Booted & Suited for The Arctic
by Alexander Keblow Kofoed

I looked at myself in the mirror and saw the reflection of an arctic Michelin-man. My body was covered in a thick, sturdy thermal boiler suit, ready to keep me warm in Karasjok, the very North of Norway. I would stay there for one month to train dogsledding with about 40 Alaskan Huskies and a few Norwegians.
40 Alaskan Huskies
As my eyes went over my new puffy bodily exterior, I lowered them towards my feet. Thin tennis socks, Yikes! I was a few weeks from my arctic adventure, and I still needed warm boots or socks. In all modesty, warm boots were vital if I wanted the privilege of having feet in the future. I started visualizing chasing my kids with robotic wheels attached to my legs instead of my feet. So, when my ‘The Brown Bear’ mukluks arrived a few days later, I was mildly relieved! I stuck my feet into the warm, plushy 12” Sheepskin Snowshoe Boots and took them for a test ride outside.
Alexander Kofoed with dog sledding Alaskan Husky
I received several long gazes as I strutted around my Danish suburban town in my new flashy boots. I think people were trying to decipher whether I was making a brash fashion statement or if I were a wannabe cowboy. A few weeks later, I would be tempted to say cowboy wasn't a long shot as I sprinted towards and jumped on a dogsled driven full speed by Sven Engholm and his 12 huskies.
12 huskies dog sledding adventure

-30 and still positive

I had made my way to Engholm Husky, and the temperature showed -15 degrees Celsius. Not too bad, I thought, as I removed the ice from my beard with my numb fingers. Our daily work could be summed up in two words: dogs and maintenance.
picture of two alaskan huskies on a dog sledding trip in northern norway
It was long and dark days, but working with the amazing dogs was rewarding. The temperature would sometimes drop to -30 degrees Celsius. My daily uniform would be thick wool socks (1-2 pairs), mukluks, long wool underwear, fleece pants, a thick wool sweater, mittens and my thermal boiler suit.
Engholm Husky Design Lodge Karasjok at night
The work with the dogs would consist of cuddling, feeding, walking the puppies and running sleds. The sled trips would be 4-6 hours long, and for these, I would use two pairs of gloves and exchange my mukluks with giant arctic boots that made my already large feet look like that of a yeti. But for the daily work around the lodge, the mukluks were a perfect match. Besides being comfortable in a rather uncomfortable environment, I’d even get compliments from my Norwegian colleagues. They appreciated good craft and not necessarily fancy North Face products. Up here, the answer to the cold is “ren,” which meant that the skin and fur from the local reindeer were the best way to stay warm. Since I never saw a reindeer wearing a Gore-Tex jacket, I believe it makes sense.
wearing a pair of authentic moccasin boots on a trip to northern norway dog sledding
As I returned home to Denmark with a mind full of new memories, I put all my arctic gear in my closet. I looked at the mukluks. The mukluks looked at me. We both knew they'd be walking with me in whatever new arctic adventure I would walk towards.

To purchase the moccasins mentioned in this article visit:
dog sledding in norther norway Engholm Husky

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