Explorer Mikael Strandberg

One month “bootcamp” summary

-31 degrees C out there today. I am chucking loads of firewood in the wood burner to warm up. Hannah is tucked down and sleeping in one of the Expedition sleeping bags from Helsport. Spitzbergen Extreme works well inside too!

So, I have spent a month up here in the mountains. It has been a cold but fantastic month. I am such a privileged human having all these opportunities in life. At times I feel slightly embarrassed, uncomfortable and self-aware of this privilege. That said, perfect preparations for a possible crossing of the Greenland Icecap!

The idea was that I would train as hard as I possibly could on skis and see what I would look like at the end of the month. A Greenland crossing is somewhere generally between 21-30 days and temperatures are average what I have had up here this month, Långfjället and the mountains around here are generally flat Arctic tundra surrounded by rounded old peaks. Wind is the ruler up there! So great circumstances all around. And I have spent like 6 days in total on the mountain in hard weather and done over 600 kms of skiing. I have been eating great food (lots of butter, the body craves fat in the cold), loads of supplements like AG1 and NAD, AND, I have slept 7-9 hours a day!!! This last fact is wonderful, because generally back in the real world I average 6.5 hours a night. So fresh air, hard work and peace of mind does the job!


The cold weather has been perfect for adjusting the body to extreme cold. And how to behave. Since the house up here is not warmer than average 15 degrees C inside, that has added on the adaptation. My only issue, something I have never ever had before, is cold fingers. Either it is due to the medicine I take for my stroke I had in March last year, it is a blood thinner, or it is an age related issue. That said, it is not a big issue.

All the skiing?

First of all, I love skiing. As Nansen said, it must be the best training for the body one can do. Also including being outdoors and the fresh air. That said, I think I have probably overdone it a bit. Not any real rest days and I have been training hard since the end of September with hauling tires in total more than 60 hours too. So I feel a bit like I have been run over by a logging truck. For this age, with this background of years of brutalizing the body, more rest days is better!


It was a joy to see how she loved the Arctic Expedition life, even though very short with two days in -28 degrees C and only one night out due to my stove mistake. She is a hardened traveler so I am not surprised how well she adapted. And enjoyed all the discomforts and privileges with tis life. I am very lucky to have her in my life!!! She is certainly ready for bigger Arctic challenges!

It has also been a very valuable time going through all the kit and it was wonderful having introduced Max Willner to this world and I am really, really looking forward to our crossing together!

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