clothing question

Discussion in 'Americas' started by nomilk4u, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. nomilk4u

    nomilk4u Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    So I searched Alaska and Googled the weather there and i still am not sure what to bring.
    I plan on riding to Deadhorse from San Diego starting June 12th 2011 and return the first week July.
    My question is for those who have made this trek. Did you bring or need heated gear? I already have good riding gear, but none of it heated.
    #1
  2. AKtracks

    AKtracks Kilted Fükengrüver

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,261
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    It's better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.
    #2
  3. nomilk4u

    nomilk4u Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Thats what I've read alot, but nobody says if they really needed it. I am a KLR rider which in turn means that I am a cheap ass. I just don't want to fork over the cash for a suit and in beefing up the bikes electro system unless I have a need to.
    #3
  4. AKtracks

    AKtracks Kilted Fükengrüver

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,261
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    My guess is, if your profile is correct and you reside in Guam, you'll probably be cold here.

    Yours is a question only you can really answer. Do you get cold when the temps are in the 50s (before windchill is factored in)? If so, you'll probably want the gear...if not, then you might not.
    #4
  5. dave58

    dave58 Not if I see you first

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Roseville, CA
    I did the trip in June '09. Went to Deadhorse and Inuvik, and I was glad to have my heated jacket. There were a few times when it was on full blast.
    #5
  6. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,817
    Location:
    Vigo
    Temps could easily vary from freezing 32 degrees to 100+ degrees over your route. I'd rather have it and not want it...

    John
    #6
  7. nomilk4u

    nomilk4u Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    San Diego, CA

    This is what i really wanted to know!



    This helps alot too knowing about the wind chill, I kind of forgot about that one. I am now stationed at San Diego! i guess it is time to update my profile.
    #7
  8. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,910
    Rather than going the whole boatload of electric clothing step back and assess what you really need.I have been up to Alaska in July and never had any problems with cold.Living in Ontario and riding in fall and early spring is not much different from Alaska
    If riding a KLR you should be able to fit a cheap kit for heated handgrips which will make a big improvement on comfort on early chill mornings - warm hands will mean a great deal in feeling comfortable. . Adding more load will probably ovetax the KLR alternator output .No need to spend hundreds of dollars to rebuild the electric sysytem to higher outputs though..
    Check through your clothing supply and take stuff which is light, heat retaining and multi functional and can be layered.Cover this all with your wind proof water proof riding suit or simply a one-piece rainsuit.Voila ,no wind chill.
    Heated clothing is an advantage in that it permits one to carry less bulk in the luggage for the event that it gets cold. However what if it gets cold and the electric clothing looses power leaving you under dressed?
    By the way wind chill is not something which only occurs in Alaska- any time you step on a bike and you set in motion you are producing a wind chill, even in San Diego and Arizona , even if the outdooor temperature is 30Celsius. So long as the outside temperature is lower than body temp you will be shedding heat to air contacting your bare exposed skin, the wind chill. Prolonged windblast in cold but above freezing air will not cause frostbite but it will sap your energy and result in medical issues due to exposure. Avoid that by keeping out the wind and you should have no problem.
    #8
  9. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,817
    Location:
    Vigo
    +1 on wind control.

    If you get a good breeze off the water, the air will drop to near freezing along the Arctic Ocean. Depending upon weather, the passes can be quite cold, especially if it's wet. Sure, you may have perfect weather, but if you can slip in a low-wattage vest and heated gloves, why not just do it.

    John
    #9
  10. Bonebag

    Bonebag ADDvrider

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,576
    Location:
    Wisconsin..Hot,Cold and everything in Between
    :lol3 :lol3 :lol3
    #10
  11. nomilk4u

    nomilk4u Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    44
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks for the Great info!
    #11
  12. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,210
    Location:
    Straight jacket memories, and sedative highs
    I didn't bring heated hear, but I got a full dresser, with pretty good weather protection.
    #12
  13. mwike

    mwike Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    181
    Location:
    Troutman, NC
    We were up there the first week of July. We used wool thermals & left the heated gear at home - no problems at all, but of course there's no guarantee of the weather.

