TrisTrans Baffin Island 2012

Posted: 17th April 2012 by TrisTransSaga in TrisTrans Baffin Island 2012
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Little Tristan’s polar expedition to Baffin Island


Tristan (16 months) went to one of the most spectacular mountain areas in the world, with 140 diapers in his luggage.

During three weeks, Tristan travelled in the Arctic together with his mom Kim Broux (31) and dad Jochem Cuypers (28). The family took with them four sledges loaded with diapers, milk powder and expedition equipment. The trip destination was Baffin Island, which is the fifth largest island in the world.

It was an unforgettable trip with lots of contrasts and adventure! The family enjoyed the nature, culture and the time being together. Tristan loved it. With pleasure they tell about the trip preparations, challenges and highlights.

How to prepare a polar expedition with a one year old child?

An expedition in the Arctic requires a lot of preparations. A one year old child makes it even more challenging. The cold temperatures are the biggest danger. It can be difficult to tackle for adults. A child can’t tolerate the cold as good as an adult. But we were well prepared with lots of experience, in addition to detailed planning of the trail, the weather conditions and evacuations possibilities. Kim is a nurse and Jochem is a medical doctor. The risk was minimal.

Our biggest concern was the well-being of Tristan. Will he still enjoy sitting in a sledge?

Two weeks after returning from New Zealand Jochem wrote the following in his diary. ‘’Kim found an ingenious solution on the internet. It’s a Norwegian produced sled called Nordic Cab. It has an enclosed cabin for protection against the outdoor elements. It has a bottom of thick plastic  which isolates and it goes on skies. And there’s plenty of room for Tristan to move in the cabin. Much better then the original sledges! Tristan is gone have a great time! We are convinced!’’



Little boy with a lot of baggage

A trip requires packing. And a trip with a little child requires even more packing. We can’t remember how many hours we have been packing since Tristan was born. In the very beginning we packed up to three hours before an easy mountain hike with little Tristan. During our trip across New Zealand we packed our camp every day –  14 weeks!  This time we were preparing a winter expedition. We gathered expedition equipment for several weeks, and packed continuously the last three days – day and night. Finally we left with 240 kg of luggage!!! 

Many passers wondered what on earth we were up to.



Faced with scepticism in Canada

‘’You must understand that we have had polar explorers use this ski trip to train before going to the North Pole. Very extreme, experienced arctic travellers have repeatedly told us how challenging and difficult the route is and can be.’’   This was written in an e-mail from Parcs Canada after we informed the office about Tristan’s participation.

It was a conscious decision not to inform authorities in Canada about Tristan before departure – to avoid any negative influences during the preparations. 150 percent positivity and focus is required during the most vulnerable stage of the expedition.

We had to convince the authorities that we realized what we were doing. We had to clarify our background and explain how well we were prepared. This was a stressing situation. No approval, no trip.

Eventually, the governor understood. She was convinced, impressed and inspired. Children are no restrictions, just a key to even more possibilities.



Further reading

Would you like to read the full tripreport? Please contact us: 

More general info about this trip on the following subpage: TrisTrans Baffin Island 2012.

A photo selection:

Our new blog:


Outdoor equipment:

An expedition requires equipment and clothing of top quality. It has to withstand hard-handed use in extreme environment. We take a little child with us, so safety is our primary priority. In addition, we want to give Tristan many great experiences. Both saftey and a good experience is depending on good equipment and clothing. We just want the best for Tristan. Therefore it was a natural choise for us to use the below mentioned products during the trip with our little companion. Thank you so much for the fantastic good equipment and the wonderfull cooperation!

Please click on each logo for general information about the products.

Our personal experiences can you find by clicking on each logo in the Flickr photo album: TrisTrans Baffin Island 2012.

NordicCab VertikalThermarestWeledaJanusMSR

 After the expedition Tristan was invited in the studio of Studio Limburg (Belgium).

  1. Eva says:

    Draagt Kim nog altijd Tristan en Jochem al de rest? Mooie verdeling :-) :-) .
    Veel plezier!


  2. Erling says:

    Ønsker dere lykke til :) En fantastisk flott holdning som jeg virkelig kan inspirere andre vorende foreldre og nybakte foreldre. Dessverre er det for få som deler deres synspunkt hva vi kan ta med våre små på. Selv tok jeg min datter med på mange turer, dog ikke i nærheten av deres, men viktigheten i det dere sier om “tidlig krøkes” støtter jeg 100% :)

    Blir spennende og følge dere via bloggen :)

    Ønsker dere masse lykke til og håper værguden står dere bi.

    Erling Mong – en totalt ukjent men imponert person.

  3. Net terug van Spitsbergen van een 12 trip met Pulk.
    Wens jullie een pittige tocht van een avontuurlijke belg die ook in Noorwegen woont.
    En veel gereist heeft in the Arctic.
    De zwerfsporter.