Packing for the Arctic Circle Trail
Preparing to hike Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail? Here are some useful tips for packing and planning your trek based on my Greenland adventure in August 2015.
When I first began planning to hike Greenland’s Arctic Circle Trail, it was difficult to find useful details online. There were a few blog posts about the trek, but they were written in German or Danish.
So this is my attempt to remedy that situation and make the hike more accessible to English speakers who are interested in exploring this beautiful and lesser-known area of the world on foot.
Located about 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the typical route stretches 102 miles (165km) from Kangerlussuaq International Airport to the fishing village of Sisimiut on the West coast.
It’s possible to lengthen the trip to 124 miles by starting from Greenland’s ice cap for those who are up for the challenge.
Recommended Experience Level
While most of Greenland is covered with ice, the Arctic Circle Trail is ice-free during the summer. Passing through low valleys covered by many lakes, it’s a relatively easy walk with regards to elevation.
The difficulty comes with packing all your own food and supplies to last at least 10 days. Plus a complete lack of civilization nearby in the event of an unexpected emergency.
Arctic Circle Trail hikers must have experience surviving alone in the wilderness, understanding their own limits, reading weather patterns, and the ability to navigate unfamiliar terrain using a map and compass.
At the hike’s midpoint, you can be 5 days and 50 miles away from any type of civilization. You’re on your own out there. It’s not a trek for beginners, but you don’t need to be a serious mountaineer either.