The 3N Challenge takes place in The Taiga – the giant forest encircling the top of the entire northern hemisphere and the largest contiguous biomass on Earth. We have 2 routes – one in Finland, one in Canada.
Both routes represent the journey 3N cancer patients undergo during treatment – the emotional rollercoaster, the endurance of chemotherapy, the physical shock of surgery and the continued endurance of radiotherapy on the road to recovery.
Terrain: brutal, unforgiving; open boreal & sub-arctic forest with swamps and bogs; big boulder gardens.
Temperature: avg. 18-25C; high >30C, low 12C. Be prepared for hot weather and avoiding wet chills.
Humidity: 60-80%. It honestly feels like jungle sometimes. Very difficult to dry anything out without a fire.
Precipitation: at worst, UK summer weather, but mostly dry with big thunderstorms bringing torrential rain. Thunderstorms also cause forest fires; forest fires cause campfire bans.
Pests: mosquitos, deer fly (like horse fly), black fly, wasps, wood ants, ticks; some plants may cause reactions.
Terrain: brutal, unforgiving; dense boreal & sub-boreal forest with swamps and bogs; lots of obstacles.
So, what's the harsher environment of our two Challenges? Lapland's forest is open, Ontario's impenetrable. Ontario you'll suffer from intense heat and big thunderstorms. Lapland is both hot and cold with unpredictable rain. Ontario paddling is simple but requires technique. Lapland will test your nerve and skill on rapids. Ontario has lots more portages, but the canoes in Lapland are heavier. Lapland has a network of wilderness huts to fall back on, Ontario does not. Both will see you having to think on your feet whilst wet, cold and tired. Both have lots of biting insects. Both will test your morale. But above all, both are adventures travelling paths seldom trod. You will see things others only dream of. Both will change your life forever. Don't worry about which one might be easier - they aren't. You can do this. Don't think about it. Just do it.