Our husky dog sledging experience in the Arctic wilderness

posted in: Finland, Norway | 28

Whilst on our Arctic adventure in northern Finland with Aurora Holidays, we were able to take part in an additional activity during our stay, husky dog sledging. Both of us have never done this before and we were told that this activity is so much different to the ones in the touristy places in other parts of the Nordics. Instead of a short ten to twenty minute ride going in a small circle like most companies do, we were flung out into the Arctic wilderness for a two hour ride with one of Norway’s leading husky dog leaders.

Tom is given our group a briefing at the start of the day

Our day started with a ride to Tana Bru over the border in Norway which is about an hour’s drive from our base in Utsjoki, Finland. On our arrival we met Tom, our leader for the day who was going to be in the leading sledge and gave us instructions on how to get the huskies to pull the sledge and how to stop in emergency.

Claire checking out our huskies for the day
We are all set to go

For the first half of the ride, I (Danik) opted to do the steering etc whilst Claire got herself wrapped up warm in the sledge and had the GoPro/Camera ready. Not too long after our arrival we were off whizzing through the snow and out into the wilderness.

After a few minutes I noticed our huskies were not as fast as the ones pulling the other sledge (but it was a good job we were at the rear as there were only three sledges being pulled on this trip). We had six huskies pulling our sledge, the leaders did well but the two in the middle keep crossing the main rope so we had a little bit of an off-balance when we were in motion. At the rear the two dogs (who were both females) were trying to hump each other (having sex basically) while the other huskies were working hard to play catch up on the other sledges.

Going around corners was a scary thought at first as the foot brake has to be applied once into the curve but after a while I mastered that. Only on steep downhill sections was when the foot brake had to be pressed hard otherwise we would have gone flying over the dogs or gone to the side, let go off the sledge and the dogs would have ran off into the wild.

Our team at the half way point – don’t they look adorable
Claire is ready for action

The course was mostly flat, the trees were bare (as it was the end of the winter months), the winter sun shining its rays on us (where we did get a suntan on our faces so don’t forget the lotion) and the sharp cold breeze on our face was enough to keep us awake and focused.

The other two sledges in front of us were so fast that they left us behind by a far distance in most places and as the ride went on, our huskies were getting slower but still doing the job. Just before the end of the trail, there were quite a few downhill sections and trees to divert around and that was probably the fastest part of the ride for us.

After the ride we sat besides on outdoor fire drinking coffee and hot juice reflecting on the mornings ride. Despite the problems (which were minor) we had, we really had a very enjoyable ride and one we won’t forget. My voice was hurting for a while as I kept shouting STOP and GO all the time, in some parts confusing the huskies as they didn’t know if they were coming or going. This has been one thing we have been wanting to do for a long time and we were glad to do it with Tana Husky (the name of the company who supplied the huskies).

Relaxing after a hard mornings but enjoyable ride

Aurora Holidays then picked us up and took us into the centre of Tana Bru where there are some local shops to buy products where the highlight is ‘Tana gull og solvsmie’ gift shop where they produce a lot of beautiful jewellery which most is made on site. Then it’s the drive back to Utsjoki.

Tana Bru

Our overall view is, if anyone staying with Aurora Holidays for a vacation or to chase the Northern Lights, then do take the option of doing the husky sledging. It is well worth the money and the experience/memories you will come away with will last forever. They sure have with us.

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28 Responses

  1. Beautiful captures of an amazing looking adventure! 🤙🏻

  2. we did this in quebec city in canada and it was great getting to see the dogs and learn about the culture. The dogs loved to run – it was also freezing lol

  3. This sounds like an amazing experiece and I would love to do this someday. Hoping to make a trip to Canada or Alaska this year for the Northern lights so maybe then! 🙂

  4. Wow this reminded me of my husky safari ride in Finland. I think its one of the most amazing experiences ever, right? I would happily do it again 🙂
    Btw I love your pictures!
    Sonam recently posted…5 Time Saving Apps in Dubai

  5. looks like it was a unique and cool experience. I heard looking after those dogs is rather high maintenance, but worth it as they seem amazing.
    Bee recently posted…Hiking Up Lion’s Head

  6. Wow this was an interesting read. I came to know about huskies for first time after watching movie “Eight Below”, they are wonderful creature. Seeing Northern Lights is already in my wishlist & I hope some day I can be at that part of world to see that but Husky Sledging seems like a lot of fun. Beautiful Snaps too !! Happy Travelling !!

  7. What a fun experience! I would love the rush of dodging trees through the snow, but I’m glad there weren’t too many in the way! I agree with you – this is a perfect accompaniment activity to viewing the Northern Lights!

