Alaska Primer

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Alcan Rider, May 6, 2012.

  1. orsurf76

    orsurf76 engine braker

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    308
    Location:
    Always Sunny Portland Oregon
    Bear Spray--can I take it across Canadian and US borders?
    I'm riding up to AK from Oregon in July and was planning on taking a can of Bear Spray (mace) from here . . . then I was talking to the REI cashier this week--who's from AK--and she said you couldn't cross borders with it.
    Can anyone clear this up for me?
  2. svahadean

    svahadean und i.m. vandaring

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
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    Sunnyvale, CA
    Yes. And I got my spray from REI as well.

    I carried it across both directions in my saddle bags. My first crossing onto Vancouver Island, Border Patrol wanted to see it, did, and then let me go; no big deal. Coming back over to US, no concern whatsoever.

    When I got to bear-country, I tied it to my handlebars with a red bandana for quick access (see pic below). I also carried a little airhorn in my jacket.

    bearspray.jpg
    July 2015, turning right onto Denali Hwy.

    bearspray 2.jpg
    July 2015, ferry west to east into Dawson City, YT.

    Good luck.
  3. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

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    I have a can that's been across the border dozens of times. Always declared it; never been asked to produce it. Do not call it mace. It is not mace, it is bear repellent. If you call it mace, then you're going to have a bad day.
  4. orsurf76

    orsurf76 engine braker

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Always Sunny Portland Oregon
    Thanks guys, that was the answer I wanted :nod

    Svahadean--how'd that naked bike treat on the trip?
    I've added an aftermarket windshield to my bike for the trip--I've done a number of multi-day trips on my bike naked, but a couple weeks of wind, bugs and kicked up gravel seems like a bit more protection is in order . . .

    W5.jpg
  5. svahadean

    svahadean und i.m. vandaring

    Joined:
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    Sunnyvale, CA
    Naked sport touring is the way to go. I picked up an OEM touring windscreen a couple weeks back to try out, but after a 300 mile ride, I decided my sport windscreen with added wind deflector is still the best set-up for me.

    I bagged out of my big fat 1700cc Kawi bagger for a more visceral riding experience, so the wind, bugs and gravel is exactly what I want. All the "protections" I added have been for the bike, not really for me. And, the bike performed flawlessly, no hiccups or anything, but that's why BMW is top dog for all kinds of adventure riding.

    BTW, you lucky SOB got a very nice Kawi 650 right there, my friend. That bike's been on my lust-list for sometime now. Good luck with your set-up and travels. Ride on, brother!
  6. OldRider1948

    OldRider1948 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC
    ALASKA .GPX files

    Does anyone have any local Alaska .GPX files we can D/L for our Garmin Oregon & Montanas ?
    Thought there might be some FILES saved here in the group or STICKY re these files but my SEARCH didnt come up with anything
  7. Gotchile

    Gotchile Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
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    Location:
    Wichita Kansa
    I've ridden my bike across the border from Canada to the US the past 2 summers with bear spray without incident. You can't fly with it though.
  8. stoney4vida

    stoney4vida Semper Fidelis

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    Question about tents ? I have a Kifaru 4 man tipi and a free standing MSR Carbon reflex . what's the soil like around Alaska as far as holding tent pegs in the ground ? I'm sure it varies , But wondering if the free standing MSR would be a better choice as it could be used in softer ground that pegs didn't want to grab in.
    thanks
  9. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

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    Kinda like asking what's the temperature of the Pacific Ocean. Where? Off the coast of Tahiti or along the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula?

    This might help.

    [​IMG]
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  10. stoney4vida

    stoney4vida Semper Fidelis

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    Gee are ya saying Alaska's a big state ? :jack I get that and it's different soil conditions depending on what area I'm in. Just an overall general question . I'm planning on riding as much of state as I can, and camping and I'm leaning towards free standing tent .
  11. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    The free-standing would probably be the best bet. There will usually be some small trees or something to tie it to if the wind is howling. With my tents I've tossed the spindly aluminum pegs that come in the package and substituted 60d spikes. They can be driven in with any handy rock.

    Generally speaking, the best camping spots will be vegetation free to minimize mosquito presence, and that usually means little or no topsoil, i.e. rocky or gravel covered.
  12. Tom S

    Tom S Can I ride it?

