In early January I traveled north into the Norwegian arctic in search of the polar night. At 68 degrees north, I was unfortunately too low and too late for a true polar night, finding only the ‘polar twilight.’ Twilight would begin around 9:30 AM and last until around 3:00, all other hours of the day I would consider to be night and stars were visible. It was actually far brighter than I was expecting when the sky was clear, the day being essentially a 4 hour long sunrise/sunset all merged into one before the night’s darkness arrived again. Needless to say, I got a lot of reading done.
Since there are no tourists to the islands at this time of year and no hostels are open I was left to sleep in my (tiny) rental car as best as I could. Which wasn’t very good. Only having a 0˚ C sleeping bag and temps down to -7-8˚ C ensured for some cold nights. I felt like some contortionist trying to fit inside the car to sleep. I could fold the back seats down, but there was no possible way for me to get even somewhat comfortable. Better than an airplane seat, yes, but the cold and my lack of a proper sleeping bag would mean that if I didn’t maintain good blood flow to my feet, they would become super cold. On one of the nights it snowed so much that I could hardly get out of my parking area in the morning. Only twice did I get the car stuck in the snow. Once having to track down some dude in a tractor and ask him for a tow. His comment, “You’re not the first one today.” Second time a car full of the young guys came along after about an hour and helped push the car out. I tried to be more cautious after that but still managed a few close calls.
I was fortunate enough for one day of good weather. The remaining days I would classify a somewhere between bad and ‘I wish I had a warm house to sit in and some decent food to eat and not be stuck in this freezing car being rocked about by the wind and buried under snow.’