  8. Aw can’t help but to feel sorry for the dogs. Looks like you captured some amazing memories but it’s not something I’d try. Now the northern lights is something I dream of seeing!!

  9. So you need to learn how to manoeuvre the sledges yourself, is it? That would certainly take a bit of practice. The sight of the pure white snow and the sun shining down upon it is so inviting. Norway, yes please.
    Punita Malhotra recently posted…Three Barcelona icons that will blow your mind

  10. My favourite day trip on our Travchat Meetup with Aurora Holidays! Your dogs were hilarious and very naughty. My dogs were actually quite well behaved considering I tipped the sled twice…and ran off without me, I had so much fun on that two hour wilderness safari with the huskies. So calm, so peaceful and so beautiful.

  11. I am kind of psyched to give it a try (even though I very much dislike the cold that comes with snow…). I guess you didn’t have to pay but do you have a ballpark figure of how much a ride would be?

    Thank you & happy continued travels!
    C

  12. Ooooooo this has been on my bucketlist. I don’t know when i’ll be able to do this. It is a GREAT post!!!

  13. Love the pics! U re doing a great job. Keep going & wish u all the best! xoxo

  14. EPIC!!! I really want to do this! I loved reading about your experience. I can’t believe you actually have to steer…I thought that was the dogs job. haha.

  15. How can female dogs hump each other? Or was it your imagination?
    One thing that I noticed was that you have put the name of your blog post also toward the end of the article. In fact, many bloggers do it? Is there a reason, and if yes, then what.
    Lastly, I do not think the dogs would run away in the wilds and even if they did, the GPS trackers would still locate them.
    All things said and done, your ski-experience seemed a long slide on an ice-cream.

  16. This looks like fun! And you two got an interesting group of huskies lol. I think I’d choose Claire’s job for this… bundled up with my camera!
    Miranda recently posted…Top Dessert Restaurants in Southeastern Wisconsin

  17. Doing a trek like that was never on my list of must dos but it is now. It sounds relaxing and enjoyable until a turn or downhill section. Just you and your dogs out in the wilderness.
    Oursweetadventures recently posted…The Best Things to See in Brescia, Italy

  18. Ah we did this in Lapland last year and absolutely loved it. I was stealing with delight, even more so than my six year old niece!
    Anne recently posted…How to Avoid Stress When Flying From Leeds Bradford Airport

  19. This looks so cool! (literally and metaphorically!!) I don’t usually like the cold but one day I want to see the northern lights & take a husky sled ride, this is definitely on my bucket list!

  20. Not going to lie Danik, I HATE the cold! But with that said, I would love to drive a sled dog team in Norway like you guys did. Though I dont think Darcee would have loved sitting in the basket watching the two rear huskies get frisky..haha. What an amazing adventure.
    Eric Gamble recently posted…My Anti-Bucket List: Things I don’t want to do before I die

  21. Dogsledding would be so much fun! Sounds like you had a thrilling experience in more ways than one. LOL, it’s no wonder your sled was slow.

  22. Oh wow! This must have been so cool. Although I don’t enjoy this extreme cold, your husky rides make me want to try it at least once.

  23. LOL your description of why your sledge wasn’t going so fast amused me! It does sound like tremendous fun though – and personally I’d rather go a little slower!
    Fiona Maclean recently posted…Guernsey – A Food Lover’s Paradise Island

  24. Megan Jerrard

    Cool that you could organize a day in Norway from a base in Finland – what a beautiful winter wonderland! Lucky that the sun was out and the landscape was flat – sounds like a really fun ride! Thanks for the tip on Aurora Holidays – will definitely give them a shout on our next trip out!

  25. Danielle Desir

    Had no idea that you get to steer the dog sleds! I actually thought that you’d get to sit and enjoy the ride. Sounds like quite the adventure with a few mischievous dogs 🙂
    Danielle Desir recently posted…WestJet Review: Econo Round-trip From NYC To Toronto

  26. This looks like so much fun! I’m always so impressed by how strong huskies are! I’d love to try this sometime. I know it’s offered many places.

  27. This sounds like an exciting experience. The fact that the sledge ride was into the wilderness and lasted about 2.5 hours makes for a real adventure. Traveling so close to the snow with nothing around must indeed be a great and unique experience.

  28. I am so jealous right now. I saw a movie awhile ago when I was a child called Toby McTeague about a boy racing in a dog sledding championship in his fathers absence. Ever since then I knew I wanted to do something like this. Your pictures totally remind me of that movie. Great post!!!
    Christopher recently posted…48 Hour Toronto Itinerary

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