"N.L. man to trek 1,700 km across Labrador and Quebec wilderness" - CBC News
'It's become a bit of an obsession': Justin Barbour planning 90-day adventure with his dog Saku
CBC News · Posted: Jun 17, 2018 5:01 PM NT | Last Updated: June 17
Justin Barbour trekked 700 kilometres across Newfoundland last summer. Now he's planning to cross the Ungava Peninsula. (Justin Barbour)
Justin Barbour is no stranger to lengthy excursions in the wilderness, but his past trips are just a walk in the park compared with what he's got planned this summer.
In July, Barbour and his dog Saku will travel 1,700 kilometres from North West River in Labrador to the shores of Hudson Bay in Quebec, by canoe and on foot. He expects it will take about 90 days in total.
The teacher from Bauline was in the midst of a 700-kilometre hike across Newfoundland last summer, when he said he started thinking about how he could up the ante for his next excursion.
"It's become a bit of an obsession now," Barbour said.
"For me, it's just interesting and exciting and I love being out there. I crave that challenge, and this seems to be the perfect one."
Barbour and Saku navigate a large marshy area in a remote area of central Newfoundland during last summer's trek. (Justin Barbour)
What it takes to survive
Barbour said he's been planning and researching the route for months.
"These trips, they don't happen overnight. I've been researching now since October, every little bit of information about this route, from the terrain, to the equipment needed."
The adventure will be a bit different this time around, however. Barbour said he'll be travelling mostly by canoe rather than hiking, and will have to travel against the flow of some rivers, something he hasn't done much of in the past.
He will carry enough food to sustain himself, and will supplement his diet by fishing and hunting game.
"This is not Survivorman, but I do rely on some fish and stuff for some extra calories," he said.
Barbour says his dog Saku is his best friend and will be an important companion on his excursion. (Justin Barbour)
A four-legged best friend
Barbour said Saku is a great partner on his adventures, for both companionship and some extra protection.
"He loves it. He's an outdoor dog, he's a Cape Shore water dog. He's meant to be out on the land," he said.
"It's very important to have a dog there, and Saku's my best friend and he's adventurous."
And his human family is warming up to the idea as well.
"They have trust in me and they know I'm gaining experience at this type of travel," he said.
"But that doesn't mean that they're not nervous still. They're my biggest supporters, but they're also going to have some sleepless nights."
Barbour plans to leave North West River on July 26.