Peter and Fjällräven Polar Expedition; Coats, Dogs and Stunning Photography
This is special.
Photography. Dogs. Adventure. Stunning landscapes. Coats. It's everything that thingandwhere is about.
Check out this account of Peter Gullberg Eriksson's once-in-a-lifetime, out of this world trip with Fjällräven Polar expedition...
Paul: Alright mate. Thanks for doing this. Please could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Peter: My name is Peter and a 39 year old Swede, born in the dark woods but living in Stockholm since the mid-nineties. I'm a father of three beautiful kids and I've got a great interest in the outdoors as well as clothing, football, music, photography and design and lots of other stuff.
So please could you just explain what the trip was, how you entered, how you won, what did Fjäll get out of it?
The Fjällräven Polar is really a fantastic way of the brand showing the world how anyone could succeed on a great adventure, even if you were picked from the street the same day. With the right equipment and the right knowledge, anyone could do it.
So Fjällräven provides the gear and the knowledge and then it’s up to you.
Every year 25-30 people win a place in the Polar team by posting a video and getting votes. Over 400K votes landed on the participant entries this year so it's a pretty huge thing. People from all over the world compete and it’s important, I guess, for Fjällräven to get as wide range of participants as possible. This year I met people from South Korea, Taiwan, USA, Germany, France and UK to mention some places.
They produce films every day that broadcasts every night and there are journalists from many countries that cover the journey. There was even two great guys from the fantastic magazine Gear Patrol, who travelled along the whole time. One as a participant and one as a photographer.
I never entered a video. I had the luck of winning the in-store contest which was a new touch of reaching even more people this year from Fjällräven. You posted a photo of yourself on Instagram, wearing the Polar Parka, and the ones with most likes went to the finals which was a quiz where 5 people competed against each other, answering questions on outdoor living and receiving points for correct answers. I won that pretty easily and I, all of a sudden, had a spot in an arctic dog sled ride. Crazy really.
How many went and who were they? Where were they from?
There were 32 in total, plus the mushers and a few more from Fjällräven. The outdoor legend Johan Skullman was our Chief Instructor and then there was a media team of two photographers, one filmmaker and one interviewer.
The media team and the people from Fjällräven were Swedish but, otherwise, it was a really diverse group with people from all kinds of different places and backgrounds.
Please could you talk us through a day on the trip?
We woke up around 06.00 and started the day by getting water. We then started lighting up the kitchens, which really wasn’t that easy every day as the wind and snow don’t always lets you do what you want to do.
We travelled in teams of four people, so two people boiled water for breakfast while the other two carried more water for the dogs and started to cut up their food with axes.
When the dogs were fed; you'd feed yourself. Dogs were always priority number one.
After a fast breakfast we started packing our gear. Putting down the tent, clothes and sacks. All the tools that were laying around in the tent from last night’s use. When you’ve finally packed everything in your sled you started to get the dogs and get them to the sled as well.
When everything was packed and tied up we then started to ride the sled and the dogs go from totally chaotic to completely silent in seconds. It was so beautiful.
You then travelled together with the dogs for 6-8 hours before reaching a new camp site where you had to do the same work as in the morning but unpacking and getting stuff up. After feeding the dogs and securing a good sleeping spot for them.
That’s about it. No rest at all. Hard work from morning to evening. Every day. But amazing. It is working with your hands and witnessing such beautiful landscapes as we did. Loved every single second of this trip.
Have you done anything similar in the past?
I’ve done my share of outdoor life but nothing really like this. I love to spend time up in the mountains, in Sweden and Norway, and I hike a lot. But never have I been on a 330K long dog sled ride. Few have.
Any other trips lined up?
I’m planning on going to Svalbard or Greenland next year and possibly doing parts of Kungsleden or a hike up on Kebnekaise together with my wife and youngest kid. We’ll see, I don’t want to stress these things, they should be about calmness and inspiration not planning and stress.
I definitely agree with that. Thanks for the pics and answering the questions; truly awe inspiring.
Thanks for your interest mate, appreciate it!
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