how to survive comfortably in the extreme cold. Nighttime readings from the journals of Polar explorers add to the magic of the experience.

Once you arrive at the start of an expedition, there is no time to learn the essentials of surviving in the cold. People who have attended the Shakedown trip are able to handle the stresses in a systematized manner and enjoy their expedition to the fullest. Those who don't have the necessary skills often feel cold, uncomfortable, and overwhelmed for the duration of their expedition. In extreme cases, we have seen people on other expeditions drop out before they even left base camp!

If you are going to make the financial, mental and physical commitment to join a polar expedition, why not ensure that you have the best possible experience?

  • All group equipment
  • Ski system, sleeping system
  • sled, guides, permits
  • Communication & safety gear
Longyearbyen: to be determined
  • This itinerary is highly dependent on a number of factors and is subject to change.
  • The prices shown above are subject to change and may fluctuate based on the current currency exchange rate.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.