Roads Rivers and Trails

Dream. Plan. Live.

Tag Archives: Alaska


Adventure Dinner Series

RRT is proud to team up with the Great Parks of Hamilton County for the Adventure Dinner Series. In this news clip RRT owner Joe White talks with Fox 19’s Frank Marzullo about his upcoming presentation in the dinner series; Alaskan Adventure.

For 10 years, Joe White has guided and personally explored the most remote areas of the Alaskan Frontier. Away from the tour buses and cruise ships, Joe will take you on a backcountry experience with wild weather, animal encounters and all the raw beauty that Alaska has to offer.

Cost is $29.95/person, plus tax. For this dinner or any of the Great Park’s dinners visit their site for tickets.

Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

http://www.fox19.com/clip/11062926/great-parks-new-dinner-series

From the Beginning

RRT
At The Core
Written by: Bryan Wolf

While business sense is the only thing that can keep the doors open, there is another reason that the doors were ever opened at all.  Getting those thoughts on paper ended up being extremely difficult.  I wanted to write about myself which is hard enough, but I also wanted to make it a piece that describes RRT. I wanted to share how our fates were intertwined this whole time. What I came up with is this:

In 2000, I had little interest in going outside, and less in extreme adventures. I don’t believe I had a grasp even on what it meant to go out in nature. It took just one instance; however, before I would blossom quickly into an adventure junkie . Looking back I think it was that limited exposure and poor understanding that made me thirst for more.  A direct exposure to something so beautiful, like tasting something so sweet for the first time, and forever craving it thereafter.  It goes to show that if you can just open someones eyes, they may be inspired to take it to all new levels.

A post high school graduation road trip would of never happened without trying to live up to my brother Rick’s wild side, in fact that mentality still gets me in trouble. My brother was in college at the time, and he was good at it.  I don’t just mean the grades,  I mean the experience. I realized I had never experienced anything quite the same way he does; to the fullest. I don’t remember hesitating when he black canyoninvited me to cross the country with him, because at that crossroads, there was no real choice. With Rick and three perfect strangers we crossed the entire American landscape on our way to San Francisco.

Do you remember the first time that you took a deep breathe of fresh air and felt adventure filling your lungs? The people I was with, and those we would meet, allowed me to open up and pierce the shell I was hiding in all those years.  What I found when I came out of that shell was the most nurturing and addictive substance ever to be consumed by man, it was naturecrack (leezie 2011). It wasn’t the sights, the sights can be captured on high-definition television. You can try and witness all the beautiful sights of endless blue skies, deep red canyons, or towering white peaks though a TV. These are not just sights however, they are more a sense or emotion, and therefore can never be expressed or experienced on 72 inch plasma. Sharing the experience; that is the only way to understand or help anyone else understand what it feels like. The power of nature lies in every sense of your being.

I wanted to see the country’s wonders, I wanted my feet dangling from its deepest canyons, so I traveled on with old friends and with new. Each year I crossed parks, states, cities, and landmarks off my list.  It was early 2006 when I first realized for all the experience and check marks I still needed more.  It was my friend Joe that opened my eyes this time. Joe’s introduction to our wonderful world was much different than mine.  Through the scouts, Joe was brought up to always look for the longest lasting trip, the biggest craziest trip! I had been across the country with Joe already, so what was this big crazy trip?

Yellowstone FallsShooting pool and making life lists was a regular occurrence for the two of us, and it was one of those fateful nights that a new idea was born. What if instead of a dozen places in a dozen days we had but just one goal in mind……for six months.  The plan was to be completely consumed in nature and to completely consume it, to have an experience that was not in passing but challenged our commitment and understanding of everything. A feeling came over me much like it did years earlier: I don’t remember hesitating when he invited me to hike the Appalachian Trail with him because once again, I don’t feel life gives us the luxury of hesitation. Hesitation can be associated with disappointment, at least with all decisions regarding stoplights and the Appalachian Trail.

Nature would be defined differently from that moment on and yet undefinable.  Adventure would hold new meaning but with it be as contradicting as the previous statement. Adventure is of course synonymous with high adrenaline activities, but this time I found it to equally stand for the peace and tranquility found in truly knowing the wilderness. Stillness and silence was an adventure like no other.  The store (RRT) was born on one of our very first days on Appalachian Trail in late 2006.  It started with a dream and a passion, the way all good things come to be. In the midst of one adventure we were constantly planning the next.  We thought about having our own place to call home, a hub for adventurous spirits with the goods and advice to create those adventures.  We couldn’t turn and open up shop then, but that idea would never fade.

