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  1. #1

    Default I say, Hey! Who's goin my way on the Alaskan Highway?

    Hello fellow roadtrippers!
    I am planning the ultimate roadtrip for this summer. My best friend and I are taking my Subaru Impreza wagon from Indiana to Alaska! we are taking 7 weeks to make the round trip. We plan on tent camping most of the way as finances are tight and gas is high! Just wondering if anyone out there has any insight into this trip? My main questions are 1. Will there be plenty of campsites without reservations (as it is hard to tell when we will get where)? 2. What is the cost of food in British Columbia in general? 3.What are some suggestions for things to do along the way? 4. Any other thing you might want to share about the trip that I am sure will change me forever! I have been researching this topic daily for the last month and still have 106 days to prepare! Any information woud be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,066

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The single best thing you can do to get ready for a trip to Alaska is to pick up a copy of the milepost. (Link is for the 2011 version, the 2012 will be out next month) That is the definitive guide to everything for the Alaska highway, including details about campsites and places to resupply, and other stopping suggestions.

    Prices for everything will be higher than you are used to once you cross the border, because of current exchange rates, and it will get more expensive the farther north you get.

    The trip is still on my to do list, but we've had a few regular members who've made the trip and likely will provide more tips later on.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default North to Alaska Planning Guide

    You can order a planning guide from the Alaskan Tourism board. It's a free guide and might be helpful to you. Actually, there's an online version that you can download today too.

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Yes! the Milepost is a must.

    Michael is right, all the information you need and want is in The Milepost - the bible of all who take the trek north. On Amazon you can purchase the 2012 issue pre publication. (same price as the link above.) The tour planning guide is great to have, but it is no substitute for The Milepost... which really is a must-have.

    Once you get as far as the Alaska Highway - which does not start till you get to Dawson Creek - you will find that the major towns are an easy day's drive apart. Speeds are quite a bit slower, and wildlife is prolific. Be very aware, as traffic holdups for wildlife can be frequent, especially on the Ft Nelson to Watson Lake stretch.

    A variety of camping sites is available, and I have never booked, or missed out on a spot. And yes, as you get further and further north the prices hike north as well. Life is not cheap up there. Make sure you have an emergency fund to fall back on. Vehicle repairs can be expensive.

    Seven weeks is a nice bit of time, but remember, there is a lot to see. You won't have time for all of it.

    Lifey

    p.s. might see you along the way!
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 02-23-2012 at 03:35 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Thanks for the replies!- New quandry???

    I had already ordered my Milepost and received it in the mail last week-end. It truly is a mile by mile account of EVERYTHING! on every possible route. Well worth the $30! My itinerary in the U.S.alone is going to be spectacular! Badlands, Sturgis, Mount Rushmore Yellowstone, Glacier, Tacoma, Bellinghause!Next question.... I know not to leave food or trash outside but can I keep dry food (inside rubbermade totes) and coolers with food in my car at night (with windows rolled up of course). I have someone trying to sell me food cahe barrels- are they really necessary? Thanks for your help!~Netha

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Bears are smarter than that!

    You must not leave food of any kind in a vehicle in an area with bears. Bears are smart, and if they see anything that looks like it might be food -- food wrappers, plastic bins, etc. They will open your car and take it.

    Always remove food and if you're camping -- store it it in a food cache or on a rope sling away from your kitchen/sleeping area.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Not just food.

    And there method of opening the car is not pretty !

    Bears have incredibly sensitive noses and even Deodorants, Toothpaste, soaps and anything else with a scent can cause a break in. Some say that even a Grocery bag and a few crisp crumbs on the seat can be enough to cause the damage above to a clever, hungry Bear. The likely culprits who have had encouters with humans previously, associate bags with food.

    Some think it is OK to hide it in the trunk of the car, but that gets real messy. As said they have a strong sense of smell and once in the vehicle they go about tearing the seats up to gain access.

    You might not see one, but no point in tempting fate !
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 03-02-2012 at 09:12 AM. Reason: Added comment.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default When needed, they are supplied.

    Netha, whereas all the above points are legitimate warnings, don't get too paranoid. If you stick to the commercial campgrounds along the way, you will be fine. The folk at reception will give you all the information you need. If you plan on camping in the wild, away from campgrounds, or in National or State Parks, etc. I would definitely heed all the bear warnings. I have always had food in my car, and mostly camped in the commercial campgrounds. Wherever I have camped in a park campground, bear proof containers were provided. When they are, be sure to use them.

    Lifey

  9. #9

    Default Smarter than the Average Bear!

    I guess Ill be buying those food cache barrels because I only plan on camping in state and nat'l parks...not commercial campgrounds. Thanks Everyone!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,066

    Default

    State and National Parks and other public campgrounds in bear country will typically have bear boxes available - its by no means something you'll only find at private campgrounds. Its backcountry camping, away from designated campgrounds where you really have to be careful, since nothing is provided in those cases.

    In fact, in places where bears are very active, you will sometimes see warnings that the campground is only for those with hard sided campers - tents/popups not allowed.

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