The Winter Journey to the Arctic Ocean - Overlanding with A2A Expeditions

The Winter Journey to the Arctic Ocean - Overlanding with A2A Expeditions

Wagan Tech6/22/23

by Graeme & Luisa Belle at A2A Expeditions 

When planning the winter overland journey to Tuktoyaktuk and the Arctic Ocean, I knew that two very important duplicates or contingencies had to be carried. The one was a backup heater and cartridges, and the other was a backup power supply. Our Webasto heater had proven to be unreliable in the build-up to the journey, and we had been suffering power issues that we had made every effort to resolve but had no guarantees of continued, reliable performance.


At first, the four built-in 100 a/h lithium batteries were able to recharge, store and supply the power we needed as we were driving up eight hours a day and were relying on our convoy mate Jon’s flat Starlink. At the end of the day, we would all bundle into the Nimbl to cook dinner and discuss the route and logistics or just chew the fat.

 crashed nimbl

Driving on the Klondike Highway between Whitehorse and Dawson City in the Yukon, Jon rolled his van and landed wheels up on a snow bank! I brought the Nimbl to a halt and ran back to the van to find Jon and his dog Mkat, miraculously unscathed. Immediately after checking both for injuries, we opened the camper, and Luisa made a cup of sweet tea for Jon while I retrieved and deployed our Wagan Tech High Visibility LED Road Flares, one on the Nimbl parked beside the road, one 100 feet in front of the vehicle and another 100 feet behind.

In conjunction with the vehicle’s hazard lights, we were clearly visible to vehicles approaching from either direction on that cold, misty afternoon. A mounty arrived twenty minutes later to assess the scene and commented that the lights had been visible far down the road and how he wished that more drivers had the common sense to carry and deploy these lights!


With the van recovered and relocated to the tow trucker’s yard, Jon moved into the Nimbl with us, and we continued the journey; we had come too far to turn back. We were now reliant entirely on our vehicle, and Starlink was deployed often to provide internet access for the group; I say group as our friend James flew into Inuvik to join us in the Dodge; it was a full house!


Traveling up in the Northwest Territories and the frozen roads, at temperatures that dipped to -65F on the frozen Arctic Ocean, is challenging. We were lucky that most days the sun shone and the sky was a clear, bright blue. We camped every night of the journey (Jon and James were “kicked out” when accommodation was available), and the Cube 1200 was deployed specifically to charge our phones and laptops as well as to run the Starlink. We charged the Cube as we drove during the day and were, as always, very happy to start the evening with a fully charged Cube.


The Cube and the Road Flares proved to be essential gear for the journey, and we were grateful that Wagan had the foresight to provide these products to us. Having used both products (and many other excellent Wagan products) for almost two years now, including a crossing of the USA, the winter journey to the Arctic, and an exploration of Central America, I can say with absolute confidence that I would not consider traveling without them.

BTW, the Wagan heated mugs, full of Swiss Miss, provided a touch of comfort when driving through the frozen landscapes of the far north.

Thank you, Wagan!

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before they are published