Packrafting Alaska

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Putting the finishing touches on the plan and finalizing reservations for a two week packrafting trip in the Brooks Range for this summer. I am beyond stoked. This will include a 5 day float from the headwaters of the Alatna River to the Arrigetch Peaks, where we will then do a five day backpack into the Arrigetch. And finish up with another couple of days on the river to our pickup point. This will officially be my longest continuous trip into the backcountry, so that's fun.

I've got a lot of things to practice between now and then, including getting more experience in the packraft, learning to pack enough food for two weeks, and trying to stay focused on work between now and July!

Has anyone ever been in that area?
 

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#2
Putting the finishing touches on the plan and finalizing reservations for a two week packrafting trip in the Brooks Range for this summer. I am beyond stoked. This will include a 5 day float from the headwaters of the Alatna River to the Arrigetch Peaks, where we will then do a five day backpack into the Arrigetch. And finish up with another couple of days on the river to our pickup point. This will officially be my longest continuous trip into the backcountry, so that's fun.

I've got a lot of things to practice between now and then, including getting more experience in the packraft, learning to pack enough food for two weeks, and trying to stay focused on work between now and July!

Has anyone ever been in that area?
I presume you have seen @Ben's self- supported, solo, packraft/backpack in the Brooks Range off-the-back-of-his-motorcycle-driven-from-Idaho TR's here, no?
 
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Yeah, in fact, his trip report had me considering the North Fork Koyukuk route. After looking at pictures of the Arrigetch Peaks, though, the hook was in me for that route.
 

Artemus

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#4
Yeah, in fact, his trip report had me considering the North Fork Koyukuk route. After looking at pictures of the Arrigetch Peaks, though, the hook was in me for that route.
I hope you are carrying four cans of pepper spray. One for each hand and one backup for each hand ;)
 
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I hope you are carrying four cans of pepper spray. One for each hand and one backup for each hand ;)
I ain't afraid of no bears!

We're going to rent bear spray...unfortunately, they have a bit of a monopoly on that, so they charge $40 per can just to rent it. For the first time ever, I'm also going to take my .454 Casull that I bought from a friend who few years ago just because he needed some money. I hate the idea of the weight, but everyone else going wants me to bring it.
 
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#7
If you're coming through Fairbanks, let me know, you can borrow a few of my cans. If you actually use one, you can reimburse me for it, or not.

If there's anything else I can help with, let me know.

You flying with Coyote Air?
 
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I appreciate it! We're flying from Fairbanks to Bettles on Wright Air. It looks like they won't let us fly with bear spray, though, which is why we're kinda at the mercy of the people in Bettles.
 
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#9
This may be stuff that you already have read and have talked to them about, but just in case.

From their website: Bear spray may fly as baggage but must be declared and given to customer service agent at time of check-in. All hazardous materials must be declared; we can help you to complete a shipping declaration. Fees may apply. ---> I just called them and talked to a freight agent and he said that for things like bear spray on regularly scheduled passenger flights, there is no cost to declare it and have it fly out with you.

I thought it sounded weird that they would not allow it as they fly a lot of people out to the bush and most people (non-residents) want to bring bear spray.

http://www.wrightairservice.com/Before-you-Travel/passenger-information/

In accordance with FAA regulations, most campfuels are not permitted to be transported on passenger aircraft. Please call us (907)474-0502X4 to verify that your campfuel is permitted to fly.

http://www.wrightairservice.com/Before-you-Travel/campfuel-restrictions-2/

We have REI, Sportsman's Warehouse, Fred Meyer and a few other stores that all sell bear spray at reasonable prices. Since you can't fly home with it, I'll buy a can or 2 from you before you head back, if you'd like.

When are you planning on coming up?
 

DrNed

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#10
Putting the finishing touches on the plan and finalizing reservations for a two week packrafting trip in the Brooks Range for this summer.
Wicked awesome! Can't wait to hear the details.
 

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I'll promise to take lots of photos and post them!

I bought a Mavic Pro this month and I was all excited to take it with me to Alaska...and then I realized that we will be in a National Park the whole time, so I won't be able to use it :( Oh, well. I'd rather not be able to use it out there than have crazy people flying drones all over the Parks.

But I am thinking about buying a new camera...
 
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This may be stuff that you already have read and have talked to them about, but just in case.

From their website: Bear spray may fly as baggage but must be declared and given to customer service agent at time of check-in. All hazardous materials must be declared; we can help you to complete a shipping declaration. Fees may apply. ---> I just called them and talked to a freight agent and he said that for things like bear spray on regularly scheduled passenger flights, there is no cost to declare it and have it fly out with you.

When are you planning on coming up?
I've read so much over the past couple of months that I guess I just crossed wires somewhere. Maybe I confused it with stove fuel...or maybe I just got confused!

I might take you up on something for the bear spray...I hate the idea of paying $40 per can just to rent it. Maybe we can buy a couple at REI and sell it to you for a good discount. That would save both of us some money. And maybe we could borrow a couple and pay for them if we have to use them. There are four of us and I would feel much better if we each had a can...but I wasn't going to rent four cans.

I'll PM you our dates.

Thanks for checking on that!
 
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I've been practicing some river runs in the packraft to prep for Alaska. Today we strapped on 35 pound packs for the first time to see how they affected the handling of the boats. Honestly, it didn't feel like the rafts handled that much differently, so that was nice. The more I use the packraft, the more I like it. It really is a fun, versatile boat.

I'm getting more and more stoked for Alaska.
 
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I want to thank @Outdoor_Fool for being so nice and loaning us two cans of bear spray for our trip into the Brooks Range. This was an epic trip that easily ranked as one of the best trips we've ever taken, and it was nice to save a little money on bear spray. It's great meeting people in real life and seeing how helpful people can be.

Thanks again for your help!
 
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#16
You are very welcome. I agree, it was great meeting you and your wife and friend. See you next time!
 
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#17
I want to thank @Outdoor_Fool for being so nice and loaning us two cans of bear spray for our trip into the Brooks Range. This was an epic trip that easily ranked as one of the best trips we've ever taken, and it was nice to save a little money on bear spray. It's great meeting people in real life and seeing how helpful people can be.

Thanks again for your help!
Great! You got it done. Looking forward to some pics....
 

regehr

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#18
I ain't afraid of no bears!

We're going to rent bear spray...unfortunately, they have a bit of a monopoly on that, so they charge $40 per can just to rent it. For the first time ever, I'm also going to take my .454 Casull that I bought from a friend who few years ago just because he needed some money. I hate the idea of the weight, but everyone else going wants me to bring it.
This gun will come in super handy when there are two bears attacking you, one right after the other, and you need to get them both with one shot!
 

Nick

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#20
@Nick , did a couple of posts disappear from here or am I losing my mind?
Yes, they disappeared. That guy was spamming. First and only post was self promotion of his site. Probably only found this thread looking for link juice on google. Based on your comment he did the same thing on yours. Your reply was only deleted because it would have made no sense otherwise.
 

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