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Thread: Attending UAF this Fall-Moving from AZ

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    Question Attending UAF this Fall-Moving from AZ

    Hi guys,
    First post here. I will be leaving (flying) for Fairbanks in late August where I'll be attending University of Alaska Fairbanks for 5 years. (doing a double degree of German and Mech. Engineering) I have lived in cold weather before (Germany, Maryland & Michigan) but 200 miles below the Arctic Circle will be something new for me. I am in AZ right now so some things for extreme cold I will have to buy once I get up there. Still, what would you guys insist on me having before or getting right when I get up there? What should I be prepared for once I am there? (cold, haha)
    Also, I have about 20-25 guns here that I am looking at possibly-eventually-bringing up to Alaska. How should I do this? I believe sending them would be much too expensive and it would take a long time to get them up to Alaska during my flights between here and there. I have both hunting/c&r type rifles as well as some "AW" types (AK's, FAL's) so I don't know if I could take them through Canada on a road trip later on. What do you guys think? I have a great uncle in Fairbanks who would look after my guns (I hear the University is a little apprehensive about guns-no surprise there. haha)
    Just looking for some advice from those with experience in the extreme cold. I am planning on hiking, camping, hunting, etc. once I get situated up there, but for now I am just concerned about what I'll need while living the dorm life.

    All advice is welcome and thanks in advance,
    Andy

    PS: I have done some searching on the board and have found some good info so far. Just looking for some extra advice since, as a college student, my situation will be different than most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyman View Post
    Hi guys,
    First post here. I will be leaving (flying) for Fairbanks in late August where I'll be attending University of Alaska Fairbanks for 5 years. (doing a double degree of German and Mech. Engineering) I have lived in cold weather before (Germany, Maryland & Michigan) but 200 miles below the Arctic Circle will be something new for me. I am in AZ right now so some things for extreme cold I will have to buy once I get up there. Still, what would you guys insist on me having before or getting right when I get up there? What should I be prepared for once I am there? (cold, haha)
    Also, I have about 20-25 guns here that I am looking at possibly-eventually-bringing up to Alaska. How should I do this? I believe sending them would be much too expensive and it would take a long time to get them up to Alaska during my flights between here and there. I have both hunting/c&r type rifles as well as some "AW" types (AK's, FAL's) so I don't know if I could take them through Canada on a road trip later on. What do you guys think? I have a great uncle in Fairbanks who would look after my guns (I hear the University is a little apprehensive about guns-no surprise there. haha)
    Just looking for some advice from those with experience in the extreme cold. I am planning on hiking, camping, hunting, etc. once I get situated up there, but for now I am just concerned about what I'll need while living the dorm life.

    All advice is welcome and thanks in advance,
    Andy

    PS: I have done some searching on the board and have found some good info so far. Just looking for some extra advice since, as a college student, my situation will be different than most.
    I got my Civil Engineering degree up at UAF. Great school and you can get some good interraction with the professors.

    I wouldn't be in a huge hurry to get too much of anything before getting up here. You will have a fair amount of time with pretty warm weather before you have to worry about needing the cold weather gear. Plenty of time to shop around and pick out what works for you. No reason to buy it and then need to haul it all the way up.

    It gets cold enough at various times in the winter that you will not want to drive a vehicle. It can be really hard on them unless, and even if, they are set up properly. It sucks to have to spend 20 minutes warming up your car to go on a 5 minute drive. Living on campus is nice to make it easy to get to class even when it is -30 or colder. They don't cancel class, so be prepared to find a way to get there no matter the weather. I rode my bike most of the time.

    I did like you were thinking, stored my guns at a friends house off campus. There was a way to store them on campus, but that required leaving them at the campus police department where they locked it up. Not convenient at all and there is no way I am leaving my guns with someone I don't know and fully trust.

  3. #3

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    Ya, I would wait til you got up here to do your clothes shopping. That being said, the name of the game is layering as I'm sure you know if you've spent time in cold climates. That, and stuff that will keep you dry. I'd say just wait til you get moved in and then find a local there on campus and ask if they would mind helping you pick some stuff out. Not only should they know what to get, but also the best places to get it.

    As for the guns, I'd say just ship them to yourself or even directly to your great uncle. You can use a standard carrier like Fedex or UPS, or check with local gun dealers on having them specialty shipped. There really is no ideal way to move that many guns, but its your best option in my opinion.

    Good luck!

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Lots of polar fleece and something to entertain yourself with. I attended UAF in the early 90's and my biggest complaint was that their was not alot to do once it got cold out. Try to use the facilitys like the student rec center(SRC) and Patty center (pool, basket ball courts and a indoor rifle range( .22 subsonic rounds only). I played alot of intermeral sports and the dorms usually had fun things to do like broom ball etc.
    Their are alot of good stores for camping and clothing for the outdoorsman like Beaver sports and Prospector. Go check them out but remember the prices might be higher than your used to.

