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Thread: FL to Fairbanks

  1. #1
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    Default FL to Fairbanks

    Hello,
    Long story short...21 y/o male born and raised in upstate NY moved to SW florida 3 years ago. Anway my girlfriend and I are heading to Fairbanks in August to attend UAF. We will be taking a 2000 Subaru outback, outfitted for the cold, block heater etc. Luggage includes 2 yakima cargo boxes (roof mounted) mountain bikes on a hitch rack and a few essentials inside the car. We are avid outdoors people, but regardless AK is a new world, and i'm not going to get up there and be ignorant. I'm looking for suggestions on gear. I want quality, and want to buy once. I used to have all military spec gear (father was a SEAL, so he knew what was good) grew out of it all. What should I look for in terms of Boots, Coat, etc...there are too many companies out there, and i dont want to waste time returning crap. How about a tent? i hear northface makes a quality tent, 3 or 4 season? If you have any tips please let me know. I'm good on a computer, and money is tight (work and school full time) but i still want good stuff, ebay craigslist....i will find good deals. Also should i wait to get up there? I'm going to camp alot on the way up (save money, enjoy the Great outdoors, parks etc, then upon arival we will be on campus for the first semester, then finding an apartment (jullian square? anyone familiar?) Also, whats the routine for firearms across the Canadian border? ive got a few handguns, highpower and shotguns i want to take up. Thanks a million! -Justin

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    Lots of questions. To much to answer here in one thread. Pick some specifics and do some searches here on the forums. But I'll answer one of them. You cannot bring your handguns through Canada. Contact them directly and find out what you need to do regarding your other firearms. I'm sure there are some here who will tell you what you need to do but do yourself a favor and get it from the horses mouth. I mean, the Mounties mouth!

    Jillian square is one option. I would suggest you get to Fairbanks as early as you can in the summer. Fall and winter comes quick, you will want to be settled in before then. August is Fall. It can snow in September and it's winter for sure in October and I've seen it 40 below on Thanksgiving.

    Oh, welcome to the forums and Fairbanks... eventually

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    That's quite the hike from Florida to Fairbanks.
    I am really good friends with someone that moved up here from Lakeland, Florida. That was over a 4k/mile trip for them!

    There is one thing that I'd like to suggest for when you move up here... be sure to bring anything that you may even *think* that you might need because nothing is easily replaceable up here unless you have the money to spend on items and then some.

    Also take into consideration that certain places don't allow for shipping up here, too.

    About your guns, Snyd is definitely the better person to ask about that.

    My personal opinion about Jullian Square is that it's not the only place to live in Fairbanks. If you need suggestions, PM me and I'll send you what my suggestions would be for our area.
    Have you looked on craigslist?
    Lurker.

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    Member Alaskan Salmon Sith's Avatar
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    Definately hit me up on a PM if you want some recommendations. I've lived in several appartment complexes and can point you in the right direction as far as general outdoor gear.

    Proudly Serving Since 1997
    The circle is complete again, finally. The force is once again balanced!
    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes in regards to fishing!"

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    Default Just the opposite

    Due to military we drove from Fairbanks to NW Florida. Took 14 days due to vehicle WEIGHT and just doing some sight seeing. I will travel LIGHT when I go back up the Alcan. Driving a Subaru will limit you anyway.
    I made alot of the same assumptions moving there in '99. If you are going to do some winter camping, a sugession for a sleeping bag is a Wiggy's arctic sleeping bag. I used mine to -25F. It was Toasty Warm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6.6flylow View Post
    Due to military we drove from Fairbanks to NW Florida. Took 14 days due to vehicle WEIGHT and just doing some sight seeing. I will travel LIGHT when I go back up the Alcan. Driving a Subaru will limit you anyway.
    I made alot of the same assumptions moving there in '99. If you are going to do some winter camping, a sugession for a sleeping bag is a Wiggy's arctic sleeping bag. I used mine to -25F. It was Toasty Warm.
    6.6flylow,
    I just wanted to say Welcome to Outdoors Directory and congrats on your first post!! It's an excellent one! Thumbs up for Wiggy's!
    Lurker.

