Are the Galapagos Islands, Svalbard or Yakutsk not exotic enough? Perhaps then you should try to reach destinations you can be absolutely sure nobody you know has ever visited — places that are almost impossible to reach.
In the 21st century you can get to pretty much anywhere else on the planet within a matter of days — if the destination has an airport you can usually get there within 24 hours. Usually you can find some kind of lodging, restaurants and other services there and there's someone to help you if something bad happens.
Historical explorers like Leif Erikson or Ferdinand Magellan did not have that luxury...or even reliable maps. In fact they had really no idea what would await them once and if they arrived. While one can nowadays comfortably get to distant corners of the world the explorers struggled to reach, there are still some destinations that you cannot simply buy a ticket to, and even if you can it may be prohibitively expensive or require knowing the right people and securing the right permits years in advance.
War zones are to some extent comparable to the destinations listed below. They do, however, have some infrastructure for getting in and once the hostilities have ended (or before they start) the area will be like a "normal" destination again — for instance most countries comprising the former Yugoslavia are again visited by tourists just like before the wars in the 1990s. On the other hand, war zones include many risks that you will not encounter at the destinations below.
Governments also impose legally-binding exclusion zones in response to natural or man-made disasters, such as volcanic eruptions or nuclear meltdowns. A few points in Fukushima remain inaccessible due to a 2011 nuclear disaster, for instance. In some cases there are also political restrictions; for example many Muslim countries will refuse visitors travelling on an Israeli passport and the US government generally prohibits its citizens from visiting Cuba.
- Most of the Sahara desert; aside from some towns and similar sites near the edge of the desert, and a handful of roads and tracks (mostly in Algeria).
- In an off the beaten path continent, it probably doesn't get much more off the beaten path than Equatorial Guinea, Somalia (doubles as a war zone and has since the early 1990s), the interior of the DR Congo or South Sudan.
Antarctica and the Southern Ocean
Antarctica as a whole is pretty inaccessible, as are the Islands of the Southern Ocean. Sure you can just hand over a couple of thousand pound/euro/dollars to the next tour operator to fly you into one of the bases or take a cruise ship tour, but most of the continent is hardly ever visited even by scientists. Though admittedly even cruises to the Antarctic coast are more of adventures than regular cruises.
If you want to see anything that is not at or close to one of the bases or the coast, you will have to bring serious expedition skill and gear and a willingness to cross vast distances on sled, ski or foot. Certainly doable, but by no means easy. The whole thing gets immensely more complicated during the winter time. Temperatures drop below -40 degrees, the sun is hardly (or never, if you go further south) to be seen and even some research stations become deserted. The only people who are in Antarctica during the Austral winter (June-September) are researchers and staff of research stations and even that mostly due to political reasons as maintaining "year-round" stations gives the countries that do it some extra rights under the Antarctic Treaty.
- Bouvet Island —this Norwegian territory is the remotest currently known island in the world, located roughly 2,600 km south-southwest of Cape Town. As a bonus the seas are rough, so the least dangerous way to get in is by helicopter from a ship. Officially you will need a permission to enter from the Norwegian Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice and Police.
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands — Grytviken is on the itinerary for some Antarctic cruises, to visit other places you would need your own transportation.
- French Southern and Antarctic Lands — for instance Kerguelen is visited by an oceanographic ship four times a year.
- The South Pole is possibly regarded as the most challenging place of the world to visit. However, Antarctica does have some harder places to visit including the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility, Marie Byrd Land which is the largest piece of land in the world not claimed by any country and the vast areas all over the continent where nobody has set their foot.
- Northern Siberia and most of the Russian Far East is nothing more than wilderness for hundreds and thousands of km. Even traveling along the arguably most important road in easternmost Russia, Kolyma Highway, is more of an expedition. Russia is also known for its closed cities, like Norilsk. Often located rather off the beaten path, these are related to military, nuclear or space activities and entry is by special permit only. In addition, in remote parts of the country (Siberia in particular) you could also find launch sites for nuclear ICBMs that likely aren't marked on any map you'll have access to. However, the security perimeter for such sites can be 100 km or more, so you will probably be found well before you'll find anything. If you haven't brought a Russian phrasebook, appropriate papers, a good explanation and some luck you should rather stay away.
- North Korea is relatively easy to get into on a carefully organized tour showcasing the best of the country, but most destinations and cities will be strictly off-limits. Access to the country is strictly controlled and unless you're doing business with the government, the only way to get legally in is on a tour.
