the E-factor

In order to grade our trips we created the E-factor. A barometer for the fysical and mental level and expedition feeling of every trip.

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factor E1

E-factor 1 groups Into the Arctic Clan activities, open only to our returning clients.

Want to catch up with some travel companions again? Share experiences with our guides? You can do so at a cozy barbecue at our Into the Arctic Base Camp, a day trip in the (Flemish) Ardennes, or a day paddling close to home.

Check the expeditions with e-factor E1


factor E3

In the E3 category you will find our expeditions with a lower entry level: winter pulk expeditions with relatively short days and overnight stays in huts. We will visit remote areas during these treks, but with more options to divert if conditions become gnarly. This category also includes multi-day backpacking treks with overnight stays in huts.

We will average days of about 5 hours on these trips - but one or two longer stages might still be scheduled. A good level of fitness is required on these trips, and you will still haul a pulk or carry a 15kg backpack.

Check the expeditions with e-factor E3

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factor E4

The E4 category groups expeditions that go slightly beyond the level E3. In winter this means a higher level of uncertainty, and a dependancy on the weather for certain routes. Days will generally be longer, and occasionally we might ski more difficult sections that require good group dynamics.

All tent treks with a high start weight of your backpack (18+ kg) will rank in category E4 or above. The days are not necessarily longer than on E3 treks, but the wilderness aspect is more pronounced: more untracked terrain, including boulderfields and an occasional river crossing. The E4 category also includes long (7+ day) hut treks in full autonomy that require more technical skills and perseverance.

Check the expeditions with e-factor E4


factor E5

E5 trips in winter are characterised by the presence of at least one of the following parameters: prone to more extreme climate conditions (extreme cold for some expeditions in Finland, or risk of prolonged periods with very high winds like in Iceland). Some expeditions will have longer stages of up to nine hours.

In summer, E5 expeditions might include trips with prolonged stretches in full autonomy (7+ days), implying a very heavy backpack at the start of the trip. Highly demanding terrain (boulderfields, serious river crossings) is common on those trips, with a risk of being pinned down in camp for a few hours or even more than a day if conditions do not permit further progress.

From the E5 category things get more serious, and our error margin during the trips becomes thinner. We do not recommend such expeditions without prior experience. An excellent physical condition and strong mindset are of vital importance.

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factor E6

Zeer zware winterexpedities door zowel fysieke als mentale belasting (lange en zware etappe's, potentieel extreme weersomstandigheden, biakkeren) of zomerexpedities met zeer lange periodes in autonomie (7+ dagen) en met zeer zwaar en ongebaand terrein gedurende lange periodes. De expedities van deze categorie vragen een uitstekende fysieke conditie en een extreem flexibele mindset.

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factor E7

These are our most challenging expeditions - for those wanting to push their mental limits.

From a physical point of view, these expeditions are not necessarily harder than an E5 trip. However - the climate, exposure, duration and the extremely remote nature of these trips demand total commitment. Real 'specials' through the most unspoilt wilderness. We will organise these trips just once every few years, for our most experienced clients searching for the most special spots out there.

Check the expeditions with e-factor E7