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    FOR ZEUS 87

    The car will be good for this area, just have it checked out after you arrive for a battery pad, transmission pad, and fluids for -60. U will need good tires for winter too, green diamonds/blizzak are very good. Do not expect to use lower 48 cheapo tires here in winter. Military type polypropylene (i use them a lot, specially for xcountry skiing) are excellent for the cold weather, carthart lined jeans (around $45 a piece), and wool socks. Polypropiline you can get it down there. Carthart clothing and good wool socks u can get it here (Big Rays or Prospectors). Boots also get them here in Fairbanks. Gloves same get them here. Coat always arctic line cartharts (around $115), so bibs too, and or overalls. The extreme cold cartharts (not the red lined ones). For a tent a good quality one 4 seasons will serve u good (u will not be living in it during winter anyway, that means sept-mar) Jillian square is an excellent place to stay ( I lived there when i moved here) For firearms thru canada check with canadian authorities, (check internet or call them) need paperwork for long guns, and i beleive $50 per long gun, no handguns allowed thru, must ship the hand guns. hope this help u a bit.
    Last edited by surprisedak; 03-14-2009 at 01:22. Reason: answer

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    hi test, 1234
    Last edited by surprisedak; 03-14-2009 at 01:25. Reason: rr

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    you have to have a no resident weapons permit for every gun you want to cross the boarder and those are about 50 bucks a pop your handguns have to be shipped i know sentry hard ware and sportsmans ware house in fairbanks will do it for like 25 $ a piece ull have to call them and have them fax their ffl stuff to what ever ffl your our useing down there. I like columbia and north face outer garments and i use under armour kinda spendy but worth it i also like polar tec fleece.

  10. #10

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    Check with canada on your long guns I brought my daughter up in december seems like the gun permit was 50 bucks and instead of three guns on one permit like it used to be which is what she had they said you can now have 16 guns on the permit but the permit used to be good for a year and now is only good for one trip.

  11. #11

    Default I went through canada with long guns and hand gun..

    I had to call ahead of time, get a fax, fill it out and send it back, I THINK, I sent it back...then when I hit the border, I was in and out in about an hour....

    I had a lock box and they wanted to inspect it, crap, i had to unload my trailer to get to it!

    but, they put all my guns on the ONE application for $25!!! The canadians were supper nice to me...no problems at all...

    the big thing is the restrictions on certain guns: with large clip capacities, barrells shorter than like 3 in, sawed off barrells, etc....

    I was happy! Until i hit a moose and could not dispatch it myself and go on...had to wait on the troopers!
    Scotty in the AK bush

  12. #12

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    the quick...i'm from texas....live and teach in the bush...hunt, fish, photo, trap, boat, 4 wheel, etc....

    get carhartt's for the winters....get the arctic extreme bibs with arctic coat, this will allow you to breath...wear polyprop under it, maybe even a thin layer of silk...get BUNNY BOOTS, white, not black, these will keep your feet warm when wet even in -30 and will not freeze up like leather or other rubber boots....the carhartts do great wet in -30, i know, I've gone down trapping and snow machining multiple times and did fine...

    now, north face has some good stuff, but it tears easy...my coat is great for close in to the village, but I would not take my north face out on an expedition....it was not as wind proof as the carhartts either....

    Also, if your in fairbanks, man, that is cold..-50......make sure you and your woman have an emergency kit, radio, phone, expedition stuff even when your driving around fairbanks....i had a girl friend go down a couple of miles outside of anch in -20, had her work shoes on....lost two toes in the walk back home after a wreck...not a joke!...

    get lots of different types of blavaca's, head gear, heavy, light...silk, poly, fur, etc...you'll have to experiment with it to find what fits you best...if you wear glasses, get a face mask that does not fog up ...like 'fog evader', google it...if you don't wear glasses, then you can use a full fask mask, helmet, etc much easier....fur is the best with a thing polyprop liner under it, or blavaca....

    gloves....leather with fur on the backside.....get them oversized so you can put a pair of light work gloves under it....i have multiple pairs on my snow machine incase i loose one, burn one, rip one, etc..and i've done all the above....oversized gloves with guantlets is the best, made by natives,a nd put the thinner work gloves under them so you can take off your heavy's and work for a few minutes, put them back on...

    the carhartt coveralls, extremes, are too warm for moving around, you'll sweat in them...but, they are great for laying around working or for emergencies on the trail, especially if your hurt and can't move....

    sleeping bags...go expensive, light weight......

    socks....carhartt arctic only!!!!....way much better than wigwam, etc....not the winter boot socks, but arctic....

    a hoodie is great to wear under your coats to layer with....

