How much planning needed for Alaska, really?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by NumberCruncher, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    :hmmmmmJust wondering... how far you'll travel before you ship at least 50% of that back home.
    #21
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  2. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Yeah, that's a lot of stuff...
    #22
  3. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer Supporter

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    Army: "Food, fuel, ammo, sleep..."

    Moto: "Food, fuel, tires, sleep..."

    Have a great trip.

    NFE
    #23
  4. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    I tend to over plan......
    #24
  5. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    You are bringing the Milepost which is the size of a old YellowBook phone book and weighs 7 pounds and takes up a ton of room? Why not download the digital copy of it and put it on the computer and tablet? Come to think of it, why bring both a computer and a tablet?

    Bringing a copy of your title? For what purpose? 2 pairs of long johns? Are they not made of merino to where you can wear them for many days with absolutely no odor and easily washed at the motel? And if you are staying only in motels, why bring 5 t-shirts?

    Like AlcanRider implies...I think you are definitely packing heavy. However, if this all makes you happy, have at it. My questions were just of curiosity. The most important thing is doing the trip, regardless what you take.
    #25
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  6. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

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    Wow... And... :fpalm

    My trip... 25L panniers, 38L dry bag, 12L tank bag.... Everything including 5 days of food inside my bags... Nothing else strapped to my bike... It's called organization.
    #26
  7. goin2alaska

    goin2alaska Been here awhile

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    All you need is rain gear and bugspray, gas cans are free all over coldfoot people ditch them when they return, Ive done this run twice and its been very interesting in june when it sometimes rains on you all day, I got my fuel from a drum in deadhorse and it was reasonable considering the location.
    #27
  8. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    Ouch. That list makes my head hurt. But I know it's fun to plan and think about all the widgets and gizmo's we see ourselves happily using beside a roaring campfire. In reality, most of us never use this stuff. We just carry it all over creation and move it out of our way a thousand times during the trip. I recommend laying this all out on your garage floor. Then look at your bike. You'll see the problem then.

    To start with, lose all the jeans and shorts and T-shirts. Take one pair of REI convertible pants and one Synthetic t shirt for your 'off the bike' time. There. I just saved you a whole panniers worth of space. Both will wash and dry super easy and super fast in the motel overnight.
    #28
  9. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    On the whole, there are plenty of places to run dry and safely pull off to refuel from your spare supply, but running dry in the middle of a construction zone, or in the midst of several rigs going both ways is not an optimal situation. So I strongly advise against any deliberate, or even a chance of, a run-to-empty scenario, especially on the Haul Road.
    #29
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  10. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Even with a fill-up in Delta Jct, the stretch from there to Cantwell is a long one (pushing the range limit for some bikes).
    But there is gas on the Denali Hwy at the Tangle River Inn complex, about 20 miles west of the Paxson Junction (about where the pavement ends IIRC).
    #30
  11. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    exactly, way too much junk. once you do these trips a few times, packing for a weekend ride or two months on the road is all the same. the usual bike stuff, good riding gear, personal items, basic camp equipment, a change of clothes...and away ya go. i do take two cameras though, one WP and one long lens.
    #31
  12. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    MM is correct...if you get to Paxson and find yourself needing fuel, nothing is really close except Tangle River Inn. You either turn back north for Delta Junction, continue south towards Glennallen, or west towards Cantwell.

    When we went by Tangle River, they didn't have gas available and had to go the extra 100+ miles to the Parks Highway.

    Of course, gas can be available or not available at many of the remote locations on any day, regardless if Alaska or Yukon.
    #32
  13. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Faking it/Making it

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    I always carry the tools I use to work on the bike, so I don't really have a list of those so much as I have a bag of those. I also carry a 12v inflator and a hand-pump spare, along with a plug kit and fuses. These things are always in a side case, because I don't have to be riding to Alaska to get a flat tire or need to address a gremlin. Beyond that, I've got a bag of camping stuff and hammock stuff and hiking stuff and a small bag of comfy undies, socks and a couple of shirts. I carry a laptop, but really I could do all I need with my phone. I pack way too much stuff, but only because it fits on the bike without drama. So, my advice is to play around with what you think you want and try packing it on the bike a couple of different ways and you'll start to discover that you really aren't going to want to have to pack and re-pack all that stuff every time you get into your cases. I have yet to run into a situation where I wanted (much less, needed) something and didn't have it. Also, some empty space in the cases is handy for the things you may want to pickup along the way.

