Dog Sledding FAQs

Dog sledding in Sweden is a unique experience, and one of our most popular winter activities. We’ve collected the answers to questions our clients commonly ask about our range of dog sledding holidays in Sweden. Whether you are an experienced musher or a novice yet to discover the thrills and adventure of dog sledding, we hope that you will find the information helpful to give you an idea of what to expect from your dog sledding holiday.

(Please note that this information below applies only to dog sledding holidays offered by Nature Travels)

How many dogs are there in a dogsled team?

Each participant will get their own sled with 4-5 Alaskan Huskies.

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Do novice mushers get to actually control the sled dogs?

Yes, they do. Participants drive their own sled on all our dog sledding experiences. Full instruction is given from an experienced and knowledgeable local guide and help and advice is always on hand. Usually people become quite confident at handling the sled and the dogs within a day.

How fast does a dogsled go?

This depends on snow consistency, weather conditions, the weight carried and of course whether the sled is travelling up or downhill, but generally around 10-15km/hour.

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What happens on a “typical” day on a hut-to-hut dog sledding tour?

Again, this depends on snow conditions, weather and type of terrain. On a normal dog sledding day you get up around 7.30, make a fire, heat water for the dogs, go out and feed the dogs and clear the dog toilet waste. Then you have breakfast, pack everything together, clean out the cabin, load the sleds and start the journey for the day. The time is then around 10.30. Then you drive for a couple of hours and stop and have some lunch outdoors on the way. It is a good idea good to bring sleeping/sitting mats to use to sit on in the snow. You reach the cabin around 15.00. You put the dogs on a long wire and dig a wall of snow for the dogs to protect them from the wind. After that you bring your packing into the cabin, make a fire, and melt snow for water for the dogs – you will need around 80 litres of water 2 times a day. In the evening you cook and prepare dinner together and discuss the day’s adventures.

What kind of distance would you expect to cover in a day of dog sledding?

Distance covered varies considerably depending on a number of factors. For example, on our Go Camping by Dogsled tour, you will be transporting tent equipment on top of the normal load, and so the sleds are heavier. Available daylight hours also vary of course depending on the time you wish to go (in Sweden, darkest in December getting gradually lighter until the end of the dog sledding season in late April).

Typical distance covered around 25-40km per day.

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What is the accommodation like on a dog sledding tour?

For Dogsled Adventure in Jämtland and Discover Dog Sledding, accommodation during the tours is in mountain cabins and mountain lodges along the route – the same cabins that hikers use during the summer and the cross-country skiers use during the winter. The cabins have bunk beds with duvets and facilities for cooking. Some are fairly basic and you heat with wood and melt ice to get water (an important part of the wilderness experience), others are more modern and have facilities such as electricity, shower and sauna. Even though some are fairly simple, all Swedish mountain cabins are generally very comfortable and pleasant places to stay.

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For our other dog sledding tours, other accommodation options are camping in traditional teepees with wood burners or tents (Go Camping by Dogsled) or staffed mountain stations with restaurant facilities and other amenities (Premium Dog Sledding Expedition).

Do I need to be particularly fit or strong to go dog sledding?

You should be in generally good health and enjoy the outdoors. Some strength is required, particularly when braking the sled when travelling downhill. This is important, as a poorly-controlled sled can overtake and injure the dogs. We have a minimum age of 13 on all our dogsled tours. A number of clients in their 50s and 60s have participated very successfully in the tours, and the most important thing is a willingness to get involved and work with the sled and dogs.

How many people will be in the group during my dog sledding tour?

For our scheduled tours, there will usually be between 3 and 8 participants (max. 6 for the camping tours). Groups of minimum 5 are able to book any of our dogsled experiences on custom dates by arrangement, and groups of much larger sizes can be accommodated.

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What clothing will I need to go dog sledding?

On Nature Travels dog sledding experiences you have the option to hire warm overalls and boots for a small additional charge as optional extras.