    I didn't want to carry heated gear if at worst I was only going to use the gear 4 days out of 14 total days.
    #13
  14. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,558
    Location:
    Alaska
    I dont know about Alaska, but I have crossed 15,000 foot passes here in the Andes, at night (around -20 C), moving right along too. Heated gear is nice for sure, but I have never needed a heated jacket. I was toasty warm with a light down jacket, rain liner, riding jacket.

    But as a caveat, when other folks are freezing their asses off, I am usually just mildly chilled. And believe it or not, the cold damp winter air of San Diego makes me shiver. That cold air off the ocean gives me the shivers, even if its 60 degrees F outside.

    The most important thing is to wear something to keep the cold air from rushing up into your helmet. some type of neck gaiter does wonders, and a nice thin but warm hat or hood that goes underneath your helmet.

    IMO, the biggest single mistake is that riders dont keep their head warm, and the rest of the body suffers......
    #14
  15. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,465
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    i went in June 2009 and was glad to have my heated gear. leaving the north slope the wind, fog and temperature made it a necessity, not a luxury
    #15
  16. BUZZARD II

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    634
    Location:
    No.VA
    I am just blown away by the answers here from guys that own heated gear. Jeez I live in Virginia and I just plain don't leave home without my electric vest, even in summer. 3,000 feet, a little rain and oh yeah I plug in. Sure you could put on everything in your bags, plus the rainsuit. But why?

    I rode in the bad old days of wool longjohns, waxed raingear and frozen fingers, knees and newspaper stuffed down the front of your jacket. It sucked. The invention of electric grips and vests or jacket liners was the greatest thing for motorcycle touring since tubeless tires.

    KLR cheap and worried about the charging system? Wire in a switch to kill the headlight. Now you can run a vest and some grips. BTW the vest is not used full time unless it's snowing cold. When you only need it to stay comfy you flick it on and off around every five minuets.

    If I was heading to the north slope I damn well would pack a vest and a liner with a 2 into 1 hook-up. And that's riding a 1800 GL & 1150 G/S. They both have way more protection than a KLR. Hypothermia kills the young and healthy too.
    #16
  17. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,177
    Location:
    Over the rear wheel
    If you have good, tight, windproof gear, with room under the outer layer for extra (insulating) underwear, you might be able to get by. But you'll be shivering by the time you reach Deadhorse, believe me. The warmest trip up there that I've had was July 4th 2008. It was 70° or warmer all the way to Pump 2 (Mile 360), where it dropped to around 62°. When I reached Deadhorse at midnight it was 44° with a stiff breeze blowing off the Arctic ocean. All other trips have been cooler than that. Even last Memorial Day, while it was too hot to get to sleep at Wiseman, heavy fog was freezing on faceshields for the last 30 miles into Deadhorse.

    Even lthough I have only used heated gear up there in the early spring, it is still something I carry with me on nearly every trip because the weather is extremely unpredictable north of the Brooks Range. The wind coming across the tundra unabated can chill you very quickly. For most of the distance after you leave the Atigun Valley it will be blowing from the side, so a fairing on the front of the bike does little to protect you.

    Something else that is highly recommended is to have heated grips. If you have them, you will use them, guaranteed. If you don't have them, somewhere along the trek you will wish you did.
    #17
  18. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    723
    Location:
    Central Washington
    Whether you ride with heated gear or not is a personal choice--- but you need to be prepared to handle temperatures below freezing with wind chill factors of 60 mph.

    Good gloves are essential, a good set of clothing from base layer out to external gear that will protect you from the elements.

    Expect rain and possibly some snow showers. I have traveled to Alaska in the month of June several times----once was a beautiful trip the other two where cold and wet. Colder weather and riding earlier in the season you might miss some of the mosquito issues --so you might have that going for you! :rofl

    Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. Electric gear is convenient but if you break down make sure you have adequate clothing or survival gear to handle the cold if you cannot ride.

    Also what is the output capacity of your bike's electrical system?-full electric clothing jacket, pants, gloves, and socks plus whatever else you might be running might exceed the bikes capabilities-check that out.:huh

    Good Luck

    MkD
    #18
  19. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,210
    Location:
    Straight jacket memories, and sedative highs
    4 days, can seem like a very long time when you are cold.
    #19
  20. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,210
    Location:
    Straight jacket memories, and sedative highs
    So what gear do you guys wear?
    #20