Ride to Alaska Advice

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by hart, May 31, 2018.

  1. hart

    hart Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2002
    Oddometer:
    354
    Location:
    nyc,ny and Seattle
    Doing a ride mid July thru beginning of August.....

    will heated gear be necessary or just a nice extra ?
    #1
  2. hammick

    hammick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,703
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I did my Alaska trip leaving 5/31. Had heated Jacket, pants and gloves. Used the heated jacket a lot but not the pants or gloves. If I were you I would take your heated jacket, a good pair of thermals and waterproof gloves. Don't forget about rain gear.

    I packed way too much crap on my AK trip. Next time I go I will probably have 50% less crap.
    #2
    HeidiHo and gpax like this.
  3. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,116
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast B.C.
    I have a buddy up in Anchorage right now, everyone is talking about the late spring they are having.
    Yesterday he was riding in 36f mid day leaving Tok
    Take the heated gear.
    #3
    HeidiHo likes this.
  4. north40nm

    north40nm still a n00b ;D

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    mostly at sea
    Ive done the trip without heated gear, but it would have been nice.
    Good time of year to go, bring bug dope and rain gear. Full face helmet was good. Never pass a gas station without fueling up!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #4
  5. slobinski

    slobinski easily amused

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    607
    Location:
    Powell Butte, Oregon
    Four trips to Alaska; used a heated jacket liner and hot grips every time. A one gallon Rotopax saved the day three times. Plenty of DEET also.
    #5
  6. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    880
    Location:
    N California
    I can't find the link but there is a great thread started by Alcan Jack that thoroughly discusses riding in Alaska. Well worth the read.
    #6
    neanderthal and HeidiHo like this.
  7. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    198
    Location:
    Juneau Alaska
    Jack's thread is in the Alaska page in regional forums.
    It's a good read.

    Edit: I guess I should have looked at the first post... Yes bring electrics!!! don't leave home without
    #7
    HeidiHo likes this.
  8. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,522
    Location:
    Omnipresent
    As @Alcan Rider would tell you, and anyone of us that have been North many times can tell you, weather is very unpredictable in Alaska and the Yukon.

    Now, mosquitoes....those are predictable :jack

    Heated gear is as important as Deet, or any of the mosquito repellents. I bring all my Gerbing Heated Clothing...jacket liner, pants liner, heated socks, heated gloves...all heated gear, so I can plug in, and ride in comfort.

    Up there, I would prefer to have 40* days, and fewer mosquitoes, but use heated gear......than to have 75* days, no heated gear, but a bazillion mosquitoes.

    As I have said countless times, there is not a single mosquito in all of Alaska..........they are all married, and have very large families. :imaposer
    #8
  9. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,930
    Location:
    Scottsdale Arizona
    I have been there the month of August twice. You will get all kinds of weather including hail and sleet. Lots of rain too. I used a Girbings jacket liner, heated grips and heated glove liners that plugged into my jacket. I took long johns too, but rarely used them. You should have three pairs of gloves with the warmest being waterproof ski gloves with thin palms. The intermediate gloves for me were waterproof Black Diamond climbing gloves rated for low 30's. The lightest were MX gloves. All of them got soaked both trips. It is smart to treat your boots with some sort of water-proofing too. And another good idea is a new pinlock face shied to eliminate fogging. You will also have some hot weather probably through most of BC, hence the lighter gloves. I'll be going there this August for my 3rd Alcan5000. Probably my last ride up there.
    #9
  10. interiorak

    interiorak Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Alaska
    Road every day in May this year on Parks, Richardson, Steese and Dalton Hiway out of fairbanks. Brought heated gear ... never plugged in. Left the heated grips on most of the time. Mosquitos out and about for last week and half. Bring heated gear if you got it. Deet is more important than gas ...
    but then that just me. Ride ... don't look back.

    Yesterday ....