2178This experience we wanted shared on every platform that we could reach. We created a web site (the same one that hosts the store page now) and with it a blog and link to our photo journals while on the AT.  Beyond sharing with family and friends we wanted to reach a wider audience so we sought out media and were published in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Still, we wanted this trip to be big, and we wanted this thirst for adventure to spread so we decided to hike for a cause. On our 2,175 mile winter-journey we would raise $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southwest Ohio. What I saw was an opportunity; this was our opportunity to turn what we were doing into something bigger than ourselves. As each of us make our way in life we fight to be and to do the best we can.  When we find our moment(s) however, we need to ask ourselves if we are making the very best of the situation? Don’t be satisfied with “good for one” if you can use that moment and turn it into something that is “great for all”.  This is a lesson that I hope to carry with me for life.

I would spend 170 days out on the Appalachian Trail, my first backpacking trip ever.  This trip showed me a million things about myself, but even more of the generosity and compassion that is in this world.  The trail is much like a fairy tale, many of stories seemingly impossible or at least unlikely this day in age.  It was all real, and like I promised myself, to the fullest.  While I expected answers to very specific questions, I received almost the exact opposite; I would learn answers to questions I hadn’t even thought to ask.  You don’t always need to solve a problem, you just need a better perspective on the situation.

That entire experience was rewarding in a million ways, and as addiction goes, I wanted more. Our next trip we tried a new charity “Hike for Haiti” as I attempted a barefoot hike through Vermont’s Green Mountains. Barefoot through nature teaches humility as well, as that trip ended prematurely. When we came home my feet had no time to soften from the sharp rocky trails before more sour news came; our adventure hub had closed its doors. Nature Outfitters, a base of not just gear but support that had been a Milford staple for 20 years, was gone!  There was only one logical thing to do at this point, open our own shop.  It was a phone call after one of my evening classes at UC from my cousin Emily that set things in motion. store transition Confidently Emily and Joe asked if I was in for another adventure, and being that we are all very optimistically stubborn the next chapter soon began.  In a haste of 20-hour workdays Joe, Emily, and myself , opened the doors of RRT, not 2 months after deciding to do so.  That dream we had on the AT several years back was going to be real!

Not a moment passes that we don’t feel blessed to be in the environment we are and doing what-it-is we’re doing here at RRT.  There are too few people in life that truly get to do what they are passionate about. It was late 2010 when we opened our doors, but I couldn’t help but to feel like there was 10 years leading-up to this day. My personal growth and never ending love for the outdoors needed a home base.  With like minded friends we had the opportunity to create just that. The original idea for RRT was actually a story telling, trip planning cafe, but Roads Rivers and Trails would become much more.

CEFEveryday I look for new adventures but also new ways to share them.  RRT was never created to be a retail giant, nor was it purchased as a retirement hobby: It was created from scratch and is an adventure unto itself.  For me, adventure exists year-in and year-out through Alaska back country trips and AT visits, but adventure is also in creating running groups, educating today’s youth, organizing presentations, and preparing people young-and-old for adventures of a lifetime. One of the very first lessons I learned, and the backbone of RRT, is that it’s about sharing the experience. Through this adventure I’ve been part of more adventures than one could dream, and although I’ve had my own summits and trails completions I can honestly say my greatest satisfaction is having been there when new friends have experienced their own.  Twice now I have reached the summit of Katahdin (plus two times on my own) and shared in the pure explosion of emotions from thru-hikers, acting as more of a spectator as they finish their crowning achievement. Teaching and then leading inner city kids from classroom to trail, I have seen strangers from different schools cooperate and explore together, often for the first time.  With each day the definition of adventure changes and grows to be more than I ever expected.

Camping and Education FoundationRRT is a tool that we created: A tool that fuels adventure and drives passion. That is our business at it’s core; Our business is us. As the little guy in the market we don’t have command of supply chains, nor do we have extensive capital or corporate support, but what we found is that we don’t need those things to succeed.   In life and in business it seems it is never about the advantages that you have but the disadvantages that you overcome.  These lessons are often taught in nature, where self discovery and personal awareness last a lifetime. I challenge you all to escape to nature, even if right now you find yourself sitting at a desk.  Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remember the first time that you let that adventurous spirit in. Let it fill your lungs once again.

