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Thread: I'm walking across Alaska!

  1. #1
    New member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default I'm walking across Alaska!

    well, part way, anyway. I'll finish (I hope) the trip in an inflatable canoe.

    The plan is to start at the Canadian border and basically follow the crest of the Brooks Range, ending up at the headwaters of the Noatak. From there I'll travel by water to Kotzebue.

    I hope to get some good fishing along the way, and will likely look for a big bull caribou. I'll also be keeping my eyes open for big rams for next year! Mostly though, this trip is just for the experience.

    I've got a map and some more information on this page if you'd like to check it out. http://www.bucktrack.com/Alaska_Broo..._Traverse.html I'll be sending text messages to a friend who has kindly agreed to post updates there.

    Enjoy your summer everyone, and stay safe!

    Buck

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Wow, Buck!

    That's quite an adventure there, young lad. Will you be filming it?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  3. #3
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    Default

    Looks like an awesome adventure...but take a gun.

    my .02

  4. #4
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    Default

    Sounds like the trip of a lifetime.........Or two for you! I'm sure adventure will be plentiful and hopefully the big Bulls will be too.

    Best of luck and stay safe!

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    That sounds like a excellent adventure Buck, especially if you are alone. Good luck to you and be careful. When is this gonna happen?

    You know what you should do Buck, have a video camera along and film it. Produce videos/DVD's and then exchange them for money. Even have a webpage set up so people can buy them through the web.

    Good luck, I mean it.

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default A Blog?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Nelson
    ... I'll be sending text messages to a friend who has kindly agreed to post updates there...
    Buck,

    You might consider a blog with an RSS feed, so we can subscribe. That way, we can stay on top of your progress.

    Best of luck!


    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  7. #7
    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Default A couple of quick questions

    Buck,

    Sounds like a great trip. I am going to be doing a 10 day trip in some of the same country as you in the eastern Brooks during late July.

    I am curious why you chose to go in mid June when there could still be a fair amount of snow up high and potentially swollen rivers due to snow melt?

    I was also wondering what steps you are going to take to "weatherize" your rifle when you cache it on the Noatak?

    Finally I was wondering about the thought process you went through when you decided to not take a firearm for bear protection. We all know that bear attacks are on the rise in Alaska and you probably recall the experienced couple who were killed by a bear on the Hula Hula last year. After living in Alaska for nearly all of my life and working in remote field camps in some of the highest bear density areas on Kodiak I didn't think it could happen to me until a friend I was with was mauled in the north Wrangells in 2004. As a true gun nut it pains me to say it, but I wasn't armed at the time. I chose not to arm myself to save weight and am not making that mistake again! I still believe that the odds of having a violent encounter with a bear are extremely rare, but I have learned that the consequences of such an encounter are unacceptable. Are you taking pepper spray? I'm now carrying one of the S&W scandium 44 magnum revolvers unless I have a rifle. The scandium .44 magnum doesn't weigh much more than a large can of pepper spray.

  8. #8
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Quite a few walking across this summer

    Buck,

    There's three guys doing a similar trek right now, though it's a speed trek:
    http://www.ryanjordan.com

    They started in Kivalina. Some may find their website updates interesting. They surprised a grizz on a fresh moose kill on day 2, have been seeing plenty of bears.

    Good luck on your trip,
    Mark


  9. #9
    New member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default I'm off on Sunday

    Looks like I'm leaving tomorrow, June 18.

    Thanks for your ideas and good wishes. I certainly put a lot of thought into carrying a gun, but it's all about odds. If memory and my research serves me correctly, I could find record of a total of three people killed by bears in the Brooks Range in recorded history, including the couple killed on the Hula Hula (who had a gun) and a guy on the tributary of the Noatak.

    I'm far more likely to be killed flying out, yet I'm not going to wear a helmet. I'm more likely to be killed crossing a river, yet I'm not carrying a life jacket. Believe me, there are many areas in Alaska where I would definitely carry a gun.

    When I get to salmon/grizzly country, I'll have my rifle. I am taking a satellite phone on this trip, which in my opinion is a bigger safety factor.

    My stainless rifle will be sealed in a barrel until I get there, so it should be OK. I'm leaving now because I have a long way to travel, and it will be easier to deal with conditions if I leave a little to early than conditions if I finish too late!

