Alaska Question - BUGS!!

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by shooks, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. Tantrum

    Tantrum Condescending Nag

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    516
    Location:
    Auburn, Washington
    I have to agree about whitesocks and no-see-ums (even if I have never owned a head net). I have been to Japan, India, Mexico and Hawaii. The most plentiful insect encountered in India was Schwartzenroaches, no trouble in Japan or Mexico. Near hot pools in Hawaii I did encounter some Alaska like no-see-ums but as soon as I was away from the brush and the hot pools they disappeared.

    There are no insects that stop tourists from enjoying Alaska. They are no comparison to blue glaciers shedding huge chunks of ice and creating massive waves in the copper river. Snowcapped mountains, rivers, lakes and wildlife abide. The people there are the best.

    Dont let the bugs stop you! Its a place you will always remember!
    #41
  2. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

    Joined:
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    In Your Head
    ...sharing a pint.

    yours.

    :1drink


    [​IMG]
    #42
  3. Owlseye

    Owlseye Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    234
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Somebody asked how far North you have to go to beat the bugs-- On our recent trip up the Dempster, they were fierce in Inuvik, until the wind picked up. We flew up to Tuktoyuktuk for a day (well worth the trip, by the way, if only to see how tough and rugged way of life the original people had, and still have) and there were bugs aplenty there too. It was 2 degrees C, with a light breeze. Chilly to say the least, and the bugs were out even then.

    As to how the natives handled the bugs? All the old photos we saw showed everyone quite bundled up with clothes. However the small kids in Tuk were running about in T-shirts, despite the chilly weather and the bugs. Maybe they become immune or something. Incidently these were tough little kids-- maybe 3 or 4 years old and playing a game that consisted of running wildly, shrieking, and whacking each other with sticks. Not a tear among them, only big silly grins.

    And for the idea of camping where there isn't standing water? It seemed to me that north of the circle, it was nothing but standing water. We tried to climb one of the hills, only to find that the mile or so between us and the hill that looks like nice pasture, is clumps of moss holding tufts of grass, and a gallon of water. Between each tuft, and there are untold zillions of them,
    is a breeding ground for bugs.
    But don't let the bugs deter you, as the scenery and the experience will amaze you, or at least it did me. I still can't get over the huge land, and I'm tempted to say "the emptiness", but truly something that every one should see. And emptiness is not a fair term either, as there is wildlife every where, and the natives knew that land for 7000 years before we got here.
    Glad I went, and next year I hope I can coordinate with the mad Gruvers and see who I can trick into that weeny eating contest.
    #43
  4. the Luz

    the Luz Been here awhile

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    Jun 30, 2003
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    282
    Location:
    Glen Ivy, CA
    what is an "active Glacier". Sounds like an ADD sloth? :dunno
    #44
  5. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

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    it just means the glacier is moving.

    #45
  6. pnwroamer

    pnwroamer Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Seattle
    ..so, in anticipation of a trip next summer up the Cassair and to Skagway and (possibly) up to Fairbanks, is there a good "window" of time to travel up there say..., before or after the critters are out in full force?

    also, a little off topic, is there a more "stable" meaning non stormy/ rainy "window" and how do these two issues coincide/ noncoincode???

    I've been told shoot for late May/ early June or wait 'till later in August, but this info hasn't come from the locals up there.

    thanks in advance for replies :D
    #46
  7. friar mike

    friar mike IronButtGruver

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    Apr 21, 2004
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    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    There is no such time. the snow is still on the ground when the skeeders start to come out in spring and you can tell what time of the summer is by the bugs that are feasting on you then snow again:vardy the weather:huh just come on up and see what you get one never knows welcome to Alaska:thumb

    #47
  8. northrider

    northrider Traveler

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    321
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    I'd have to agree with friar. The time you are most likely to get good weather happens to be the height of skeeter season (mid June to mid July). My advice is to 'damm the mosquitos' and come up during that time. Its your best chance for nice riding a pretty scenery. Deet, mosquito coils and a sense of humor will take care of the rest.
    #48
  9. Sirby

    Sirby Sertao

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    Oct 9, 2002
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    Napavine, WA
    I picked up a handy head net at REI. It is called "Bug Cap" Rolled up and snapped under a cloth cover and attached to the baseball type cap on the top of the bill right next to your head, is the net. The net pops out from under the cover and completely covers the cap and your head and neck. The net has a bungee cord that you loop under each arm to make it fit tight over your shoulders and across your chest and back. It works real slick. Way better than the army surplus job I got years ago.:grinner
    -Sirby ZZZZZzzzzzzzz.....zzzz.....zzzzz...z..zzzzz SPLAT!
    #49
  10. pnwroamer

    pnwroamer Adventurer

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    Location:
    Seattle
  11. Sirby

    Sirby Sertao

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    Oddometer:
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    Napavine, WA
    Yep, thats the cap. I also used the Ex-Officio Buzz Off shirt and bandanna which were quite effective. I just saw an article in the paper about the Buzz Off company and how the US military has contracted with them to treat the military jungle uniforms. The stuff works.
    -Sirby
    #51
  12. hardybaker

    hardybaker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Marquez, Texas
    Shell no pest strips. Costs about five bucks, but is worth one hundred times that when you get North of Anchorage. In Fairbanks, a state park host told me to get the no pest strips, and what a blessing. No, you can't put one in your helmet, but one will work wonders in your tent. It has a slight kerosene smell, but it works. Leave the no pest strip in the rolled-up tent when you stuff the tent in the bug. Don't leave home without it.
    "Deet' every where else.
    #52
  13. akrider

    akrider mild adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,847
    Location:
    Anchorage, Ak
    I will wade into this conversation if only to agree with sirby, frier mike et al.

    DEET....at least 50% in the bush areas. 15% will work in town. Anything over 50% really doesen't improve anything except ruin anything plastic that it touches. So put on your deet active bug dope and then wash your hands with soap and water. Anything you touch with deet on your hands will be ruined. Wear gloves!

    The $16.00 dollar bug hat is great. Face it, your gonna need a hat and a head net. For this price you get both. If you have the cash to spend look into the special clothing inpregnated with deet or whatever they use. Again if your clothing does double duty your way ahead.

    Camping in the open and on high ground will help. Ok its not as nice as in the trees next to the river but getting out where the air is moving is always a help. Avoid low wet areas for there in lies the skeeter home land.

    Noseeums, white socks, black flies......they all bite. Deet works to some extent on all of them. Head nets and long sleeve clothing etc. are necessary.

    coils and any of the new deterents work well in camp. Lighting any of these will keep some of the skeeters away. Every little bit helps.

    Don't even try to plan your trip around the bugs. They come, they go at their own pace. Weather has a lot to do with When, Where and How many. Don't even try to figure it out just be prepared and live with it. A good breeze is your best friend up North. Muggy, light rain and no wind.....God they love that weather.

    Oh and look into purchasing a good "after Bite" medication. Most drug stores sell some type of lotion that helps cure the itch. If your one of the lucky people who swell and itch after a bite you may find this helpful.
    #53