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Thread: Moving to AK in 14 days!

  1. #1

    Default Moving to AK in 14 days!

    Hello! I am moving to Alaska soon. I am driving my Uhaul cross country with my doggie and me. I've taken a lot of time to plan. I have my emegency road kit. See list below. I have mapped out my area and also gone to Triple A to have them plan a route that includes alternative routes for contruction and road closures as well as traveling with my doggie. I have been to the Canadian border page many times to make sure I am bringing everything I need (besides a passport).

    I have to be honest I am super nervous going on the Alasakan Highway and throught the Canadian Rockies alone with a uhaul in winter. But please understand that I cannot wait and all expenses have been paid for.

    With all that said.. any suggestions or advice or guidance for this journey?

    Thanks!

    1. Flashlights with extra batteries
    2. first aid kit with pocket knife
    3. necessary medications
    4. several blankets
    5. sleeping bags
    6. extra newspapers for insulation
    7. plastic bags (for sanitation)
    8. matches
    9. mittens
    10. socks
    11. wool cap
    12. rain gear and extra clothes
    13. small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels
    14. small shovel
    15. small tools (pliers wrench screwdriver)
    16. booster cables
    17. engine block with low temperature cords
    18. set of tire chains and/or traction mats (Uhaul doesn't supply tire chains)
    19. cards, games, puzzles
    20. brightly colored cloth to use as a flag
    21. dried fruit and nuts
    22. lots of hot liquid to drink (water for tea hot chocolate)

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    Palmer, AK
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    Probably be a good idea to put in a couple fuel cans and keep em full with whatever fuel your Uhaul takes. What size uhaul are you going with? Learning how to put on the chains before you leave will be handy if you need them. Most of the time the best bet is just to find a safe place to stop, kick on the flashers and just hop into the sleeping bag if the roads get bad or you find yourself in a blizzard.

    I would probably add some sort of small camp stove for short term emergency heat or to melt snow for water. Honestly you will probably see a well cared for road with no issues at all. I would pay close attention to the vehicle and call uhaul if it is anything less than perfect well before making the final turn north. Most of the drive is just a drvie. The mountains in BC Canada and the last bit from Glennallen down to Palmer if you are headed toward Anchorage are the most challenging areas. Most of the rest of it is fairly wide open.

  3. #3
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Don't forget to visit with your insurance agent and get a Canadian version of your insurance card.
    It's free and the agent fills it out and you carry it with you on your way up.

    As LuJon stated, the road is fine and often much better this time of year vs. the summer when construction and tourists slow you down.
    I didn't see a copy of the Milepost on your list...it's a worthy investment.

    Plan on stopping at Laird Hot Springs for the night, regardless of the temp....it's one of my favorite places to spend a few hours relaxing. Especially this time of year, it could be -30* out and your sitting in a hot spring usually alone as most folks cruise right by in the winter.

    The folks at the lodge right across the road are typically the only ones out ther with you. Do not let the cold temps scare you from making the 3-400 yard walk out there for a soak!

    Good luck and drive safe. Keep an eye out for buffalo and elk along the road side.
    BK

  4. #4
    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    Fenton,Michigan
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    I haven't ever driven to Alaska and not sure of the cell phone coverage along your route. If you were my sister, wife, girlfriend, or mother I would want you to have a satellite phone if there isn't good cell coverage. Be careful and enjoy the drive. You will enjoy Alaska once you get there. It is beautiful.

    Just a thought, if you asked you might get somebody that needs a ride back to Alaska from the lower 48. Good luck on your adventure

    Mark

  5. #5
    Member KelvinG's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna, AK
    Posts
    387

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    I'd second what JuJon said.

    A good rule to follow is "Use only the top 1/2 of the gas tank". What that means is start looking for a place to fill up when you are nearing 1/2 of tank of gas.

    I'm not sure where you are coming from, but ask the Uhaul folks about operating their truck in cold weather. See if they have a cold weather front for the grill, etc. -40F or more wouldn’t surprise me somewhere along your route.

    With everything you've listed you will be fine.

    Kelvin

  6. #6
    Member
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    Default Moving to AK in 14 days!

