Polar Shakedown Training
"To our fabulous guides - inspiring leadership over our 3 day preparation for the North Pole. I came here with a degree of nervousness but after the first day was totally comfortable
with the support and learning experience."
— Name, Title
Whether you are training for the toughest polar expedition or simply looking to hone your cold weather camping skills our Polar Shakedown Training and Polar Training Plus Seminar offer the best way to build your confidence and skill set. Our expert guides have organized and guided over 100 combined polar expeditions making them among the most experienced guides in the industry.
Polar Shakedown Training
If you're preparing for an extreme cold weather expedition or polar trek, such as a guided last degree or two degree expedition to the North or South Pole, or if you're wanting to fine-tune your ability to thrive during any cold weather adventure, this is the right training for you. Our six day (USA) or five day (Svalbard) "Shakedown" has been an industry-leading training for nearly 30 years, preparing hundreds of people for expeditions in the polar regions. We cover everything from what to pack and how to prepare to the skills you need to thrive in the cold instead of survive.
Dates & Rates
Joining us for a North Pole Expedition? You're in for more than a great expedition, you also get a fabulous discount on the Shakedown! Contact us for the pricing.
2023 USA Dates & Price:
January 30-February 4, 2023
$3,125 USD (Ski Shakedown)
$3,525 USD (Dogsled Shakedown)
2023 Longyearbyen Dates & Price:
March 31-April 4, 2023
€2,500 (Ski Shakedown)
Inclusions vary by location:
USA trainings include lodging and meals as outlined in the itinerary (which is one day longer than our Longyearbyen training), all group equipment, ski system, sleeping system, sled, guides, permits, communication & safety gear.
Svalbard trainings include all group equipment, ski system, sleeping system, sled, guides, permits, communication & safety gear.
Arrive in Ely or Longyearbyen. A PolarExplorers guide will check your kit to ensure you have everything you need. Over a hearty dinner you'll have an opportunity to meet the other members of the training and discuss the upcoming days. After dinner your PolarExplorers guide will review his or her own personal kit and explain the use, maintenance, modifications and packing technique for each item.
Day 2 (USA Training)
A busy day learning critical skills. This day is a combination of indoor and outdoor classes covering packing and pulling a pulk, ski and binding selection and use, campsite selection & anchoring your tent, stove use, and more. A night-time presentation caps off the day, with the night spent in the lodge.
Day 2 (Svalbard Training)
A busy day that starts off with some indoor classes covering pulks and pulk packing, ski and binding selection and use, sleeping systems and packing a pulk. We'll ski away in the afternoon for two nights of camping and continued hands-on learning.
DAY 3-6 (USA Training) or Day 3-5 (Svalbard Training)
After each breakfast we'll hit the trail! For three days and two nights you'll experience what its like to survive (and thrive!) in extremely cold temperatures. We'll have a combination of formal and impromptu classes that cover a variety of topics ranging from thermoregulation, to polar navigation and all the various systems that will keep you safe and comfortable on an expedition. Participants on the dogsled training will also spend significant time on skis. On our final night we'll make our way back to our lodge (USA Training) or your hotel in (Svalbard Training) for hot showers and a review of the skills you've learned.
This training is for people who are in good shape, and who are eager to push themselves physically and mentally. You will need to have very good cardiovascular endurance and the ability to either pull a loaded sled or work with a dogteam for several hours at a time, with only a short break in between sessions.
Towards the end of the day you'll need to have the energy reserves to set up camp, melt snow for hot tea or cocoa and help make dinner.
This training can encounter extremely cold conditions, and living in such cold conditions 24 hours a day can be very challenging.
You do not have to be a world class athlete to participate in and enjoy this adventure, but every ounce of training and preparation will help to make the trip more enjoyable and safer.
Please contact us with further questions!
Upon registration, you will receive a comprehensive gear guide that explains the importance of each item as well as gear recommendations from our past participants. Please contact us for more information about your personal gear and group gear for this expedition.
Several items on our equipment checklist are available from our store.