As a photographer I've had the opportunity to follow the Swedish outdoor equipment specialist Fjällräven's sled dog Polar Race several times, across the arctic tundra in northernmost Sweden.


Abisko National Park, northern Sweden.


Abisko National Park, northern Sweden.

Åke Nordin

I had the pleasure of meeting Åke Nordin in Abisko National Park in northernmost Sweden in 2010, and honestly, I can't think of a better place to meet a character such as him.

He was born in 1936 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, and as he grew older, it became obvious to friends and family that Åke wasn't like most other boys his age. Åke had a vision.

In 1960, at the age of 24, he created his first backpack using his mother's sewing machine, sparking the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey.

His passion for the outdoors and commitment to quality craftsmanship led him to found the company Fjällräven that same year.

We had a very nice talk in Abisko, and at some point he told me that he believed that the best advice for hikers isn't to bring along the most expensive equipment.

"The most important thing when hiking...", he told me with a whimsical smile, "is to remember bandages and plasters. There is nothing like blisters and sores to ruin a good hike”.

Åke Nordin died in December 2013.

Dog Photographer of the Year


I finished third in the world's largest dog photography competition, the esteemed English Kennel Club's annual Dog Photographer of the Year 2014.

Competing with 13.000 photos submitted from 60 countries, I won 3. place in the category "Dogs at Work" with my action photo of a bunch of amazing, hard-working huskies, striding across the frozen tundra in icy Lapland.

I shot the picture north of the Arctic Circle at Fjällräven's 300 km long Polar Sled Dog Race.

Apart from the 3. place in the category "Dogs at Work" my 4 other photos submitted, made it through the selection process and were all by the judges characterized as "runner-ups" to the winning images.

Karsten Bidstrup




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