The climate is rough, weather changes rapidly and the polar bear threat is an ever present factor. A trip into the arctic wilderness thus requires good preparations, to minimize the risk of severe happenings and injuries. Here you can get updated on our advice on how to behave.
1. Go organized!
Use the professional tour operators if you want to go into the vast wilderness of Svalbard. The guides are well qualified to take care of the guests, by esteeming the weather conditions, avalanche risk, ice conditions, polar bear threat, etc. They also bring along the required equipment for more or less all thinkable situations, including communication systems on a place where no cell phones will do.
To book organized tours, click here.
2. If you enter the wilderness on your own; think safety and environmental protection in all your planning and preparations. Here are a few tips:
- Have adequate clothing and equipment for the trip; wool, many layers, windbreaker, food, hot drink, etc. Ask for advice at any of the shops selling sports equipment.
- Allways tell where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- Check the weather forecast – and bear in mind that there are huge local variations and rapid changes in the Arctic.
- Cell phones will not function outside of Longyearbyen, so a satellite phone and a distress beacon is a must. These can be rented at local shops or tour operators.
- Polar bear protection is required; flare, gun, etc might be rented at several shops and tour operators.
- Be sure to know the laws and regulations regarding where you can go and what you can and cannot do to ensure the caretaking of nature and protection of cultural remainings. The tourist information and the Governor’s Office might advice you on this.
- The Svalbard Rules of Common Sense give you a brief overview on what you should take in consieration before leaving the settlements.
- Ask for advice!
The Governor of Svalbard have a lot of useful information on safe and environmental friendly behaviour: http://www.sysselmannen.no/en/