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Adventures with dog sleds in Norway

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Glide through the snow ofNorway with dog sleds It is a really unforgettable feeling. Certainly winter is very pronounced in this part of Europe but there are certain activities that despite the cold are worth doing and even more if you like animals. I personally am a cat lover and have always had a cat at home, but after this experience I know that the dog is man's best friend and although his behavior is too submissive they will always be there to help you out.


Dog Sleds in Norway

Dog sleds in Norway

The winter of Norway It is especially long, covering almost 7 months from November to the end of May, although on many occasions it ends up extending until the month of June. Perhaps the first months are the least conducive to having very few hours of light, however this has its incentives since the Aurora borealis They are seen when there is less light, especially at the end of the year, although we can see them for other months if we go to the north of the country.


Hemsedal - Norway

In our case we move to the town ofHemsedal, 200 kilometers from Oslo and about 3 hours by road. This area is known for its alpine ski resort and its hundreds of kilometers of Nordic ski slopes, one of the most popular activities of Norway. In fact, the area has become so popular that many tourists from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark spend weekends here since a direct bus service has been set up from the airport Oslo to facilitate travel if you have to spend the night in the capital.


Hemsedal - Norway

But you don't just live skiing in HemsedalIt is also a very attractive destination for hiking, ice climbing, via ferrata, snowshoeing and of course dog sledding, an activity that we will discuss below.


Dog Sleds in Norway

First of all say that we have no knowledge about the practice of dog sleds in Norway and nowhere else. In Hemsedal we made them through an activity organized byHemsedal Huskies and the Norway tourist office who provided us with all the material and especially the necessary instructions to undertake this little adventure. The team consists of 6 dogs per sled and a qualified guide that teaches you how to handle the sled, which in its most basic mode is very simple.

Each sled has a brake, although on other occasions it can have two, one in the form of two points (crampon type) and the other a kind of plate that rubs more or less with the ground slowing the sled slightly. Finally there is an anchor that serves to prevent the sled from getting fired if the dogs are tied and anxious to run, something very common since adrenaline literally runs through their veins.

Start our dog sledding route

After placing the harnesses on the dogs and putting them together in pairs, leaving the strongest in the middle or in the back and the weakest ones in front, I press the brake with skewers with force, pick up the anchor and place it in a safe place. Then I gently lift the foot of the brake and whistle at the dogs. They quickly change the chip and get fired as if the world was going to end. What madness!


Dog Sleds in Norway

At first you panic, thinking that you can easily fall, but this is just a mirage. We have almost all control and the key is to know when to step on the brake and when we must gently tilt the body to be able to draw the curves as smoothly as possible since there is no steering wheel :-D. Actually the speed that takes the sled of dogs is not very high except for the slopes down where the dogs are emboldened and want to take a run, therefore it is where we must make a more extensive use of the brake without ever driving it into the ground. , only when the sled is completely stopped.


Dog Sleds in Norway

The route we were doing is completely circular and the intelligent dogs know it by heart, without having to worry about where to go. For this part of Norway, about 20 kilometers east of Hemsedal There are only large areas of snow where only snowmobiles can circulate, although I personally did not see any, only some trace. As dog sleds have already traced their own path, it is easy to follow, except for the large frozen lakes that we must cross that due to the hardness of the ice, a groove has barely been created.


Dog Sleds in Norway

The beginning is through a fairly thick forest and with a continuous rise and fall that makes us pay special attention to the use of the brake. Here, curiously, several dogs that are not tied to the sleds continue to run parallel to the sleds and occasionally cross each other putting themselves in danger.


Dog Sleds in Norway

After several kilometers of forest we went to a series of large esplanades that are nothing other than large completely petrified lakes. If it does not become the map one thinks that it is a simple flat field where large amounts of snow have fallen.


Dog Sleds in Norway

Here we made our first stop even though we weren't tired at all, but watch here the one who makes the effort is the dogs, the true off-road athletes. Despite all these animals, stopping doesn't go with them and they quickly asked us to keep running.


