Trip level indicator

All Basecamp Explorer adventures on Spitsbergen demand some level of physical activity. Our activity rating indicates how easy or challenging an activity or trip is. The rating is general. It is important that you study the trip details to understand the activity you sign up to participate on. Basecamp will expect that you as a guest is well prepared for the trip and do contact us if you have any questions. The rating is the sum of the factors:

  • necessary physical condition
  • technical abilities needed to master the trip
  • duration of the trip
  • type of accommodation
  • previous experience of this activity
  • the mental challenge

No. 1 trips are our easiest trips and require minimal prior knowledge. The half day trip begins and ends at your hotel in Longyearbyen, with the approximate duration around 3-4 hours. On such a trip you can expect a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, with little physical challenges.

Beginning and ending at your hotel in Longyearbyen, no.2 trips can span from 4 hours to a whole day out in nature. With this in mind guests must actively participate in order for the group to achieve the tours goal. Activities such as dogsledding and snowmobiling can involve you getting physically active, whilst boat trips are not always smooth sailing. If you have a generally good fitness level, a willing attitude and adventurous spirit then you will fit right in.

Note that it is not recommended for pregnant women or those with back pain to participate on this kind of trips.

For overnight stays we sleep in tent, “Gamme” (wooden tepee type hut) and/ or hotel. The physical activity is the main element of the trip, such as dog sledding, hiking, snowshoeing or glacier walks. You do not need prior knowledge of the activity, but appropriate personal equipment, general good physical fitness, courage and an adventurous spirit.

Although previous camping experience is not essential you must be willing to learn and actively participate in setting up/taking down the camp. Our helpful guides will always be on hand to assist you and teach you all you need to know for a comfortable night out in nature. When out on overnight dog trips your very own sled team is dependent on you. So your days will also include caring for your dogs, feeding, handling and harnessing them.

When on these trips you can expect some elements to become demanding due to the weather encountered, such as low temperatures and high winds. Trips involve rough terrain and hiking without roads or trails. On foot there are many long stony sections and rivers that must be crossed. When hiking both on land and glacier, sturdy and supportive footwear is essential along with the physical ability to walk in this rugged terrain. Other factors that may be challenging are the length and duration of the trip, as well as a steep climb or when you must assist the huskies by pushing the sled in deep snow.

No. 4 trips require pre-expedition preparation regarding fitness and equipment. For instance on the longer hikes nothing will prepare you like practicing packing your backpack and walking long distances with it. The more activity specific training you have done the more prepared you will be and the more you will enjoy the trip.

It is an advantage that you have taken part in ano.3 trip before, but this is not a requirement. The tours are often longer than the lower rate trips and the accommodation is mainly in expedition tents.

As a group all participants are responsible for camp routines such as setting up or dismantling tents, boiling water, cooking food outdoors and overnight bear watch duties. Although the guide is responsible for the general wellbeing of the group you too must be able to take care of yourself out in nature.

If travelling with huskies, they will also be in your care during the trip. You will experience both physical and mental challenges and it is a must to be in good physical conditions to withstand such a trip. Technical features of such tours include skiing, swimming, kayaking or hiking with a heavy backpack over several days in untouched terrain.

No. 5 trips are our most demanding trips. They are long and have many or all nights in tent. You must expect to work hard for a long time to reach the goal. The tours are physically, and mentally demanding, and good preparation is required to participate.

Some of the challenges you can meet is wind, snow, rain, whiteout, cold, emergency camp for a while, heavy carrying or pulling, every day setting up a new camp, as well as time schedule for breaks and progress.

You should have experience from one or more trips on level 4, and a lot of determined training is required in advance of the trip. The equipment plays an important role, and the trip places great demands on you as a participant.

The guide is responsible for the security on the trip, but you as a participant are accountable for making good preparations that ensure your readiness for such an undertaking. It is essential that you can look after yourself in demanding terrain and harsh arctic conditions. As a group you will set up/dismantle camp, engage in camp routines, boil water, cook outdoors, participate in bear watch.


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