• Winter boots- it is important that you have a pair of proper boots on, which means longer legs and warm padding. Soles on boots should not be too rigid, as this will make it slippery when standing on the sled runners.
• Jacket/trousers – it is important that your clothes are warm, preferably windproof – winter clothing, thick jacket and thermal trousers. It is good to have a hood on the jacket.
• Hat and gloves – bring a hat and it is good to have a hood on your jacket. Mittens are warmer than gloves where the fingers are separated. Also bring a pair of gloves with fingers, as these are useful for such activities as harnessing the dogs.
• Protection against wind – bring ski glasses and preferably a scarf to tie in front of your face.

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For your clothing, we recommend you use the layer principle:
• Closest to your body an inner layer that transports humidity away from the body.
• Then a second layer that keeps in the warmth your body generates and absorbs the humidity from the inner layer.
• The outer layer should protect you from weather and wind and be wind- and waterproof.

Do not use cotton on the inner layers closest to your body, as cotton collects the humidity your body generates. The clothing gets heavy and chills you. Better materials to use are synthetics, wool etc.

Where is the best place to go dog sledding?

Sweden, of course! All our dog sledding experiences take place in the mountains of Jämtland in western Sweden, near the Norwegian border. Many of our tours run in Vålådalen Nature Reserve, an area of 1,175 square kilometres and one of the southernmost alpine landscapes in the country with several peaks reaching 1500 to 1600 metres above numerous traces of the Ice Age. Between the mountains are native forests with ancient pines, and the reserve is very rich flora and fauna, with arctic fox, gyrfalcon, golden eagle and snowy owl among the species of particular interest. This area also has a snowmobile restriction, ensuring there is nothing to disturb your enjoyment of the wilderness.

Access to the area from the UK is straightforward. You can choose to travel either via Trondheim in Norway or alternatively, many of our clients travel to Stockholm, enjoy a few days in the city and then take a night train up into the mountains.

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What is the best time of year to go dog sledding in Sweden?

This depends very much on personal taste and what you are looking for from your dog sledding holiday. Accommodation in tents or teepees is only possible when the days become warmer, around April. Generally snow conditions in the Jämtland region are suitable from mid-December onwards. We offer no scheduled tours in January, as the weather tends to be at its most challenging during this time, though we are happy to arrange custom tours at this time of year.

If you have any other questions about dog sledding that you would like us to see answered here in our FAQs, please email your suggestions to admin@naturetravels.co.uk.

Happy mushing!!

Best regards

The Nature Travels Team

Read our “musher’s diary” from the February 2008 Dogsled Adventure in Jämtland here.

Browse our full range of dog sledding holidays in Sweden:

Dogsled Adventure in Jämtland
Lead your own dogsled team on a voyage of discovery into the white wilderness
Dates/Period: 15.12-21.12.07, 16.02–22.02.08, 15.03–21.03.08, 22.03–28.03.08, 29.03–04.04.08, 05.04–11.04.08
Groups of min.3 can book this experience on other dates by arrangement.
7 days from £878 per person.

Discover Dog Sledding
A weekend dog sledding experience in the heart of the Jämtland mountains
Dates/Period: Friday 22/02 – Monday 25/02/08, Friday 07/03 – Monday 11/03/08
Groups of min.3 can book this experience on other dates by arrangement.
4 days from £428 per person.

Go Camping by Dogsled
A unique camping experience in the deep snow of the Swedish mountains – in the company of your own dog team!
Dates/Period: 12.04-18.04.08
Groups of min.3 can book this experience on other dates by arrangement.
7 days from £840 per person.

Ice-fishing and Dog Sledding in Jämtland
Drive your own Alaskan Husky dogsled team and fish in the frozen lake waters of the Swedish mountains
Dates/Period: 26.04-02.05.08
Groups of min.3 can book this experience on other dates by arrangement.
7 days from £840/person

Premium Dog Sledding Expedition
Eat and sleep well on this premium dog sledding tour on both sides of the Swedish/Norwegian border
Dates/Period: 19.04- 25.04.08
Groups of min.3 can book this experience on other dates by arrangement.
7 days from £1145 per person.

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One thought on “Dog Sledding FAQs

  1. Gee, this looks like a lot of fun for those who are tough and love winter. Sounds like a lot of work and not much time to rest.

    I found it interesting what you suggested to wear to keep warm. I always thought cotton would be the best material to put on first. Guess I wasn’t thinking about humidity.

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