The plan was simple enough: pack up the bikes and scoot up to Deadhorse, TV camera crew in tow, cash in on the Alaska reality show boom, and retire to a place where a soft Pacific breeze tickles our toes and twisties encrust the hills. We thought of names like “Alaska State Bikers”, “Biking Alaska”, and “Deadliest Bikers”. Hm, okay, we need to work on the titles a bit. But surely the 49th state has enough juice left for one more compelling show series that we could squeeze some advertising dollars interested in a targeted audience full of self-important snark and frugality…?
Well, at least the dream lives on. Truth be told, we’re a just couple of guys who got three weeks off from work so we could stick our feet in the Beaufort Sea. It will likely be the most north I would ever stand on this planet, unless I get shipwrecked when attempting a circum-navigational route through the Northwest Passage, but that’s for our sequel series.
Let’s cut over to gear pix and commentary…
Here is the overall strategy…
- Packed enough clothes for 4 days, and to handle a temperature range of mid-30s to 90s.
- Electronics: Netbook with Windows 7, Kindle to store copies of documentation, Windows Phone 7
- Canon 50D with 17-40L zoom, 70-200 zoom, 1.4x extender, polarizer, extra batteries & storage cards.
- GoPro HD with assorted attachments
- GPS: Garmin nuvi 550 (waterproof and has AK maps)
- Lodging: I hate sleeping on the ground…
- Warbonnet Blackbird hammock with Big Mama tarp & Yeti UQ
- If I am grounded…REI HD2, Exped SynMat 7
- I need a pillow…Thermarest squishy pillow
- Marmot sleeping bag with Sea-to-Summit silk-cotton liner
- Kitchen: plan to cook in and eat out about 50-50
- Alcohol stove for water boiling, fueled by HEET
- MSR pot set
- GobSpark™ Armageddon FireSteel (I just love the way that sounds)
- Becker BK2 knife (this thing is a beast, batons through wood, and you can slice-n-dice tomatoes)
- Basic toolkit with hex, torx, wrenchs, etc. Can take either wheel off if needed.
- BestRest cyclepump, patch kit
- Safety wire (it’s better than duct tape, particularly after my last repair episode)
- Tool tube holding some of this goodies is tucked under the rear rack
- Victorinox MUT
- Assorted odds and ends
- Aerostich Darien suit
- Just two pairs of shoes: riding boots and Keens
- Camelback pak with water
- Blindfold for sleeping
- Bike cover
- 2 gallon fuel can – above placement is just a prop, planned to add the real on the road