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Thread: ?? on the 5 mile walk on the HAUL ROAD

  1. #1
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    Default ?? on the 5 mile walk on the HAUL ROAD

    Am planning on going up in a couple days with the intent to walk in the 5 miles to hunt.
    Have seen the reports on the snow and am watching the weather reports.

    Have any of you done this walk during this time of year?? If so how was it and would you do it again??

    I am not really sure how to figure out where the caribou would be 5 miles off the road since I can't see that far so am figuring to walk in near Galbrith lake, to cut off as much walking distance as I can.

    Am dragging a sled with my pack, tent, and food.

    One other question. Anyone used the Jetboil in the weather conditions up there. Am planning on bringing one and a little concerned about the fuel getting too cold.

    Thanks for any advice you give.
    Jason

  2. #2
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Well, I guarantee you will dislike the hike in. Once the temps hit freezing, the tundra will lose it's cushy feel. Hope you have good footwear with plenty of ankle support.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  3. #3

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    I hiked in with a sled behind me in early Nov. a few years back and it was much easier that walking on it when it's wet. I have also hunted it in Sept. before it froze and it is way easier when it's frozen. A few inches of snow helps but hopefully not too much snow. Look for animals and start hiking in when you start seeing them. I had an MSR Whisperlight and it worked great up there. Good luck.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I'll concur- frozen beats squishy every time. Also look for gravel veins in the area you're hunting. Sled will help too.

    I use a jet boil- issues in the cold are longer boil times so I'd take an extra cannister or two and the fuel loses pressure in the cold so I'd keep the can I'm using in a coat pocket. Not generally a big issue until deep cold but it helps.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default cross country skis

    If there's snow then ski in. It's far easier than walking. The military "white rocket" skis are the most versatile since they work with just about any boot.

    A white gas stove (i.e. Whisperlite) is better in the cold and it could be below zero even in September. (but I defer to the Jetboil experts on operating temps)

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    You'll certainly lose some power with your jetboil. Keep a canister in your sleeping bag for morning use, and possibly one in a jacket pocket if you can stand it for evening use.

  7. #7

    Default My lessons learned.

    PC,
    First of all, I wish you luck on this hunt....and good weather.

    I did this exact same hunt 2 years ago the experience I had was less than great....Here are some of my lessons learned.

    1. Don't walk in blind, I would have to see some Caribou before I began hiking. I realize that just because there are some a 2 miles there might not be any at 5, but I wouldn't just pick a point and begin walking on the hope i might see something.

    2. The days were fairly warm, but everything froze at night, keep all your water in your sleeping bag, and boots.

    3. Remember the further you walk, the more trips you might have to make to haul out the Caribou. I would suggest making small trips back to a base camp if you harvest an animal. If you harvest it late in the day, just remember that the next morning you will be dragging the entire animal if you didn't finish getting all the meat. Troopers will look at the amount of meat and if you are light will want to see the remains.

    4. It's a tough walk..go slow and take it easy. Especially if you are going by yourself..I would recommend renting a sat phone.

    5. remember, it's 5 miles from THE ROAD, not simply 5 miles from where you start walking...the Troopers will give you zero slack.

    Good luck and I hope you get a monster.

    Sua Sponte

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Rut time too... shoot cows after Oct 1st for good meat, or just wait until the end of the month.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Ditto on keeping your water warm. I wear my Camelbak under my coat and keep Nalgenes in the sleeping bag at night.

    You fuel will sputter if it gets to freezing or better. You can quickly warm it up by sticking it under your jacket, but it's not pleasant if you're a little cold.

    One thing some friends found out up there...if it gets too much below freezing, fiberglass tent poles will crack if they flex too much.

    Don't take the sled if there's no snow on the ground. My wife and I walked in with a lightly packed sled and very little snow down. The light sled slid fine over the frozen, un-snow covered ground, but once it was weighted down with a 'bou it sucked.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

  10. #10

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    Saturday I went a mile in and arrowed a bull. Snow was just below knee deep in spots, just above in others. Ground was squishy and wished it was frozen for easier walking. I hauled 4 quarters, head and antlers in a dead sled and it wasn't too bad, but I'm going to try and rig up some sort of harness for it for the next time around.