    John
    #33
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  14. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    I would never actually do that.

    I should have said once I have spare gas on my bike, and I am in my local hometown on a day ride, then I'll let the tank run dry to see how far I can really get on a tank.

    I would not chance that in the real world.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    NC


    #34
  15. bigphish

    bigphish Curiously Satisfying

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    My started head started to hurt at 2 pairs of levis
    ha
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  16. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    Can you fit all this in your panniers?

    NC

    #36
  17. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    Thanks for all the good tips.

    I always have to remind myself that there are actually a fair number of people who live up North and I can always buy what I don't bring with me. Now that may not be true with bike parts but I'll have those with me. Everything else I can acquire on the road should I leave something out.

    I especially like the comments about our collective tendency to bring lots of cool gadgets that end up staying packed and never used.

    I agree that whether gone for three days, three weeks or three months, you'll need about the same stuff.

    I'll bring a Rotopax 2 gallon tank but don't know yet where I'll strap it too on my F800GS. I ordered a top case so I'll have two panniers plus a top case for most of my storage. I'll see if I can just strap the Rotopax against the top case which of course I can do. I don't know if I will then have room for a dry bag without crowding the cockpit of my bike. If I end up too cramped, I'll try laying the Rotopax flat against the seat and placing the dry bag on top of that. I can't remember how wide, or maybe it is deep, the two gallon tank is.

    I'll have it all sorted out a few weeks before I go and by the third weak in May start watching the weather. I am only concerned about weather for the first 500 miles which will be about two days ride and get me to Jasper. I'd like to at least start my trip with dry weather. Once I am really on the road I'll take what I get weather wise.

    NC
    #37
  18. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Perhaps true for other posters but not for me.

    For 3 days I can wear my MC boots for any cool weather. I don't really need a change of clothes, just different layers that mix to be a sorta-kinda-change. I can bivouac a couple nights with just about what I ride in although I like a tent even when I don't take a sleeping bag. The batteries in my camera and phone will last fine.

    For 3 weeks I'll bring something that isn't as clunky to walk in. I'll bring a complete change of clothes so laundry isn't a constant concern. (I take items that are easy to wash, but even quick-dry stuff doesn't dry when it's raining outside my tent; we easterners may get longer periods of rain.) The longer I'm away the more likely I am to encounter extremes of temperature. I take chargers for the camera and phone. I take some spare zip food bags to re-package food I buy along the way.

    I can camp in the east for a couple nights without any cook gear, stopping at some restaurants or eating no-cook food at camp. For a longer trips or trips to bigger spaces I always take cook gear.

    I won't pretend that my preferences should be universal, but for me, everything from stove fuel to soap supply is slightly different for shorter or longer trips. Comfortable, normal-looking clothes too.
    #38
  19. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Faking it/Making it

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    Pop-Tarts. There, I said it. When I am at home I'm not allowed to eat them. When I travel, guess what. Particularly if I'm way out in the middle of the desert somewhere alone. Carrying enough water is the difficult part, always. I don't cook on the road, but I do make coffee with my jetboil french press (a man must be civilized). Probably a good thing I don't take really long trips. Also, while my wife would love it if I ate inexpensive grocery store food and cooked it at camp, I go in for local cuisine when there is local cuisine to go in for. It's an opportunity to experience the people and has thus far brought few if any regrets.

    John
    #39
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  20. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    I have three and a dry bag, so I can probably carry all that. I will probably trim a little, but still carry too much.
    #40