    Their is a liquor store within walking distance and that is what helped me with the long cold nights on a few occasions

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    Sign up for the sierratradingpost.com coupons and wait for good deals also monitor steepandcheap.com for deals lots of good base layer stuff comes up for sale there. I have been to Germany, Maryland, and Michigan in the winter... you haven't lived anywhere even remotely comperable to FBX yet. A long range auto-start for your car is a blessing!! For the most part everyone wears a very warm ski style jacket and never strays far from a building when it is super cold. If you are going to drive out of town when it is very cold (or any time in the winter) then a good set of insulated bibs is a good thing to keep in the vehicle. Sierra trading post has stupid good deals on polar fleece and for the most part one brand name fleece jacket is pretty much the same as another. You can make a warm jacket warmer by wearing layers underneath it. Carhart jackets and bibs are very popular and have been for years, good warm durable stuff!

    As for your guns I would pick a selection of do-it-all guns out of your collection if you have a safe place to keep them down south. 1 rifle of at least 308 level power, 30-06 would be perfect or 300 if you want more power. 1 shotgun (12 gauge), 1 CCR pistol, 1 .22 caliber rifle. That will leave you set up for pretty much anything you would want to do. A magnum revolver isn't a bad thing either but if you have a combo 12 gauge w/ a long barrel for birds and short slug barrel that will have you covered in the birds and bears arena. Once you have a definite place to store your weapons and a good address then ship from/to yourself at that address on your first trip home.

    All in all you are going to have a blast! Live meagerly, learn to pack light and fast and you will be amazed at what you can see and do up here. The big key is realizing AK isn't about city or town life. Even now @ 30 w/ a family my house is more of a launching pad. It is a place I keep my stuff, get my mail, and plan my adventures. Big extravagant homes are overrated, they take too much time and money and keep you from doing what AK has to offer. The same thing is true if you try and make your dorm or car too nice on a college budget. If you wanted all that then why do it in AK?

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    Save your money with the techie-yuppie stuff and get an Air Force N3-B parka off eBay for $50.00.

    You won't have time to do too much if you'll be in the engineering school. UAF is one of the 10 best schools in the US, and one of the top cold-climate schools in the world. Don't let the low entry requirements fool-you, I watched many fail out. 60% of students don't return for the second year. Concentrate on your work first. See if you can hack it, then think about having fun.

    I would get together with a friend of mine and do Friday movie night where we would either go out to a flick and dinner after, or we'd buy steaks, scream and a couple flicks, then kick back grill and eat and watch flicks. It was a good way to stay sane under the pressure.

    There is plenty to do if you go looking for it. The rifle range is set up for the school shooting team so taking your own in to go shooting is made deliberately challenging. Best call the range to see if they'll still let you.

    Concealed firearms are not allowed by school rule. But then, if it is concealed, no-one knows. I carried the entire time I was there, in my backpack which went everywhere with me, I told no-one, and no-one ever found out. That is the way it should be. Around finals time some of the kids get to be really stressed. You'll see once you're there.

    Small classes will get you lots of extra time with the profs. Look for opportunities for research, if you look, you'll be able to get in on a research project, which will help you get published. Talk to the profs, you'd be surprised how few students do.

    I had a great deal of fun while I was there '98-'05, I was terrified the whole time, but I had a lot of fun.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post

    I had a great deal of fun while I was there '98-'05, I was terrified the whole time, but I had a lot of fun.
    Hey, we overlapped up there. I was there from Fall '97-December '01.

    I agree with you about talking to the professors. I found that I got on a first name basis with many of them which made things a lot easier when you had questions and needed to meet with them outside of class. Some even provided their home and/or cell numbers for people to call if/when they had questions. I doubt you would get that at many, if any, outside schools. The more personal interraction worked well for me because I had to coordinate schedules frequently with my travels for cross country running and skiing throughout the year.

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    Default Canada...

    My experience driving through Canada to AK, and from what I've read since...best not to think of driving guns thru Canada. I believe Canada would not permit private transport of long guns or handguns.

    Maybe the drive-on ferry out of Bellingham, WA? The customs people should know if you call for reservations. I think you need reservations well in advance. Good luck.

    Best wishes in Fairbanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    My experience driving through Canada to AK, and from what I've read since...best not to think of driving guns thru Canada. I believe Canada would not permit private transport of long guns or handguns.

    Maybe the drive-on ferry out of Bellingham, WA? The customs people should know if you call for reservations. I think you need reservations well in advance. Good luck.

    Best wishes in Fairbanks.
    You can get permits for transporting guns through Canada, however, there are multiple restrictions. I seem to recall they do have issues with assault weapon types and used to be really picky about handguns. Things have changed a good amount recently and has actually gotten easier, but the best option would be to go "around" in some way. Either ferry around or fly over (shipping). Definitely reduces the hassle.

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    The question of guns and Canada has been discussed in depth in previous threads, I suggest you research previous threads for your answer. The quick answer is rifles and shorguns are okay with proper paperwork and a small (like $25) cash payment. Your handguns will have to be shipped. Check previous thrteads for a more in depth answer.
    Steve
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    Default thanks guys!

