Preparing for the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland

In the weeks prior to our departure for the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland, we spent quite some time and energy preparing the best backpacks ever! We ended up with about 22 kg each, maybe just a bit too much. However, after just a few days on the trail we had already consumed much of it.

When preparing for the Arctic Circle Trail (ACT), be careful to bring enough warm clothes as even in the middle of the summer snow and freezing may occur in this part of Greenland. Also, expect that you will be consuming 20 to 30% more calories on the trek than you usually do when hiking.

You will need to bring all of your food and equipment on your own, while there is plenty of drinking water along the trail from streams, springs, and lakes. Small wooden huts, maintained by the municipality, can provide you with shelter for the night but a tent is strongly recommended. Sometimes you will not meet other people for several days.

This blog post was originally published on the Greenlandic Seasons website in May 2018. A comprehensive guide for the Arctic Circle Trail can be downloaded as printer-friendly PDF here.

On the ACT hike we carried the following (2 persons):

  • First aid kit (whistle and foil blanket included)
  • Trangia cooking set + gas cartridge + lighter
  • Pocket knife and hunting knife
  • Sleeping bags + self-inflating mats + pillows
  • Lightweight tent
  • Hiking maps: ‘Kangerlussuaq’, ‘Pingu’, and ‘Sisimiut’ from Visit Greenland. All in scale 1: 100,000 and 25 m interval
  • Mobile phone with GPS and a downloaded offline map of the area (google maps)
  • Compass
  • Cutlery + plates + water bottles + washing sponge
  • Fishing gear
  • Paper + pen
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, sun cream, etc.
  • Toilet paper
  • Crocs sandals (to ford rivers)
  • Camera
  • Mobile solar panel
  • VHF radio (proved useless, rather bring a Garmin InReach or satellite phone)
  • Paddy Dillon’s Guidebook

Clothes (per person):

  • 2 x trousers, 2 x sweatshirts, 2 x t-shirts, long-sleeved woollen underwear, shorts, socks, underwear
  • Hiking boots (waterproof)
  • Wind and rainproof jacket
  • Warm cap and gloves
  • Sunglasses

Food (2 persons):

  • 1 kg oatmeal
  • 1 kg muesli
  • 1 kg rice
  • 500 wheat flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • Baking powder, salt, pepper, chilli
  • Instant coffee
  • Powdered milk
  • 1 rye bread
  • 6 cooked eggs
  • Powdered lemonade
  • Instant soup
  • 8 x freeze-dried trekking food
  • 500 g nuts
  • 500 g dried fruit
  • 800 g liquorice and chocolate
  • 14 x energy bars
  • A little ham and tuna
  • Potato chips
  • Dried fish (Greenlandic)
  • Cola (transferred to our water bottles)
  • 6 beer cans and whisky

Next: Arctic Circle Trail – Part I

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