Last year we were excited to team up with Jonny Stage, founder of Sandgrouse Travel and expeditions. In preperation for an upcoming trip to Svalbard we provided him and his team with some Aclima base layers to help deal with the polar temperatures. If you want to find out how our favourite base layers measured up, read on and find out!


“Glaciers loom, crevasses creek, ice-caves beckon. Out in the bay ghostly icebergs drift silently past and the sea-ice emits eerie pings and booms. Where we stand, giant mountains surround us, all covered with fresh snow. Somewhere out there over the silhouetted ridge is our rustic cabin lying almost intrusively in wild place, as a sanctuary for man. Here we are truly in a land of Arctic Fox, Svalbard reindeer and of course the mighty King of the Arctic. Now a fast arriving night sky descends turning soft baby blues and pinks to grey and then an inky black. The change from day to night captures the imagination of all who stop to take it in. The skies lit almost one by one by impossibly bright stars. Perhaps, if we are lucky, the dancing Northern Lights could show themselves before we reach our destination. Finally, leaving the dog-yard behind us, I feel as if I am a member of 'The Night's Watch' heading for the first time 'north of the wall'. It isn't hard to imagine the likes of trolls, orks and 'white walkers'. In reality we know there are at least Polar bears.”


Reindeer

Put simply, Svalbard is a destination to visit like no other. If you are looking for something truly out of the ordinary for your next holiday, then you need to head north to Svalbard. At just 650-miles south of the North Pole this is as far north as it is possible to reach in the world by scheduled commercial flight. Longyearbyen, the archipelago’s main settlement (pop. 1,500 people) is also the world’s most northern town. Pretty cool travel stats before you consider the pristine, unique, Polar wilderness!

Having spent a lot of time in this ultra-special destination I have to say that I could not recommend a trip here more. If you love wild and remote places, spectacular landscapes and thrilling wildlife encounters then Svalbard is a place not to be missed. A true frontier town at the end of the world, where beyond lies raw wilderness and sheer beauty. .

We recently returned from an incredibly exciting expedition. Our latest adventure included a number of ‘bucket-list’ experiences such as dog-sledding with our own individual teams of six Alaskan huskies and even a multi-day snowmobile adventure into the vast wilderness of Spitsbergen. The aim of this trip was try to capture some of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences so that we could show them off to the wider-world. We hope you enjoy our film and that Svalbard goes straight on to your own travel ‘bucket-list’.

Before this most recent trip to Svalbard, we approached the experts at Nordic Outdoors asking for their recommendations and opinions on base-layers. Base-layers and thermal garments that would truly be able to provide our team with warmth in some of the world's harshest and most challenging conditions. Nordic Outdoor quickly jumped to our aid, offering us one of their fantastic Scandinavian brands, Aclima. Aclima specialise in producing functional, well thought out and designed Merino wool products. From long-johns to tops the Aclima Merino wool range is incredible. Thanks to Nordic Outdoor, we were kept more than comfortable even in temperatures down to as low as -35'C. Of all the equipment we have put through its paces in challenging environments around the world, we have to say that the Aclima products we used are some of the very finest. As a result we now recommend our clients travelling to Svalbard and Scandinavia to invest in this Norwegian brands properly 'tried and tested' kit!

Jonny Stage

Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions

www.sandgrousetravel.com

Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions specialize in creating tailor-made luxury and adventure travel itineraries. We work for clients from around the world. Whether it be an experiential trip in Scotland, winter holiday in Scandinavia, adventure in the Arctic or safari sub-saharan Africa, as a company one of our constant aims is to try and provide lasting memories through ‘travel’. We do this by understanding the fine balance between a safe, enjoyable trip and the genuine thrill that comes from exposure to the unknown or challenging - a little time outside the comfort zone!

The thrilling factors we add of course come in many forms and vary greatly based on our clients previous experiences, preferences and the destination but it is in the more ‘alive’ moments of our trips that clients find themselves creating lasting memories. Call us to start planning your incredible holiday for 2019. +44 (0)1764 664 236. www.sandgrousetravel.com