Arctic Travel: Trip Preparation
Proper preparation for a trip to the Arctic is key to your enjoyment and safety. Please take a few moments to read through the gear list below, take a look at our list of Recommended Reading materials, and read our list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any concerns, please contact us.
Rubber (insulated) boots
This is the most important item of gear; DO NOT leave home without them! Sometimes the weather is cool (0 C to +15 C) even in summer. The ground can be wet and muddy in spots or it might be necessary for us to cross streams. That’s why a comfortable pair of insulated rubber boots is necessary. If you have a comfortable pair of rubber boots, you do not need hiking boots. There are different types of suitable rubber boots, including:
These are a new option to the traditional “rubber” boot. They have neoprene uppers and a neoprene/polyurethane foot. There is no insulation to get wet and they are comfortable for walking all day. The best brand is Muck Boots, which are available on-line at www.muckbootcompany.com. Recommended models are the Edge Water Field boot, the Wetland Premium Field boot or the Arctic Sport Hi. These neoprene boots are the most comfortable boots on the market.
Felt-type liner boots
These are traditional rubber boots with a removable felt liner. Brands are Acton and Kamik, available in Canada at Le Baron and Canadian Tire stores. These boots are less expensive but the fit is not great, so they aren’t suitable for walking long distances. We do not recommend these boots.
Note: For the coming 2016 season at Arctic Watch, our friends at Quark Expeditions do provide guests at Arctic Watch with Muck Boots (on loan) for the duration of your visit at Arctic Watch. The boots are provided upon arrival in Yellowknife.
Raincoat and rain pants
This is primarily for protection against the wind while riding on ATVs. A rain/wind jacket is a necessity to wear when walking on cool days. Your jacket must be waterproof and seam-sealed. Note: for the 2016 season at Arctic Watch, our friends at Quark Expeditions do provide each visiting guest with a purpose-built Quark Expeditions Parka (yours to keep).
A sturdy full-leather waterproof/water-resistant pair of comfortable lightweight boots is useful but can be replaced with good rubber boots.
Light shoes for wearing around the lodge are useful. For those who enjoy a morning jog/walk, bring your trail shoes - the beluga whales congregate 1km from the lodge. Grab an espresso and head down to watch them frolick in the shallows of the Cunningham River.
Light winter jacket or down vest
Again for cooler evenings. (Yes, even in 24-hour light the nights are colder.) A warmer jacket is essential.
A fleece jacket is always useful and good for wearing around the lodge. A limited supply of fleece jackets and vests is available at Arctic Watch.
Comfortable pants for hiking
A couple of comfortable pairs of pants are useful. Try to choose “quick dry” fabrics made from tightly woven, wind-resistant material. No cotton content please.
A wool toque (cap) or fleece hat made of a material that dries easily is necessary.
Gloves or mittens with a wind-resistant outer fabric are good for cold days or those ATV rides.
It is the Arctic, so bring a couple of sets of long underwear. Synthetic or wool material, no cotton or silk content please.
A few pairs of good wool or wool-synthetic blend socks are essential. Remember that socks are small to pack and wonderful to wear! We have Smartwool socks available for sale.
You need this to carry your extra things, e.g., a camera and clothing, while on a day’s outing such as walking, rafting, sea kayaking (with waterproof storage compartments) or when riding the ATV.
Bring your toiletries, camera, sunglasses and other personal items.
If you like to fish and prefer your own gear, please bring it.
Gear available at Arctic Watch
We have the following gear available for you to use when doing the applicable activity: ATV helmets, fishing gear, paddling dry jackets and pants, life jackets (PFDs) and more. Please feel free to contact us for specific gear questions.