We’ve all heard the saying, trip of a lifetime. But, exactly how far is a trip of a lifetime? Is it 1000 kilometres, the length of a province, maybe a state? For these 5 friends, a trip of a lifetime is 7,600 kilometres across an entire country. We recently talked to the brave souls taking on the longest north-south crossing of Canada ever attempted and want to give you an inside look in planning this monstrous expedition.
Welcome to Expedition AKOR.
Expeditions are not for everyone; some of us even dread the length of our morning commute to work.
However, for these fine gentlemen, exploring has always been on the agenda, and it appears that they have an insatiable thirst for it!
“Adventures have become part of our life very quickly. From the age of 8, we were already experiencing our first few-day canoe trips to Camp-Vacances Kéno.
As a teenager, we descended large wild rivers on the North Shore for periods of up to a month. These expeditions sowed the seed of adventure within us and truly marked our desire to push our limits.”
On journeys of this magnitude, spending 7 months travelling using nothing but canoe, ski, bike, and good old hiking boots, there is bound to be some highs and lows.
In a time as uncertain as the present, there is one thing we know for sure, each of these voyagers is bound to have a very personal experience on this mega-trip.
“You never really know how an expedition will affect us. Especially those which involve several months of adventure. However, what is certain is that crossing Canada on its North-South axis will transform us and mark us forever.
Our desire is to emerge from this journey with a better understanding of ourselves and bonds of friendship that are stronger than ever.”
Finding the right partners in an expedition requires a deep insight into the depths of human determination and perseverance.
When mistakes could ultimately result in death, you best hope that each team member knows what they’re doing.
“Experience and confidence are arguably the two most important things to consider when choosing shipping partners.
It is imperative to have blind trust in each team member because, to some extent, our life and our physical integrity are intrinsically linked to it.
This trust is built on the Experience gained by all team members. Each of them possesses undeniable leadership qualities and knowledge of the field that reinforce the feeling of confidence.
And it is this feeling, added to field expertise as well as their unique human qualities, that allows them to make the best decisions in crisis situations.”
Planning expeditions take time, dedication, and a painful amount of phone calls and emails for even the most advanced adventurer.
Throw into this mix the uncertainty of crossing a route that nobody has ever attempted, and you’re looking at years of meticulous planning and research.
“Crossing Canada from north to south involves the use of three modes of travel. In our case, we chose skiing for the arctic zone, canoeing for the southern part of Nunavut, and cycling through the prairies and Ontario.
It also means travelling four full seasons from March to October and having the right clothing and equipment for each type of weather in each season and for each mode of transportation...
And, since no one has ever attempted such an adventure, you can imagine how difficult and time-consuming it is to collect all the information necessary to properly plan our adventure.”
Upon the pending completion of the expedition, the rewards are plenty, both personal and communal.
These five gentlemen are putting their bodies and minds on the line, not only for an epic adventure but also for knowledge of the delicate ecosystems across Canada.
A beautiful mixture of science and athleticism, with just a touch of crazy, there is nothing about this adventure that we don’t absolutely LOVE.
“The privilege of walking through these beautifully wild and isolated environments underpins a social responsibility that we are proud to carry.
The data that will be collected throughout the expedition will serve, we are convinced, to better understand our ecosystems as well as the dynamics of the human body under intense conditions.”
For anyone out there planning their own expedition, well, I would say, maybe sleep on it first. But, for the wanderlust travellers that feel like breaking new heights and exploring the unknown, the boys had a few tips…
“1- Get into action…. Stop talking about it and get going.
2 - Inform yourself. Chat with the qualified people around you. Take the time to gather all the information you need to safely complete your expedition.
3- Surround yourself with more competent and experienced people. Learn tips and tricks from these mentors.
4 - Start with small shipments. Take the time to build your Experience and practice in the field.
5- Above all, never forget:
A DREAM written with a date becomes a GOAL.
An OBJECTIVE broken down into several stages becomes a PLAN.
A PLAN supported by ACTIONS becomes REALITY.”
The entire team at Näak wishes these explorers nothing but the best of luck on this Experience (luck, and plenty of Ultra Energy bars for safe measures 😉). To follow the journey of Expedition AKOR, starting this March, visit their website at expeditionakor.com, or follow them @expeditionakor. Or, keep up to date with our blog and all social media accounts, as we will be following the team from our office. For performance tips to help you plan your next expedition, have a look at all the performance articles the Näak team has put together!