A sledge pulled by adorable huskies with crystal blue eyes and surrounded by snow-drenched trees lit by the glimmer of daylight, a husky safari in Lapland is absolutely magical.
After a recent trip to Finland, we managed to tick this bucket list activity of our list and we just know you’re going to love it too.
In this guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know before you go, what the experience is like and some top tips!
WHAT TO EXPECT ON A HUSKY SAFARI IN LAPLAND
Upon arrival at the husky safari location, you’ll meet your guide who will give you some lessons on how to drive the sledge pulled by the huskies. This will predominantly consist of:
- How to make them go (although they don’t need much encouragement!)
- How to make them stop
- How to turn corners safely
- What distance to leave between your sled and the one if front
Once you’re clued up, it’s time to head over the huskies who should be geared up and howling with excitement to get going.
You’ll need to find yourself a partner and one of you will sit in the sledge while the other person drives. At the halfway point, you’ll be able to switch.
There will be about 10 rows with 5-6 huskies lined up and ready to pull the sledge. The guide will be on a snowmobile at the front and the trail of huskies will follow one pack at a time. It’s at this point the huskies begin to bark and howl together as they are all keen to race!
As you begin the husky safari through the snow-laden trees, the huskies will be keen to pick up the pace and you’ll need to have good control over them by using the break at the relevant points. This requires a good amount of strength, and even myself (at 28 years old) found this difficult at times
Depending on the route, you may have to give the huskies a hand up the hill by running and pushing the sledge – particularly if you have a heavy passenger!
If the group is large, then you’ll likely have to stop a few times to give those ahead of a chance to get around corners safely. Although necessary, this can sometimes be frustrating for the dogs are they’re very motivated to run.
Once you’ve completed your magical adventure through the trees, you’ll finish up where you started and head to a warm tipi with a fire. You’ll then be met by your guide or another member of the team who will teach you all about the dogs and their training schedules in the run-up to the winter season. This usually last around 15 minutes and then one of the huskies comes out to meet the guests. This is normally one of the retired huskies, or in our case, it was one of the younger dogs who loved a fuss!
HUSKY SAFARI IN LAPLAND FAQ
DO HUSKIES LOVE SLEDDING?
A lot of research has been done to better understand whether husky sledding is ethical. The conclusion is that yes – it is. You’ll see once you arrive at the husky safari in Lapland that the dogs are super happy and would run around the circuit all day if they could. They’re natural instinct is to run and they’re more than happy to work as a pack and enjoy the fun too!
DOES HUSKY SLEDDING HAVE A SPECIAL NAME?
When driving a sled pulled by huskies it is referred to as ‘mushing‘.
HOW LONG DOES THE EXPERIENCE LAST
Overall, the husky safari experience lasts around 90 minutes and is definitely one of the best things to do in Lapland.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON ONE HUSKY SAFARI?
Typically, there will be around 10 rows of huskies with 2 people on each sledge. Some simple maths quickly tells me that 20 people or so should be on your husky safari with you!
WHAT DO SLED DOGS EAT?
Sled dogs aren’t on any special diet. They’re fed twice a day a mixture of dry and wet food that contains a good source of protein from meat or fish.
WHAT BREED OF DOGS ARE SLED DOGS?
You’ll be suprised to see that the huskies’s don’t look much like the pets that we have back in the UK. The huskies used for dog sledding in Lapland are usually Alaskan huskies and they come in all different colours and sizes.
WHAT TO WEAR FOR A HUSKY SAFARI IN LAPLAND
You’ll be out in the cold for a few hours and the wind chill of being sat in the sledge can take its toll. Although you get a blanket to take the edge off the wind, you’ll need to layer up at much as possible.
On the flip side, when it’s your turn to mush, it can be quite hard work and you may want to start peeling those layers off. The only exception to this will be your hands, which you will want some extra gloves or hand warmers for if you have them.
I’d recommend packing the below items for your experience:
You’ll need a good pair of thermals for your entire trip to Lapland. These NOOYME thermals are super warm and a really comfy!
