On the 9th of April 2018 another episode of the Fjällräven Polar begins. 300km of arctic wilderness. More than 200 highly skilled sled dogs, a handful of expert guides and a group of ordinary people. 20 participants from all-over the world will embark on an adventure of a lifetime. Find out more about the event, the instructors, the route and the numbers on Fjällräven Polar 2018 in the Press Kit in the download section below.
The seed for Fjällräven Polar was planted back in the early 1990s when Fjällräven founder Åke Nordin met Kenth Fjellborg, one of Sweden’s leading dog-sled drivers. Kenth had participated in Iditarod, the world’s toughest dog sled competition through the harsh Alaskan wilderness, and this inspired Åke.
For almost a decade, from 1997 to 2006, Fjällräven Polar followed the Iditarod example: it was a race. But in 2012, after a six-year re-grouping hiatus, Polar was back and this time the focus was not on racing; it wasn’t even designed for dog-sled experts. It was for ordinary people.
It sounded crazy. Taking 30 or so people without wilderness skills into one of the world’s harshest environments: the Arctic tundra. But Fjällräven believed that with the right support, gear and mindset this adventure was anyone’s to have.
And Fjällräven was right. The event was a success, most notably because of the spirit of those first participants. They showed that with guts and gusto, advice and guidance from experts, and high-quality cold-weather gear anyone could take on the challenge of Fjällräven Polar.
Over the years, participants have faced everything from blizzards and -30°C temperatures, to beautiful, sun-drenched landscapes of crisp white snow. For a few lucky people, Fjällräven Polar is the opportunity to test their limits on the adventure of a lifetime.
Aside from changing the lives of around 180 people since 2012, Fjällräven Polar has become a viral success online. Every year hundreds of thousands of people visit the Fjällräven Polar website, and hundreds apply for the chance to join Polar.
For Polar 2018 Fjällräven has changed to a new country application structure, offering even more people the chance to embark on the life-changing adventure. Applicants must apply based on their country of residence. Key Fjällräven markets such as Germany, the UK and Sweden each have always had two spots available – one chosen by peer votes, the other by the Fjällräven jury. Other, smaller markets, such as much of Asia and Eastern Europe, were grouped together. But this year the groupings have been sorted into different regions instead of only countries.
“The plan was to broaden the platform for applications to Fjällräven Polar,” says Andreas Cederlund, Fjällräven Polar Event Manager. “We wanted more people from more countries to be able to apply. This means that small countries that have had two seats to Polar had to stand back in order to give more countries the possibility to compete for spots. The idea was to gain more interest in some countries by grouping them together, especially for countries with classic rivalry. Looking at the growing number of applications, i think we have been quite successfull with this initiative”
For Polar 2018, there has been a huge increase in applications compared to the years before. Competition is fierce and the bar is set higher than ever for the quality of applications. But the reward is worth all the hard work. Fjällräven Polar, the journey from Signaldalen to Jukkasjärvi, is the adventure of a lifetime.
Read more in the Press Kit below.