Backpackingman

Thoughts On Spending Time In The Arctic

Polar bear sign Longyearbyen

What was supposed to be a short trip of only a few days to the Arctic, turned into me spending over 2 weeks there. I initially went to spend time with a couch-surfer, and do the usual winter touristy stuff, such as dog sledding and ice-caving. But after meeting some more local people, I was invited to stay at one of their houses with them. This...

Seeing The Northern Lights In Longyearbyen

Northern lights in Svalbard

Theres something magical in the winter months in the northern latitudes, and that is the appearance of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights. The sky lights up in green, or sometimes other colours, as charged particles enter the magnetic norths atmosphere from space, causing a grand optical display. The result is beautiful. You...

Extreme Weather Ice Caving In Svalbard

Ice caving in Longyearbyen

Waking up in the polar darkness to the sounds of the wailing Arctic wind, one just wants to remain cosy and warm in bed. Then your mind slowly wakes up to realising that you are supposed to go ice caving that day. Chucking on layer after layer of technical clothing too keep warm, you head out the door and are almost instantly blown over by the...

Dog Sledding In The Cold Arctic Snow

Huskies in Svalbard

Dog sledding in the Arctic is a dream of many adventurous travellers, and something I had been wanting to do for a long time.  Up high in the Arctic Circle in Svalbard I had the chance to organise such a trip. Leaving the small town of Longyearbyen behind, the main settlement on Svalbard, you drive for a while until you reach the outdoor kennels...