Kiruna

Be inspired by the dynamic and exotic Kiruna. Ever since it was founded at the end of the 1800s, this region has been characterized by an optimistic view of the future. Changes are a part of our everyday life and we who live here know it is a condition for survival. At Camp Ripan we are more than happy to share our knowledge of the unique factors that give Kiruna and its surroundings its unique character.

 

How to dress

In the winter, it is important to wear thermal underwear, a hat, mittens and warm boots. Closest to your body, you should wear clothing that transports moisture. They should be made of synthetics, wool or a wool blend. Cotton should be avoided.The next layer is preferably of fleece in order to reinforce the heat insulation. The outer layer should be something that protects against wind and precipitation.

A warm down or Thinsulate jacket is good for colder weather. When you are out on various activities, for exampel snowshoeing or cross-country skiing extra clothing is a must. For the dog sled tours and the snowmobile tours, a warm snowmobile overall, boots, hat and insulated mittens are provided.

 

Northern lights

The northern lights occur year-round, but are easiest to see when it is the darkest. Here in Kiruna, you have the chance of seeing the auroras from the end of August until the beginning of April. In order to see them, the sky must be clear. The temperature is not important, but it is usually colder the clearer it is.

You are able to see the northern lights in central Kiruna as well. At Camp Ripan, we have the advantage of having few streetlights, enabling the details of the sky to become clearer.

The northern lights are created when small particles of energy from the sun are flung into space with the solar wind. When these particles reach the earth’s atmosphere over the magnetic poles, a variety of auroras are created. The auroras originate 100-200 kilometers above the surface of the earth and are most visible in polar regions covering the area in oval-shaped rings. We see them as the swirling ribbons of color sweeping across the clear winter sky.

 

Polar night

In Kiruna you have the opportunity of experiencing the magical polar night. This period lasts for about 25 days from the 12th of December. The period called the Midwinter night falls on the day of Winter solstice, the 21st of December. This is when the sun does not rise above the horizon. The 4th of January is usually when we can see the sun again for the first time.

Without the sun, one would assume that the polar night would be a rather dark period, but it isn’t. The moon, stars and northern lights create together a bluish light. Thanks to reflection on the white snow, the fantastic streaks of light seeping up from below the horizon warm the sky during the middle of the day. This seemingly dark period feels often brighter up here than in many other regions farther to the south.

 

Midnight sun

When can i see the midnight sun?
The midnight sun glows in our sky from the 27th of May until the 14th of July. During this period, it never slides below the horizon. The sun is at its lowest at the time 00:40. So the sun is up continuously for 47 days at Kiruna’s latitude. The periods prior to and following that of the midnight sun are also very bright. This is why we usually talk about having 100 days without night.

Where should I stand to best se the midnight sun?
The midnight sun is the same sun seen during daytime, it just doesn’t go below the horizon.
This means that you don’t see a rapid sunset and sunrise.
This phenomenon can be experienced anywhere in Kiruna. You’ll get a really nice view if you follow the “midnight sun trail” starting from camp ripan up to the mountain Luossavaara.

 

A city in transformation

Kiruna is nowadays an exciting city to experience. The world has turned their interest towards Kiruna, because it is going to be moved in the near future due to the expansion of the world’s largest underground iron mine. Did you know that Kiruna would not exist if it were for the sake of the iron ore?

 

Space

Kiruna is not just about mining; it is also a space centre. Esrange Space Center is located 40 kilometres east of Kiruna. Since the 1960s they have been launching balloons and rockets carrying scientific experiments and making measurements for scientists all over the world.