300km of arctic wilderness. More than 200 highly skilled sled dogs, a handful of expert guides and a group of ordinary people. This is Fjällräven Polar.
On 8 April 2019 24 lucky winners will start their personal adventure of a lifetime. You can follow them on our facebook page with daily live updates.
The History of Fjällräven Polar
The seed for Fjällräven Polar was planted back in the early 1990s when Fjällräven founder Åke Nordin met Kenth Fjellborg, one of Sweden’s leading dog-sled drivers. Kenth had participated in Iditarod, the world’s toughest dog sled competition through the harsh Alaskan wilderness, and this inspired Åke.
For almost a decade, from 1997 to 2006, Fjällräven Polar followed the Iditarod example: it was a race. But in 2012, after a six-year re-grouping hiatus, Polar was back and this time the focus was not on racing; it wasn’t even designed for dog-sled experts. It was for ordinary people. It sounded crazy. Taking 30 or so people without wilderness skills into one of the world’s harshest environments: the Arctic tundra. But Fjällräven believed that with the right support, gear and mindset this adventure was anyone’s to have.
And Fjällräven was right. The event was a success, most notably because of the spirit of those first participants. They showed that with guts and gusto, advice and guidance from experts, and high-quality cold-weather gear anyone could take on the challenge of Fjällräven Polar. Over the years, participants have faced everything from blizzards and -30°C temperatures, to beautiful, sun-drenched landscapes of crisp white snow.
For a few lucky people, Fjällräven Polar is the opportunity to test their limits on the adventure of a lifetime. Aside from changing the lives of around 180 people since 2012, Fjällräven Polar has become a viral success online. Every year hundreds of thousands of people visit the Fjällräven Polar website, and hundreds apply for the chance to join Polar.
Since Polar 2018, Fjällräven has changed to a new country application structure, offering even more people the chance to embark on the lifechanging adventure. Applicants must apply based on their country of residence. Key Fjällräven markets such as Germany, the UK and Sweden each have always had two spots available – one chosen by peer votes, the other by the Fjällräven jury. Other, smaller markets, such as much of Asia and Eastern Europe, were grouped together. From 2018 the groupings have been sorted into different regions instead of only countries.
“The plan was to broaden the platform for applications to Fjällräven Polar,” says Andreas Cederlund, Fjällräven Polar Event Manager. “We wanted more people from more countries to be able to apply. This means that small countries that have had two seats to Polar had to stand back in order to give more countries the possibility to compete for spots. The idea was to gain more interest in some countries by grouping them together, especially for countries with classic rivalry. Looking at the growing number of applications on 2018 and 2019, this has been a quite successful initiative”
In 2019 2,183 people from 92 different countries have applied for Polar. Competition was fierce and the bar was set higher than ever for the quality of applications. But the reward is worth all the hard work. Fjällräven Polar, the journey from Signaldalen to Jukkasjärvi, is the adventure of a lifetime.
Find out more about the Fjällräven Polar 2019 and this years participants in the Press Kit below or on www.polar.fjallraven.com.
Follow their journey on our facebook page with daily updates starting on 8 April 2019.
Moving content (news cuts, highlight shows, etc.) and pictures from the event will be available for media use here starting April 14 with continuous updates.