    Sorry for not getting back sooner,
    Thanks for all of the advice! I think I will do like some of you suggested and bring my guns up slowly or try to bring them through WA. I figured Canada wouldn't make it very easy.....
    LuJon, I am sure I'll see what you mean about the climate vs. elsewhere very quickly. I assume its probably like the heat in PHX-you can't grasp it until you've been there. that being said, I am aware the climate will be much harsher than Michigan, Germany, etc. in the Winter. I will also sign up for the sierratradingpost.com coupons and wait for good deals as well as monitor steepandcheap.com. Thanks for those!
    I am looking forward to the academic challenge that I will get at UAF. I am aware that it is a very good school. My Uncle is an Associate Professor in geophysics there and has only good things to say about it (of course i guess that's to be expected from someone affiliated with the college, haha). I will also be in the Honors Program at UAF and, so far, it looks to be a very good program.
    Nitroman, you mentioned concealed carry on campus at UAF. Are you aware if the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is very strong there? I know they have a club and Facebook page (which I have joined), but I was wondering if they are an active group on campus.....
    Again guys, thanks for all of the help. I am sure, like you all say, I will get a better feeling for what is necessary and what isn't once I get up there. One last thing: in Arizona we have a good rifle and pistol org., is there a good club in Alaska that is well-established and active in the shooting sports? (I am sure there is, just wondering what it's called ) Also, where do people go to plink/target shoot? Do people mainly go to ranges or are there places out in the wilderness where people go (and don't trash it) ?

    Thanks again guys,
    Andy

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    Member Toddler's Avatar
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    Andy
    I would like to echo what Lujon and Nitro said. Lujon is exactly correct on the rifles however I might include something in the 223-264 range for wolves and the like. The outdoors will come naturally.

    More important than anything are your grades! It is much easier to maintain a good GPA than to rebuild it even after just one term. Learn from someone else's mistakes (yes mine) I had a 0.4 GPA that first term and graduated with a 3.4! It was a lot a hard work while my buddies who didn't go off the deep end that first term were drinking beer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyman View Post
    Sorry for not getting back sooner,
    Thanks for all of the advice! I think I will do like some of you suggested and bring my guns up slowly or try to bring them through WA. I figured Canada wouldn't make it very easy.....
    LuJon, I am sure I'll see what you mean about the climate vs. elsewhere very quickly. I assume its probably like the heat in PHX-you can't grasp it until you've been there. that being said, I am aware the climate will be much harsher than Michigan, Germany, etc. in the Winter. I will also sign up for the sierratradingpost.com coupons and wait for good deals as well as monitor steepandcheap.com. Thanks for those!
    I am looking forward to the academic challenge that I will get at UAF. I am aware that it is a very good school. My Uncle is an Associate Professor in geophysics there and has only good things to say about it (of course i guess that's to be expected from someone affiliated with the college, haha). I will also be in the Honors Program at UAF and, so far, it looks to be a very good program.
    Nitroman, you mentioned concealed carry on campus at UAF. Are you aware if the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is very strong there? I know they have a club and Facebook page (which I have joined), but I was wondering if they are an active group on campus.....
    Again guys, thanks for all of the help. I am sure, like you all say, I will get a better feeling for what is necessary and what isn't once I get up there. One last thing: in Arizona we have a good rifle and pistol org., is there a good club in Alaska that is well-established and active in the shooting sports? (I am sure there is, just wondering what it's called ) Also, where do people go to plink/target shoot? Do people mainly go to ranges or are there places out in the wilderness where people go (and don't trash it) ?

    Thanks again guys,
    Andy
    I kept a few of my rifles on campus through the police department. The storage facility was in a dorm that was infrequently used, and the stripped apartment was kept at 100* + F. Don't know why. Also, the cops made getting my stuff challenging because they'd want me to set up an appointment to get it. Call them to find out about storage.

    I lived in Bartlett Hall, top floor, all the way at the back, right hand side, nearest the stairway. Double-room. Very nice. Top floor was for Honors Students and other over-achievers that needed the place quiet. Much fun. I have no idea about a student club for concealed carry. While I was there, I just kept my mouth shut with my .45 in the bottom of my pack. Never had any trouble, but then I never had a roomie either. Again, by school rule, CC is verbotten.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    I kept my guns in my dorm room at UAF, but that was back in the 70's. You'll find that UAF has one of the best college shooting teams in the US. TVSA (Tanana Valley Sportman's Association) is a good and diverse group of people to be associated with. Plenty of shooting sports in Fairbanks.

    As far as gear goes, it's best to wait until you get there. You can find deals at the local stores for proper cold weather gear, if you have time to get out. Get yourself a pair of xc skis and enjoy the aurora on the Uni ski trails.

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    Bump.
    Andy,
    Have you made it yet? It's starting to get cold quick. What's your first response to being up here?
    Welcome to our great state!!
    COtoAK
    Lurker.

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