I absolutely love dogs, but I never would have guessed how much I’d immediately take to dog sledding during my trip to Finland. I only got a chance to do it for a few hours, but as soon as I got off the sled, I turned to the folks running it and asked them if it would be possible in the future to do something like a two or three day sled ride, with some camping out in the wilderness also.
This is obviously a dead-of-winter experience, but I’m looking forward to getting back to this part of northern Finland to enjoy some of the cool activities available in autumn in Rovaniemi.
Yes, I was that taken with the entire experience.
The best I can come up for an explanation is that, when the dogs are running and you are standing and holding on to the back of the sled, but not really needing to pay that much attention to things so you can just watch the world go by, an utter feeling of peace washed over me. I felt like I could do this for hours and perhaps even get some quality thinking done at the same time, freed from the addiction of modern life, a.k.a. constant connectivity.
I did both dog sledding and snowmobiling on this trip for the first time (another video coming soon) and for those that haven’t done it before, I’d compare them to sailing and powerboating, respectively.
A fast motor boat has some appeal to me, but give me the peace and quiet of a sailboat most every day of the week.
Now I can add dog sledding to that level of enjoyment.
One little thing you need to be aware of before you hitch yourself to a dog sled is the smell. I am a dog lover beyond compare — don’t bother with trying to convince me that cats are remotely as good — but there is an accompanying oder with most outside dogs, the pungent whiff of urine.
I was at the very end of about a dozen dog sleds going through the forest, so I think I got the full combined brunt of the 50 or so dogs’ fragrance.
All that being said, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I might need to see about that 2-3 day sledding and camping idea for next winter…
I was a guest of the Finnish Tourism Board as part of a Navigate Media Group project. Thanks to Visit Finland and Phyä-Luosto Tourist Board from sponsoring my eye opening journey through Finland in the winter. Though this trip was sponsored, obviously all the views (and photos and video) expressed herein are my own.