Round trip to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic Sea, Alaska, and back from Sacramento

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by safischer, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. safischer

    safischer Adventurer

    Aug 9, 2014
    Sacramento, CA
    I just completed an extensive blog on a ride up through Canada and Alaska on my F800GSA last July.

    The trip from start to finish took 29 days and covered about 9000 miles, camping most of the time, riding my 2015 BMW F800GS Adventure motorcycle. It was done as a round-trip from Sacramento, reaching as far north as Tuktoyaktuk of the Northwest Territories, Canada on the Arctic Ocean, and then venturing into Alaska to continue exploring some of its well known routes, before eventually heading back through Canada and home again.

    Our plan was to camp most of the time in order to save money on the expensive motel rates that Alaska and Canada are known for in the summer season, while also giving us more flexibility of where and when to stop. Carrying camping gear and camp food put extra pressure on packing the bikes while still maintaining a reasonable degree of agility for the off-road sections.

    Given the remoteness, it was also important to be more self sufficient from a tools, parts, and tubes perspective to deal with whatever road-side repairs or flat tires we may likely encounter. We also needed to carry sufficient clothing to deal with the cold, rain, and mosquitoes. Given the scenery of the trip I also budgeted space to carry an efficient but comprehensive set of photo gear for capturing both wildlife and landscapes, plus a small drone for additional coverage. All of this was packed in two aluminum side pannier cases plus a large waterproof Wolfman expandable duffel bag on the tail. Some of us were more efficient than others, while I tended to maintain a leaner profile in terms of what I packed (see my detailed packing list at the end of this blog).

    In the trip planning phase I put together a rough itinerary with a possible destination for each day. I found that the use of the app WikiCamps was extremely handy for identifying campsites. It is also helpful in identifying which were free, have showers, water, etc. To make this easier to use while on the road, I downloaded the maps of the app for the entire trip into my phone so that WikiCamps could be used in an offline mode. This proved quite fortuitous given how remote many of the locations we traveled through with no cell coverage.

    In general, we tended to make faster progress than what was planned, and thus required some adaptability for each days travel. For these reasons, we did not bother with any reservations and decided to just wing it. Being adaptable in our camping arrangements and willingness to do this in inclimate weather helped make this possible.
    TBTSyncro, rickj, greg.279 and 7 others like this.