2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Being Caribou: ANWR Or Bust

Will he keep up? Karsten Heuer embarks on an audacious 1,200-mile expedition-cum-caribou chase.

by: BACKPACKER Editors

Photo by Karsten Heuer/Leanne Allison

"Flat, white nothingness." That's how Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton recently described Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Congressional testimony on behalf of oil drilling in the 19.3-million-acre sanctuary.

Karsten Heuer despises such talk. He thinks ANWR is a magical place, full of life and color-and he's willing to suffer to prove it. In early April, the 34-year-old biologist and park warden from Calgary, Alberta, departed from Old Crow, Yukon, on a 7-month journey that will take him and wife Leanne, 34, across 1,200 miles of tundra, muskeg, and mountains. On ski and by foot, they will follow the 123,000-strong Porcupine caribou herd from its wintering grounds in the Yukon to its calving grounds in ANWR and back. Traveling up to 20 miles a day, and often at night, they'll face deep snow, hordes of mosquitoes, and withering heat as their tent bakes under the midnight sun.

"Our goal," says Heuer, "is to go beyond the aerial snapshots and bring to life the challenges a herd faces daily, and the extraordinary diversity of the Arctic ecosystem." He hopes the stories, photos, and videotape he brings back will inspire permanent protection for the herd's calving grounds. "And when I return," he says, "my first call is to Gale Norton."

BACKPACKER is getting behind Heuer's expedition with a $5,000 Adventure Grant, the first such award given through our new annual grants program. Send your donation to Being Caribou, 7 Cassino St., Whitehorse, YK, Y1A 3B9. Watch for monthly updates from his team, right here.

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Montana has nasty insects!
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: Tallgrass
Trailhead Register
High Summer Heat
Posted On: Aug 29, 2014
Submitted By: TIMOTEO

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions