Arctic dog sledding on a polar night

Arctic mushing on a clear polar night is a gift from nature. Gliding with my husky team through the heavenly coloured landscape around winter solstice creates an indescribable feeling of happiness and freedom. Due to practically no snow this year, I and my team are looking for open areas such as lakes and marshes to fully absorb the unique atmosphere during arctic night in midwinter.

The polar night and full moon

The dreamy “Kaamos” (Finnish word for the polar night) colours on the horizon make up for the lack of sunlight. If the full moon also hits this time, the delight of arctic mushing is complete for me and my huskies. The golden king is enthroned majestically in the pastel-coloured sky so that my gaze cannot leave the wonderful sphere. My sled dogs also feel the fantastic atmosphere and run motivated and with great joy over the wide-open spaces.

Polar night in Soutujärvi

The picture was taken two days ago. On one of the first days of the 7-week polar night in Soutujärvi. During this time, the sun no longer climbs over the horizon. Nevertheless, twilight reaches us right now at around 9.30 a.m. and leaves us again shortly after 2 p.m.

What is the twilight?

Twilight is the soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the refraction and scattering of the sun’s rays from the atmosphere.

The phenomenon of the polar night

The polar night is a phenomenon where the official nighttime lasts for more than 24 hours. It is the period around the winter solstice during which the sun cannot be seen directly for several days or months. Depending on the location (see below) the sun partly rises above the horizon, only the lower edge not. It is the opposite of the polar day with its midnight sun.

Duration of the day less day

The polar night lasts almost six months at the geographic North Pole and the South Pole, and exactly one day at the polar circles. The closer you get to the North or South Pole, the longer the polar night lasts. This phenomenon arises from the inclination of the earth’s axis. The polar night in Soutujärvi starts at the end of November and ends on 19 of January. 

Winter solstice 

But even on the darkest day of the year (winter solstice), it doesn’t get completely dark everywhere beyond the polar circles. That is because the sun is closer to the horizon by more than its diameter, so it can seem to rise completely despite the “theoretical” polar night.

Up to your bucket list!

However, if you have never experienced arctic dog sledding and have never seen the polar night, this is definitely a must on your bucket list from now on. What better time than now, when Sweden is one of the only travelable countries in the world? Welcome to Swedish Lapland! You do not know where to stay? Check out my tiny home rental

The author – Barbara Willen