Dream big, and share often.

 

Pioneers of the Gates

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Pioneers of the Gates
Written by: Emily White

 

Born unto the lonely wild

Two dates shy a full fortnight

Thirteen pioneers did embark upon

The land of endless summer light

 

As the sun turns behind the clouds

A chill carpets the barren land

A frozen breath casts from below

And grabs hold my threadbare hand

 

As nighttime greets this quiet realm

A howl slices through the still

The interim bears only breath and beat

The body’s cadence of the thrill

 

Through beaten paw and weathered brow

The explorers ventured on for miles

To snowfield masses above arctic divide

Over terrain and beastly trials

 

Water so sweet it clears the mind

Air pure as cloudless winter night

We will never forget our journey throughout

The land of endless summer light[/col]

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RRT Adventure: Gates of The Arctic Part 2

Gates To Another World
Living Your Dream
Written by: Bryan Wolf

Time has no place in the real world. I don’t mean the “real world” that includes long hours at work or traffic jams on the way home. I am referring to a different world, one that I have had the pleasure of visiting yet again. You see, the real world is the one that has been here for billions of years, and the whole time it has been living and breathing all on its own. Long before our manufactured world existed, there were cities of stone peaks that were thousands of feet tall, and these cities had more travelers pass through than any of our cities today. Each bit of land was self sustaining, unaltered, and beautiful. When you see Alaska, and especially Gates of the Arctic NP, you will see this world because it is still here, and is all around us. Time disappears, you wake when you are rested, you sleep when you are tired, you eat when you are hungry, and you move at your pace. Blueberries grow at your feet, Caribou herds flow into the deep valleys, Wolves sing to you, and Grizzlies play.  This place is unaltered, it’s life unshaken from our worlds existence, and for that reason it is more real than all else.

Our trip began in Fairbanks Alaska. The remoteness of the park requires from here a bush plane flight to Bettles, a town with just over 50 residence.  The hour plane ride drastically changes your mindset from one of civilization to one of adventurous spirit. The town is more bare bones than most people care to go, but we are just half-way there.  We check in with the Rangers at the National Park Service station and get briefed on what the current season has been like.  You should always check with your local resources for that first hand information that never makes it online.  With our group size she didn’t expect us to see much in the way of bears but maybe some Caribou migrating from the north.  From her past 10+ years working at that station in Bettles however she couldn’t recall anyone else heading out for the route we had planned, which is exciting for us!

Jumping in an old pick up truck we throw our backpacks in the bed of the truck and dive into the plush double bench seats of the extended cab.  The truck hasn’t even been registered in 10 years and I’m sure it dates back further.  Just a short drive and we get to the second Bettles landing strip, the lake.  From here we’ll take off by float plane and head another hour north into the park.  Finally to our destination at Lake Agiak in a Northeastern area of Gates of the Arctic NP.

The planes leave but the buzzing continues, our friends the mosquitoes have been waiting for us.  The mosquitoes only purpose is of course to fly into your ears, eyes, and mouth, and to bite you if you dare reveal an inch of skin.  No worry, we anticipated this, we freshen up with repellent and some of us dawn our ever fashionable bug head nets. I think bug nets are the new in-thing, all the Hollywood stars are doing it.  We sit, glance over our plans and the map to set route, and pump our first collection of fresh Alaska water. I gotta tell you, my Alaska glacier water tastes way better than that plastic bottle of “fresh glacier water” that you’ll find at the store so I’m not sure what they’re doing to it.

Our trek started by trying to escape the boggy low ground near the lake.  Alaska doesn’t have the usual terrain, there is very little soil to pack and harden the ground. The water washes the ground away from around the vegetation and we are left to hike through the tussocks. Think of tussocks like ankle twisting basketballs glued to the ground spaced just inches apart.  With the rocky and permafrost under-layer the ground between the tussocks is often a mucky puddle.  The first day and a half were long, we covered nearly 10 miles as the crow flies but struggled to find the path of least resistance.  We would come up and down off ridges as they spilled into river valleys, and had a few tricky river crossing en-route.  So I know I’m not painting a glorious picture of Alaska so far, mosquitoes and slow miles that make your knees scream, but I’ll get there, I promise.

