Arctic Winter Survival Skills Course

Do you have what it takes to survive in the Arctic? We’re offering you the chance to find out! Much more than just an “Arctic Wilderness Experience”, our experienced instructors will be teaching you the real skills you need to survive on your own in the challenging winter conditions of the Polar Urals.

Based out of one of our small wilderness cabins, you’ll learn the theory and practical skills that will keep you safe in the harsh environment above the Arctic Circle. You’ll start your training in a well-equipped cabin, gradually progressing to full immersion in this incredible winter landscape as you gain new skills and confidence. 

In addition to mastering the survival skills needed to stay safe alone in the wilderness, you’ll experience life with the nomadic Nenets people, sample local food and drink, and see the incredible wildlife and scenery of the Russian Arctic, a hotspot for Northern Lights sightings.

This trip runs from January to May.
Contact us via email or phone if your preferred dates are unavailable.

Here are just a sample of the key skills you’ll learn on this course:

  • Snowmobiling techniques you’ll need to drive through the huge variety of landscapes here in the Arctic. We’ve got forests, mountains, tundra and rivers for you to test your new skills on!
  • Selecting and setting up a safe campsite for the night
  • Fire lighting skills
  • Safe handling of an axe, knife skills, traps and how to hunt
  • Ice fishing skills
  • Polar medical skills including first aid, management of frostbite, burns and trauma
  • Signalling and rescue techniques
  • Experiencing the life of the Nenets, the Nomadic Reindeer herders who live in this environment all year round

Anybody who wants to learn how to be alone for an extended period of time in remote and wild environments. You don’t need to have any previous knowledge in survival skills, but some previous camping, hiking or adventure sports experience would be helpful. All that we really ask is that you’re over 18 years old, with a reasonable level of physical fitness, and bring a positive attitude and sense of adventure! The ultimate aim of this course is to give you the skills you need to safely lead a group of friends in the wilderness.

Since this is an educational experience, rather than one of our adventure tours, we’re aiming for you to get to a level where you feel comfortable and safe on your own in different environments. If you have a specific trip or goal in mind then we’d love to help you with that training – just let us know at the time of booking if there’s anything special you’re hoping to cover.

We believe that being prepared for your expedition adventures is the key to staying safe. Our goal is to teach you everything you need to know so that you don’t end up under a tree with only a knife and a single match to keep you alive. Having said that, we’re pretty confident that by the time you’ve finished this skills course, you could do just that!!

heated tent in the polar urals on expedition

Winter Survival Skills Course Schedule

Day 1 – Arrival in Salekhard

Today we’ll meet you at Salekhard airport and then transfer you to a local hotel. You’ll have time to explore the town, meet the team, and have a briefing about the days ahead. This will be your opportunity to let us know exactly what you hope to get out of your week so that we can help you get the most out of your wilderness experience.

Accommodation: hotel in Salekhard (twin-share)

Meals: D included

Day 2 – Survival Course Starts

We’ll collect you from the hotel after breakfast and the adventure begins! Your wilderness survival expedition starts in the small village of Kharp, where you’ll learn your first skill, snowshoeing or snowmobiling to base camp! Once at our base camp cabin, your training begins as you learn how to set-up and organise the camp, get water and make a fire. As soon as you’ve mastered these essential arctic survival skills, we’ll move on to more challenging tasks.

Accommodation: Wilderness Cabin

Meals: B/L/D included

Days 3-4 – Survival Basics

Your time will be spent with a mixture of theoretical and practical classes so that you have plenty of time to test the survival skills that you’re learning. During the first few days we’ll explore the basics of the concept of surviving in the Arctic. You’ll have classes on making a fire in the cold, choosing a safe place to camp, finding water, handling an axe, knife and saw, and other basics of survival.

Accommodation: Wilderness Cabin

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 5-6 – Survival Skills with the Nenets

The nomadic Nenets people are experts in surviving in the arctic, having done so for thousands of years. Over this two day period, we’ll be spending time with them to see how they’ve adapted to this region. This is a really unique opportunity to learn from the Indigenous people for whom this is a way of life. You’ll learn about how they select and arrange their camps, see how they make clothes and sledges for transportation, and how they find food in the wilderness.

Accommodation: Wilderness Cabin/Nenets chum

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 7-8 – Intermediate/Advanced Skills 

Learning to keep yourself fed is one of the most important skills, and we’ll spend some time on the basics of tracking, hunting and fishing. The aim in these last days is for you to enjoy food that you’ve caught yourselves using the skills you’ve learned this week. You should be confident now to set up a camp to spend the last night in the wilderness as true survival experts!

Accommodation: wilderness cabin/heated tent

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 9 – Return to Salekhard

You’ll break down your camp and pack up before heading back to Salekhard to enjoy your last night. After working hard all week it’s time to enjoy a trip to an authentic Russian Banya where you can relax before having dinner with the group.

Accommodation: hotel in Salekhard (twin-share)

Meals: B/L/D included

Day 10 – Salekhard to Moscow

Transfer to Salekhard airport after breakfast to catch your flight. 

Meals: B included

Ice fishing on one of our trips

Costs & Services


  • Accommodation: 2 nights in Salekhard hotel (twin-share), 7 nights in wilderness cabin with tent camping optional
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Local English-speaking Guide
  • All transfers in Salekhard
  • Vehicles and fuel on expedition
  • Camping equipment (sleeping bags, mats, tents)
  • Arctic safety/security equipment
  • Permits
  • Flights from Moscow or St Petersburg to Salekhard

Not included

  • Personal expenses such as drinks, tickets, phone calls, etc.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Individual clothing, backpack, cold-weather clothing (contact us for advice – rental of clothing is possible)

Note: The final route and activities may vary slightly, as the weather can be unpredictable here in Yamal. Your guide may need to adapt the program depending on the group, prevailing conditions and available options at the time. During the expedition, the cooperation of all participants will be crucial.

Other important information

  • Please be aware that visiting the Nenets is a trip to their home, and this is a very personal space for them. The guides will inform you of any specific considerations or taboos that you need to be aware of.
  • Alcohol is strictly prohibited during the whole stay with the Nenets family
  • Accommodation in the chums is on a shared basis. Depending on the group’s size there might be a chum available for the group only
  • Using drones above the reindeer herds is prohibited

Fitness and dietary requirements

  • A basic level of fitness will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip, but no special training is required
  • Dietary requirements should be discussed prior but can usually be catered for

Recommendations for Clothing and Equipment

  • Will be sent at the time of booking

Visa Information

  • We will provide visa invitation documents for you to apply for your Russian visa overseas

Price is based on double occupancy: a single supplement of €200 will apply if you are a single traveller and are not happy to share a twin room.

Dates: from 15 Jan till the beginning of May