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Arctic Expedition Experience 2025

26th Jan 2025 - 2nd Feb 2025

8 days/Northern Scandinavia /Challenging


Learn all the skills you need to survive an overnight winter camp the Arctic Circle!

Escape the trappings of modern-day life and be at one with nature as you learn the basics, before spending 24 hours in the wilds of Northern Scandinavia in winter. NO experience necessary – just a healthy team spirit and a good level of fitness – as you carry everything you need, learn how to back-country ski, snow-shoe and camp out in the spectacular Arctic landscape.

Based in a cosy cabin, we will spend 6 days on the snow, the first four of which are learning the essential skills to survive and move in this extreme environment. We then put all these skills to the test over the following two days as we ski out to a remote campsite, pulling everything we need in pulks (sleds) and camping out in the Arctic winter.

The ultimate goal of the week is to spend 24 hours in the wilds of the Arctic!

Do you have what it takes?

You don’t have to fundraise to join an open challenge but you can support a charity of your choice if you wish. See the costs tab for more details.

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A challenging trip for a person who leads an active lifestyle (e.g. someone who enjoys getting outdoors, taking part in sports, hill walking, running etc.). For someone who does not lead an active lifestyle this trip may feel even more of a challenge.

You will be accompanied throughout the challenge by a instructor, who (with his team) will provide full instruction for all the activities undertaken.

Lead Guide is Ronan Mullen, an Earth and Ocean Sciences graduate who has worked professionally in the outdoors for over 25 years. Ronan is a level II Arctic Expedition Guide, an extreme weather expert and a UIMLA certified International Mountain Leader. He is also a European Expert in Mountain Rescue, having volunteered in MR for a quarter of a century, including serving as Training Officer and Team Leader of one of Ireland’s busiest Mountain Rescue Teams. Ronan will be assisted by another experienced and suitably qualified guide.

You will also be accompanied by a Different Travel UK tour manager.

Between the months of January and April, temperatures vary from 0°C during the day to –30°C overnight. You can expect the temperatures during the survival experience to be colder than the Tromso so please do not rely on weather forecast websites for an accurate view of the conditions but an approximate guideline. Based on historical averages you can expect a maximum daytime temperature of -1°C and a minimum night temperature of –26°C.

At this time of year the sun rises between 10am-10.30am and sets between 3pm-3.30pm, but there is light between 9am and 4.30pm.

Despite the extremely cold temperatures, due to the dry atmosphere, the air is crisp and energising, quite unlike cold days in UK where you can feel very cold in relatively warm temperatures. The weather is variable so you should be prepared for a mixture of overcast days, bright sunshine and some snowfall.

Meals are provided as stated in the itinerary. Please ensure that you notify us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. As part of the challenge there are chores to complete each day – collecting firewood, cleaning and assisting with food prep.

Dietary requests cannot be catered for without advance arrangement. The majority of special diets, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc., can be catered for but please note that we cannot guarantee that food preparation will have taken place in a contamination free environment.

Our base is in a cosy cabin heated by wood stoves and underfloor heating. It is located in a small village with a population of 2000 people. It’s got a frontier town vibe.

The accommodation itself has shared rooms with 2 to 3 people per room. The cabins are very comfortable and are a welcome retreat from the extremes outside.

You will stay at a very basic remote log cabin but will spend one night in the outdoors – utilising the skills you have learned during the week; this may be in tented accommodation or in an off-grid hut & is subject to weather conditions.

You must be aged at least 18 to participate unaccompanied. It may be possible for you to participate if you are aged 16 or 17 years old if you are accompanied by a parent or guardian – please contact us for advice. There is no upper age limit. An ideal candidate for the trip would be someone who enjoys being out of their comfort zone and trying something new.

The trip is rated ‘challenging’ for a person who leads an active lifestyle (e.g. someone who enjoys getting outdoors, taking part in sports, hill walking, running etc.). For someone who does not lead an active lifestyle this trip may feel even more of a challenge.

No experience is necessary, we work on the assumption that you are outdoorsy but haven’t done this type of thing before. A good level of fitness is important though.

Back-country skiing is different to downhill/alpine. It’s similar to cross country skiing where the skis are much narrower. It’s more about technique and efficiency than speed. you will be taught how you how to move on snow shoes and all the other skills you will need. Full tuition will be provided over the first 4 days on your Arctic Circle Expedition.

You must take personal responsibility to ensure you arrive in Northern Scandinavia fit enough to participate fully in all of these activities and be willing to be a proactive, positive, hands-on and supportive team member. In addition to a good level of fitness, you must also be physiologically and psychologically well enough to cope with the extremely cold and basic conditions (temperatures can drop as low as -30°C). Please speak to your doctor for advice specific to your medical circumstances.

