My Dog Sledding Adventure in Finnish Lapland

Mushing Memories: Wrapping Up My Dog Sledding Adventure in Finnish Lapland

As this is my last article about my mushing experience in Finnish Lapland, I’d like to share some of the invaluable lessons I’ve learned, how this experience has altered my view of the world, and offer some advice to those who might tread this snowy path after me.

What I Have Learned

Mushing through Finnish Lapland was less like a serene glide through a winter wonderland and more like a boot camp with furry drill sergeants! Each day brought its unique challenges, from navigating icy paths to ensuring the well-being of our sled dogs. Here’s what I’ve picked up along the way:

🐶Harnessing Hyper Huskies: Ever tried putting a harness on an excited husky? It’s like trying to put a onesie on a hyper toddler. Patience and a good sense of humor are key.

🧊Dishwashing in Ice Water: Doing dishes in ice-cold water isn’t just about cleaning; it’s an exercise in numb-finger resilience. Pro tip: The faster you wash, the less you feel.

🛷Sledding Basics: Steering a dog sled isn’t just a skill; it’s an art. It’s about balance, commands, and holding on for dear life while four-legged power engines pull you across the snow.

🚽Peeing in Deep Snow: Mastering the art of peeing in deep snow while encased in a suit deserves its own Olympic event. Let’s just say it involves a lot of strategic wiggling and hoping you don’t drop anything important in the snow!

🪛MacGyvering a Sled Repair: And who knew that fixing a sled with a stick could be part of the adventure? When you crash into a snowbank and snap a runner, a sturdy branch and some creative engineering can save the day. Just a day in the life of a musher!

🧦Heating Socks: Best things ever invented

Each day brought its own set of sitcom-worthy scenarios, from navigating slippery slopes to ensuring the well-being of our sled dogs. I learned that nature doesn’t just command respect; it demands a sense of humor and the ability to go with the snowy flow!

Sled and Dog
Sled and Dog

Change in Perspective

This adventure profoundly changed how I view nature, animals, and the concept of a simple life. Living off-grid, in tune with the natural cycles of day and night, and depending entirely on our physical and mental strength, brought a simplicity that is starkly different from the urban hustle. My relationship with our sled dogs evolved into a partnership, where mutual trust and understanding were crucial for survival. This experience has imbued me with a profound respect for these animals as sentient beings with emotions and intelligence, not merely pets or tools.

What I Would Do Differently

  1. Preparation: I would invest more time in physical preparation to better handle the rigorous demands of mushing and the cold.
  2. Gear: Investing in higher quality, more durable gear would be a priority to better withstand the elements. For example, a headlight would have been helpful
  3. Packing: I would pack less – you don’t need it anyway 🙂

The Costs

Embarking on a mushing adventure in Finnish Lapland is a considerable investment, with costs averaging around CHF 3’500.- per person. This includes all essentials such as shuttle services, food, accommodation, and flights. While it may seem steep, the price covers the comprehensive experience of living and traveling in one of the world’s most extraordinary landscapes, fully supported by experienced guides and well-maintained equipment.

On the last day, we did a Ski-Do tour which costed extra. It was CHF 100.-

Ski Do
Ski Do – little accident 😉

Message to My Readers and Recommendations

To those reading, my journey underscores the importance of stepping out of your comfort zones and embracing the raw forces of nature. It teaches that respecting and understanding our environment and its creatures provides not only survival but a profound, irreplaceable joy. The simplicity of life in the wilderness, though challenging, brings clarity to one’s life priorities.

