M A Case Study of Unsupported, Roadless, Long Distance Trekking:
Part 1. Pack Weight, Distance, and Caloric Balance

by Ryan Jordan

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Article Summary:

In June of 2006, Roman Dial and Jason Geck accomplished something no one had ever done: a trekking traverse of the most expansive roadless wilderness in the United States without resupply. Jason trekked a distance of 550 miles from Kivalina to Anaktuvuk Pass in the Western Arctic. Roman finished at the Dalton Highway, a distance of 624 miles from Kivalina.

To walk long distances without resupply requires the integration of a number of strategies. The key question that must be asked is:

How many days, and how many miles per day, are required in order to maximize the total distance traveled without resupply?

The purpose of Part 1 of this case study is to discuss the basis and theory behind expedition planning of food and pace, and to evaluate this theory in the context of real world performance. Part 2 will address the finer points of “ultralight” expedition food and gear and discuss its performance in the field during this expedition. Finally, Part 3 will address the anthrodynamics (the psychological response of man to his environment) during an unsupported long trek. A narrative and photographic essay of the trek will appear in Issue 7 of Backpacking Light Magazine (print version) in February 2007.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

# WORDS: 2600
# PHOTOS: 3
# TABLES: 1

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