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- Calving glacier
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As a general starting point, we recommend that you read our “Safety tips for coming home in one piece” section on our hiking power page. Below are some specific, fundamental safety tips for anyone embarking on the ACT:
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There is absolutely no cell phone connection for the duration of the trail. Ideally, hike with somebody, or take an emergency beacon with you in case of accidents. The ACT leads you through the backcountry in a very secluded part of Greenland that leaves you a 5 day walk from help once you reach the middle of your hike. While there are a few access points to locals along the trail, the chances of you coming across someone that can help you during an emergency is low. Every year there are several evacuations from the trail that are aided by these devices.
Make sure you have health insurance that covers you hiking the ACT, so that you are not landed with a huge bill if something happens. It is common that insurance policies, although they may ostensibly cover ‘everywhere’, do not cover remote, wilderness areas. So be sure to ask your insurance company specifically about your trip, and check the smallprint!
If you are keen to hike the Arctic Circle Trail but can’t convince any of your friends to join you, you could try looking for a trekking buddy online through the following forums:
If you do use this strategy and find someone who is interested in joining you, we recommend “interviewing” them carefully via web conferencing to ensure you have similar expectations about hiking speeds, rest stops, side trips, etc. and seem like you will actually be able to get along with each other. After all – you are going to be spending at least a week together and you don’t want this amazing experience tarnished by a poorly matched trekking partner.
Of course, you can also hike the trail alone, and some more experienced people prefer to do this. The trail is very clearly marked and easy to follow, and unless you plan to hike very early or very late in the season or choose to leave the main trail, you will encounter at least a few other hikers each day. However, you should always be self-sufficient and carry your own emergency beacon with you – just in case.
Before you fly to Greenland, make sure you have put some time into preparing yourself physically for the Arctic Circle Trail. Whether it be in the gym, running or taking long hikes around home, do not come into this hike without training. If you’re not accustomed to hiking for long distances, add weight to your backpack and start training. Give yourself enough time to build muscle and cardio fitness so that you are able to enjoy your hike and complete the trail without issue once you arrive in Greenland.