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Gear up for the Cold

By travelnorth 2014.02.11 in The Arctic

Lunch break

(photo by Karen Mitchell)

There are three essential components of preparing for the cold. When you go out, you need to have the right mindset, the right equipment, and the right way of using this equipment. One of my colleagues reminds his guest that when you want to avoid being cold, 30% of your success chance depends on having the right gear and 70% depends on how you are using that gear. Both for the guests and for the guides we have some high quality equipment to keep us warm. Together with some of my own gear, I am hardly ever cold on tour.  (more…)

Winter Finally Arrived: Guiding in Extreme Temperatures

By travelnorth 2014.01.25 in The Arctic

Ruosovoma

About one week ago temperatures started falling drastically, first from between -5°C and -10°C to -20°C, afterwards further down to -30°C and below. All activities are continuing just as before, so there is suddenly much more to think about and to care about on every trip. Once under -25°C and especially under -30°C the risk for frostbites strongly increases, especially when on a sled or snow scooter as the wind reinforces the cold effect. Being the guide has become much more challenging during past week and it takes much more effort to make people feel comfortable and safe on tour.  (more…)

The Light Returns

By travelnorth 2014.01.12 in The Arctic

sunrise

While on snow mobile tour two days ago I noticed something extraordinarily amazing. When I drove up a hill, I suddenly saw the sun fully above the horizon and could feel its warmth. It was the first day in 3 weeks that the sky cleared up, and the first time in 5 that sun rays were lighting up the trees and warming our faces. I hadn’t expected the sun up for another week so it was a big and very nice surprise.

(more…)

Working with Sled Dogs

By travelnorth 2013.12.27 in The Arctic

Polar Night Sledding 004

Sled dogs are very special. They are fascinating animals and getting a chance to meet them up close and go out on a dog sledding tour is one of the highlights for most people visiting Lapland. It also offers a good chance to gain some insight in these unique dogs. Many people wonder if it is not bad for the dogs to live outside, if it is okay for them to run that much, if they even enjoy the life they are leading. Honestly I’ve seen few dogs so happy as the pack of sled dogs that I helped take care of during the past weeks.  (more…)

An Introduction to Guiding

By travelnorth 2013.12.12 in The Arctic

Freek ice fishing 001

During the past years I gained a lot of experience on hiking and outdoor life. But how should you pass this experience on to others, and how should you make sure that others feel comfortable and are safe when you take them on a trip? During the first couple of days I was here, we sat together with all guides for a round of information. And afterwards I came to the conclusion that in spite of all the knowledge I already had, I know nothing. (more…)

Ten Reasons to Visit the High North

By travelnorth 2013.11.23 in Norway

Aurora Narvik

For many people, visiting the high north is a very special experience. They come into a world completely different from what they know. Vast and empty, dark and covered in snow, this region has many things to offer that draw many thousands of tourists every year. And they have have many reasons to choose to do so. Below I have listed the ten reasons why I fell in love with the north, ten reasons to convince you to pay a visit to the Arctic too.  (more…)

The Lapland Express: Junosuando and Kiruna

By travelnorth 2013.11.14 in Sweden

Dog Sleighing Junosuano

By the end of this week, I will be moving to Lapland to work as a guide throughout the winter. As I’m getting pretty excited about it, I thought back of my first trip to the region. I ended up in a cosy cabin in Junosuando, a small village on the less frequently visited eastern side of Swedish Lapland. Unlike Abisko, this area hosts no mountains. It is flat. It is remote. It does not have great attractions such as Lapporten, the gate to Lapland. But if you really want to know how life is up north, this is where you should go. The experience in this less touristic region is all the more real. (more…)

Tyresta National Park

By travelnorth 2013.11.05 in Hiking

Tyresta

Two weeks ago, a group of Outdrr bloggers gathered in Stockholm to meet each other and spend the weekend in Tyresta national park. It was very nice to meet this group of like-minded people. Some of them have been working and living in nature for several years and it was incredibly interesting to speak to them and learn from their experiences. Unfortunately, I was only able to join the group for one day, but it was more than worth the couple of hours I got to spend in the park.  (more…)

All the Leaves Are Brown: Stockholm In Autumn

By travelnorth 2013.10.24 in Sweden

IMG_4823 (1)

October in Stockholm is wonderful. As autumn turns the many parks in and around the city all yellow and red, it is the perfect time to go out for day hikes and gather in small, cosy cafes for hot chocolate and cake afterwards. Below is a small list of my absolute favourite places for short walks and cosy fikas (coffee and cake in Swedish) during the prettiest season of the year.  (more…)

Naturkompaniets Skattjakt

By travelnorth 2013.10.21 in Hiking

Naturkompaniet Skattjakt

Every autumn and spring, Naturkompaniet organises a treasure hunt and hides 70 bottles filled with goodies and a value coupon all over Sweden. Quite a lot of them end up in and around Stockholm. At 19.00 last Friday, they released the coordinates of the treasures. All geared up, ready to take a train somewhere to the outskirts of Stockholm and walk half the night through the forest, we waited at Gullmarsplan to find out which direction exactly we would be going in.  (more…)

About

Eef De Boeck

Welcome to Travelnorth, a blog about living and roaming around the north of Europe. My name is Eef De Boeck, I'm 26 years old and come from Belgium. 3 years ago I chose to move to Sweden and ever since I live in Northern Europe.

After finishing my studies last summer, I realised I wanted to have a different kind of life. One that would allow me to be active, be outside, be close to nature. I worked as a guide in Swedish Lapland last winter and now live in the fjords in Western Norway for the summer.

I'm fascinated about outdoor life and the world's northernmost regions. Through this blog, I hope to show you why I love this place of vast forests, tundra and ice.

More images on:

Absolute favourite hikes

Sarek National Park , Kvikkjokk to Ritsem over the Pårte massif, Sweden

Jostedalen National Park , Suppheller to Flatbrehytta, Norway

Folgefonna National Park , Sundal to Odda over the Folgefonna glacier, Norway

Blog roll

This October I am leaving on an expedition to hike 3000km across New Zealand. Follow me on:

Crossing Aotearoa

My hiking buddy and good friend Matthias challenged himself to reach the highest peaks in all 28 EU countries. Follow his progress here:

28 Summits

Everything you need to know to survive the outdoors:

Nordic Bushcraft

Amazing videos and pictures of stunning New Zealand:

Living a Kiwi Life

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