A woman living near the North Pole shared the great lengths she must go to just to walk her dog in the middle of the afternoon.
Adventure time! A woman living near the North Pole shared the great lengths she must go to just to walk her dog, a Finnish Lapphund named Grim, in the middle of the afternoon
Cold! Swedish native Cecilia Blomdahl lives in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago that is one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas and is well below freezing in the winter
Quite a look! When she goes outside to walk her dog, she layers thermals with expedition pants and a down jacket — and then adds a headlamp because the winter is dark round-the-clock
‘When walking your dog is an expedition,’ Cecilia says in introduction to a recent viral TikTok video.
And whenever they go out in the winter, there is a lot of preparation to deal with the weather, the lack of daylight, and the wild animals.
‘It’s starting to get really cold here and it’s pitch black 24/7,’ Cecilia says, explaining that she needs to layer up with lots of clothes.
The local temperature averages 6.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.
She wears thermals, expedition pants, and a down jacket to stay warm. She also adds a hat and a scarf covering most of her face.
Just as important is the ‘Teletubby headlight’ on her head, which lights the way because it’s totally dark outside — and there aren’t exactly street lamps.
Safety first! She also has to bring a rifle in case she encounters a polar bear
Visibility: Dogs also need to wear the proper gear like reflective vests and lights
Unreal! This is what it looks like outside of her cabin at 4 in the afternoon in November and Devember
‘And of course, that’s not enough. We have polar bears here, so we have to bring a rifle with us ever time we’re outside,’ she says, showing herself strapping the gun on.
The dogs need gear too, and she dresses them up in reflective neon vests and lights.
‘The dogs are obviously invisible in the dark, so I put a bunch of blinkies and hi-[visibility] vests on them so I can actually see them when they run away from me,’ she says.
When she steps outside, she shows off the ‘beautiful weather’ that meets her at 4 p.m. It is completely dark, with snow coming down and already packed high on the ground.
While she might be freezing, the dogs actually love it. They race her back to the cabin, stopping a lot along the way to play in the snow.
Snow dog: Luckily, her dog is a fan of the weather and loves to play in the snow
BFFs! Sometimes she takes out another dog who lives in a nearby cabin
Cecilia moved to Svalbard five years ago, and what was supposed to be a temporary stay turned into a much longer one.
She and her boyfriend have a cabin with electricity but no running water, and can reach the nearest settlement, Longyearbyen, with a 15-minute drive.
Her dog is a fan of the area, too. She told
You can see the excitement in his eyes when he gets to run around in the snow, or pull me along when I’m on skis, or when he sees a reindeer that he wants to go say hi to,’ she added.
‘It’s SO important to choose a dog after it’s characteristics and what weather they are adapted to, and not by the look of them,’ she went on.
‘A Finnish Lapphund, for example, is the perfect Svalbard dog. They are made for cold harsh winters, have super thick fur, and can sleep outside in cold weather without a problem, and they generally enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, sledding, etc.