27 January 2015

List of things to do

We have already done some things to make the Eastern-time-trip to Sweden possible.

We have decided to drive our car to Nikkaluokta. So that will be the starting and finishing point of our trek. I have payed a family fee for STF, so it will be easy to spend nights in the mountain cabins. And, about trekking, we have more or less decided to take a dogteam for me and skis for my husband and sons.

I am now making a list of things we still need to do before the trip.

A three-dog-team following a skier
- merino wool underwear for the boys
- winter boots for younger boy
- hard shell jackets/ third layer for the boys
- one more set of skis
- skiing-type harness for one/ two more dogs
- skiing-rope for one skier
- a light stake-out for 6-7 dogs
- warm under jackets for 4-5 dogs
- maps of the area

It's a long list, but I'm sure we don't need to buy all these things. Some we can borrow, make ourselves or re-cycle.

Things to do:
- skiing with dog training and techniques for the boys
- more leader-training for two younger dogs
- added handling and contact exercises for all the dogs
- keeping fit and work out for whole family

The boys practicing
This list sounds most fun to me. It can be anything from going to swimming hall to walking a day in the forest with the dogs and snowshoes - all these things we normally do, but maybe now a bit more often and with a focus.

Things still to decide:
- exact dates
- accommodation for the first night
- route options
- risks and how to prevent them

26 January 2015

A test drive

Yesterday I did a test-drive with fully loaded sledge.

I wanted to see, how we can move all the things the family will need. Even if we take as light food and stuff as possible, it still is a lot four people (and maybe six dogs) need for five days.

I needed to test this heavy sledge with minimum amount of dogs, so that we can decide  how many dogs we will need, and do we need pulkas also.

Film about test drive

14 January 2015

The jurney begins

Now it is decided: We go back to Sweden in April.
And third time is the charm: This time the boys are going to come with us.

Our sons are 15 and 16 and strong, and this is not the first time they are trekking, but still it means we have to re-think everything:
- How are we going to move?
- Do we all ski or do we take a dogteam with us?
- How can we manage all the things four people need for so many days?
- How many dogs can we take cross the border?
- Where do we sleep?
- What are the boys going to wear?

I'm exited. All this planning makes the trip more interesting. Suddenly there is so much to look forward to. Not to even mention, how happy it makes me, that we can show the mountains to our sons. It's like opening a window. Later in life they can return there with their friends or families, if they want, and maybe find something... what ever it is, that people like myself find when we go outdoors. The huge scale of nature and mountains gives you an opportunity to see things in a different way and thus find inside or around you qualites you didn't know or recognise before.

Our sons started trekking early. We have done daytrips with them since they were babies. We have spent nights with them in wilderness cabins and around the campfire on all seasons.

Their first really big trip was when came with with us to Halti in April 2011. They were 10 and 11, when we started training for the trip, and skied 30 km to Riisitunturi.

After hard training it all went well in Halti. We had two dogteams and two sets of skies. We made nearly 150 km in Halti and Malla-area in four days. We slept in cabins. This is how we moved:
Husband skiing, son mushing

Son skiing, me mushing - for a change

Going downhill, the skiers released from the dogteams

In March 2012 we went to Salla. There we did about 90 km in Naruska, reaching both Karhu- and Sorsatunturi. In Salla we stayed the nights in a rented cabin. Then we had already found it better and more safe to connect the skiers with only one dog. We moved like this:
Me and my husband skied with one dog each. 

The boys had a five-dog-team ..and stigas!

Going down from Karhutunturi, best ride ever 

I took all the dogs down.  

In June 2012 we did our so far only summer time -trekking trip in Lappland. We walked about 50 km in the Pöyrisjärvi wilderness area. We slept in tents. This is what it looked like:
We carried everything in the back-bags

Our camp: One tent for the boys, one for us

boys cooking the fish they caught

After all these trips our sons said it was nice, but they've had enough. So, the last two winters there has been only two of us: me and my husband skiing. So, when I asked the boys, if they want to come with us this time, I was very surprised and very happy to hear: 'Yes!' and 'Why not?' from them.