    There will be snow this year, it isn't getting any warmer out. Caribou were moving through thick for the last week up by slope mountain, heading south, south east at a good pace.

    Here's a picture of the snow level this weekend. Shooting light is about over at 8:30pm and fading quickly. Always nice to finally get back to the road with your take!


  11. #11

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    stick to the ridge tops...they'll likely be wind blown and hopefully crusted enough you can walk on them in a pair of snowshoes.

    Jerry,

    Try a tree climbing harness, not the cheapo kind. They make great drag ropes, no reason they shouldnt work well draging a sled of meat also.

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    Default thanks

    appreciate all the posts and info. I am going to use a tree stand harness and am still working on the water issue. Not sure what I am going to do there. Probably carry a bunch in and then melt snow if necessary.

    Will try to figure out where we want to start walking, or start out when we see caribou.

    Thanks again

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    Member Sapper 2-6's Avatar
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    Another trick for keeping water thawed for your entire trip is to but it in an icechest. People may look at you crazy, but the ice chest is insulated and keeps the cold out keeping you water somewhat thawed much like it keeps the cold in and heat out in the summer. By the end of the 4 day weekend alot of it was frozen but still had plenty left in my blivets to do whatever cleaning I needed water fo.

    Sapper 2-6

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    Default Dumb Question

    If there is a foot of snow can you use a snow machine to get 5 miles off the road?

  15. #15

    Default

    nope to the sled....you can start on one side and sled to the other but not start from the road.

  16. #16

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by chinookee2004 View Post
    If there is a foot of snow can you use a snow machine to get 5 miles off the road?
    If you got the genes/blood for it, or if you originate your traverse from outside the 5 mile corridor on either side of the Dalton Hwy. Otherwise you gotta use shanks mare.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  17. #17

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    Thoughts:
    1) Big bulls will be rutting and possibly NOT even edible - taste like urine.
    2) Bring MORE food, water, or means to melt water (fuel) than you think. You will burn HUGE calories on this hunt. Melting snow for water is time consuming and therefore uses a lot of fuel. Bring foods that can be eaten when frozen, you know, trail mix, granola, etc, all other food will be frozen solid.
    3) Bring snowshoes.
    4) Extra felt liners for your pac boots - your feet will sweat. Dry wet liners and socks in your bag at night.
    5) White tyvek cover suit or similiar for camo.
    6) Felt lined rubber gloves, plumbers type, for butchering.
    7) Steel spikes, like 6" nails the diameter of say a pencil, use for tent stakes in the frozen ground. Something to pound them in with but not to deep or you won't get them back!
    8) Leave an extra sleeping bag, dry clothes, and food in your vehicle. You may shuttle a load back to the vehicle and want the option to just sleep there for the night.
    9) I have used a small candle to heat up the bottom of my isobutane fuel canisters in cold temps. Use your head and don't get it toooo hot!
    10) Wind chills can be pretty brutal up their - be prepared.
    11) Drive the road until you see good #s of bou, i.e, the migration. If you walk in there you will likely find bou at the 5 mile mark.
    12) Know how to navigate with your GPS and use a compass as well. Things get funky when your in a white out in the middle of the tundra. You will have NO idea which way to go. Mark you campsite and vehicle on the GPS at the least.

    Probably told you a bunch of stuff you already know - best of luck and share the pics with us!

  18. #18
    Member sledhands's Avatar
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    I am 25 miles west of the haul road 6 miles in from the arctic coast. it is 20' F now 9:40 PM mon the 28th we have fog. The snow has been falling a little everyday.. The ground is not frozen here yet as the snow came with the freeze.
    Good luck on your hunt!

  19. #19
    Member sledhands's Avatar
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    This morning 8 am 12'F

  20. #20
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    Default thanks

    appreciate the near real time updates on the weather. Am still planning on the trip so should be headed that way in a couple days!
    pretty excited.

    So I see the best bet is to find bou prior to starting the walk. Will do and will sleep with the water and fuel canisters to try and keep stuff warm.

    thanks again for all the great info everyone.

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