Photographer standing in front of a glacier face in Maniitsup Sermilia near Maniitsoq

Protecting the Environment

Help us protect the environment in the Arctic Circle region on your visit

To help preserve our backcountry and the wildlife that resides within it, we endorse the well established 7 Leave No Trace principles.

Closeup of show spikes required for walking further onto the Greenland Ice Sheet near Kangerlussuaq - West Greenland
Photo: Lasse Kyed – Destination Arctic Circle
1. Plan ahead and prepare

Make sure you are physically fit enough for the different activities you plan to undertake and bring (or hire) appropriate clothing. If you plan to head out into the backcountry on your own, make sure you monitor the weather and take appropriate safety precautions.

2. Stick to durable surfaces

While out exploring, try to stay off the vegetation as much as possible and stick to durable surfaces. If there is an established trail that follows route markers, please hike along it. Do not hike beside the trail or force another route, even if this means getting some mud on your shoes. Arctic vegetation is extremely fragile and takes a long time to recover. 

Some areas are already damaged. Please don’t add to the problem – allow nature to start healing itself.

3. Disposing of waste properly

Everything you carry into the backcountry, you must also carry out. Bring extra bags if you need to contain the garbage from your food and make sure you secure it so it makes it all the way back with you. 

When going to the toilet, make sure you choose a spot away from any trail or water source (at least 30m). Dig a hole for faeces and cover it afterwards so others are not confronted with your business. Carry your toilet paper out with you – bring another zip-top bag. Do not bury it in the hole or leave it under a rock!

You should only swim in larger lakes or rivers to avoid contaminating water sources.

If you wouldn’t do it in your backyard, please don’t do it in ours.

Rubbish near Ikkattooq Hut on the ACT
Photo: Lisa Germany – Destination Arctic Circle
Fire-scorched land around Ikkattooq hut on the Arctic Circle Trail
Photo: Lisa Germany – Visit Greenland
4. Leaving things the way you find them

While it is fine to take advantage of nature’s abundance and pick blueberries, crowberries and mushrooms, please do not alter or remove anything else you find. This includes modifying existing cairns or building new ones.

The exception is rubbish, of course. Feel free to pick it up and pack it out – you will have our eternal thanks for helping us with that!

5. Minimizing fire impacts

Fires on the tundra are extremely difficult to control and put out as they burn both above and under the ground. Therefore campfires are absolutely forbidden in the Arctic Circle region. You should also be very careful with stoves and cigarettes.

6. Respecting wildlife

The opportunity to see several species of arctic wildlife is one of the highlights of the Arctic Circle region. But please do not disturb them to get a good picture for social media. Travel quietly and do not leave food when you move on.

7. Being considerate of others

Help others who need it. Use earphones if you wish to listen to music while out exploring, and talk quietly with travel companions. Please help us preserve the peace and quiet of our arctic wilderness.

Reindeer on a wildlife safari near Kangerlussuaq in summer - West Greenland
Photo: Lasse Kyed – Destination Arctic Circle
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