Camping
ᓯᓂᑦᑕᕐᓂᖅ

Welcome to the special solace found only at the top of the world!

When Inuit families go camping — for fishing, hunting or berry picking reasons — it is something quite special and deeply cultural that they have always done.

The solid ground of Nunavut resists pegging, so tent ropes must be tied to rocks instead. In prime camping locations, found all across the territory, Inuit ancestors have left behind circles of tent stones for centuries of seasonal reuse. The traditional Inuit technique of constructing tents from animal skins for summer, like their ingenious building of igloos in winter, is a living art. However, most Inuit families today prefer to use a large, durable tent made of canvas that is easily transported by snowmobile, boat, ATV, airplane or dogsled. Whether supported by poles or freestanding, any tent pitched in Nunavut must be secured with guy ropes to resist the powerful arctic winds.

There are few designated camping areas in Nunavut. Some communities have special designated campgrounds with outhouses, tent platforms, fire pits and windbreaks, but most do not. However, most communities do have a spot where they prefer campers to pitch their tents. This preference is usually based on protecting the hamlet’s water supply, so inquire at the hamlet office before setting up in any community. The national parks in Nunavut all have specially designated camping sites which campers are advised to use.

I

Under the great big arctic skies of Nunavut — in winter, spring, summer or fall — and far from the madding crowds of the south, the healthy, peaceful, enjoyable activities of camping and hiking with good friends in Nunavut will provide an unforgettable lifetime experience! The Inuktitut word for a modern tent is ‘tupiq’ and ‘ittaq’ is the word for a traditional skin tent.

Generally, campers are free to pitch their tent almost anywhere on the open tundra.

It’s important to remember that the land you are camping on is part of the traditional territory of local Inuit families. Though you are welcome to use it, always treat it with respect!

Camping 'on the land' is a big component of the traditional Inuit way of life.

Campers in Nunavut must be thoroughly self-sufficient. For the most part, when you are camping you will be left on your own, so hiring an experienced guide or outfitter is highly recommended. These experts know the best campsites, chosen long ago for good reasons such as shelter, abundant fresh water, quality of fishing or excellent lookout views of passing wildlife. Bring high-energy food and proper arctic clothing. Never leave garbage behind and always keep your sleeping bag dry!

Summertime camping opportunities in Nunavut include the migratory bird wetlands of Polar Bear Pass near Resolute, along the shores of Whale Cove to watch chattering beluga whales, at spectacular Akshayuk Pass in mountainous Auyuittuq National Park near Pangnirtung, in Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park near Iqaluit, and close to caribou calving grounds located near the communities of Baker Lake, Rankin Inlet and Chesterfield Inlet.

Please note that any direct interaction with caribou during their calving period in late springtime (mid-May to mid-June) is severely restricted!

With expert local guidance, wintertime igloo camping can also be done safely near any community in Nunavut — from southernmost Sanikiluaq to northernmost Grise Fiord.

Although mostly settled into permanent communities nowadays, the Inuit have traditionally been a nomadic people who moved between winter and summer camps to take advantage of wildlife resources as they migrated seasonally. Camping ‘on the land’ is a big component of the traditional Inuit way of life. Most families in every community spend at least part of the year enjoying this fun outdoor activity.

Meet our members

STORIES

Northern entertainment

In Nunavut, experience Inuit culture on the land or in the studio

Read More
Dog sled team running with musher

See Nunavut the original authentic way—by dogsled

Read More
Freshly caught Arctic Char

Nunavut’s a paradise for fishers, no matter the season

Read More
Parks Canada photo

In Nunavut, there’s a special place for every traveller

Read More
Narwhal whales in a break in the ice

Capturing the spirit of the Arctic in Nunavut

Read More
Discovery Lodge room

Where to stay during your once-in-a-lifetime Arctic adventure

Read More
Fishing drying on rack - Parks Canada

Get a Taste of the Arctic While in Nunavut

Read More

Packing for your Arctic Expedition Cruise

Read More

The Beauty of Immersion

Read More

Camping at the Top of the World

Read More

Walking on the Wild Side

Read More

Preparing for the Adventure of a Lifetime

Read More

Stepping Towards the Floe Edge

Read More

Navigating the Beautiful North

Read More

A Plan for all Seasons

Read More

A Paddle and an Ancient Vessel

Read More

Qaggiavuut: Strengthening The Nunavut Performing Arts With Training, Support And Space!

Read More

Travellers Drink From Iceberg – Nature’s Water Fountain!

Read More

10 Fun Facts About Narwhal: Are Narwhal Endangered?

Read More

Things To Do While Visiting Iqaluit: the Capital City of Nunavut

Read More

Majestic Fjords and More: Pangnirtung

Read More

Maud Returns Home: Summer 2017

Read More

Filming Worlds Apart

Read More

On the Land in Cambridge Bay: 3 Days of Adventure!

Read More

10 Things To Do While In Nunavut

Read More

Arctic Challenge: Skiing the Ashuyak Pass

Read More

The Beautiful Flowers of the Arctic

Read More

Feed Your Mind with the Iqaluit Audioguide

Read More
Scroll to Top