John Dunn (explorer)

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John Dunn (born 1954) is a wilderness explorer, writer and photographer, originally from England, but now based in Calgary, Canada.[1] He has completed a number of pioneering expeditions throughout northern Canada and the Canadian Arctic. He writes for Canadian Geographic[2] and National Geographic magazines and conducts illustrated talks worldwide.[1] He holds a degree in geology and worked for a time in the Australian outback before moving to explore the Canadian Arctic.[3]


Dunn has completed a number of expeditions during his career. Many of them have been pioneering, being the first recorded human-powered traverses of remote areas.

Ellesmere Island, 1990[edit]

In 1990, Dunn led a four-man team on the first human-powered traverse of Canada's Ellesmere Island. The 96-day, 1,250 kilometres (777 mi) journey was conducted on skis with the team pulling sleds containing supplies and photography equipment.[1]

Baffin Island, 1994[edit]

In 1994, Dunn and his team completed the first human-powered crossing of Baffin Island, the fifth largest island in the world. The 3,030 kilometres (1,883 mi) journey was completed in 192 days during the northern summer.[1]

British Columbia, 1997[edit]

In 1997, Dunn completed a 2,500 kilometres (1,553 mi) journey from Tofino on Vancouver Island to Fort Nelson in northeastern British Columbia. This journey started with a solo kayak up the west coast of Vancouver Island, then became a canoe trip up the Inside Passage, and finished with a 54-day hike across the Canadian Cordillera where Dunn was accompanied by biologist Bob Saunders.[4] They carried an inflatable canoe to aid them on particular sections of the journey.[5] Each lost around 14 kilograms (31 lb) in the process.[4] The article describing the journey received an Honourable Mention in the photojournalism category at the 22nd Annual National Magazine Awards.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b c d Woodward, Susan. "John Dunn: Frozen Footsteps: Trekking in the Arctic". Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "Articles by John Dunn at Canadian Geographic". Canadian Geographic. Retrieved 5 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "John Dunn Biography". John Dunn. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Norman, Stefan. "Northern Passage". Canadian Geographic. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "Dunn's crossing. (expeditionist John Dunn's adventure in northern British Columbia)". Canadian Geographic. 1 July 1998. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  6. ^ The journey was described in the article "Dunn's Crossing" featured in the July/August 1998 edition of Canadian Geographic.
  7. ^ "Twenty-Second Annual National Magazine Award Winners". Retrieved 4 November 2009. 

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