Training for the Arctic

One of our most frequently asked questions is 'How do I train for my expedition? Do I need to be really fit?'. To make the most of any expedition in Greenland, you'll need a moderately good level of fitness, but you don't need to be an athlete. Training for the Arctic will depend on the nature of the trip you are undertaking. The daily activity and pack weights on each expedition will vary - these are explained on the individual info pages for each trip.

As a general rule, you should be comfortable doing 7-8 hour mountain days with a daypack, but these don't need to be at any record breaking speeds. If you're happy being out walking or climbing in the mountains for several consecutive days, you'll find the expedition life much easier.

training for the arctic

Carrying Heavy Loads
The majority of our trips won't be carrying heavy rucksacks. The Arctic Trekking Adventure is designed so you won't be moving camp every day, allowing you to enjoy days with only a light pack. On long ski trips such as the Liverpool Land North-South Traverse, you'll be pulling your load in a pulk, taking the weight off your back.

Pulling Pulks
Everyone's seen pictures of polar explorers training by dragging tyres over the beach. If you want to do this, go ahead, but you don't need to! Pulling pulks is non-technical, and you'll soon pick up the techniques needed to do it efficiently. Although you'll have a heavy load and this will be hard work in soft snow, as long as you're reasonably fit you should be fine. For the Liverpool Land North-South Traverse you'll be pulling pulks for long days, every day, in demanding and ever changing conditions. A high level of fitness is required for this, but previous pulk pulling experience is not.

training for the arctic pulk sled

greenland climbing

Climbing Ability
If you're joining one of our climbing trips, some basic mountaineering knowledge is essential. This is outlined in the trip's detail page. It's possible to gain this experience before coming out to Greenland, in the Alps or Scotland. There's a huge range of winter skills courses available - please contact us if you'd like recommendations.

Fitness Training
Gaining more aerobic fitness can't hurt, however fit you are already! Long mountain days hiking, ski touring or climbing are the most relevant to Greenland expeditions, as it's time on your feet that counts. If time is short and all you can squeeze in is a few hours, running is the best way to gain fitness fast, as long as you don't have any major knee problems. Seek your doctor's advice before embarking on any rigorous training plans.

training for the arctic