    You'll have no problems. The road is good. Just take your time and Enjoy your trip up. Just made a trip this spring in a uhaul moving my father back home when he retired. We had 25 foot diesel uhaul. Had lots of fuel. Just get fuel at each stop.
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

  7. #7

    Default

    I drove up in August, what a beautiful drive!! I would make sure that your credit card companyies, cell phone,...etc know that you are travelling, they turned mine off immediately, kinda of a pain. Make sure that you get a good ice scraper for the windows as it is cold up north. Make sure and bring binoculars as the wildlife is great! Also, make sure that the pooch has the proper paper work, they checked mine at both borders.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcguire4 View Post
    I drove up in August, what a beautiful drive!! I would make sure that your credit card companyies, cell phone,...etc know that you are travelling, they turned mine off immediately, kinda of a pain. Make sure that you get a good ice scraper for the windows as it is cold up north. Make sure and bring binoculars as the wildlife is great! Also, make sure that the pooch has the proper paper work, they checked mine at both borders.
    Thanks for the cell phone and credit card tips! I forgot that! I already have an appointment with the vet for all the paperwork! Thank for the advice!

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Probably be a good idea to put in a couple fuel cans and keep em full with whatever fuel your Uhaul takes. What size uhaul are you going with? Learning how to put on the chains before you leave will be handy if you need them. Most of the time the best bet is just to find a safe place to stop, kick on the flashers and just hop into the sleeping bag if the roads get bad or you find yourself in a blizzard.

    I would probably add some sort of small camp stove for short term emergency heat or to melt snow for water. Honestly you will probably see a well cared for road with no issues at all. I would pay close attention to the vehicle and call uhaul if it is anything less than perfect well before making the final turn north. Most of the drive is just a drvie. The mountains in BC Canada and the last bit from Glennallen down to Palmer if you are headed toward Anchorage are the most challenging areas. Most of the rest of it is fairly wide open.
    I will be taking fuel with me, but waiting until I get to Canada to get them in case they have restrictions and what have you. I am driving a 17 foot truck. I don't have chains for my tires. I'm trying to see if Uhaul will put them on along the way, but I doubt it.

    I forgot to add that I have a little titanium stove I take on my back packing trips I am bringing.

    Those area you mentioned are the ones I am worried about.. especially if I can't get tire chains.

    Thanks for the advice!

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Don't forget to visit with your insurance agent and get a Canadian version of your insurance card.
    It's free and the agent fills it out and you carry it with you on your way up.

    As LuJon stated, the road is fine and often much better this time of year vs. the summer when construction and tourists slow you down.
    I didn't see a copy of the Milepost on your list...it's a worthy investment.

    Plan on stopping at Laird Hot Springs for the night, regardless of the temp....it's one of my favorite places to spend a few hours relaxing. Especially this time of year, it could be -30* out and your sitting in a hot spring usually alone as most folks cruise right by in the winter.

    The folks at the lodge right across the road are typically the only ones out ther with you. Do not let the cold temps scare you from making the 3-400 yard walk out there for a soak!

    Good luck and drive safe. Keep an eye out for buffalo and elk along the road side.
    BK
    You have to have a Canadian Insurance Card? Really? Hmm.. good to know! I'll check it out. Thanks!

    I have invested in the Milepost as well as The Trucker's Friend - National Truck Stop Directory.

    Thanks for the advice!

  11. #11

    Default

    Things I forgot to mention I am bringing, but I do have and plan on bringing:


    1. The Trucker's Friend - National Truck Stop Directory
    2. Milepost
    3. Dog booties for below freezing temps
    4. Dog winter coat for freezing temps
    5. Titanium stove
    6. Dehydrated food
    7. Gas canisters
    8. Lots of warmers (hand, boots, larger ones)
    9. Knife
    10. X2 space blankets
    11. High beam flashlight

  12. #12

    Default Re: Moving to AK in 14 days!

    Good luck on your journey! I'm making the trip up myself from Oregon on the 8th.

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishcatcher541 View Post
    Good luck on your journey! I'm making the trip up myself from Oregon on the 8th.

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk 2
    I wanted to send a private message to you, but this forum won't let me. I sent a friend request.. hopefully that would open up the PM option.

  14. #14
    Member
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    Two Rivers, AK
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    745

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    Can't overemphasize the fuel cans. Businesses along the Alcan can close earlier than you might expect. (Some might not be open at all - a friend recently got a nasty surprise when a lodge in northern BC that said it was open year-'round told her they were closed that night and wouldn't rent her a room, then when she went to start her van she found that the starter motor had given up its ghost they wouldn't help her with that, either, etc.). She was *not* carrying camping gear or an arctic-rated sleeping bag and had a very miserable time of it until her husband could drive down from Whitehorse and get her and the dogs (she was transporting a dog team).