Here are some great spots where you can embark on your own mushing adventure:

  1. Äkäskero – A perfect starting point for beginners, this area offers well-marked trails and stunning scenery in Finnish Lapland. The only downside? Its popularity can lead to crowded trails during the peak winter season.
  2. Saariselkä – Known for its vast, open landscapes, Saariselkä is ideal for more extended mushing expeditions. Located in northern Finland, its remote setting adds to the adventure but can be a challenge to access.
  3. Levi – If you’re looking for a mushing experience with a side of comfort, Levi is your go-to. This Finnish ski resort town is renowned for its excellent amenities and tourist facilities, providing comfort after a chilly day in the snow. However, it might feel a bit less ‘wild’ compared to more remote areas.
  4. Rovaniemi – As the capital of Finnish Lapland, Rovaniemi offers a unique blend of urban amenities and easy access to the untouched wilderness. It’s great for those who want to combine city comforts with outdoor adventures, though it can get busy.
  5. Ylläs – For those seeking a challenge, Ylläs features some of the most demanding trails suitable for experienced mushers. Located in Finnish Lapland, the conditions here can be quite harsh, testing both endurance and preparedness.


It’s a wrap

Having immersed myself in the unique and exhilarating world of mushing in Finnish Lapland, I’ve come to see it as one of those incredible adventures that everyone should experience at least once. It was an unforgettable journey through snowy landscapes, filled with the spirited barks of sled dogs and the crisp arctic air. However, as much as I cherish the time I spent steering sleds across frozen expanses, I believe my mushing boots will be hanging up for the next few years. The thrill was real, the challenge was fulfilling, but I’m eager to explore new horizons.

Looking ahead, my adventurous spirit is far from satisfied. The vast, unspoiled beauty of Scandinavian countries has captured my imagination. There’s so much more to see and experience—from the fjords of Norway and the forests of Sweden to the remote islands of Finland. Each of these places offers a unique blend of nature, culture, and adventure that I find irresistibly appealing.

My future travel plans include hiking in Norway’s dramatic landscapes, kayaking through Sweden’s serene lakes, and maybe even chasing the Northern Lights in more northerly locales. While mushing through the Arctic wilderness was a dream come true, the call of Scandinavia’s varied landscapes is strong and promises a wealth of new experiences and challenges. This shift from the adrenaline of mushing to more diverse and slightly less frostbitten adventures seems like the perfect next step in my journey of exploration and self-discovery.

View from Plane
View from Plane

Closing Thoughts

As I write these final lines, the memories of crisp, cold air, the sound of sleds gliding over fresh snow, and the warm eyes of my loyal canine companions linger in my mind. This journey was more than an escape; it was a transformative experience that taught me about resilience, trust, and the pure joy of returning to the basics of life. For anyone yearning for adventure, or a deeper connection with nature and animals, I wholeheartedly recommend this extraordinary adventure. Thank you for joining me on this incredible journey through my blog. Until next time, keep chasing the adventures that make your heart race and your spirit soar.

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Check out my other Posts about my Mushing Experience:



Hey there! I'm Jeannette, the face and spirit behind «Tails from the Mushing Trails». Born with a heart itching for adventure and eyes dreaming of distant horizons, I've found my calling in the untamed wilderness of our beautiful planet. A wanderer at heart, I thrive on the thrill of new experiences, whether it's scaling a remote mountain peak, diving into the deep blue, or mushing through the snowy landscapes of Finnish Lapland. Join me as I share tales of wild beauty, personal challenges, and the sheer joy of discovery. Whether you're an avid adventurer or a dreamy armchair traveler, I hope to inspire you to embrace the unknown and celebrate the wanderlust within. Welcome to my journey. Let's make it unforgettable.

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12 thoughts on “Mushing Memories: Wrapping Up My Dog Sledding Adventure in Finnish Lapland

  1. Thank you Jeannette for taking us on this journey of yours. I truly felt I was mushing myself while reading your blog. Definitely gonna try this out once in my life.

  2. Amazing to see your reflection on spending intense time out in nature. Everyone should do it once in life!!

  3. Liebe Jeannette
    Deine Blog-Einträge sind sehr interessant und humorvoll geschrieben und machen Lust auf Schlittenhundeferien und die skandinavischen Länder.
    Toll gemacht, liebe Grüsse

    1. Liebe Bea
      Vielen Dank, das freut mich sehr zu hören! Ich kann es nur empfehlen 😉

  4. great posts! i’ve been reading your blog posts from the beginning and its inspiring! keep it up

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