How much planning needed for Alaska, really?

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

  1. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    Three days was an exaggeration. Up to about a week I can carry clothes for every day. But once over a week and up to about three I would carry the same stuff.

    Anything USB can plug into my bike's charger. Unfortunately my DSLR required AC power. I typically just bring extra batteries and three weeks is about the most I can count on. After that, I'll want the charger and issues like mail, security of my place back home and keeping bills paid start to become an issue. It is items like the last three that make me wonder how people can be gone for six months.

    NC


    #41
  2. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    I didn't mean to pick on your wording. There have been variations on that for decades, but for me it just doesn't work.

    I've set up more automatic payments but before that I've paid bills during trips pretty easily.
    • Made a list of all regular payments in date order. Included closing date, due date, mailing address, and toll-free number.
    • After the closing date, called the toll-free number to ask for the statement balance.
    • Wrote a note with account number and explanation that I'm away. Mailed it and a check to the address from the list.
    I have addressed the envelopes before the trip and used peel-and-stick envelopes so they don't seal themselves closed from humidity. It's still important to have the address on the list so I know which goes to "Member services" and which goes to "Card services".

    This even works without cell coverage since the toll-free numbers don't take a bucket of quarters (or whatever the 2 surviving pay phones take for payment).

    The whole bill-paying package is smaller than a normal folded road map. Automatic payments are definitely easier, but not required.

    EDIT:
    I tip the mail carrier; he's on my side. He's willing to hold the mail longer than the time (month?) that USPS specifies. I also ask a neighbor to stop in occasionally to watch the house deteriorate.
    #42
  3. oneway

    oneway Tehachapi CA

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    I am on the ferry to Skagway June 10. I plan to be at D2D, then I'm moving on. Camping with no itinerary and motel in horrible weather if one is available.
    More prepping the bike than planning a trip.
    #43
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  4. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    That is basically my plan. Make sure the bike can handle "anything," have camp gear for when I want to camp or CAN'T find a room and just let the rest take care of itself. Is D2D related to the summer solstice?

    NC
    #44
  5. oneway

    oneway Tehachapi CA

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    I don't know. I was told by a friend that there is a summer solstice party around Dawson, but that would be a few days later on 6/21.
    I plan on blowing with the wind for awhile.
    Freedom is addicting.
    #45
  6. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

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    As D2D is winding down the Summer Solstice folks are filling Dawson City for their drunken party on the top of The Dome ~3000ft above the City...

    I'm pretty sure you can watch the sun NOT set from up there.... Think it's the southernmost point in Canada where you get to see this below the Arctic Circle...
    #46
  7. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Every little bit that you don't have to carry helps. Take for instance batteries and extra charging cables for your tech stuff....no need to take spares, that stuff is available everywhere.
    #47
  8. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    #48
  9. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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  10. willys

    willys Long timer

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    D2D is a must plan for, and it's not a drunken party unless you make it one...from the 2 times i have been. Yes there are hundreds of riders showing up there which makes it a must do, imho. It's not like the cruiser events where there is hooligans everywhere from what i have read, not seen...lol. never been don't plan to...lol. The dempster is a must do, just because, once yo have done it you'll understand! You can even geta a certificate at the top at the library stating you have achomplished it....nerdie maybe but another thing to add to your adventure achomplishment pile. Hyder laska is a must and go to Salmon Glacier, impressive!, Telegraph Creek off of #37 by Dease Lake is another beautiful side trip worth the effort, Top of the World Highway a must do, Sign Post Forest again a must do just because, the ride down #37 again a must do, Dawson Creek to see the start of #1 I think it's called.....Laid hot springs also a very nice warm up......if not a boil over!, sure takes the aches and pains away from the ride. Hmmm...what else....???
    All you need to take is a change of cloths, 3 pairs of undies, socks, and a heated vest, waterproof clothing and tools to fix your bike on the side of the road anywhere.
    I carry a 2 gallon jerry can from hoe and leave it at the last gas station when I know I won't need it any further....they are expensive up there and empty take up no real space or weight space so to speak, a simple strap and hang it aywhere,lol. I use a dry bag behind my lower back to lean on , makes the long hours far more comfortable.
    I strongly suggest to buy a True Fire Flare and bear banger kit......but just use bear bangers not flares as not to start forect fires. They are proven to work and work well.....been there done that!.....far better than spray of any kind, sorry spray lovers. Cheap also at mountain equipment co-op. less than$50 if I remember correctly!
    I installed a USB, a marine cig lighter power plug and another power plug for my walkman, yes I'm old and so is some of my crap...lol and that was it for extra power crap. Yes the heated vest has it's own power wiring off the battery, as does the battery temder when used in the garage.
    I use an old NUVI 550 with a paper list of things to see or get to. I don't normally install a route...I simply put in the next destination as I get to the last and set out. No need to $1000 GPS systems etc.....Oh I do use a SPOT Gen I tracker and pay for the tracking and ins. service for family's peace of mind as well as just in case shit happens.
    #50
  11. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    It's not that an Alaska trip takes a great deal of planning, it's that it takes a long time to do an Alaska trip compared to most other trips people do. Depending on where in the US you start and what you want to see it can be three to six to twelve weeks.
    Most of us can't go to the boss and say "Hey, I'm going to take off a couple of hours early this Friday. Also I won't be back for a couple of months."
    Taking a month away from life here usually requires warning other people a long time in advance. Also that month is usually August, so if I decide now to do an Alaska trip, I'm not leaving for three months. Probably not going to think about anything else in that time. Might call what I'm doing "planning."