It is also very important that you are someone with excellent personal management skills such as knowing when to add and remove clothing layers to cope with the climate, knowing when to eat and drink if you are hungry or thirsty, ensuring your kit is organised so you know where everything you need is, being comfortable about informing your guide staff if you’re having difficulties with an activity or not feeling well, and so on.

This trip is not suitable for people unwilling to be part of a team or seeking a solo experience.

It is essential, and a condition of booking, that all participants take out additional insurance for the expedition. It is recommended that you do this at the time of booking. This should cover repatriation to your home country and rescue fees. Your policy must cover Europe and have ‘guided cross-country skiing’ listed as an activity.

Participants must be aware that there is a risk of activity related and cold related injury.

Included in your expedition fees is the hire of specialist cold-weather clothing and sleeping bags.

You’ll need to bring thermal clothing, warm fleeces, a hat and gloves, boots etc. More details will be provided on our training sessions and a kit list will be provided upon request.

If you hike or have ever been skiing, you’ll probably have most of it. It’s important you have the correct type of hiking boot, we’ll advise further.


Your Arctic Survival Challenge Itinerary

Day 1 (Sunday 26 January 2025):

UK – Tromso
We fly into Tromso Airport before we transfer to our accommodation for our welcome dinner.
Meals: Dinner

Days 2 (Monday 27 January 2025):

After a safety briefing we will be shown how to stay warm in extreme environments before we learn the basics of back-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 (Tuesday 28 January 2025):

Today we will head out on our skis and head to a remote shelter for lunch. On the way we will stop to learn some more essential skills necessary to survive in the Arctic.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 (Wednesday 19 January 2025):

It’s a longer day on our skis and snowshoes today and we take our pulks (sleds) out for some pulling practice.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Days 5 (Thursday 30 January 2025):

Today we plan for a bad weather day as we prep our tents, stoves and pulks for our overnight adventure.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 (Friday 31 January 2025):

The ultimate goal of the week is to spend 24 hours out in the wilds of the Arctic in Winter! Carrying everything with you, and using the skills you have learnt over the previous days, it’s a chance to escape all the trappings of modern life and fully immerse yourself in nature.  Today, we take to our skis for a trek to our remote Arctic campsite.
NB. We allow a 3-day window for this to ensure the best chance of success with the weather – the remainder of the time will be spent honing our survival skills at base!
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 (Saturday 1 February 2025)

After a night outdoors we return to our warm cabin to dry our kit and enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8 (Sunday 9 February):

Tromso – UK
Today we return to Tromso for our flight home.
Meals: Breakfast

N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather, the ability of the group, wildlife movements and so on. We will do our best to keep to the itinerary but we cannot be held responsible for changes that occur outside of our control. In all circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the group’s health and safety.

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £495
and then either…

Self-funded: £2750


Sponsorship: £5500


Flexi: £2750 trip costs and £2750 sponsorship for a charity of your choice


This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves. There is no sponsorship required although if you wish to raise sponsorship for a charity you are welcome to do so.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost balance is payable to Different Travel 10 weeks prior to departure.
  • You are welcome to fundraise separately for any charity of your choice but this is not mandatory. Any fundraising undertaken cannot be used for your trip costs.


This option is for those who wish to raise sponsorship to cover both the costs of the trip (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) and a donation to their chosen charity. There is a minimum sponsorship amount for each trip that you are required to raise in order to participate.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • The minimum sponsorship must be paid to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • The amount the charity receives is at least 50% of the minimum sponsorship total.


This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves while still raising some funds for the charity.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost balance is payable to Different Travel and your fundraising is payable to the charity 10 weeks prior to departure.
  • Any fundraising undertaken cannot be used for your trip costs.

*If your chosen charity is not on this list, please seek permission to fundraise for them by taking part in this challenge before making your booking.

What's included

  • Return flights from London
  • Airport taxes and charges
  • All transport in Northern Scandinavia
  • Accommodation in a basic log cabin
  • All meals and drinking water
  • Specialist equipment including cold weather clothing, sleeping bags and equipment for cross country skiing and snow shoeing.
  • English speaking instructors and support crew
  • UK Different Travel Tour Manager
  • UK training weekend (date TBC)

What's not included

  • Any necessary vaccinations
  • Personal expenses (e.g. transport to UK airport, drinks and snacks etc)
  • Spending money (tips and gratuities, souvenirs)
  • Personal kit and equipment
  • Travel insurance or GHIC card

Got a Question?

If you’ve a question about this challenge that you can’t find the answer to within the given information then complete this quick form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.