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Thread: Alaska Gear Question

  1. #1
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    Default Alaska Gear Question

    There is a good chance I'll be moving to Anchorage soon. I applied for a job that I'll probably get and be moving in a month. I'm pretty experienced from my past jobs, but Alaska scares me.
    I'll only have a car so I'm not planning any huge trips for a few years. To be honest, I'll probably only be able to do things around Anchorage or take a short paddling trip or two. Here's what I plan on bringing. If you think I should leave it, or have a better suggestion, let me know. I won't have room to bring everything I own, so I pared it down quite a bit. I put or on some items that I was wanting some thoughts on the most appropriate item. I'm flying and shipping my car, so I want to take as little as possible. This is not all I'm bringing, it's just what I'm wondering about.

    Clothing:
    Minus 33 base systems in expedition and light weight
    Sitka Celcius Bibs
    Sikka 90% Jacket
    2 down vests. 1 is a feathered friends, and the other I just am partial to.
    An 10 year old mountain hardware gortex bomber shell
    An arcteryx softshell and a cloudveil softshell
    Marmot Precip Raingear

    Random Gear:
    A primos omnifuel stove or a jet boil

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Looks like you'll be pretty well set up to me. What is it that you're questioning? Whether your gear will be warm enough? Tough enough? From what I see, you should be fine.

  3. #3
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    The couple things that I cannot live without is a comfortable warm down coat, and nice wind stopper type fleece jacket. Layering is the way to go up here, so if it is colder out you just throw on another layer.

  4. #4
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Remember, cotton is your enemy ;-) I use my Sitka 90% jacket as a wind block on hikes around Anchorage and find it an excellent jacket year round. The cool thing about Los Anchorage is that all the hills you see have trails to the top! Great hiking starts less than 15 minutes from downtown. Good wool socks, good hiking boots (with a little gortex), trekking poles, simple instep/four or six point crampons/or crampons, and/or simple snow shoes will get you anywhere you want to go year round. Plenty of folks hike year round without anything other than just a good pair of boots... After a year in Alaska, +20F will seem like +50F in LA :-) It won't take you long to find REI, Alaska Outdoor Warehouse, Barneys, Alaska Mountaineering, and other great stores too! You have an excellent start.
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  5. #5
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    You are fine to go pretty much anywhere in the state during the summer/fall w/ what you list there. AK is very car friendly as long as you are willing to hike a bit farther to get to some of the rivers or other recreation places though even that is becoming less of an issues. A front wheel drive car is great for commuting and getting around Anchorage and the core highways will be passable for you and your car most of the time, just watch the weather before doing something like driving to Kenai in the winter.

  6. #6
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    Thanks. I figured I was ok, but I just wanted to make sure. I got a job a few years back at the Arizona Strip, and most of the gear I brought I didn't use. I have a lot more experience now, but Alaska still kind of scares me.

  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    grab a hiking book (of which there are quite a few) then check out the Chugach park trails and start hiking them. In no time you will get comfortable and be looking for new challenges and spending more time out while going farther. One day, probably before you know it you won't think twice about heading out. I bet you almost miss the days when it was a little scary. The way I see it nearly everything worth doing is scary in the beginning. If you are familiar with firearms then a pistol may help you feel more comfortable, if not then bear spray is a lighter option with a less steep learning curve, either one may boost your confidence if bears are a source of angst.

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