arctic circle trail packing list lead image 2

Arctic Circle Trail packing list: all you need in one place

Our detailed Arctic Circle Trail packing list includes everything you’ll need on a trek through Greenland’s wild and remote backcountry. 

Fresh from my adventure trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland, I thought it would be useful to share my complete Arctic Circle Trail packing list as a point of reference for future trekkers.

This comprehensive list includes everything I took with me including camping and trekking gear, clothing, food and cooking equipment, toiletries, medication and electronics. Where possible, I’ve included links to the gear I took with me for reference.

Related articles:
Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland
Tips for trekking the Arctic Circle Trail
Visiting the Greenland ice sheet and Russell Glacier (coming soon)
Things to do in Kangerlussuaq (coming soon)

Arctic Circle Trail packing list

This list is based on trekkers being entirely self-sufficient on the Arctic Circle Trail, meaning they must carry all their food, supplies and sleeping gear. Some items might be optional – electronics and toiletries for example – but the majority are essential unless otherwise stated.

Camping and trekking equipment

camping next to reflections in a lake while trekking the arctic circle trail
Atlas & Boots Camping next to a lake at the end of day three

Clothing

trekking the arctic circle trail between Innajuattoq and Nerumaq
Atlas & Boots I was in short sleeves most days

Food and cooking equipment

What to eat on the trail very much depends on personal preference. Below is my Arctic Circle Trail trekking diet. I’m always conscious of the weight on my back, so am happy to go without any luxuries when I trek. I met some trekkers on the trail who carried a dehydrated meal for lunch and dinner and even some who packed a dessert for every meal!

Most trekkers take between seven and 10 days to complete the trail. I packed for eight days of trekking with a few extra snacks and cereal bars in case I needed an additional day.

There are wild berries growing along the trail – the slightly sour crowberry and the tastier Arctic blueberry – with which I supplemented my trekking diet. There are also wild mushrooms along the trail which I saw regularly, but never ate although they are perfectly edible.

  • 8 x breakfasts: coffee, protein bar, cereal/yoghurt bar
  • 8x lunches: protein bar, cereal/yoghurt bar and black tea
  • 8 x dinners: dehydrated trekking meal, chocolate bar and hot drink
  • Snacks: I snacked between meals on a homemade trail mix of nuts, dried fruit and chocolate as well as berries I picked along the trail.
  • 1 x camping stove
  • 1 x camping gas (can be bought in Kangerlussuaq or Sisimiut)
  • Lighters or waterproof matches
  • 1 x saucepan
  • 1 x spork (or cutlery)
  • 1 x mug
  • 1 x bowl or plate (optional – I ate my meals out of the packaging)
  • 1 x 1lt Nalgene water bottle
crowberry arctic circle trail packing list
Atlas & Boots Crowberries found on the trail are a touch bitter but tasty nonetheless

Toiletries and medication

Every trekker should carry a personal first aid kit on them at all times. Only use biodegradable toiletries in the wild.

  • Sunscreen (SPF 40+)
  • Lip balm (SPF 30+)
  • Insect repellent
  • Soap (biodegradable)
  • Lightweight travel towel
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Roll-on deodorant
  • Toilet roll / tissue
  • Antibacterial wipes (biodegradable)
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Imodium (or similar diarrhoea medication)
  • Ibuprofen
  • Paracetamol
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Plasters / Band-Aid
  • Compeed (blister treatment)
  • Any additional prescription drugs you may be taking
Innajuattoq hut
Atlas & Boots Innajuattoq hut on the Arctic Circle Trail

Electronics

These are all optional, but trekkers should carefully consider carrying a satellite phone.

  • Smartphone and charger (doubled as an alarm clock)
  • Powerbank
  • USB and power cables
  • DSLR camera with spare batteries (optional)
  • Lightweight mini-tripod
  • Head torch (depends when you’re travelling – I didn’t take one as it was Arctic summer and never got dark!)
  • Satellite phone

If you’re planning on trekking the Arctic Circle Trail then the Cicerone Guide to Trekking in Greenland is the ideal companion.

Lead image: Atlas & Boots

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