Who we are?

Lapland Sleddog Adventures (LSA) is a Swedish company run by husband and wife couple Gaynor Leeper and Milos Gonda. Our goal is to provide superior service in sleddog tourism, whether that’s satisfying the wishes of our guests or giving the best possible care to our dogs. We put our heart and soul into everything we do and every experience we provide so we know our guests will return home happy, whether you’ve been with us for a few hours or for a week.

The same effort goes into our kennel environment and we have recently built a brand new Lodge for our guests, an on-site sauna, and large yards for our 40 Alaskan huskies. Everything is built with the environment in mind and our kennel complex sits happily in a secluded forest approximately 15 minutes drive from Kiruna city centre. Our Lodge is a wooden structure building sympathetically finished in a rustic cabin style, it has geothermal heating which keeps it warm no matter how low the temperature outside drops, and ground source crystal-clear fresh water that can be drunk straight from the tap. Here you’ll find all the comforts of home in a pristine wilderness location.

Arctic Lapland

We’re located approx. 200km within the Arctic Circle, in the northern county of Norrbotten. Kiruna is its biggest town and is well connected to the rest of the world through regular scheduled flights via Stockholm. The climate is ‘sub arctic’ resulting in short, cool summers and long, cold winters: it’s no wonder that Kiruna is often described as the Mecca for mushers! It is also described as ‘the last wilderness on earth’.

The area is also known for its ancient Sami culture. The heritage of these reindeer herders is an important part of the area’s history and on our longer tours we often connect with our Sami friend Per-Nils Paivio and his wife Britt-Marie who are happy to share their stories with our guests.

Northern Lights

The famed Aurora Borealis occur when electrically charged particles from the sun hit the earth’s atmosphere and react with gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. Each gas results in a different coloured light being omitted in wonderful displays of green, yellow, reds and pink in the night sky. They are best seen in the long dark nights of winter, in the months of November through to March, with Kiruna and nearby Abisko often being described as one of the top three places in the world to spot the Aurora.

Milos Gonda
Owner of LSA and guide
Milos is a born musher! He got his first dog when he was 15 and spent his early adulthood working with dogs in his home country of Slovakia. At the age of 26, he decided to leave Slovakia and its unpredictable winter conditions to work full-time with sled dogs in the north, first in the city of Tromso, Norway, and later in Kiruna. Milos has won many prestigious competitions, including the famous Finnmarkslopet 500 (Norway), La Grande Odyssee (French Alps) and Tobacco Trail (Sweden). Despite being quietly proud of these achievements Milos’ priority is to simply spend quality time on the trail with his well trained dogs.
Gaynor Leeper
Owner of LSA and guide
Gaynor was born in the UK. After University she gained almost 20 years business experience in London before she gave up her city job to enter the world of adventure. In the following 8 years she travelled the world guiding tours to the top of Kilimanjaro, to Everest Basecamp, arranging North and South Pole expeditions and taking clients to destinations such as Guatemala, Alaska, Belize, Nepal, Tanzania, Iceland and Svalbard. In 2009 she was part of a small team who claimed a world record walking 500km along the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, unsupported. Through this work she found the sport of dog mushing and when she met Milos on a dog sled tour in 2011 they soon decided on setting up a life together in Swedish Lapland with their own kennel of dogs.
Emeric Persson & Carlijn Hogeboom
guides
Emeric and Carlijn are experienced handlers and guides that joined LSA for the 2016/2017 season. The couple are true-to-life outdoor enthusiasts and have ridden their bikes through Europe, spent time at a kennel in Norway and on a farm in the UK. The pair are passionate about animals and people and have taken a particular liking to one of young dogs, Aida, who often falls at their feet ready for a belly rub! Emeric is from France and Carlijn from Holland and both speak excellent English.

Our equipment

We want only the best equipment for our guests and our dogs. So what better way to ensure our high standards than to manufacture our own sleds, lines and harnesses! You’ll find all of our equipment is made by us to an internationally high standard making the most of strong and robust materials that we can easily maintain ourselves. We also provide the best clothing for our guests ensuring you remain toasty when out in the cold arctic temperatures. As standard, we provide:

  • Insulated jacket
  • Insulated trousers
  • Insulated, water-resistant arctic boots, rated from -40 C down to -100 C
  • Over mitts (big mitts that can be worn over your own gloves)

We also provide a hat and neckwarmer should you not have your own.

Kit List

If your stay with us includes an overnight in a cabin, we can recommend the following clothing/items to bring with you. These should be packed in a ‘squishable’ bag, not suitcase.

WEEKEND

  • Long (preferably woollen) thermal underwear, both top and bottoms, to wear under the Arctic outerwear provided
  • Thick socks for wearing whilst sledding – again, wool is best
  • A warm fleece and/or jumper to go under your jacket. A light primaloft or down jacket can also be useful
  • Fleece Buff or neckwarmer (we can provide these if you don’t have one)
  • A change of clothes for the evenings
  • Gloves, to be worn under the mitts we provide
  • Sunglasses with good UV protection (preferably the wrap-around style) – only required in February/March
  • Sleeping bag liner (optional but recommended). The cabins have sleeping bags
  • A water bottle can be useful to use at night in the cabin (a regular disposable bottle or sports bottle is fine). Water bottles will freeze during the day so it is important to rehydrate in the evening
  • Head torch with spare batteries – very important, especially in December and January
  • A small towel and bathing costume for use in the cabin sauna
  • Disposable feet/hand warmers (found in most outdoor shops)
  • Wet wipes or anti-bacterial hand wash for personal hygiene – very important after handling dogs in an environment with no running water
  • Lip salve with SPF
  • Camera and spare batteries. Remember there is no power to charge batteries in the cabins and the cold will deplete the charge quicker than normal
  • A couple of black bin liners (to waterproof your bag and the sleeping bag)

WEEK

As above, plus:

  • Extra set of long thermal underwear
  • Extra thick socks, 2-3 pairs
  • A pair of light shoes to wear in the cabins at night (optional). Something like a pair of crocs or trainers is ideal
  • Toilet paper and/or tissues
  • Personal first aid kit (see below for suggestions – your guide will also carry a First Aid Kit)
  • A sleeping bag liner made of cotton, fleece or silk will keep you much warmer at night and can be used on its own if it’s warm in the cabins (optional)
  • If bringing your own sleeping bag, it should be rated to at least minus 15. A liner will add between 2 and 10 degrees warmth to your bag depending on the material.

Gloves:

  • 1 x thin pair that will enable you to work with your fingers/hands when harnessing the dogs (please note, these gloves will get very dirty and smelly and you may not want to wear them again, even after washing!)
  • It is a good idea to bring some waterproof, disposable gloves for feeding the dogs – these can be simple rubber gloves or gardening gloves
  • Wet gloves in the cold will be very uncomfortable and in extreme conditions very dangerous! If your hands get cold and numb, you must change out of wet gloves and warm your hands as soon as possible

Personal first aid kit can include the following:

  • Painkillers, plasters, gauze pads, bandage, adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes and small tube of antiseptic cream
  • Burn gel sachet
  • Treatment for diarrhoea (although this is rarely a problem in Sweden)
  • Any personal medication that you use regularly