'Why not?': Man starts fossil fuel free trip from Nunavut to Argentina

A Belgian man has set off on a two-and-a-half-year trip that will see him ski, kite-ski, cycle, walk, horseback ride, and kayak from Kugaaruk, Nunavut, to Ushuaia, Argentina.

28-year-old Arnaud Maldague prepared for the trip for 2 years

Arnaud Maldague, 28, had been planning this trip for two years, before he got underway in Kugaaruk last month. (Submitted by Arnaud Maldague)

A Belgian man has set off on a two-and-a-half-year trip that will see him ski, cycle, walk, horseback ride, kayak and sail from Kugaaruk, Nunavut, to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Arnaud Maldague, 28, had been planning this trip for two years, before he departed from Kugaaruk last month.

He trained in kite-skiing and skiing in Lapland, Finland, but had never been to the Canadian Arctic before now. Maldague says he is finding the conditions quite different, with less snow and more wide open space.

"The cold is pretty intense," he said. He just finished a stint recovering in Naujaat, waiting for his toe to heal from an infection caused by frostbite.

Why do this?

"Why not? ... I wanted to reflect a lot, take time to do that, and be in immersion in our nature, which is harder and harder when you stay at home in a city. And the physical challenge is a big part of it."

He's carrying around 130 kilograms of supplies on two sleds, include a kilogram of food per day with days to spare.

He said he expected to be much further along than he is by now, but hopes with his improved physical condition he'll be able to make up the time.

Maldague wants to be in Winnipeg by the time the snow melts in late April. From there, he said he'll make his way to the Mississippi River to continue his journey by Kayak.

Maldague’s carrying around 130 kilograms of supplies on two sleds, include a kilogram of food per day, for 58 days. (Submitted by Arnaud Maldague)

He's mailed a cache of food to Rankin Inlet, which is his next destination after Naujaat. He says he plans to continue changing transportation methods in order to keep learning.

With learning in mind, he's also hoping to interview people who are leaving their comfort zones to change things for the better for the environment. He says he wants to speak to scientists, businesspeople and farmers.

Maldague has christened his adventure the "Manneken" trip, after the Flemish for little guy.

With files from Michael Salomonie