    TL;DR: I don't need lots of months to plan an Alaska trip, but if I have lots of months, I'm going to spend them planning. And finding out about new motorcycle parts I can't live without. Or at least looking at pictures.


    Also the number of T-shirts you should take is zero. Buy them along the way. Start out with the shittiest shirt you have and throw it away when you buy the first one.
    Same with a hoodie. Same with a coffee mug.
    #51
  12. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    Be careful bringing Pot into Canada.

    Seriously though, are you towing a trailer?

    With so much stuff you will spend hours each day looking for things and realize you needed 1/3 rd of what you thought you would need.

    IF you need something there are stores (Walmart) that you can add to your pack.

    Clothes CAN be washed and CAN be worn for many many days in a row. Underwear being an exception.

    I didn't see MONKEY BUTT.
    #52
  13. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Faking it/Making it

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    Wicking synthetic underwear will rinse in sink and usually be dry in the morning. I carry 2 pairs. Same deal with wicking T-shirts. Leave the cotton at home. Wear the wicking stuff and manage your airflow and you won't need Monkey Butt.

    John
    #53
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  14. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

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    This^^^

    I bought my bike, did my mods on it, did my 600mi break in, loosely planned my route, packed and left on my AK trip 1 month to the day from bike purchase... You guys are really overthinking it!

    Like I said... 25L panniers, 38L DrySpec bag, 12L tank bag... Period... The only thing not inside a bag was my little 4wt fly rod... Yeah, my packing gives room for fishing stuff too! Just leave all the useless or redundant crap at home!
    #54
  15. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    I like the idea about synthetic undies. I'll make sure to secure a few pair. Maybe REI?

    NC
    #55
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  16. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    I've been using these (LD Comfort) for years. Many of the long distance riders use them also. I travel with only two pairs. Each night I wash the pair I wore during the day in the motel sink or campground washroom. They dry fast. I've been using my current two pairs for three years now.

    LDComfort Men Shorts.jpg
    #56
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  17. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Got a full set of LD Comforts, and the owner is a good guy and a friend of the Long Distance community. His technique of how to stay cool riding in very hot temperatures is a God send. I like supporting his business. But my problem is LD Comforts for me are only cool weather underwear, as their two layers (wicking inner, absorbing outer) are a lot warmer than just wicking fabric from Under Armor or many other athletic vendors. It's surprising how warm AK can be.
    #57
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  18. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

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    I just looked and mine are Reebok wicking. Super light. They were what I grabbed in my whirlwind prepping/packing and they worked out very well. I also use Under Armor and EMS Tech Wick... All wash and dry very easily. I like the boxer briefs with some support. Works best for me on long days...

    Oh, I'm allergic to wool, even the best Merino bothers me...
    #58
  19. Sierra_Lima_Hotel

    Sierra_Lima_Hotel Adventurer

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    You probably don't need a lot of planning unless you prefer motels. We're leaving July 29 and have only booked the homeward bound, ferry ride from Haines to Prince Rupert.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #59
  20. Sierra_Lima_Hotel

    Sierra_Lima_Hotel Adventurer

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    #60