- Much of the Himalayas, including previously unclimbed mountain peaks as described below.
- Bear Island — administratively part of Svalbard, Bjørnøya is located between it and the Norwegian mainland. The island has a meteorological station and is fairly frequently visited by scientists of different fields.
- Jan Mayen — from Tromsø some 2/3 of the way to Greenland. Provided you get a permission to visit, here you can climb the world's northernmost active volcano. You won't be alone on this island, as Norway has military and meteorological staff stationed here. Depending on the circumstances you may get in quite comfortably on a Norwegian Air Force flight.
- Despite what many people may think, the North Pole itself can actually be quite easy to visit — hand over €10,000-20,000 per person to the tour operator and dress warmly. You will get in by plane, icebreaker or the last way by skis. If you want to "do it yourself", it's probably going to be more adventurous; if you aren't a pilot you'll likely be traveling by ski or dogsled.
- Rockall — an islet less than halfway from Scotland to Iceland, claimed by four countries
- Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the last one which is the most remote inhabited island in the world
- Sealand, an unrecognised "micro-nation" constructed on a former coast defence platform near the British mainland. Often used as a case study in international law classes. In order to be allowed in, you are required to apply for a visa, though they are apparently seldom granted. The principality has formerly forcefully ejected intruders, so it's probably not a good idea to just jump in your boat or helicopter and go there.
- The "monk-republic" of Mount Athos is off-limits to the female half of the population. In order to enter visitors are required to apply for a special permit called diamonitirion.
- Parts of the moon landscape that is the interior of Iceland can be accessed by tour or you can rent one of those iconic Icelandic monster trucks and drive yourself (car rental agencies specifically prohibit you from attempting to drive one of their regular cars there). The tire tracks leading through the area are open to traffic only in the summer — elsewhere and other times of the year you have to get in and around on foot. There is very little life of any kind here, so don't expect any food stores or even edible vegetation. Save for the glaciers, the area is characterized as a "lava desert". On the upside, potable water is generally available. While you aren't going to experience any Siberian temperatures here, the weather is cool or cold around the year with a lot of moisture, wind and snow so do prepare accordingly. Moreover, this is one of the most volcanically active areas in the world and volcanic eruptions and glacial lake outburst floods are risks to be aware of.
- Some uninhabited islands in the North Sea require a special permit to get to. An example of that is Memmert in the East Frisian islands that is mostly a bird sanctuary and only entered for research by ornithologists. While none of these islands are hard to get to per se, they are subject to very strict environmental protection laws and safe for the odd tour, there is no realistic way of legally getting there for non-ornithologists.
- Diego Garcia is a military base with little or no access except for military personnel.
- North Sentinel Island, one of the smaller Andaman Islands, is the home of the Sentinelese, who are often considered to be the most isolated group from the rest of the humanity and refuse any contact with the outsiders (frequently violently so). Any would-be visitor is banned from the island by the Indian government, which claims de jure sovereignty over the island, to provide the islanders privacy and to keep them from the risk of getting infected with a disease that they may not have had developed immunity against.
- Area 51 is entirely off limits to others than authorized personnel of the US military.
- Clipperton Island — an uninhabited "piece of France" in the Pacific Ocean some 1120km southwest from Acapulco. Bring your own boat and be careful with the reefs around the atoll. Officially you'll need a permit from the authorities on French Polynesia to visit unless you're a French citizen — there are no border controls but the French Navy occasionally visits the island.
- The Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia will really upset your pan-American road trip. 100km of impassible jungles and swamps interrupt the Pan-American Highway from connecting the two continents. It is also the operating area of several armed groups, that have in the past targeted "wealthy" westerners for kidnappings. Most travellers bypass the area, either by air or by sea.
- Inner and northern Greenland doesn't have the airports and ports most settlements on the coast have. You will need an expedition permit for the Danish authorities to visit Greenland's interior. You have to bring everything you need with you, as most of the island is just a huge glacier. As an additional challenge, you can try to get to ATOW1996, the northernmost known island in the world, or even discover a more northerly one. In fact, the expedition finding ATOW1996 reported sightings of what they think were landmasses even further north.
- Navassa Island — an uninhabited small island 56km west of Haiti, disputed territory claimed as an unorganized unincorporated territory of the United States. Haiti also claims the island. To legally visit the island under US law, you need to obtain a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Office. On Navassa Island you can find an abandoned lighthouse and possibly remains of buildings related to 19th century guano mining (in which accumulated bird droppings were extracted as fertiliser).
