Svalbard Warnings and Dangers

  • Very changeable weather on Svalbard
    Very changeable weather on Svalbard
    by Saagar
  • Truck decor
    Truck decor
    by fred98115
  • Dead and stuffed bear in the local museum
    Dead and stuffed bear in the local...
    by fred98115

Svalbard Warnings and Dangers

  • Governement registration

    People travelling on their own outside of the settlements and the area around Nordenskiölds Land – Dickson Land, must notify the Governor (Sysselman) of Svalbard of their plans. For safety reasons, we recommend that no matter where or how long you intend to be away, you tell someone about it. The Governor can compel visitors to purchase insurance...

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  • Gun rental for polar bear protection

    There are several outfitters that are ready to rent you a gun for polar bear protection. I did this in May 2008 at the outfitter Ingeniør G. Paulsen company down by the sea side in Longyearbyen. Ideally you should have a gun licence or some other proof that you can use a gun, but they will take the time to show you how to do it if you cannot show...

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  • Polar Bears in Svalbard

    Polar bears are completely protected on Svalbard. It is prohibited to pursue or attempt to make contact with a polar bear, as this may disturb it and jeopardise the safety of humans or polar bears. Maintain safe distance from any bears you may come across as they can attack suddenly without warning. Use caution and avoid all contact. Always set out...

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  • Rabies on Svalbard

    Ignorant Norwegians are not used to animals being carriers of rabies. The mainland is free from rabies, thus our innocense when it comes to these cuddly and seemingly tame polar foxes. They are naturally unafraid of people, so not necessarily rabies-infected... For visitors more exposed to this it's probably not worth saying this, but due to the...

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  • Beware of Polar Bears!

    At first I could not believe it, but it definitely is true:Polar Bears are an acute danger in Svalbard - and even in settlements like Longyearbyen you are not safe! There is a warning out that you should always carry a rifle when leaving the settlement - and that is no joke at all! All over you can hear about encounters with polar bears - and many...

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  • Polar bears on Svalbard

    Polar bears are at the apex of the Arctic food chain. That means in essence people are snacks, albeit, very boney for the most part.Bears will have very little natural fear for people, most are curious but decide you do not look very tasty, only 1% are aggressive and right-out dangerous."Rules of Engagement" are available in brochures on arrival at...

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  • No photos in mines

    On mine visits visitors would like to take photos...But you will not be permitted to. The reason is the explosion danger. Coal mines have a fair amount of methane gas seeping out and it is highly volatile. A spark, a flash from you camera could in principle set it off, and that wouldn't be a bang you'd like to hear...Head the advice...

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  • Polar bears and weather

    Listen to what everyone says about the Polar bears. There might not have been that many killings but they do happen and there's just a moments difference between beeing injured and beeing killed. Off cause another moment and you are safe. Think and do not be a fool! If you are a photografer please remember - if the guide tells you to run, just run!...

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  • The weather on Svalbard - webcams

    The weather at Svalbard is extremely harsh and erratic, and you should listen to local advice and warnings before venturing out too far from habitation. Long-term weather forecasts are of limited value here in the turbulent Barents Sea. In preparation for your Svalbard trip you can in any case check out the weather as it is today: I have found 3...

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  • Ugly Longyearbyen

    Don't expect a nice, cozy, whitewashed Greek Island style community here.Architecture in Longyearbyen is a fairly unknown concept - this is a company town first and foremost. Quick and dirty is a covering term for many of the buildings here (see illustration - this is the ISS HQ in town). On top of this industrial site habitation, all mining...

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  • The snowmobile scene

    Even if you may take the advantage of using snowmobiles while here you may arrive to my conclusion that the noise, fumes and general "unquiet" they cause is a major nuisance in Longyearbyen.Despite all the regulations on their use, the snowmobile scene is insane, to put it right.However, there are limitations on where the snowmobiles are allowed to...

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  • Where to meet for tour departures

    Some organised tours will pick you up at your guest house or hotel. Others invite you to meet somewhere else for a pre-departure briefing and equipment/clothes check and distribution. Most operators give you very little info ahead. When days of more competition arrives to Svalbard, the companies will shape up in this respect, hopefully.In the case...

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  • Avalanches - late winter 2005

    The log at www.sysselmannen.svalbard.no and www.svalbard.net (link) have issued warnings against unusual avalanche danger on the slopes around Longyearbyen/Advent dalen, especially north-facing slopes, but also almost equally bad on east-, west- and aouth-facing slopes. There is reason for extreme caution.The reports are followed by some practical...

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  • Hiking and camping near the coast

    Don't set up rest or night camp on the beach, but go inland, preferably a few hundred meters. The reason is that polar bears roam the shoreline for edibles. That should preferably not include you.At night, maintain vigil, with one person staying awake as bear guard.

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  • Glacier crevasses

    Apparently the glaciers on Svalbard are of the "cold" type that don't move that much, except for periodical magnificient thrusts when dynamic pressure/tensions get too much.Nevertheless there are massive dangers connected with touring/sightseeing and crossing glaciers, such as crevasses, collapsing ice towers, calving glaciers etc. Take heed to...

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  • Polar bears

    Take the warnings about bears seriously, we would like to read about your adventures here after your safe return.

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  • Look out fore Polarbear.....

    It`s a fact that moust tourists never get to see a polarbear when visiting Svalbard. But it`s also a fact that you shuld not leave Longyear without a shotgun.... When thats said, there are seldom accidents involving polarbear.

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  • Look out fore Polarbear.....

    It`s a fact that moust tourists never get to see a polarbear when visiting Svalbard. But it`s also a fact that you shuld not leave Longyear without a shotgun.... When thats said, there are seldom accidents involving polarbear.

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  • Laundry

    I stayed at the Spitzbergen Funken Hotel and the first week I turned in 8 Socks , 8 Underwear, 8 T-shirts, 4 pairs of jeans and 2 long johns. The price for getting them laundered-----------$200.00 Take enough clothes to last you till your gone.

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  • Snitches everywhere

    If you plan to have a drink, WALK!!! The bartenders will call the police if you try to drive after drinking. With the KROA and the RADDISON getting special mention. i e The geek with the glasses at the KROA. On Svalbard the law is .02 is the limit anything above that is drunk driving. They don't even have to catch you . Hearsay is enough.The taxi...

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  • Polar bears don't like tourists

    When you visit Svalbard don't forget about the very important rule - not to cross the borders of the town without a gun! At least I was told it's very dangerously because of possible meeting with Polar bears. They can attack people and I was told they do it from time to time. BTW I also saw foreign tourists who easily violated this rule. But if you...

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  • Cracks in the glaciers can be dangerous

    Although cracks in the ice is less common on Svalbard if compared to other frozen destinations, the danger still exsits and sometime a crack may be hidden by thin fresh snow. Create a "rope" when crossing glaciers, ask for updated information before going, or use *only* safe, guided trips.

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  • Take the Polar Bear danger seriously on...

    The polar bears can appear at any time of the year and where they are less expected. Do not leave the towns without a gun and flares, or take *only* guided trips.

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  • You should have a guide with...

    You should have a guide with you if you leave the village. The guides are experienced and carry a rifle incase of ice bears. While they look cute, they are very fast, strong and dangerous. We didn't get to see one, though. Also, distances are big in Svalbard and you don't want to get lost there alone.Here's a pic of us visiting an old cottage that...

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Svalbard Warnings and Dangers

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