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Two skiers pull sleds during our Polar Training, where they learn important expedition skills for their polar expeditions.

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

The Shakedown

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 "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. 

2025 USA Dates & Price: 

Tentatively:

February 1-February 6, 2025

$3,950 USD (Ski Shakedown)

$4,500 USD (Dogsled Shakedown)

2025 Longyearbyen 

Late March or early April
Contact us for details.

Inclusions vary by location:

USA trainings include lodging and meals as outlined in the itinerary, 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. 

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive in Ely or Longyearbyen. A PolarExplorers guide will check your kit to ensure you have everything you need. In the evening your PolarExplorers guide will review his or her own personal kit and explain the use, maintenance, modifications and packing technique for each item. You'll have an opportunity to meet the other members of the training and discuss the upcoming days. 

Day 2 

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, personal comfort, campsite selection and stove use. The USA training spends this night indoors while the Svalbard training will begin camping. 

DAY 3-5

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. 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 one-on-one review of the skills you've learned with your PolarExplorers guide.

DAY 6

End of the Polar Shakedown Training. Your guide is available to help you sort out the best "next steps" in terms of your continued training and future adventures. Your guide may also make recommendations regarding your gear and any special considerations for you. Stay an extra day (highly recommended in Svalbard) or begin your travels homeward.

Read the full itinerary here.

Qualifications

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!

Equipment

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. 

Shakedown Video

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Training Videos