Must-Do Trip: Explore the Arctic

Ultimate Adventure Bucket List: Explorer Jon Turk recommends exploring the Arctic. Learn about this trip and his top gear pick.

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Just beyond Arctic Watch's lodge, 2,000 beluga whales will congregate at the mouth of the Cunningham River. The delta in the photograph is also a popular route for polar bears crossing the island during the summertime.

The Arctic remains the wildest and most sparsely inhabited natural environment left on Earth. And because it is circumpolar—consisting of parts of Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, the United States (Alaska), Sweden, Finland, and Iceland—there are a variety of locations where you can access this unique ecosystem.

“I think that every nature lover—no matter what level of technical ability or risk you are willing to tolerate—should experience the Arctic,” says Turk.

Famed Arctic explorer Richard Weber operates Arctic Watch, a five-star resort in Nunavut, Canada. Arctic Watch offers access to hiking, kayaking, and Arctic safaris, including world-class beluga whale-watching.

For ambitious adventures, contact NorthWinds Outfitters. Explorer Matty McNair and her two highly skilled offspring, Eric McNair and Sarah McNair-Landry, collectively have decades of serious Arctic travel experience and can tailor any expedition.

Jon Turk
Explorer Jon Turk has penned three books depicting his world-class expeditions, including his crossing of the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Alaska, by trimaran and kayak. He is best known for completing the first circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island, Canada—with extreme kayaker Erik Boomer—in 2011. The 1,485-mile journey took Turk and Boomer 104 days on foot and skis and in kayaks. Read his Adventurers of the Year profile.

Jon Turk's Gear Pick: White-Water Paddles
On the Ellesmere expedition, Turk and Boomer used AT (Adventure Technology) bent-shaft white-water paddles. “We used white-water paddles because we needed a little more impact resistance for bashing into ice than is built into a standard touring paddle,” says Turk.

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