Practical Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping Expeditions – Dealing With Cold

Practical guide to winter camping expeditions - part 4 - dealing with cold

Dealing With Cold

Many people hate the cold. They shiver when the temperature in the house drops below 20 degrees and don’t venture outside at all when temperatures reach freezing. How we perceive temperature is a complex physical and also mental process, which is often highly personal. When winter camping it helps to realise that comfort and air temperature are not as closely related as we often think. As long as our body stays at a normal 37 degrees, we can live comfortably in much lower temperatures than we think. But where are our limits?

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Practical Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping Expeditions – Gear Guide

Practical Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping Expeditions - Part 3

Your Winter Camping Expedition Materials Gear Guide

Unlike camping in summer, in winter the success and comfort of your expedition very much depend on the quality of the equipment you bring. During cold winter nights not just your comfort, but also your life depends on your clothing, your sleeping bag, your mattress and of course your tent. With the right equipment, you will be very comfortable though. In fact, I dare to say, you’ll have the best nights of sleep you’ll have ever experienced!

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Practical Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping Expeditions – Preparations

Practical Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping Expeditions - Part 2 - Preparation

Preparing Your Winter Camping Expedition

A good preparation is essential for your winter camping trip. Make sure you read up on the area to visit and buy some booklets and detailed hiking maps. Pay attention to the (most extreme) weather conditions during the planned tour period, transport options and the accessibility of rescue services. In hilly/mountainous areas, also pay attention to avalanche danger and how to get avalanche warnings.

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Practical Guide to Winter Hiking and Camping Expeditions – Why camp in winter?

Practical Guide to Hiking and Camping Expeditions in Winter

Everything you need to know about winter camping expeditions!

For most people, trekking and camping in the snow is something seen on television, in images of expeditions to polar regions or high mountain peaks. These are generally hardened and well-trained people in brightly coloured polar clothing setting up their tents in harsh conditions in snow and ice.

For most people this seems a beautiful, but strange and hostile world, watched preferably on television from the comfort of a warm living room. Certainly not something to try out for fun!

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Hiking Glenturret – The Grouse Experience

Famous Grouse ExperienceGlenturret is a small glen in the Scottish Highlands of Perthshire, just north of the little town of Crieff. Within easy reach of nearby Glasgow and Edinburgh, this is the southern edge of the true Scottish Highlands, that extend from here to the rough North Coast. It is an area famous for a typical Scottish bird: The Grouse. The easy access makes this a great area for hiking and camping in the hills. It literally takes minutes to go from friendly Crieff town square to the rugged and remote hills of the Highlands. With my company Expedition Factory I organized an early spring mini-expedition to this wonderful place. Please follow me on a virtual tour to Glen Turret: Continue reading

Winterhike blog – Skarvan og Roltdalen 2015

Intense Arctic IV – Leadership Expedition Norway

The next morning the group discusses the goal for the day. We decide to leave our camp where it is and hike to the nearby lake. The wind is still very strong, preventing us from climbing the higher summits in the park.Is it really climate change or just a very mild Arctic winter? When we landed at Trondheim Vaernes Airport it was six degrees and the area was free of snow. This is 63 degrees North, only a few hundred kilometers short of the Arctic Circle! The taxi driver who took us into the mountains had never experienced such a snowless and spring-like February in this area of Central Norway. Would this become a spring hike in winter? Would we be carrying our full winter expedition gear across green fields filled with flowers? Continue reading

North of the North Cape

Nordkapp_Norway_Mar2014_009The North Cape is one of those places that is on most traveller’s bucket lists. Known as the northernmost point of Europe, situated at 71°10´21˝N, some even claim it is closer to the North Pole than it is to Oslo. It may certainly feel that way and it is good tourism marketing, but it is not true. First of all, it is not the northernmost of Europe. The northernmost point of Europe is Cape Fligely, on Russian Rudolf Island (81°48′24″N), or if you don’t consider that Europe, it is the island of Rossøya on Svalbard, both over 1,000 kilometers north of the North Cape. Those places are definitely closer to the North Pole than to any sizeable city like Oslo. Those places are also virtually impossible to visit, so no travelers ever make it there. Unfortunately for the North Cape it is also not the northermost point of continental Europe, as it lies on a small island. That title goes to nearby Cape Nordkinn (71°08′02″N), a difficult place to visit, but a few hikers make it there every year. Continue reading

Winterhike blog – Barents Sea Expedition 2012

Kirkenes_Norway_24Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz explored the seas around the Northern tip of Norway three times, looking for the infamous northern passage to Asia. On his third journey, in 1596, he stranded in heavy sea ice on the barren island of Nova Zembla, where he ultimately perished after spending the winter in the famous ‘Behouden Huys’, made of the wreckage of his ship in 1597. In an urge to relive some of the crew’s endurance, a small Dutch expedition ventured out to Kirkenes in Northern Norway, to see the part of the Arctic Ocean named after our national 16th century hero, in the middle of the Arctic winter. Continue reading

Shades of Green, Aurora Hunting in Finland

Aurora Hunt Finland 2013 13It is that time of year again. Or better said, it is that time of 11 years again. This winter marks the solar maximum, at which solar activity is at the highest point in its 11-year cycle. The astrophysics behind this phenomenum is very interesting, but the effects of solar activity here on Earth are much more interesting. At Solar Max the display of Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis around the Arctic Circles is at its most spectacular. This magical aerial show is on many people’s bucket list, so last year I organized a special Aurora hunting trip for my social media followers, better known as #AuroraTweetup. Continue reading