Far North Paddling Guide

Paddling the Far North—Nunavut and the Northwest Territories in Canada—is one of the ultimate goals for an advanced paddler. Also called the barren lands, the tundra and the land of the midnight sun, the Far North offers experiences found nowhere else: caribou sightings, near 24-hour daylight, and a true reprieve from the modern world. It also offers unique challenges, like intense bugs, exposure, and isolation.

Canadian paddler Brian Johnston has paddled Far North rivers of all kinds: swift descents from the mountains into the Mackenzie Valley, subarctic rivers emptying into the Arctic Ocean, traverses from the Northwest Territories to Nunavut, and drainages into Hudson Bay. Editor of the Paddle Canada Canoe Program, Brian has shared his Far North packing list with Canoeing.com. It’s the Ultimate Guide to Far North Clothing and Gear.


There are no roads in the sub-arctic and arctic. These remote areas are mostly accessible by only float or tundra airplanes with one exception, you can ride the train from Thompson Manitoba to Churchill on Hudson Bay with your canoes stored on the freight car. The Far North is the land of the midnight sun with near 24-hour daylight to travel. Everything north of the 60° parallel is far north and consider the arctic tundra, including:

  • The sub-arctic regions and rivers of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario and Quebec that flow into Hudson Bay
  • The arctic rivers of Alaska, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Baffin Island that flow into the Arctic Ocean
  • Far North Trip Logs >



Far North Kitchen Gear

Far North Kitchen Gear

A far north kitchen. Photos courtesy Brian Johnston. Kitchen gear depends on the menu and food. I usually start the day with cold granola, hot oatmeal, cooked Red River cereal, or pancakes with ...
Entertainment in the Far North

Entertainment in the Far North

Kite flying is a great activity for wind-bound or layover days. Photos by Brian Johnston. Whether you're wind and weather bound, or simply exploring, a few key essentials will make your trip more ...
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