By Ethan Moorhead, Guide
As guides, we tend to do little theorizing about weather before a trip. Although larger pattern weather systems may be predicted, in our mountainous and glaciated terrain, they often don’t have predictable outcomes. Rain on one side of the Kennicott Valley rarely means rain on the other side too. I usually preface all gear selection by saying that we should all be prepared for everything from 40°F and rainy, to 90°F and sunny. That said, sometimes we still get surprised by the crazy weather Alaska will throw at us. Continue reading
When your equipment breaks down and you’re miles from the car, it’s nice to know you’ve got the right tools and supplies to get you by. Whether you make it as-good-as-new, or just fix it enough to limp back to the car, having a good repair kit is critical in the backcountry. Here’s a short list of items that we’ve found useful for field repairs. And don’t forget to think out of the box – a whole lot of duct tape and a little bit of creativity can sure go a long way!
- Duct tape – wrapped around itself in a tight roll. You can also wrap it around trekking poles for quick access.
- Tenacious tape (store it around the duct tape roll). This is great for fabric (tent, jacket, sleeping pad) repairs, as it doesn’t leave the sticky residue that duct tape does. (Tyvek tape is also a great option!)
- Zip ties – 6 total, assorted sizes
- Bailing wire – 2 feet of about 16-gauge (especially helpful when backpacking with crampons)
- 2 ski straps – for attaching things together
- Multi-tool – we tend to use the plyers and knife options frequently around camp, but the other functions (scissors, screwdrivers) are great for repairs
- Safety pin, needle, and thread – for quick stitching fixes (dental floss also works great!)
- Para-cord – approx. 50-foot length
- Tent pole repair sleeve
- Chapstick – to lube zippers, but also for chapped lips!
- Toothbrush head – to clean out dirty zippers
- Spare stove/pump parts (especially O-rings) – keep in stove bag for easy access!
- Replacement hipbelt buckle
Keep in mind, there are plenty of items you could carry in your repair kit. Depending on the type and length of the trip, you can add or subtract to this list, however this is just a compilation of things we’ve found useful to have in the backcountry.
When it’s time for your lunch break, it’s nice to treat yourself to a “fresh” lunch when you can. Whether you’re just headed out for the day, or it’s the first day of your multi-day adventure, treat yourself with some Curried Alaska “SPAM-on” Salad ! (not salmon, SPAM-on – get it?) Despite Spam’s mediocre reputation, we here at SEAG swear by it. So to all you doubters out there, don’t knock it until you try it… Continue reading
As we wrap up our 2017 season, we just wanted to extend everyone a big thank you for making it possible. This season was full of new friendships, adventure, some Type II fun (just a little!), and lots of fantastic memories. We compiled some photos of our favorite memories of the summer, and hope you enjoy viewing them as much as we did! Keep on adventuring! Continue reading
For the next article featuring our returning clients, we’d like to rave about Amy. An experienced backpacker, Amy has been coming up to the Wrangells since 2010, and continues to be drawn back to its remote alpine beauty. She enjoys the challenge it provides, and loves the new experiences she leaves with each year. When she’s not backpacking through the Wrangells, Amy is a Pediatric Hematologist in Seattle (for laypeople like us, she works with diseases of the blood, spleen, and lymph nodes of children). That’s such amazing work Amy! We’ve loved having you explore Wrangell-St. Elias with us, and look forward to more adventures to come! Here’s a recap of the 4 different trips she’s completed over the years. Continue reading