Dog Sleds in Norway

The route continues and despite being more than 10 degrees below zero and with a much higher thermal sensation I was having a great time. Certainly my hands and feet were freezing, but that did not make me stop.


Dog Sleds in Norway

After reaching the end of frozen lake Longer than we crossed, we reached a road where cars were driving. From there we began to skirt the lake to begin to trace the path back and it was at this very moment that I had my premiere with the snow, leaving the hard part of the road and ending embedded under the soft blanket of snow.


Dog Sleds in Norway

Before these accidents The dogs are very accustomed and quickly stopped, relaxing a bit until we could put the sled back on the track. The fault really came to me because I did nothing but take pictures while driving the sled and it was in one of those lack of attention that led to this small mess.


Dog Sleds in Norway

Taking advantage of the moment came the most tourist moment of the day, the photo of the shift where I should appear. This driving and at the same time taking all the photos makes one become an orchestra man and does not appear in any of the photos.


Dog Sleds in Norway

The rest of the route was similar, crossing several frozen lakes and various forests again, until finally we saw the civilization again after seeing some semi-buried wooden cows, a sign that we had arrived at the home of this large family of dogs . Now we just have to wait for our next adventure, a snow-roamed route through Norway.


Dog Sleds in Norway

 

Activity carried out with the Norwegian Tourist Office

More information here.

Practical data - Dog sleds in Norway

Where to do it?

We do dog sledding in Norway just outside Hemsedal byHemsedal Huskies, 3 hours from the city of Oslo and where you can do many winter activities.

 See tours in Norway

When to do it?

Winter is long in Norway, covering the months of November to the end of May. It is best to do it from the end of February onwards or even during Holy Week to enjoy better time and more daylight hours.

How much?

Each sled is governed by one person and another package, having full possibility to drive it all the time. The approximate cost is 1000 crowns for adults and 500 For children up to 9 years. Dog sleds in Norway include transportation to the activity.

How to get?

It can be reached by bus from Oslo from a service called Hemsedal express. Buses leave from the central station and must be booked in advance and depart at 09:40/21:40/16:45 Fridays returning at 14:15/16:45 Sunday for an approximate price of 1000 crowns depending on the selected schedule. This bus optionally includes 2 days of ski pass for the ski resort.

Where to sleep in Hemsedal

Hemsedal It is not cheap and it is best to find an apartment for a group of people over 4. This way it will be much cheaper. If you only go as a couple, you already know what your turn. As an example we attach the cheapest places for groups of 2 people:

  • Skarsnuten Hotel: one of the most luxurious options in the area
  • Fanitullen Aparments: apartments for +6 cheaper people
  • Skarsnuten Aparments: apartments from 2 people with a reduced price

What clothes do I have to wear for sleds with dogs?

Here we must guess if or if with in costumes. It is very important that we consult the meteorological part of the area and dress according to the temperature. This can vary from 0 degrees to 20 below zero, the thermal sensation being much higher due to the wind. It is advisable to carry the following:

  • Thermal meshes under a pair of pants with a membrane that cuts the wind
  • Long Sleeve Thermal T-Shirt
  • Sweatshirt by polartec or similar
  • Feathers, primaloft or similar and this must be protected above by a windbreaker jacket. Sometimes an additional layer is necessary
  • Sunglasses. Optional blizzard glasses
  • Thick gloves
  • Thick cap and optional panties but recommended
  • Boots and some good socks
  • A strap for the camera type shoulder bag. Those that usually come and that hang around the neck do not work
  • A thermos with optional hot drink. The route does not provide any type of drink or food

We advise you to read our article on what clothes to wear to Norway in winter.

Do not forget to check the weather

As a final fact, check the official website of the Norwegian meteorological agency in case you get a shower, although in summer the weather is usually very pleasant.

Travel insurance

For a trip like this it is best to take out insurance. Iati offers us a offer for followers Travel for free. Traveling does not exempt you from having an accident, needing a doctor, a transfer or medication. Do not play it. Check the travel insurance by clicking on the banner and you will have a 5% in your insurance for being a reader of Travel for free. If you want more information click here.

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