We have 65 dogs at the Border Inn of which 54 are working dogs, 4 are house dogs and the rest are puppies or retired. Our working dogs are a mix of Siberian huskies and Alaskan huskies. We even have some Arctic huskies crossed with Irish setter. In the gold rush times in North America sled dogs were the best and most common form of transportation. From delivering the mail to transporting gold diggers and their equipment. In those days a sled dog was considered to be any dog that pulled a sled and could cope with the severe winter. Normally a European hunting or working dog was crossed with local Inuit dogs. A standard misconception is that the Siberian husky is the true and traditional husky that worked in the gold rush times, in fact the Siberian husky was brought over from Siberia nearer the end of the mad gold rush period and was intended to be used in racing as they were smaller and lighter with great stamina for long distance. Whereas the local dogs had been used for years to pull heavy loads long distance. Very soon more people started to use Siberians but in larger numbers. As before the mushers would have smaller teams of 5 – 7 dogs. Most North American racers now use what we call Alaskans, which is a mix of old style breeds with Siberians etc. Basically again any dog that pulls a sled (fast), but that can cope with the extreme weather conditions.
All our working dogs live outside in large fenced pens. We have between 2 and 8 dogs in each pen and this lets them interact with each other and act much more like a pack. The dogs are fed once per day. In winter we feed 300 - 350g per dog of top quality dog biscuit plus the same amount of meat for their evening meal.
On tour the dogs are fed meat soup in the morning with some biscuits and have their main meal in the evening. If we are out on a long tour we will also feed snacks to the dogs.
At the Border Inn we have two types of snowmobile. Single seaters and twin seaters. The single seaters are Arctic Cat 370 Z´s. They are light and easy to manoeuvre. Top speed is about 100 km/h and they weigh just over 200 kg.
The twin seaters are Polaris 440 Sport Touring. They have larger engines and are heavier by about 50 kg. There top speed is over 120 km/h. Driving on the frozen lakes is easier with these heavier models, but it is more difficult to manoeuvre these ones in the forest.
Weather - click on the following link for a three day forecast of the weather at the Border Inn
Weather in Kuusamo
The Border Inn provides all extreme weather equipment. This includes winter suits which will keep you warm even at - 40°C (I have tested these myself to - 46°C) Boots, gloves, hats, safety helmets for the snowscooter, sleeping bags etc. are also provided. Bring with you whatever you would take on any winter holiday and we will take care of the rest. Here are some tips:
Fleece clothing is very warm, light and dries faster than other products. Good quality thermal underwear, top + bottom. Wool or extreme weather socks. If you have your own winter jacket or suit feel free to bring this with you and we can check it for suitability. If you prefer to buy your own boots then we recommend Kamik. Good winter gloves are also important, but mittens are better suited for driving dogs.
*Clients should bring their own sleeping bag liner, sunglasses, headlamps, and cabin shoes*
Battery operated equipment has to be carried on your person so should be kept to a minimum; also battery life is severely decreased in extreme cold conditions with lithium far out-performing other types of battery.
Here we see laid out the typical cold weather clothing that we would use. This includes (from top left), boots, boot inners, bear hat, mitts and gloves, 2 pairs of socks, thermal top, thermal micro fleece, fleece trousers, fleece jacket and the stroller suit for use in a -30°C enviroment.
Food and Drink
Our guests enjoy a very active outdoor lifestyle during their stay with us at The Border Inn. At the end of a long tour a sauna, a change of clothes, an aperitif at the bar followed by a first rate meal provides the perfect end to a perfect day.
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