    That might be a good idea on the blog, Mike, but I'm leaving in a few hours, so will make do with what I've got set up now.

    Have a good summer, everyone, and thank again.

    http://www.bucktrack.com/Alaska_Broo..._Traverse.html

  10. #10
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Hey Buck

    Hey Buck,

    If you happen to read this before you go, please say hi to Marty for me, from Mark on the Kandik. He and his brother have a trapline not far from mine. I took a look at your website; good info on the trip. Not quite sure how you are going to find the food caches! Figure you will gps the drop location, but man that's gotta be tough finding them on the ground. Liked what you had to say on ANWR drilling on your page. I'm with you on that. 11 miles a day...man it's gonna be something. I'd need lots of moleskin <grin>.

    Best, Mark

  11. #11
    New member caribou-man's Avatar
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    Default What an Adventure

    You are the adventure king, Buck! Best of luck to you and take care.

    Dan

  12. #12

    Cool

    Yeah, I guess those airplanes run on electricity.

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default July 2 Update!

    Hi folks,

    Just thought you might appreciate a reminder to check in now and then on the progress of Buck's traverse of the Brooks Range. Here's the link. The last update was July 2 and he'd already walked 172 miles.

    Enjoy your summer!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  14. #14
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    I noticed on bucks website he said he'd be possibly dining on game meat once he gets to the Noatak. I also noticed that he plans on as much as 4 weeks on the Noatak. I'm wondering how he intends to care for meat over that period of time. Can he consume a whole caribou's worth (assuming that's the kind of meat he gets) of meat during his journey?
    Also wondering why a few of you ethics policemen haven't asked this question already.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  15. #15
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper
    I noticed on bucks website he said he'd be possibly dining on game meat once he gets to the Noatak. I also noticed that he plans on as much as 4 weeks on the Noatak. I'm wondering how he intends to care for meat over that period of time. Can he consume a whole caribou's worth (assuming that's the kind of meat he gets) of meat during his journey?
    Also wondering why a few of you ethics policemen haven't asked this question already.
    He'll probably give most of the meat away like he did when he shot his two bull caribou in his video. And from seeing how well he cared for his meat in that video, I wouldn't worry about him and the whole wanton waste issue.

  16. #16

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    It looks like he is very capable in the back country. I hope he is getting lots of pictures for a book or video. I don't buy them generally, but that is definitely one I would get.

    By September he could eat a small caribou by himself anyway in a few days LOL. Could there be snow on the ground by mid to late September on the Noatak? For sure at higher elevations I would think.

  17. #17
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    If you check out the map on buck's website, he is picking up his canoe(or whatever he's using) a looooooooonnnnnnnnnggggggg ways up the Noatak. Other than an occaisional float group, or other hunters, I don't think he will see anyone to GIVE meat to.Not until he gets to the village of Noatak. If he shoots an animal early in his float, (man, after eating lightwt foods for that long I'd be wanting MEAT) he may have to care for the meat for 2 weeks or more. He'll probably be considering all that before he shoots something tho.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  18. #18

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    Yes I noticed the Noatak headwaters are way inland and the river flows almost due west. He could spend a month on the river covering that distance.

    Gee, I'm impressed with his trek. I'm a little envious too.

    He is in his 40s too I think. Way to go Buck!

  19. #19
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    Red face BR traverse

    I think its a cool trip and would love to see a video of county that otherwise I will probably never get to see. If someone who updates his site also monitors this site also remind him to take a day or two off hiking now and then. It can make a huge difference as your body needs to recover. If you dont parts start to break and it can ruin the whole trip. Good luck.

  20. #20

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    Trapper Joe,
    I have made the paddle down the Noatak River, from the headwaters, several times by canoe. Buck should be able to cover the distance to Noatak Village in 3 weeks, maybe a couple days less if he doesn't take time to relax. Plus with a few day s of rain, the river could be moving quick!
    He may see a few other folks in canoes, but won't see any 'locals' till he's just a few days above Noatak Village.
    It is some of the most beautiful country on the planet and I can't wait to see the footage/pictures he takes!
    And yes, there will likely be snow there in Sept; it snowed a foot first week of August in 2003.

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