he volunteers are together with the organizers the pillars of the race, and without all the volunteers Polardistans is not possible to carry through.
Being a volunteer can involve everything from helping with the preparations before the start of the competition as well as helping with closing and finishing up everything when the competition is completed. Typical tasks can be preparing meals for volunteers, to be assistance at the start, helping the veterinarians at the veterinary inspection, help at a checkpoint assisting tired mushers and dogs to a resting place or standing at a road crossing, help the judges with equipment control, securing water at all time for dogs and mushers, keeping the fires going and a lot of other tasks that is needed to make everybody feel welcome and cared for. It can also involve working with the web or to help out in the secretariat.
Work as a volunteer can mean long shifts, happy and satisfied competitors but also tired and disillusioned ones, early spring sun, snowstorm and maybe moonlit nights, new friendships and many experiences. One thing is for sure, it’s a week you will never forget!
As a volunteer you can get several different tasks and you can also get to work in different locations along the trails. Often it is not just one assignment during the week. We try to get so varied tasks as possible for you as a volunteer to experience as much as possible.
Are you good at or interested in being a volunteer then read “Volunteers Manual” below and decide then where and when you want to help.
VOLUNTEERS MANUAL (Coming soon)
By submitting your application to us, you are agreeing that Polardistans can publish your name in our closed FB-group for volunteers.
Good to know about Polardistans:
Headquarter for Polardistans is Särna camping. This is the starting and the finish area as well as the secretariat is located here. Särna Camping is really in the middle of the village, clearly visible from the “main street”. The Secretariat is located in the yellow house at the entrance of the camping and this is where we meet when you arrive. We will have official volunteer’s meeting on Sunday evening before the race officially opens/starts.
Särna is not so big but there is a smal food store (Sunday closed), service station that offers bacis commodities, a pizzeria and some other small stores. At the moment there is no pharmacy in Särna, only a pharmaceutical agent with a very limited assortment.
Accommodation for volunteers is free and is arranged by the organizer. Accommodation can be of varying quality, and after ”first-to-come” principle. It can be from hostel accommodation to shared dormitory on a hard surface. Bring your own sleeping pad and sleeping bag.
A work schedule for the week will be worked out in a way that is is clear when you are on duty and when you may have time for other things. Working hours may vary and it can be both early mornings and late evenings as well as nights. The workload depends on how many volunteers we get together during the week. We cannot assure that volunteers will have time to take much care of nor run own dogs.
Breakfast is available for self-service in the accommodation or the checkpoint. You are responsible for making your own breakfast and of cause washing your own dishes.
On Friday evening the race week ends with an award ceremony and dinner for the competitors and handlers.
We will have our volunteers dinner/party for all the volunteers Saturday night and it is of course free for all volunteers.
Särna is a real cold spot and we have had nights with temperatures down to -35 ° C! Be prepared so you are properly dressed with warm clothes and boots out at the checkpoint as well as at the start and finish area. It’s not always cold, sometimes it’s also bright sunshine. In short: Prepare yourself for a week in the wilderness, then it will be good!
In some places there is no mobile coverage for the usual network. It may be good to let closets family and friends know, so they do not get worried if you do not respond within a few days. Of course we have systems of communication but they cannot be used for private purposes.
As volunteers, we are all representatives of the Swedish Polar Dog Club (SPHK). All volunteers must be prepared at any time of day or night to perform their duty if something unexspected happens. This means that your are not allowed to drink any alcohol during the competition (except during the volunteers dinner/party Saturday night)
Good things to have with you:
- Sleeping pad/ mattress / air bed
- sleeping bag / quilt
- snow shovel / shovel
- headlamp / flashlight
- warm clothes , hats and gloves/mittens
- warm and dry for the feet (if you want to improve the performance of your winter boots you can bring a thick styrofoam plate to stand on)
Do you want to take part in carrying through Northern Europe’s toughest sled dog race for pure-bred polar dogs: POLARDISTANS – the ultimate challenge– then sign up as a volunteer under ”registration”. Please write in the message box if you are bringing dogs with you and if you have any allergies or other things that might be good for us to know.
Do you have questions about being a volunteer during Polardistans, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to an enjoyable dog week in beautiful Särna!