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Anthea Turner's Lapland adventure

anthea turner
March 2, 2015
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Anthea Turner has decided that every year she will take on something that challenges her, and she can already tick that box for 2015."You tend to live a safer life as you get older, but I think every year you should do something that pushes you," she told HELLO! before embarking on a Swedish Lapland adventure with her good friend Kelly Simpkin, the girlfriend of hairdresser Nicky Clarke who she bonded with during last year's The Jump (in which she competed).

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The first photographs from the trip are published in this week's HELLO! magazine, and below Anthea exclusively recounts in more detail the trip that tested their stamina to the limit, as well as raising funds for and awareness of Lupus UK, to support people with the autoimmune disease. Kelly who is ambassador for the charity also suffers with Lupus.Anthea's Diary'Vlad is our guide as we trek 125 miles over the icy terrain with a team of huskies. He is a sort of Bear Grills of Lapland. He has his priorities list and people definitely come after dogs. Before we can make ourselves comfortable for the night we need to take the dogs harnesses off which is something akin to getting a two year old in and out of a car seat when they are just not playing ball. We then feed and straw them down for the night.

The cabin where we are sleeping is as cold inside as it is outside but there is a rather small looking stove which Vlad is busy lighting. I can see my breath in the air and what is now apparent is this little metal box is for heating and cooking. It's also starting to get dark and the light switch is a box of IKEA candles and tea lights!

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Out of our sledges we pick up our bags and sleeping bags. Mine is the heaviest but my logic is I'm the lightest so I can afford a few extra kilograms. There are five of us in total - Kelly and I, her father Malcolm Simpkin and her uncle Ray Mitchell, and Vlad. When I say sardines in a tin believe me I'm not joking. We did what all English people do when faced with adversity, made a cup of tea and got on with making our posh shed home. Kelly to be honest makes me look a slob and while I was faffing around she was rolling sleeping bags out and squirting around a Jo Malone room spray. The room is now starting to warm up and I mean really warm up. I'm now down to my thermal underwear and sweating. Meanwhile Vlad has just produced the most amazing meal of Moose meat and potatoes. Food heaven.

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Dogs have been awake for ages. The drill is to feed them clean up their now phooey beds and harness them up for the day's trek. Also the cabin needs cleaning for the next travellers. Kelly and I quick as a flash offer to do the testing, difficult and arduous job of cabin cleaning while the boys did the dogs!

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It's amazing how when your expectations are low the smallest thing can seem simply amazing. This new cabin in comparison to the last is a place, much larger with bunk beds stove and 2 buckets. We've now got water from the river, cabin is warming up nicely, tea is brewing and we're asking Vlad what's for supper. How relaxed are we now!By the final day we are totally over the shock factor of living with less. However I can't tell you how unbelievably off the scale delicious it was to finally stand under a warm shower. Bliss bliss bliss.’Anthea's Tips for the TripBetween Nature Travels who we booked through and the team on the ground in Sweden which is run by sled dog European champion Peter Karlsson and his wife Angela you are totally catered for and prior to going will give you any extra information required. Kelly and I went to Snow+Rock ( and bought the following:

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Hand warmersThermal underwear made of Merino wool it's apparently the best - both warm and softGoggles or some type of wraparound sports glassesNeck walker you can pull up over your nose or a half face maskWet wipesFlaskHead torchWaterproof bag for your kit as the sleds get dampOwn sleeping bag inner. I prefer a single duvet cover a Blue Peter tip I picked up from Diane Louise Jordan she's a mega travellerBookExtra charged camera batteriesPhone charger juiced upTracksuit for cabin in evening PJ's SnacksFor more on lupus, visit To donate to Kelly and Anthea's fundraising, visit sledding treks visit more on Kelly's fashion collection

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