- Various points in Northern Canada and Alaska are accessible only by bush plane or, if uninhabited, have no transportation at all. Nunavut by road is not an option. On Ellesmere Island, scheduled bush planes reach Grise Fiord, but travel further north is by general aviation charter or military aircraft only. Overall, the area can be compared to similar latitudes in Russia with hundreds of kms between settlements, seriously cold winters and occasional military installations.
- A few isolated coastal fishing outports in eastern Canada are accessible only by sea (or air); much of northern Labrador, a few villages on the rugged southern Newfoundland coastline and a stretch of eastern Quebec's "north coast" (le Côte-Nord) east of Kegasha and west of Blanc-Sablon simply have no road. Many of the smallest, most remote villages have been abandoned.
- The Arabian Desert, stretching across many Arab countries, is very off the beaten path. The most difficult and isolated area is the Empty Quarter at the southeast corner of Saudi Arabia.
- Also in Saudi Arabia, the cities of Mecca and Medina are difficult to get to if you are not a Muslim as entry is legally prohibited for non-Muslims year round. Of course several million Muslims visit both during the Hajj pilgrimage every year, many visit them at other times, and both are thriving cities with well over a million residents. As a side note, Saudi Arabia is probably the only country in the world not to allow in foreigners for plain tourism (no tourist visas are issued). Instead you must have an "important reason" to visit the country and therethrough get a work, business, pilgrimage or some similar kind of visa.
Oceania and Pacific Ocean
The world's least visited independent country, Nauru, is here.
- Parts of the Australian Outback; especially the western half of the country. Already the Gunbarrel Highway and the other couple of routes are very off the beaten track and include hundreds of km without fuel. Off those, and you're pretty guaranteed to be on your own. Be absolutely sure you're carrying enough water and other supplies and be aware that during the Austral summer daytime temperatures may approach +50°C (120°F). If you are going to pass through Aboriginal lands, you should obtain a permit from the local authorities.
- Heard Island and McDonald Islands are basically located between the southern tip of India and the Antarctic landmass. The islands are Australian territory and you need to arrange or join an expedition to go there. Legally visiting the islands require a permit, which is practically only given for the McDonald island and for "compelling scientific reasons".
- Pitcairn Islands — the only ship regularly visiting the islands (with a population of 67) does so four times a year and even getting to Mangareva where the ferry starts from involves an infrequent flight...from Tahiti. Though, if you're sailing your own boat across the Pacific, why not pay the islanders a visit?
- Wake Island, which properly speaking is an atoll, is located in the Pacific between Guam and Hawaii. Being an USAF base and US Army missile site, you will need a good reason for getting permission to enter Wake Island. The same is true for some other Pacific atolls like Kwajalein.
- Isla Malpelo (Colombia) — A military outpost and an offbeat diving destination, 400km out in the Pacific Ocean. You need a special permit from the National Natural Park Office in Bogota, and you have to anchor offshore and sleep on your vessel. Reportedly a company in Panama arranges fairly expensive diving expeditions to this island.
- Ilha da Queimada Grande (Brazil) - Otherwise known as 'Snake Island' off the coast of São Paulo, this uninhibited island is literally infested with extremely venomous Golden Lancehead Viper snakes. Travel to the island is forbidden, although scientists 'may' get approval.
- Parts of interior Brazil are still hard to get to and there are in fact still some "uncontacted peoples" that have - as far as can be gleaned from remote observation - no idea that the outside world exists or who and what is contained in it
- Cross between Asia and North America between the Little Diomede (an American island west of Alaska) and Big Diomede (easternmost point of Russia). This is the only place in the world where you can see land across the International Date Line. It's actually just a few km across, so the very crossing itself by boat or walking across the ice in the winter is probably the easiest part. While it's a challenge getting to either of the islands in the first place, you will probably face a whole lot of paperwork to be able to cross the border legally. There are no real border stations there and practically citizens of all countries will need a visa to enter the US in their own vessel. Moreover almost everyone needs a visa to enter Russia in the first place, in addition to that foreigners need an additional special permission to enter Chukotka and the Big Diomede is host to a Russian military installation which means that it's likely not very easy to get permission to enter.