    I've had to camp at a closed gas station and wait for it to open the next morning because I'd misjudged whether or not I'd be able to make it to the next town.

    Mostly people along the road are great and very helpful, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

  15. #15
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
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    9,748

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    Other than carrying extra gas, the only thing I would be very concerned with would be the ability for that U-haul to be able to start in sub zero conditions. I say this just in case you don't plan on staying somewhere you can plug in every night. I drove out in Feb. one year. I had an old truck with a camper so I would park anywhere I got tired. The only problem I had was when I stopped for the night in Tok. When I woke to -20 the old truck wouldn't start. But I did have a big Coleman 3 burner stove AND an extra 12v battery. I lit up the stove and placed it under the truck. Threw an old blanket over the engine to hold in some of the heat. Hooked up the extra battery with jumper cables. After a short while she started right up. I might add that I did have a tank heater as well.

    Of course, if you plan on spending the night somewhere you can plug the truck in every night then you won't have to worry about it. I just always liked the idea of having extra heat for the engine just in case. Also, like I said, if the truck is hard to start in the cold, it can suck the juice from a battery pretty quick. So I always liked the idea of having an extra fully charged battery as well when traveling in cold weather.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  16. #16
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    Nine chances out of ten you'll have a nice trip of it.


    That said, watch the weather, listen to the locals, plan ahead, and don't take chances.


    Best wishes,
    John

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlshore View Post
    Can't overemphasize the fuel cans. Businesses along the Alcan can close earlier than you might expect. (Some might not be open at all - a friend recently got a nasty surprise when a lodge in northern BC that said it was open year-'round told her they were closed that night and wouldn't rent her a room, then when she went to start her van she found that the starter motor had given up its ghost they wouldn't help her with that, either, etc.). She was *not* carrying camping gear or an arctic-rated sleeping bag and had a very miserable time of it until her husband could drive down from Whitehorse and get her and the dogs (she was transporting a dog team).

    I've had to camp at a closed gas station and wait for it to open the next morning because I'd misjudged whether or not I'd be able to make it to the next town.

    Mostly people along the road are great and very helpful, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.
    I plan on being over prepared versus under. I amo more scared of going up and down the hills in ice and swerving off the road. I live in New England, so I am used to snow, but I'm not used to mountains and snow. I have to say I am a bit nervious. I'm less nervous about being prepared than I am if I end up in a ditch. I can prepare for camping and the cold, I can't prepare for not being able to drive at all if I'm in a wreck.

    Thanks for the advice though!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Other than carrying extra gas, the only thing I would be very concerned with would be the ability for that U-haul to be able to start in sub zero conditions. I say this just in case you don't plan on staying somewhere you can plug in every night. I drove out in Feb. one year. I had an old truck with a camper so I would park anywhere I got tired. The only problem I had was when I stopped for the night in Tok. When I woke to -20 the old truck wouldn't start. But I did have a big Coleman 3 burner stove AND an extra 12v battery. I lit up the stove and placed it under the truck. Threw an old blanket over the engine to hold in some of the heat. Hooked up the extra battery with jumper cables. After a short while she started right up. I might add that I did have a tank heater as well.

    Of course, if you plan on spending the night somewhere you can plug the truck in every night then you won't have to worry about it. I just always liked the idea of having extra heat for the engine just in case. Also, like I said, if the truck is hard to start in the cold, it can suck the juice from a battery pretty quick. So I always liked the idea of having an extra fully charged battery as well when traveling in cold weather.
    I've been told to carry extra gas, don't let the tank get below half a tank and sleep in my car and don't turn the engine off. So that's what I am going to try to do. We'll see how it goes.

    I like the idea of an extra battery, but what do I do with it when the trip is over? I mean it's a uhaul so it's not like I can use it. I'll have to think about that. Safety first..

    Thanks for writing!

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Nine chances out of ten you'll have a nice trip of it.


    That said, watch the weather, listen to the locals, plan ahead, and don't take chances.


    Best wishes,
    John
    Short, sweet and to the point! Thanks!

  20. #20

    Default

    I never carried an extra battery, but if you want just get one of those rechargeable jump start units. It will work on any vehicle or you can just sell it if you don't want to keep it.

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