    4 season tent by northface, cabella's, etc, is great.....leave the top of the vent open though in negative weather so they breath....

    go to the 'go north ' hostel in FB....they will put you up in a nice canvass tent, heater, showers, kitchen, nice german people, for $25 a night...$15 in the T-pee!....they can book anything for you....truck, camper, bike, and other hostels!!!!....they have net too....sooooo, great place to stay or have them plan stuff for you...

    guns/canada...call ahead of time to the appropriate dept in canada...they faxed me something and i faxed back info..they cleared me ahead of time...at the border, i had to check all guns in and they put 4 guns, one hand, on my application for just $25!!! But that is not always the case, usually they charge for each gun!....but, not a big problem...but you need to be able to lock a hand gun up, ammo too?...ask em...

    great music scene up here...lots of old folk music bans, new alternative stuff...southern rock is in...gotta do Kennicot/McCarthy cooper mine, awesome place to visit for music, hiking on a glacier, etc...

    ok, if you got any questions, just email or PM me....oh yea, i drove up from texas, take your time, see all the sights you have not seen....and Canada is awesome...take your time
    Scotty in the AK bush

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I didn't see anyone mention it, but you will need a passport to travel through Canada. I just renewed my families passports last week, and they said they are supposed to running a 4-6 week turnaround.

    It's really tough to recomend specific gear as it depends on what activities and what time of year you are doing them. I'd suggest you might want to spend the first year up here with minimal gear until you figure out what activities you are doing most.

    I personally can't stand goretex and similar products as they just don't breath enough for me, nor are they truly water proof. I find polypro base, fleece and a waterproof out layer is very effective, just add and remove as needed. Sierre Trading post is a great place to get last years outer gear at great prices, and practically every week they come out with one day 20% off coupon codes. It really doesn't take that many layers to stay warm when you are active down to about -10F. A warm hat and gloves (several pairs of gloves as they get wet). For serious cold, get an 800 fill down or synthetic parka. When you take a break from hiking/skiing, just put on the parka and the hood and you'll be toasty.

    For a tent does it need to be a backpacking tent, or will you be using a car, boat, plane 4wd etc to move it? It's an important question as the best tents for extreme weather aren't backpacking tents. The arctic oven or barneys bombshelter are tops. If you want a compromise, a ti-goat tipi or a black diamond megamid with a stove jack added and a ti-goat titanium woodburning stove provides a sub 10# heated enclosure. The downside is they are floor less, so keeping the bugs at bay can be a challenge.

  14. #14
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default As a UAF grad...

    ...I would recommend looking at on campus housing until you really settle in up there. It is not that bad but does cause an issue during the summers when you have to move out. If you can get into SAC as part of a group then you are set for decent living arrangements during school.

    For off campus living you have the following options: Apartment complex, house, cabin.

    For off campus I would stay away from all apartment complexes. They have a mix of young military, young civilians, migrant slope workers, tourists (summer mostly), and the chronically unemployed. It can have a serious impact on your school work and your job. When I was at UAF the kids that were stuggling to attend school usually ended up in these places because they could no longer get away with their behavior on campus. The last stand before moving back in with the folks and putting the hair net and name tag back on.

    There are lots of houses in the Geist road corridor that have been used as student houses for decades. Most are duplexes or places with finished basements converted to two to four bedroom homes. Some of these you can even get access to a garage. There are a couple that are historic geology and biology student occupied properties. Double occupancy of the bedrooms with the gf can save a bunch of money.

    My friend and I did this our senior year and over the summer sublet our living room to a F&G bio techy to make some beer money. We walked to school all year or road bikes when it was decent. I learned that bunny boots have zero traction on ice at 50 below. Old school Air Force mukluks are the way to go on the icy sidewalks.

    There are hundreds of cabins in the Gold Hill and Chena areas. Some have running water, but most do not. They present a problem at the end and beginning of the school year since the gym and the student center are closed for a few days or a week. No showers unless you know someone that is living in the dorms or SAC. Of course using an outhouse at 50 below is another matter. Dumping your sink water out the front door is fun too. Especially in the spring when it thaws.

    If you are serious about mtn biking you need to get some poagies for your handle bars and insulated over shoes. There is a large winter biking community up there that you can hook up with. Find the "old guys" Fred or Simon from All Weather Sports. Fred might still have a small shop open to work on bikes.

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    Thanks guys!! I lost track posts/webpages over these past couple months. Things have changed, but the bottom line is i will be in Fairbanks, AK August 18th 2009. I along with my GF are very excited. I have been stocking up on "needs" but have a long way to go. We have put off the drive, and will be flying in, yes all of the same gear is coming, including the bikes. Well i wanted to say thanks again an i TRULY appreciate all of your time and recommendations. I hope to meet up with some of you when we get there. Again thanks again! Justin Z (NVSEALs07@aol.com)

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