Arctic Hiking Tips

Regardless of where you hike in the Arctic, trekking is a challenge. Hiking across boggy ground and tussock, inevitable on almost any trip, has been described by one guide as 'walking on basketballs'. A good day's hike will see you cover only 8km to 10km. Extended treks require outdoor experience, a good map and excellent compass skills.

If travelling independently, always leave your itinerary with a dependable person and make firm arrangements with an air-taxi operator. Planes can be delayed several days due to bad weather, so carry extra food.

The Arctic ecosystem is very fragile and easily damaged, even by the most sensitive backpackers. It requires years to regenerate, due to the permafrost and the short growing season. For these reasons the National Park Service (NPS) puts a six-person limit on trekking parties.

Camp-site selection is your most important decision when trying to minimise impact. Gravel bars along rivers and creeks are the best choice, due to their durable and well-drained nature. If you must choose a vegetated site, select one with a hardier species such as moss or heath, rather than the more fragile lichens. Avoid building fires at all costs; tree growth in the Arctic is extremely slow, and a spruce which is only inches in diameter may be several hundred years old.

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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