Explorer Mikael Strandberg

Frozen Frontier: Travelling with Reindeer; The challenging preparations

When you read this, we are hopefully in Siberia. The whole family of four. It could well be a surprise to most of you, but what is waiting is most likely the biggest adventure for all four of us ever. My wife Pam and my daughters, Eva a bit more than 2½ years old and Scarlett Sardana a bit more than 5 months old, they´re going to spend a few months in the capital of the Republic of Sakha, Yakutsk, whilst I will head off into the wilderness. It will most likely be one of the coldest modern Expeditions in recent years. The team consists of me, producer, and my friend Yegor Makarov, explorer and photographer, Yuri Bereznov, cameraman and filmmaker, Bolot Bochkarev, translator, blogger and my friend and team consisting of two reindeer herders and 25 reindeer. I don´t know who they are yet. I am not sure even Yegor knows!

Together we will do one of the hardest Siberian Expeditions possible. It will be temperatures below -60 Celsius, it will be dark and we will pass through a relatively unknown chain of alpine mountains to reach the sea after a few months. No tracks, no roads. Just Siberian wilderness at its best and most pristine. And hopefully a lot of wild animals and local Eveny, Evenk and Yakut people, who´s life we want to document.


The preparations have been tougher than ever. Basically I have had only two months to prepare a job, which I have used at least a year to do before. And it is these trying, challenging and inspiring, but fearful times I want to share with you below here in a series of articles. I have written a blog report initially every week, but lately every 3-4 days, starting the day I got everything cleared from the production company in the US, the 20th of November 2012.

UPDATE! Posterous suddenly quit, so all  links below are not valid, BUT, I did manage to transfer them to this site, and to find each one as below (until I have figured it all out), just take the title, add it to the search item top right and it will appear there as the second article. Really terrible work from Posterous, but what to do?)

1. Two months to Go 20 November 2012.

2. Still No Visa 29 November 2012

3. Happiness, but still insecurity if it will happen or not 11 December 2012.

4. Equipment, training, treatments and disease 16 December 2012

5. -59 degrees Celsius, the reindeer herders jump ship, new teams found 17 December 2012

6. Preparations; Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Italy and a kit for -70 degrees Celsius 19 December 2012

7. 11 kg plus (24 pounds) and the arrival of the first kit to help me survive 26 December 2012

8. Thoughts on hypothermia, frostbites, Ken Kamler and very little sleep 30 December 2012

9. Orthodox Christmas makes life complicated, more kit arriving 3 January 2013

10. A twist for the worse 6 January 2013

11. The Hunter´s reflex, 11 days to go, hardly any gear have arrived, but we all have the visas now  9 January 2013

12. Trouble on all levels….but we are awarded Explorer Clubs Flag 179 12 January 2013

13.Mum´s moved on to another world and I wonder; What to do? 13 January 2013

14. Tech trouble, some kit arriving and some stress 15 January 2013

15. Stress and angst 18 January 2013

16. Expedition nerves; Why?Why? Why? 19 January 2013




  1. Hiya Mikeal, my girlfriend and I were reading this post about your planned expedition (we’re both very jealous), and couldn’t help but be curious about the flag that the young child (Eva?) is holding in the picture. Any chance you could let us know what it is?

    Thanks, and good luck on your trip.

    Stuart and Gemma

  2. Thanks for the reply Mikeal, I’d heard of the explorers club but never realised they had their own flag. You must be very proud to be entrusted with #179, I hope you get to fly it on many future adventures.

    Best wishes


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