    Joined:
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    Gravel bar & a good breeze.
    Or a motel room. :D :evil
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  13. stoney4vida

    stoney4vida Semper Fidelis

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    Thank you Alcan Rider. Appreciate all the great advice you've posted.
  14. Nice Goat

    Nice Goat higher is better

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alabama
    I really appreciate this thread and others like it ... I'm hoping to make my first Alaska trip in the next few years. Unfortunately, I only get three weeks of vacation a year, so I'm planning to ride to Alaska, see some sights, and then store the bike for a year. Fly back the following year, see some more sights, and then ride it home. Reading threads like this just make me want it that much more!
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  15. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej wanabee overachiever

    Joined:
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    Just sold my GS an hour ago to a guy who is going North to Alaska on it in July. So I came back here to dream of going again, myself, on my next bike. To all those going in 2017 and beyond, have a wonderful, safe trip and do as the Man said, take your time and enjoy.
    -ceej
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  16. SabretoothDan

    SabretoothDan n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
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    my standard advice...

    don't take a vehicle you love up the alcan.

    canadian border guards are dick holes. if you've ever had a dui be prepared to cough/bribe/cough pay an extra fee.

    invest in a good pair of sunglasses.

    there all kinds of neat pills in canadian pharmacies you can get without a prescription.

    consider joining a lodge. things like the elks, moose, vfw are still very big up here. they are often the only good place to eat in these little towns. and knowing the secret handshake could help if you break down.

    there may be only five cops on patrol in a region the size of virginia. but there are only six roads. so the odds aren't good. girdwood is a notorious speed trap.

    all the roads are two lanes. if you're blocking more than five vehicles the cops will ticket you.

    if you're stopped in the middle of the road to make a left turn people will blow by on the right shoulder without slowing down.

    we have the most awesome anything goes gun laws imaginable.

    we voted to legalize marijuana. but the law is still in flux. no one knows what's going on.

    an old timer told me the bull moose consider motorcycles mating rivals,and will attack. i now suspect he was bull****ting me. but you never know.

    a really good way to irritate the local citizens is to leave trash around. all that stuff about garbage attracting bears is true.

    thieves roam the better known campgrounds stealing generators and such.

    you will take a rock through the windshield.

    the stories of eagles carrying off chihauhuas are true.

    there is a strong bit of pay for play in the milepost. but it is still indispensable.

    tourists see a moose, stop their rv in the middle of the road to take pictures. and then are surprised when they are rear ended by a log truck. happens a dozen times a year.

    there is a yearly updated book called the "milepost". it is a mile by mile listing of every gas station, motel, tourist trap, scenic vista. it is indispensable.

    https://www.amazon.com/Milepost-2016-Kris-Valencia/dp/1892154358/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1466732189&sr=1-1&keywords=milepost+alaska+2016




    consider taking the ferry up. the alcan will take at least seven days. and you'll be exhausted with an exhausted bike. the boat will drop you off in whittier relaxed and ready to go.


    the motorcycle shop in anchorage is where all the GS people meet. on a average summer day you can find a couple guys headed to prudhoe bay so you don't have to go alone.
    __________________
    99R1100S
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  17. soph9

    soph9 Would Love to ride ALL the TIME

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    Wow!


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  18. Kimi

    Kimi Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    we didn't carry any bear spray on the bikes - only when we went with mates on their boat to Admiralty Island for a week - and carried other "personal protection" as well (locals know everything)
    we saw bears on the bikes - one ran in front of me coming into Valdez, and on Admiralty - once they get a whiff they run quite briskly - certainly faster than me.

    Be considerate - no rubbish (its common sense) but what i didn't realise was when going into the bush for a pit stop I probably should have been making some more noise.... learnt this camping on Admiralty.

    Alaska is so bloody awesome - we will be back !

    Also when pulled over by the side of the road (ie for photos or snacks) all the other bikers stopped to see if we were ok , learned to put the thumbs up sign, this rarely happens in Australia (Unless you are really outback).
    Really great community spirit.
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  19. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
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    8,601
    Location:
    NorCal
    Thanks for posting this to Quezzie's ride report. It brings back great memories. The wife wants to go next year, by car though. Hope this time I don't leave anything behind. :p3rry
  20. worncog

    worncog YBNormal

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    305
    Location:
    Florida Panhandle
    I did not think that there was any land connecting us to Alaska. That's classic.

    Good info. Planning on a late spring run the last week of May and the first two weeks of June '18. Hopefully try out the new Tuktoyaktuk extension on the Dempster.