    IMG_6620.jpg
    #10
    Macho Man2, 240ADV and HeidiHo like this.
  11. tomdubz

    tomdubz getting there

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    974
    Location:
    4 Cornerstan
    Yes
    #11
    squonker likes this.
  12. Tor

    Tor Norwegian Viking

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,957
    Location:
    Pee Dee of South Carolina
    Yes. Heated top and bottom.
    #12
  13. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Oddometer:
    2,896
    Location:
    Phoenix
    No....just go...the less the better

    Suffer a little so you always remember the trip
    #13
  14. jathkajoe

    jathkajoe Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    184
    Location:
    E WA
    Depends on your preferred temperature. I rode up and back in a mesh jacket and pants, put my rain gear over it if it was raining or too cool, rarely had the rain gear on just for wind block. I about melted when I got back in the 80+ wx. I like it cooler.
    #14
    Macho Man2 likes this.
  15. MauiCowie

    MauiCowie Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,280
    Location:
    At the Huki-Huki-Huki-Huki-Hukilau
    If you take it you won't need it. If you don't take it you will need it.

    I'd take it.
    #15
  16. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,300
    Location:
    chicagoland
    I had been in the Great Nort during black fly season. It was so effing bad that I am now scared to death to be there w/o a head net no matter what season it is. Deet does not work on black flies. That off my chest, I never leave home on a long trip w/o my heated vest and a swim suit. (Granted, I flew into Moab for 3 days and didn't pack any heated gear for the expected 90+F. If I had ridden to Moab, I would have packed heated gear.) The swim suit & towel is for any hot springs nearby. Do not pass up any hot springs w/o going for a dip. Hydrate during hot springs dip. If you have to stop in the open, try for a place with some wind to keep the bugs off you. Fuel in the windy part of the station if you have a choice. Recently, I found out that duct tape has a shelf life. If your duct tape is old, peel some off and see how it looks. Some parts of AK are pretty civilized and have plenty of population. If you go remote, keep your wits about you. AK environment does not suffer fools for long. The people are great. It's one's own silliness that will give one the most problems.
    #16
  17. STUFF2C

    STUFF2C We Ain't Left Yet!!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,463
    Location:
    O-lando
    I live in Fl and carry my electric jacket all year. A summer afternoon rainstorm here can make a 30* temp change in an instant. when you are wet and used to 95+
    and it drops into the 60's.... well that mess jacket just don't cut it at 60-70 mph.
    #17
  18. cessnadog

    cessnadog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    319
    Location:
    Minnesota
    We did that trip last summer. June 16 to July 8.
    Wore the heated gear almost every day.

    Had one day of 6 hours of 45 degree rain. Another was 2 hours of 40 degree rain.

    Could we have done without? Sure. Would it have been as safe and comfortable? Not even close.

    My riding partner had only a heated top. I had top and bottoms.
    #18
    Macho Man2 and HeidiHo like this.
  19. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,384
    Location:
    Over the rear wheel
    A lot depends on how far north you intend to ride. Turn back south at Fairbanks? Don't bother with heated gear that time of year. Going to take a look at the Arctic Ocean? Better have it along. North of the Brooks Range (i.e. Atigun Pass) it can be pretty chilly any time of year, with an almost perpetual NE wind blowing off the ocean. In a couple of weeks time most riders will find themselves acclimating to just about any reasonable temperature, but you probably won't be in the cool areas long enough for that.

    Good, windproof raingear adds about 10° worth of protection, so with heated grips that will probably keep you warm enough. If you head up to Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay, check weather forecasts before you leave Fairbanks. If snow is predicted (this is Alaska, after all :vardy) just turn south and head for Homer :jkam.
    #19
    HeidiHo likes this.
  20. Sumo64c

    Sumo64c Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,179
    Location:
    Clyde, NC
    After going through the winter of 89' at Fairbanks....one week of at least -40 below temps for the high of the day, my version of cold weather is still biased. Mosquito by Boeing aviation and by the millions. I'll ride back one day, there's a miner cut prime rib at the fox turtle club with my name on it even it's 29 years after the fact.
    #20
    HeidiHo likes this.