- Confident and ambitious mountaineers rejoice! There are still many unclimbed mountains in the world — that is, there are no records of anyone having climbed them yet. These are usually remote and/or particularly dangerous to climb. Despite modern technology, there's at best only rough information available concerning grades, dangerous sections, safe routes and such, so while you're there why not collect some information for future climbers? As you don't know what awaits you during your climb, you need to have mountaineering skills, knowledge and experience to cope with whatever you encounter. Even with proper maps and knowledge of good routes, few activities are as risky as mountain climbing and if you need a recap of what dangers you may run into when mountaineering you should choose a more commonly climbed mountain as for now. When planning a trip like this remember that some mountains are considered sacred and may therefore not be climbed — for instance this is why nobody has been to the top of Gangkhar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and likely the world's highest unclimbed mountain.
- Perhaps you would rather go downwards instead? All over the world there are caves to explore and the longer they are the less likely it is that someone has set their foot there before. For example, go see if the legendary tunnel between Europe and Africa, from St. Michael's cave in the Rock of Gibraltar to the Cave of Hercules truly exists. Or find a longer cave system than the Mammoth Cave system. On these expeditions it's imperative to bring enough spare batteries and flashlights and even more importantly you will also need to devise some system for navigating so that you can find the path back to the ground.
- The oceans of the world — off the coast, that is. While there's likely not much to see above water hundreds or thousands of km from the nearest land, there may be a whole lot of things to see under water like marine life, coral reefs, underwater volcanoes and even forgotten shipwrecks no divers have seen before. If you have access to an extremely sturdy submersible, you can become one of the hitherto very few to visit the Challenger Deep near Guam in the western Pacific Ocean which at about 11 km below the sea level is the deepest known point on Earth. However this is not the place closest to the core of our planet. As the Earth is not a perfect sphere, that point is to be found somewhere in the Arctic Sea near the North Pole and is approximately more than 13 km closer to the Earth's center. Take into account that this part of the world is perpetually covered by thick ice. For most of the deep sea there are not even any good maps or charts, let alone anybody who has gone there and lived to tell the tale. "Discovering" something new is rather easy, provided you have a good submersible and know how to use it.
- Space — While low earth orbit is reachable by the "general public" (if only a handful of multimillionaires) anything beyond the ISS is pretty much off limits even to state funded missions as of 2015. The Moon was briefly accessible to the Apollo Program from 1969-1972, but it will be 2020 or later before another country returns to manned lunar exploration. The "dark side" of the Moon, which faces away from the earth, has never been visited by humans nor machines.
- See also: Outdoor life
This kind of travel requires months or years of preparation. You will also need a lot of time for the trip itself and money. Of course you will hardly need any money on the trip itself, but you need to purchase gear and transportation. Everything you will need on your journey, you have to bring with you. Things you need to pack include at least food and water, someplace to sleep, communication and navigation gear and emergency equipment.
Read up on your destination as well as you can, including climate, biology and geology. This way you can better evaluate what you'll have to pack and what kind of conditions you may expect there. Is there a rainy season and when? Can you find drinkable water there? Is there a risk for earthquakes or volcanic eruptions? And how about toxic snakes?
The famous explorers never made their journeys alone. You should also gather a crew, including someone with medical knowledge and someone with technical knowledge. It should go without saying that you will also need the sailing, flying, driving or riding and survival skills to get to the destination.
Inform yourself if any special permits are required for the place you plan to visit — for instance a permission by the US Fish and Wildlife Office is required for Navassa Island. While there obviously seldom will be anyone inspecting your papers at the destination itself unless it's a military area, someone might be interested in your activities once you return (or if you've advertised it widely, before you leave). Also, the authorities of the country "owning" (or claiming) the territory may conduct overflights to see that there are no unauthorized persons around. Sometimes there are military installations on desolate islands and large uninhabited areas. Expect them to be off limits to civilians, in particular to foreigners!
If you are doing academic work in topics like geology, oceanology or zoology, you may get the opportunity to go to seldom visited places. In that case, you will have a better backup, others will handle the paperwork and the trip is free, but your schedule will be set and you're usually expected to collect samples and make measurements, depending on the nature of the expedition.
Before departing, you may want to inform the appropriate authorities about your approximate schedule and itinerary.
If you do not have the skills, physical condition, time or courage to set up such an expedition, some of the listed places can be visited by tour. You will be taken to the destination by professionals, but at some tours — like skiing from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole — you are still expected to do some work. Needless to say, tours to destinations just a handful of people visit usually depart just a few times a year at most and cost thousands or tens of thousands of US dollars or Euros.
