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Strandberg: "The only people who manage to survive here are the Eveny reindeer. They are perfectly adapted to survive under these extreme conditions."
Image by Mikael Strandberg courtesy Mikael Strandberg, SOURCE
Mikael last year riding on a reindeer sled.
courtesy Mikael Strandberg, SOURCE
"2500 years ago the Eveny figured out that it would be better to use reindeer than dogs to pull their equipment when moving between hunting areas, migrating reindeer routes and nomadic camps. Today just a few keep this unique tradition alive,"
Image by Mikael Strandberg courtesy Mikael Strandberg, SOURCE

Heads up: Mikael Strandberg to travel with reindeer people in Siberia

Posted: Jan 23, 2013 07:42 am EST
(Newsdesk) Mikael Strandberg sent over news about his new expedition in Russia where he will be traveling with reindeer and living with the Eveny reindeer people till mid-April. He will be joined by Yegor Makarov (photographer), Yuri Bereznov (cameraman and filmmaker), Bolot Bochkarev (translator), and a team consisting of two reindeer herders and 25 reindeer.

The goal of the expedition is to film and document the life of the reindeer people where they live and operate during their extreme winter with temperatures down to -60°C for OutWild TV.

Strandberg, the producer wrote, "Siberia accounts for one twelfth of the earth’s land surface and is almost 14 million square kilometers in size. It takes seven hours to fly from its most westerly point in the Urals to its most easterly outpost on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The only people who manage to survive here are the Eveny reindeer. They are perfectly adapted to survive under these extreme conditions."

"2500 years ago the Eveny figured out that it would be better to use reindeer than dogs to pull their equipment when moving between hunting areas, migrating reindeer routes and nomadic camps. Today just a few keep this unique tradition alive, a few families living in a small reindeer camp near Oymyakon."

"I want to investigate, throughout this trip, how much genetics, choice of clothes, training or adaptation makes a difference to how you adapt to the cold. I also want to document the native and historical knowledge as regards to the Eveny people of Siberia and how they travel by teams of reindeer pulling sledges."

The starting point is Oymyakon , known as the coldest inhabited place on earth, and the end point, the Sea of Okhotsk.

During the expedition the team will travel 600 km on extremely wild mountains and Siberian taiga, says Strandberg. The average winter temperature is minus 35 degrees Celsius, but it often dips to minus 60 degrees and other major obstacles are, "wild animals who wants reindeer meat, like wolves, bears and wolverines, extremely difficult route, unknown to the reindeer herders, injuries to the reindeer, equipment brake down on sledges."

"Minor obstacles: Equipment failure due to the extreme cold, how to charge batteries, no backup if we get stuck, frost bitten fingers, cheeks and face."

Read more about the preparations here.

Video: Strandberg and Bolot Bochkarev documenting and traveling with reindeer in 2012:



Mikael Strandberg was born in 1962 in Sweden. He started his professional career as an explorer 25 years ago.

Mikael Strandberg's website

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