Winter Rally: A father-son story at the northernmost point in the world

Michi Kammerer und sein Sohn vor Ihrem Fahrzeug, einem alten, umgerüsteten Subaru Forester

An adventure of superlatives – The Baltic Sea Circle Winter Edition

Imagine taking part in the world’s northernmost rally – without a GPS, on icy roads and through nine countries up to the Arctic Circle. That’s exactly what our colleague Michael (Michi) Kammerer and his son Niels are doing at the Baltic Sea Circle Winter Edition. From February 24 to March 10, 2024, they will travel in an adventure vehicle from Hamburg via Sweden and Norway to Nordkapp and back via Finland, Latvia and Poland. A real adventure, isn’t it? We wanted to find out more about this expedition from Michi and asked him a few questions.

What exactly is the project you are embarking on?
We are taking part in the Baltic Sea Circle Rally Winter 2024. This road trip takes us off the highway and through snowy landscapes around the Baltic Sea. We have to cover the 7,500 kilometers without a GPS or navigation system, using only a map. Our vehicle is a Subaru Forester that is ready for the ride of its life.

How did you come up with the idea of taking part?
The idea didn’t come from me but from my son Niels. He saw last year’s rally on YouTube and wanted to share this father-son adventure with me. And if your son asks you whether you would like to accompany him on such a trip, you can only say yes.

How did you prepare for this adventure?
We started our preparations in October and bought a 14-year-old Subaru Forester with an impressive 320,000 kilometers on the clock. We equipped it with a few extras for this special trip. Due to the icy temperatures, we changed the oil and replaced it with a low-viscosity variant. We mixed the coolant and windshield wiper fluid to > 40 degrees. To ensure that the engine starts even in icy temperatures, we installed an engine heater and a diesel auxiliary heater for the driver’s compartment for possible overnight stays. We also procured spike tires and a roof basket for transporting them, warm clothing, robust sleeping bags, a tow rope, snow chains and a snow shovel and other essentials for the 16-day trip.

Who will accompany you on this adventure?
I’m traveling with Niels, my 22-year-old son. He is not only my co-pilot but also the main inspirer for this rally. As Team Polaris Pursuit, we try to master the challenges together, defy the ice and wind and hunt the Northern Lights.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges?
The icy temperatures will definitely put the mechanics and electronics of the vehicle to the test. For us personally, the 500 kilometers a day that we will be driving on snow-covered, unknown side roads will be quite challenging.

What are you most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the adventure as a couple and to the experiences I can share with my son. Whether we arrive or not, the trip will be something we will hopefully talk about for years to come. I am also very excited about the Northern Lights and the snow-crowned landscapes of Lapland and Finland.

An adventure that inspires

Their journey is much more than just a rally. It’s all about teamwork, courage and the joy of adventure. We’ll keep you up to date on whether Team Kammerer stayed true to their motto “Failure is not an option” and share their experiences of their winter adventure with you.

Find out more about the world’s northernmost rally here.

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