Read up on the immigration and customs policies of the countries you will pass through and consider changing your plans if needed. Even if you don't need a visa, you usually still will need to bring your passport and enter and exit through official border crossings or at least get your passport stamped somewhere. If you're caught having no proof of when and where you've entered the country, expect to get fined, possibly jailed, deported and often banned from re-entering for a number of years. Also, if you're traveling in an unorthodox way such as in your own boat or plane you may need a visa. For instance people who normally can enter the United States on the Visa Waiver Program can do so only on board commercial carriers or overland. Also, you may be carrying stuff that "normal tourists" don't, which may interest the customs officials such as foods, radio equipment or (things that can be classified as) weapons.
Many of the places listed above are islands, and can therefore only be reached by plane or boat. If the place is on land, it's slightly easier to get there, but where there are no roads or tracks you may in the best case be able to get in with a 4WD vehicle and in worse cases only by foot or an animal you ride (e.g. horse or camel). Just because Nunatsiavut is on the Canadian mainland, that doesn't mean it's time to put the boats away. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, there are places on firm land, sometimes hundreds of miles away from any coast, that are best accessed by boat because road or rail infrastructure simply does not exist. This used to be the case almost everywhere prior to the rise of passenger rail and aviation; it remains true for remote parts of the Amazon, for example.
A private plane is a fast way of getting in, but there are several drawbacks. You will need somewhere to land and take off safely, and you won't probably be able to get (exact) information about the terrain before actually landing. A hydroplane is probably better than a plane with a landing gear, not just for landing on water but also on sand, grass or snow. As with anything with an engine, you will need to carry enough fuel to make it there and back.
Helicopters have the undeniable advantage of being able to land almost anywhere, but they have a far shorter range compared to airplanes and cannot carry as much supplies. In some cases the only way to set foot on an island may be to anchor well off the coast and fly there by helicopter.
If the destination is an island, a boat may be the best way for landing. On the downside, sailing for hundreds or thousands of km takes relatively long. This means plenty of opportunities for things going wrong; severe weather, someone falling sick, navigational errors and running out of provisions. You will also need the same amount of time and provisions for getting back.
Some of the destinations require travel close to the North Magnetic Pole (located near Ellesmere Island) or the South Magnetic Pole (in the Southern Ocean approximately 100 km from the Antarctic coast towards Adelaide). The difference in direction between the magnetic north and real north gets bigger the closer you get to these points, which means magnetic compasses will not work as expected. Another challenge is that there are often no good maps of the destination. For getting around on land, satellite images can often be used as rough substitutes. On the other hand if you travel by boat you'd benefit from knowing where the reefs and seamounts are and if you're landing a plane, suitable places for landing.
No matter which way of transportation you choose for getting in, your vehicle should be in impeccable condition as should your driving/sailing/flying and navigational skills. Also, bring tools and spare parts and have enough skills in your team to fix anything — from radios to engines — that may break.
- Landscapes few have seen before.
- Flora and fauna that might be endemic to the place you visit. Who knows if you may find a new species?
- Depending on the destination you may also run into ghost towns or other archaeological sites.
- Stars — in unpopulated areas there'll be no artificial lights, and this creates an excellent opportunity for stargazing unless there are clouds - which is unlikely in a desert though they may be unavoidable in a rainforest.
- Take photos and notes. It could make a nice book, thesis or website and be an inspiration for future explorers. You may even be (one of) the first persons documenting the place properly.
- If you collect "souvenirs" do so with modesty and without damaging the environment. In general, the rules of leave no trace camping should apply, except for scientific samples.
- Set up your ham radio and connect with people around the world. Some countries recognise your home country's radio licence, in others you must request a local call sign in advance. A few countries (such as North Korea, P5) licence nobody. Frequency assignments and power levels also differ between countries. Contact the national radio amateur organisation at the destination for information.
- Be careful with any activities. There's no ambulance you can call if you injure yourself.
Eat and Drink
What you bring with you. Many of these places are barren and have very little animal life or vegetation. It's also possible that there's no drinkable water at the destination.
If you plan on consuming any "local" foodstuff, you need to know for sure exactly what you are putting in your mouth. Therefore local flora and fauna is another thing that should be studied beforehand. Especially in the case of islands there may be little information available on the precise destination you are going to, though there are often comparable places at the same latitude which can be studied. In addition, hygienic handling of food and beverages is essential — this also goes for provisions you've brought with you. Food poisoning in the middle of nowhere is far more dangerous than when you have access to pharmacies and hospitals.
