Making your dream expedition come true – how do you get started?

Team Bergans-member Rune Gjeldnes is one of the world’s most successful polar explorers. He has “Arctic Ocean” (crossing the ice from Siberia to Canada without supplies delivered along the way) and “The Longest March” (the world’s longest ski trek) on his list of achievements. And he’d love to share his knowledge with you. Read Rune’s tips and learn how to set about planning for an expedition.

 The idea and dream of going on a trip are always the most important things. Everything always starts with that. It can be anything from a hike in the highlands to an expedition to the North Pole. Alone or with others. You lay out the map and other information on the table or on the computer screen – and you get lost in the dream. Nowadays, there is a huge amount of information on the Internet about most of the places that you might want to go to. And you gradually go deeper into the details of the trip or the project and start checking out all the specific challenges.

Ask others if they want to join in on the idea and the dream. Maybe there are more people who share the same dream. Then you may suddenly get more people hooked on the same project. Bouncing ideas off other people is a big plus during the preparation stage.

There are often a lot of questions. But as a rule, it is a matter of:

Where should the route go?
Is it realistic or is there a good chance that we will succeed in going through with it?
Do I have enough knowledge and how can I obtain it?
What kind of training is required?
Draw up a budget and an equipment list.
Do we need anything new or do we have what is required?
What do we have to consider in particular with regard to safety?
Good contact with experts in different professional fields is essential. Without them you’ll have to invent the wheel again.
Is the budget feasible for your pocket? Are you dependent on supporters or sponsors? This can relate to everything from services to equipment and money.

Planning and preparation account for 80 % of any expedition. Prepare your project. Much of the fun involved in going on a expedition boils down to planning and making preparations, either alone or with others, and ensuring that everything goes the right way for your trip. It is an entirely different experience when you have planned everything yourself, from A to Z, rather than paying for your place. Having said that, paying for a place on an expedition is not a bad thing either, if that is what you prefer.

So it’s just a matter of setting about planning. Good luck with it!