Rafa Perez, Visit Finland

Advice about Dogsledding in Scandinavia & Iceland

Are you dogsledding with us soon or thinking about it? Here are some dogsledding tips to help you for your first time.

Tips for First-Time Dogsledders

Coming from hotter regions of the world makes dogsledding seem like a fantasy! The 50 Degrees North dogsledding tours in Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Finland & Sweden, vary from short introductory rides, long day journeys or even overnight adventures. A once-in-a-life time experience, the dogsledding tours we offer are genuine and exhilarating. You will be surprised at the speed that the huskies travel at - be prepared to feel 'alive'.

Travel safely and read our recommended tips for your first time holding the reins of a dogsled or as you travel as a passenger.

Be friendly with the dogs and introduce yourself correctly

Huskies, the breed commonly used for dogsledding, are strong dogs. On a typical dogsledding trip they will pull you at high speed across the wilderness, and as you embrace the wind on your face, get a taste of what life was like in the old days, when dogsledding was a much more common mode of transportation for many in these regions.

It's important to get to know the dogs that you will be controlling. Your guides will advise you on what the dogs expect from you as you introduce yourself. Remember to relax, take your time with the dogs to gain their trust and loyalty.

Joining a dogsledding tour is also a great opportunity to feel the strong bond between man and dog. You will often get the chance to feed and look after the huskies yourself – something that will appeal to dog lovers everywhere.

Protect your face

Dogsledding is definitely no walk in the park. On most of our winter dogsledding journeys, you will be braving tough winter winds and freezing temperatures, so make sure to cover your face so there's minimal exposure to the harsh conditions. Be sure to check our Winter Packing list about what to bring with you to protect you from the cold. A little hint before heading out: avoid water based moisturisers before you set off on your excursion, because that could produce frostbite - yes, it can be that cold! We recommend Vaseline to keep your face protected.

Be Aware of the temperature

While the huskies will serve as your companions, the weather definitely won't be your friend. Temperatures are always pretty much below freezing during Northern winters, so the more bundled up you are, the better. Whatever winter outfits you are offered as part of the excursion, please use. Don't forget to wiggle your toes and fingers when it is your turn to sit in the sled.

Listen up!

Always pay attention to what the tour guide is explaining or advising, and don't ever stray off the path - take care at intersections. This means everything from following sledding directions to knowing when it's time to stop for rest. When you are on the controls, be sure to use your break which is in a similar spot to the car break when needed as the huskies love to run!

After your dogsledding journey, be sure to thank your dogs as indicated by your guides.

Photo credit: Visit Finland, photographer: Rafa Perez