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RIBahler

Rank IV
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Advocate I

1,384
Kenai, AK
Member #

3737


You can see the pics of the trip at my Google Photos Alaska Winter Camping Trip Album. You can look at each individual picture, click/tap the 'Info Icon' and it will show you the details of where the picture was taken. Here is a detailed map of the trip.

My lady Amber flew to Alaska to visit me and I took her on an amazing winter camping expedition. She doesn't like to be cold so I had some challenges to overcome. I ran a Honda EU2000I Generator to power a 1500 watt heater and a battery tender to maintain the juice while using interior lights. Gladly, I was able to keep the FlipPac interior above freezing in sub-zero temperatures. We of course have sleeping bags rated for the temperatures. We also used the Portable Buddy Heater by Mr Heater and a carbon monoxide sensor/alarm for more heat when we were getting ready for bed or getting ready for the day.

Day 1 we traveled from the beautiful Kenai Peninsula up to the eclectic town of Talkeetna where we camped near Christiansen Lake just outside of town.

Day 2 we drove to the amazing Denali National Park and Preserve where they were having their 100 year anniversary event and activities. Then we camped out on Stampede Trail which gained notoriety in 1992 after the death of Christopher McCandless, who had lived and died in a bus parked on an overgrown section of the trail. You may be familiar with the movie ‘Into the Wild’ that was based on the true story.

Day 3 we had the pleasure of spending the morning with Master Guide Coke Wallace and his wife Joann (Midnight Sun Safaris) who are wonderful, kind, and quite entertaining. We sure did learn a lot from them and had the best homemade Alaska Moose Chili. Later we drove out to the world famous Chena Hot Springs to shower, eat king crab legs, and soak in the wonderfully warm outdoor mineral pool.

Day 4 we drove to Fairbanks and North Pole where we were hoping to see the Northern Lights outside of town, but it was still overcast. Instead, we decided to have dinner at The Alaska Cheesesteak Company, watch a movie at Regal Theaters, and camped at Pioneer Boat Launch.

Day 5 we traveled back south to hopefully camp at Hatcher Pass to see the Northern Lights, even though the skies were clear, the weather conditions were getting to cold and windy, so we turned around to go back to our newly favorite little town of Talkeetna. What a great decision that was, because it became the icing on the cake as we stayed warm and finally saw the most amazing Northern Lights. Wow, what a sight! They are like watching colorful ribbon candy dancing in the sky with colors of green, blue, purple and pink. The iPhone is not capable of taking good pictures of the northern lights...so the pics I took of them are only blurry green streaks.

We couldn’t be happier with how the trip went, the challenges we faced, the fun we had, and the sights we saw. Best of all, Amber told me that I kept her as warm as possible and she always felt safe. - Mission Accomplished!
 
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RIBahler

Rank IV
Member

Advocate I

1,384
Kenai, AK
Member #

3737

Awesome trip and great pictures! Can't wait to get up there... though I'm shooting for the summer and not winter! What was the lowest temps you were seeing on your trip?
Thank you! The lowest temp was about -10, but they can very easily and very quickly get down to -40 through Denali National Park and Preserve, and same goes for Fairbanks. I highly recommend watching the weather very closely up here, even in the summer. While we were camping at Stampede Trail we encountered 40 MPH winds, 6 inches of snow, and berms up to 2 1/2 feet high. Gladly the FlipPac stayed secure and we were able to get out without too much work. I need to find a way to better secure the FlipPac when encountering unexpected high winds.
 
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Captain Chaos

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Nice write up! I gotta get up there someday soon. My wife will NOT go in the winter time though! lol
 

RIBahler

Rank IV
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Advocate I

1,384
Kenai, AK
Member #

3737

Nice write up! I gotta get up there someday soon. My wife will NOT go in the winter time though! lol
I hope you do - maybe my story would encourage her to try winter camping. My lady was against it at first, but with some well thought out planning and equipment I was able to keep her comfortable. Trust me, it's worth it if you are set up for it and have the experience.


RIBahler AKA RhinoSTi on Instagram - Using OB Talk
 
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Captain Chaos

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She hates the cold! lol! We grew up in Minnesota, and she gets cold at 75*F. I'm going to try to get her to come out with me next winter. But, I know better than to bring it up until early next fall!
 

AKBushDag

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Great write up! Just curious, how far into the Stampede Trail did you guys go? I did a lot of research/study about that trail and the Chris McCandells AKA: "Supertramp" story. The photograph you see of myself and Carl the Adventure Dag is the exact location where Chris was dropped off by the guy who gave him a ride to the trail head.