Why I entered the Fjallraven Polar contest

“Collect moments, not things”

If they asked me a month ago why I wanted to enter the Fjallraven Polar, I would answer: because it would be a new experience for me.

The Fjallraven Polar contest is similar to my own travel writing business. I’m a normal person writing about his adventures during mountaineering, trekking and paddling, etc. Why? Because I truly believe that everyone should chase his dreams and adventure should be for every ‘regular’ person. Sounds familiar?

I made my Life list 5 years ago. A list filled with adventures I wanted to experience in my life. I made this list after being done with living my life for other people. It was time to live my own life. The way I wanted to live it. The concept of my Life list is easy. At every moment in my life I have to be busy with something on my list. Like that I’m always doing something I really want to do.

The list made me do stuff like climbing the highest peaks in Africa, Europa and South America. Go trekking and camping in the Northern regions. 2017 will be the year I’m sailing to Svalbard, one of my favorite destinations.

Dogsledding for 300 kilometers in a polar region. That is the adventure I truly need. If a competition claims to want to send ‘regular people’ on an adventure, surely I have to try and win a spot. Fifteen days campaigning later… I realised how the nature of human beings is and why I love the solitude of nature.

The cruel reality of competitions like these…

I’ve prepared my campaign for months, strictly setting a campaigning schedule. Using social media, advertising, exchanging votes, getting published in local newspapers and even spread the word out on the street and ask people one by one to send me on my next adventure. After fourteen days of campaigning it led me to the first place, 500 votes ahead of number two and even 1200 on number three.

A few hours later I would be bounced back to spot number two after the contestant on the third place received ‘miraculously’ 2500 votes in four hours. The next day he would do the same. Call me a sore loser but I can’t believe this was done in a legitimate way. (Appearently it wasn’t) Especially since he claims to have received these votes by contacting fifteen foreign people he used to know and asked them to spread the word…

This is the first time I applied for the Fjallraven Polar after I got to know it on social media last year. Twenty people from all over the world becoming friends by sharing the same experience. Seems great no? Only, after two weeks of campaigning I saw allies switching over to the rival party, I saw accusations of cheating on everyone who stood first place…

The cruel reality is: give away a 100 dollar price and people will fight for it. Give away a huge dogsled experience, adding a polar outfit… and people would cheat and betray even their own friends.

I met people spending their whole day campaigning leading them to a few hundred votes after two weeks. Their dreams and efforts are being crushed by people who ‘buy’ the first place and just claim “everyone’s dream”. Without making an effort.

For this reason I stopped campaigning on day 16. I’m aiming at the second spot to be given by the Fjallraven jury. Why do I earn it more than someone else? I don’t. I don’t have cancer, I’m not special in any way. Just like any other contestant I’m dreaming of experiencing this adventure. If I’m able to participate the Fjallraven Polar I’ll be able to write about it. Share my experiences with others. Telling them adventure is for everyone.

Even if I don’t make it to the Fjallraven Polar it doesn’t mean the end of my dream. I won’t participate again but I’ll find another way to make that dream come true. To cross that adventure of my list.







3 Comments on “Why I entered the Fjallraven Polar contest

  1. I had the same problem with a contest from #itsgreatoutthere. It was a photo contest over 3 months. Every month there were 10 winners.
    Which I found great as I won the second contest and was rewarded with an Ally Canoe.
    Those 10 winners were handpicked by a jury.
    The fourth month all 30 winners had the chance to win a completely funded trip.
    I didn’t had any expectations, but after a few days I was leading, getting a steady daily stream of votes.
    Until the last day. It was close buy still leading. Till the last hour.
    For some reason I noticed my votes going up like he’ll and received over 5000 votes in 1 hour. During the proces I contacted the organisers to check it out, as this was obviously not legit. And funny part is that I was getting the votes.
    Anyway in the end they subtracted those votes and I finally ended up with 5 votes short.
    I was posses because I could do nothing and people were not easily convinced to keep voting the last hour as I was leading by miles.
    So since that day I don’t tend to participate with voting contests. If it involves a jury then yes. But social media and so is way to easy to manipulate it seems.
    Good luck anyways buddy.


  2. Pingback: How to run a successful campaign for the Fjallraven Polar | An Adventurers Journal

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