Adventures / Sub Zero

Arctic Survival Challenge in Finland

Tackle freezing temperatures head on and learn survival skills in magical Finnish Lapland

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Trip Ref #10373

Adventures / Sub Zero

Arctic Survival Challenge in Finland

Tackle freezing temperatures head on and learn survival skills in magical Finnish Lapland

DURATION

3 nights

LOCATION

Finland

ANNUAL LEAVE

2 days off work

SEASON

Dec-Mar

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Rovaniemi Airport, Finland

ACCOMMODATION

Cabin · Snow Shelter

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

No experience needed for the nordic skiing, but do bring good fitness levels and a love of cold temperatures in proper winter landscapes

Clip on wilderness skis for a journey through taiga forest and learn how to survive during an Arctic winter

Keep lookout for the aurora borealis deep within the Arctic Circle and warm up in a traditional Finnish sauna

Bunk down in a Lapland cabin in the woods and build your own snow shelter on a night out in the wilds

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Anna, December 2021

Adventure of a lifetime the local hosts were brilliant and so enthusiastic! I would recommend this trip to anyone

Included

Guides

Expert, English-speaking wilderness guides

Accommodation

2 nights in a Lapland cabin, 1 in a quinzee

Meals

Delicious and filling Finnish cooking

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in-between

Equipment

All the skiing and survival equipment you will need

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Rovaniemi Airport

Anytime before 17:30 on Day 1

Ends

Rovaniemi Airport

Anytime on Day 4

Transfers

Round-trip airport transfers on the Skibus are included or you can upgrade to a private transfer, see Optional Extras below. From Rovaniemi Airport (RVN) board the Skibus to its last stop in Pyhä where your guides will meet you. The Skibus travels between the airport and Pyhä several times a day. Check the updated timetable. Catch the 18:05 bus at the latest on Day 1. Travel time: 2 hours.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Rovaniemi Airport (RVN) from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Day 1

Cabin · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Snow Shelter · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Cabin · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Finnish food is delicious, blending traditional and modern continental cuisine. Breakfasts are buffet style with a range of local and continental options. Lunch and dinner dishes commonly include fish, pork, beef or reindeer, but also involve lots of vegetables such as locally sourced mushrooms. Your food on the overnight wilderness section of the trip is simple but nourishing food cooked by your host on an open fire.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Pyhä

You'll be staying in a cabin in the woods – the genuine Lapland way. After a day of Arctic adventures, step into the warm ambience of a cabin in the woods and enjoy a roaring fire and sauna. The cabins are equipped with clothes dryers, a shared kitchen with facilities such as a filter coffee maker, electric kettle, microwave oven, WCs and a shower. There is also a bar and relaxing lounge area for evenings. You will typically stay in a twin or triple room (with a shared bathroom). Double rooms are available on request.

Quinzee

The second night of the trip is spent sleeping outdoors in the wilderness. Your guide will teach you how to build a quinzee: a type of snow shelter that is made from a large pile of loose snow that you'll shape and then hollow out. The quinzee will protect you from the wind and freezing temperatures outside, and actually makes for a cozy nights sleep, believe it or not! You will be kitted out with a winter expedition sleeping bag and pad and will team up with one or two others in the group to dig out and sleep in the quinzee together. A proper adventure! Of course, if you prefer to build and sleep in your own quinzee solo, this is fine.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room in the Lapland cabin can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

Day 1

The adventure begins

Head into the Finnish wilderness and settle into a cabin in the woods where your guide will lay out the plan for the next few days. After a welcome dinner with your fellow adventurers, your guide will tell you about the skills and gear that have kept the native people, as well as modern-day explorers, alive in sub-zero temperatures. If the conditions are good you can wrap up warm and head outside the cabin to peer out at the aurora borealis.

Day 2

Ski hike to your overnight wilderness camp

Skiing

5-6hrs · 9km · 110m up · 110m down

This morning you'll clip into your skis as your guide shows you how to move through the soft snow. Journey through the fresh powder to Pyhä-Luosto National Park, taking turns to pull the pulka sledge with the essential provisions for a night in the frozen wilderness. Set about building your quinzee and learn how to make a fire in cold and snowy conditions before tucking into traditional Finnish wilderness supper. Relax around the fire and wait for the northern lights to appear before crawling into a warm sleeping bag inside your snowy den.

Day 3

Journey back to the cabin

Skiing

4-5hrs · 8km · 90m up · 90m down

Wake up in the most surreal place imaginable, warm up over a campfire breakfast and set off on the journey back to the forest cabin. Tracing a different route today you'll push through the snow marvelling at the winter wonderland around you, learning about the ecology and history of the taiga's inhabitants. The ultimate prize awaits after your time in the Arctic wilds: a traditional Finnish sauna, with an optional dip into a hole cut on a frozen lake! Tuck into a Finnish home-cooked dinner before crawling into a well earned and cosy bed.

Day 4

Time to go home

After a final breakfast in your cabin, catch the Skibus back to the airport in time for your flight home.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Altai wilderness skis and ski poles
  • Warm overalls
  • Winter boots
  • Winter expedition sleeping bag and mat

What do I need to bring?

Bags

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (20-30 litres)
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag/rucksack or drybags

Clothes

  • Down jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Thermals (merino is best)
  • Warm hat
  • Thick gloves, 2 pairs
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Underwear & warm socks
  • Something to sleep in
  • Worn-in, waterproof hiking boots

Other

  • Swimwear for sauna (and frozen lake dipping!)
  • Sunglasses
  • Padlock for left luggage
  • Universal travel adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passport
  • Earplugs
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry it out)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle

Double/Twin Room in Pyhä

Payable Before Departure

Double/Twin Room in Pyhä

Per Night

Single Room in Pyhä

Payable Before Departure

Single Room in Pyhä

Per Night

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Private Airport Transfer

Payable Before Departure

Private Airport Transfer

Per Person

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 52kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

The skis you'll be clipping on to move through the powder snow are called Altai skis. They are a cross between a traditional long backcountry ski and a snowshoe, giving you the best of both worlds. A wide, short, agile ski makes it easy to travel across thick snowfields. No previous skiing experience is required for gliding across the puffy snowfields. Exploring the Arctic forest in this way is easy and completely manageable for all beginners. Expect the odd tumble in the snow - all part of the fun!

To enjoy the skiing and survival tasks, a basic level of fitness is needed, however, no previous experience is required at all. You will need to have a head for adventure and be up for a challenge - sleeping out in the Arctic wilderness is no mean feat, and although you will be perfectly prepared and supported by your guide, your experience will be all the more enjoyable if you come mentally prepared for a proper winter adventure.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Winter in northern Finland is very cold, so be prepared for a truly Arctic experience! In January and February temperatures range from -18°C to -8°C. In December and March it is slightly warmer, ranging from -13°C to 3°C, with snowy days around half of the time. Days are very short, but that just increases your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.

Any excess luggage you bring with you can be safely left in your cabin while you are out adventuring.

The tap water at the cabins and at your host's base during meal times is perfectly safe to drink. Be sure to bring along a reusable water bottle to take with you on the skiing adventures. Your host will ensure the group has enough water on the overnight wilderness section of the trip, and part of the survival skills will be how to melt snow safely to make drinking water.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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