Perhaps one of the most thrilling experiences for a nature holiday is racing through a snowy landscape pulled by a team of sled dogs. Husky safaris in Scandinavia are rewarding on many levels, from appreciating the wild natural surroundings, bonding with the dogs, and getting as far from civilization is possible. Those willing to brave a winter in Norway, Sweden, or Finland will discover a whole wealth of opportunities laid out before them.
Dogs were used as pack animals for thousands of years by cultures that did not have access to horses. Native Americans and northern Asians domesticated and bred dogs with warm coats, strong legs, and boundless energy to help them on their nomadic journeys across huge expanses of land. With the development of more modern forms of transportation, their use was limited to very remote areas. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, dog teams were famously used to explore the Arctic and Antarctic, and to transport necessary supplies to human settlements otherwise cut off from society (anyone familiar with the story of Balto knows exactly what we’re talking about).
Today, dog sledding is still used in some areas, but has also become a deservedly popular tourist activity. Husky safaris allow visitors to run with the dogs over the course of several days, earning their trust and getting plenty of time of both strenuous work and energetic play. They are responsible for feeding, watering, and settling the dogs on breaks and overnight, when participants generally stay in rustic log cabins (some of which might have saunas, in traditional style). The sense of bonding with the animals is incredible. Sled dogs come in many varieties, from fluffier Hollywood-style Siberians with their blue eyes and big tails, to the sleeker and faster Alaskans known for having more drive and patience with running. All of them have incredible endurance and tolerance to cold, and generally friendly and playful dispositions. A great deal of ground can be covered each day, allowing the group to get far away from settlements and appreciate the natural world. This can often include seeing the northern lights, one of the most spectacular features of the region. Anyone who has looked up to see the colorful swaths of the aurora borealis carries the memory with them forever.
Taking a dog sled tour is easier than ever. You can find out more here, and start to plan your next adventure now.