Wilderness backpacking#Eat and the subsequent Drink section give some ideas for things to bring. If you're heading for a desert, a glacier or a barren islet you likely also have to bring fuel for cooking (and in cold climates, heating). Overall, expect that you need to bring all the provisions you need for the duration of your trip, plus some extra. Due to things like bad weather the trip may take longer than you've planned and things like excessive heat, pests, fuel leaks or other accidents may render some (in the worst case even all!) of your provisions inedible. Food and water are the last things you want to lose, so pack them accordingly.
Bring a tent or sleep on board your vessel. Sometimes it might be possible to make a shelter of whatever material you will find at the destination, however do not count on that. You need to protect yourself at least from rain and cold.
If you are going to a cold destination which lacks combustible material, you may have to bring your own fuel to keep yourself warm. This is obvious if you're going somewhere with ice and snow, but remember that deserts also get notoriously cold during the night. It cannot be stressed enough that you should be very careful when handling fire — you do not want to harm yourself, destroy your equipment or start a forest or bush fire.
A further threat in deserts is - as paradoxical as it may sound - drowning. Most of the time people travel in wadis, dried-up rivers, as they provide protection from direct sunlight during the day. Oftentimes you will be inclined to sleep there as well, as they can have rather steep grades at the side and wadis don't become as cold as more exposed parts of the desert. However, if and when it rains upstream of where you are, torrential flooding can occur without any warning, drowning your whole party in your sleep if you are unlucky.
When sleeping, you and your equipment are vulnerable to threats more than at daytime. Food remains you've left near your tent or shelter may attract animals you don't want to have near you from hungry bears and other predators to insects. Moreover, especially in warm areas you can expect snakes, spiders and other bugs roaming around that are toxic and may spread diseases, not to mention mosquitoes that are vectors for a range of infectious diseases, including dengue and malaria. Medical precautions such as vaccinations and pills are useful as is use of mosquito nets and hammocks, though nothing gives 100% protection against these creatures. Even if harmless, most people would rather not wake up by having such creatures crawling on them. In destinations other than islands and entirely uninhabitable environments there's a risk that hostile locals will pay you a visit (also see the Stay safe section below). If there are many in your expedition party, you may want to take turns keeping guard during the night.
Expect to encounter some type of severe weather on your trip. Of course, extreme cold or heat are reasons why some of the places listed above have never been settled in the first place. Dangerous animals, pests and tropical diseases may also be a risk, depending on the destination. If an accident happens, you're on your own. In some places, general lawlessness may be an issue - often caused simply by the physical impossibility of enforcing existing laws in remote areas. In other places, the exact opposite - authoritarian regimes with a bizarre cult of personality and "stalinistic" ways of enforcing it - may be your main concern. Surprisingly enough, there are places where both issues are of major concern at the same time.
As some of the places on this list are not only remote but also sensitive areas (at least in the mind of those claiming jurisdiction over them), permits may be necessary and even getting a permit does not guarantee you a friendly reception by local authorities. They may in fact react by closely checking your permits, refusing entry or opening fire without any real reason or justification other than you being a "threat to national security" or something of the sort. Going to some of the uninhabited places on this list and hoping to find them so, only to see that they are in fact manned by some sort of security detail may cause anything from your death or imprisonment to a major international incident, so do not get any ideas. If a place is claimed by more than one entity, going there with a permit from one side but not the other is certainly unwise as well.
Don't even think of going on an expedition like this if you have any health problems or disabilities. On a trip like this you will likely be several weeks' travel away from any hospital. You should at the very least bring a first aid kit including medications that you may need (e.g. malaria prophylaxis) and if possible bring someone with some medical training. Check that your vaccinations are up to date.
- If visiting a remote island or similarly-isolated point, don't bring animals, seeds or diseases. The local flora and fauna may not be able to cope with invasive species or diseases.
- Any "uncontacted peoples" are best left undisturbed; many are protected by law in this regard, to prevent their exposure to crime and disease.
- It isn't uncommon for remote areas to be used by the military for signal interception and test ranges for weapons, vehicles and such. They will not be amused by surprise visitors.
A satellite phone or amateur radio is probably your best bet. Beyond 80° north or south, the geosynchronous satellite signal disappears below the horizon; non-geosynchronous systems (such as Iridium) may still work.
Back to where you came from, or to another virtually unexplored place! You brought enough supplies for the trip back, right?
- Cruising on small craft
- Leave no trace
- Packing for a week of hiking — a good start, but you will need much much more gear for a trip like this
- Round the world overland
- Wilderness backpacking