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Re: Backpacking in the Arctic

Has anyone hiked in the arctic (or planning to)?

I did the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland last year and am interested in doing Auyuittuq on Baffin Island, Canada.  Would love to hear any tips or swap tales.


4 Replies

@TM Sounds like an amazing trip!

I've done some backpacking through the tundra here in Alaska. I haven't gotten up above the arctic circle yet but it is definitely on my list! Having spoken with folks who have backpacked in the Brooks Range and combining that with my own experience the thing that stands out the most to me is the use of vapor barriers in your footwear. It seems as though no matter what you attempt with gore-tex boots and gaiters your feet get wet when walking through the tundra. Although it seems counter intuitive, the use of a vapor barrier actually kept my feet drier over the long run (swapping out for dry socks periodically) than simply relying on a waterproof boot.

I hope to hear about your trips and I am excited to hear what other tips the community has for you!


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Thanks, John--that is helpful.  The amount of bog I had to cross in Greenland surprised me, but, embarrasingly, I did not think of that in my early planning for Baffin.  This will either be a solo trek or with my adult son.

Most of my hiking is in the White Mountains of New Hampshire--going as far north as Auyuittuq and the Arctic Circle Trail is a new experience for me, but it is beautiful up there!


My wife and I hiked the Auyuittuq pass about 20 years ago. We did it with a group and an experienced leader. 

If you plan to do it on your own you'll need to do a lot of planing to deal with all the logistics, everything from food to getting to the starting point and then getting back, etc.There's lots of good info on the Parks Canada website which is where I'd start the research.


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Thanks, Happy Camper!  I'll check out their website.