- Thermal Jumper
A thermal jumper is an essential item on a husky safari in Lapland. Remember I said that the ‘mushing’ gets quite hot and sitting in the sled can get quite cold? If you take a thermal jumper, then you’ll be able to whip this on and off as and when it’s required. This Helly Hansen Base Layer is marino wool – a magic material that keeps you cool when your warm and warm when you’re cool.
- Wind-proof Gloves/Mittens
Wind-proof gloves are equally as important as a balaclava – particularly for the passenger who will not have heated handlebars to cling onto.
I personally always go for mittens as I find they’re warmer. My exact pair are no longer available, however these Roxy Mittens are a similar design.
A snood is a great invention. It takes away the bulkiness of a scarf that constantly gets caught it your zipper and still manages to keep you nice and warm. This Heat Holder Snood is specifically made for freezing cold temperatures and is made from specific material that holds heat. I will never go on a snow adventure without one!
There is no point adding all of these layers if you’re going to let all of the heat escape out the top of your head! This cableknit hat that I bought ahead of the trip is lined with fleece and is one of the warmest hats i’ve ever owned.
Any snow boots will do the trick, however I absolutely swear by my Moon Boots for keeping my feet warm in cold temperatures. It feels like you’re wearing a pair of slippers rather than a pair of bulky boots and I love the style. Plus, I was the only one from my travel group who didn’t complain about having cold feet!
- Thermal Socks
Regardless of your footware, you’ll definetly need to pack a pair of thermal socks. These are even more important if you don’t own a pair of super warm Moon Boots!
IWith temperatures dropping to -40 in Lapland in winter, a snowsuit will be your best friend. If you’re heading to Lapland with a tour company then these are normally provided.
TIPS FOR A HUSKY SAFARI IN LAPLAND
TRY AND GET THE SLED AT THE BACK
One of the most frustraiting things on any group activity is having to compromise your experience for others who are less confident of skilled in the activity. Some people fall off the sled or contantly have their foot on the break as they’re too scared to go fast. To combat this, we recommend riding at the back of the group so that you can pause and catch up with a faster speed. Trust me – the dogs will thank you for it too!
TRY AND BOOK ONTO A TOUR WITH A SMALLER GROUP
The above tip is the perfect segway into this tip – try and book onto a tour with a smaller group! The smaller the group, the less disruptive the experience will be and thus, more enjoyable!
GO TO THE LOO BEFORE THE HUSKY SAFARI
Much like many of the activities in Lapland, you’ll be togged up from top to bottom in warm winter gear. Trying to undress to go to the loo will not only leave you failry chilly, but it’s also a massive hassle. As such, it’s always best to go to the loo before the husky safari!
PARTNER UP WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS SIMILAR CONFIDENCE TO YOU
Partnering up with someone who has similar confidence to you is one of the most important things to do to get the experience you want. If you’re someone who loves speed, it doesn’t make sense to go on a husky safari with someone who is terrified of going fast. Be sure to pick a good partner who you can enjoy the experience with!
WHERE TO GO ON A HUSKY SAFARI IN LAPLAND
As one of the most popular activities in Lapland, a husky safari can be booked in pretty much every town that attracts tourists.
We were visiting the small town of Luosto and went on this bucket list activity with Canterbury Travel. It was just 10 minutes from the town centre housed over 200 dogs. Needless to say, it was a popular location to head to, however below are a list of other locations and companies to go on a husky safari in Lapland.
HUSKY SAFARI TOUR PROVIDERS IN LAPLAND
FINAL THOUGHTS ON A HUSKY SAFARI IN LAPLAND
To summarise, booking onto a husky safari in Lapland is one of the best things you can do. Not only is it super fun flying through the trees, but you get to learn a new skill whilst you’re at it. And trust me, it’s not as easy as it looks either!
We hope you enjoy your trip to the most magical part of Finland – Lapland! If you have any further questions then feel free to drop a comment down below and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
If you’re looking for more content on Lapland, then we’ve got the below posts that may be of interest.
- Snowmobile Safari in Lapland / A bucket list adventure activity that should be on everyones itinerary for a trip to Lapland
- Reindeer Safari in Lapland / A peaceful and magical experience through the snowy forest
- Lapland in Winter / The complete guide to visiting Lapland in winter, including best things to do, where stay & what to pack
Millie and Tom x
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