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RRT Owners Bryan, Emily, and Joe

RRT Owners Bryan, Emily, and Joe

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[col class=”span6″]The first few days it seems you are just happy to be there.  To stop and look around at the most open and vast landscape, to have giants around you in all directions, and even to breathe the fresh air is silencing.  These are the days that the setting for your next 10 days is still becoming real, the realization of escape.  So although the first few days can be the toughest physically I consider them very important transition days.  They were also days that would teach us a lot we came to find out.  There is not a topographical map that shows bogs or tussocks, you have to spend some time with the land [/col]
[/row]to learn how it really moves.  What took us four backpacking days to get to took us but two days to come back on.

The sights and the experience was absolutely amazing! If you have not already you have to check out some pictures we’ve posted.  Our route took us west from Agiak and then north through a valley up to the north slope.  We would cover nearly 50 miles backpacking and another 20 miles through our day hikes. Despite our group size there was no shortage of wild life encounters either.  The trip summary would include well over 100 Caribou, the first sighting of which was a herd of nearly 70 at best count making their way right toward us!  The herd was broken up for reasons that were not immediately clear.  At first we thought it was the scattered showers that made some of them move on but we found it to be much more interesting than that.  The Caribou herd was split by the sight of two adolescent Grizzly Bears.

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[col class=”span6″]The Twins as we would then call them were seen several times on our trip and always close together in their adventures.  Adolescent bears can actually be the most dangerous due to their unpredictable nature.  What started as two blond hair balls across the river bed very quickly became two large (adolescent or not) bears on our side of the ridge.  A Grizzly moves at up to 35mph covering 100 yards in 3.5 seconds.  At the time we were a group of 9 with 4 other adults out in front of the group and around the ridge.  Keeping everyone calm, together and prepared was crucial for these next moments. Holding our [/col]
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"The Twins"

“The Twins”

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[/row] trekking poles in the air and shouting we readied our bear spray.  The bears slowly but surely continued on a path towards the group.We shifted from a large cluster formation to a very tight and long line to show more numbers, louder than ever we gave up no ground.  Forward progress became more of a lateral movement as the bears, still curious, moved along the ridge and away from the group.  Then we all exhaled for the first time in 10 minutes.

We would see 9 different Grizzlies and have 13 different bear sightings over our 10 day trek.  The third time we would see the twins became the most interesting, all this from a group that didn’t expect to see any bears (but were very prepared).  It turns out that because nobody had explored this region for so long that nobody could predict the exact conditions.  The height of blueberry season and the early migration of the caribou set the stage however for heavy Grizzly activity.  Our eighth day had us venturing back that same river.  We hit the river bed this time for easy walking.  After a glimpse of the twins up in front of us we veered out of the thicker brush and up on the higher bank.  With in a few minutes of shouting at the twins, who didn’t pay much attention this time, the unthinkable happened.  Across the river on the opposite ridge was a third Grizzly, a large adult Grizzly!

The group reformed to be all 13 of us strong together. We had look outs for all directions and our now 6 bear sprays ready to go. Oh but wait, that’s not all, we hit the jackpot on this one.  Right when it seems the adult bear is in retreat we notice a head pop up from the very river bed we walked out of.  That is when we looked over and just 3.5 seconds away was “Peek-a-Boo”.  Peek-a-Boo was the closest a Grizzly had yet been and standing tall with his head peaking above the brush he seemed the most content to stand and just watch us.  We wouldn’t win this stand off, we were cornered now by 4 Grizzlies and one of them was not going anywhere.  In groups of 6 and 7 we moved very slowly backwards away from the river.  Always keeping sight of Peek-a-Boo we moved one group back about 20-30 feet.  Next the other group would come back to meet us and we would regroup.  Repeating steps one and two eventually got us in the clear and for the first time in 15 minutes, we exhaled.

Our day hikes took us to two unnamed peaks, which we took the liberty of naming since we may have been the first to climb them.  On day three a group of us went up “Dragons Peak”.  The mountain was the closest to our camp but towered above the valley around us.  This was a good opportunity for both spectacular views and to scout the valley ahead of us.  The hike was moderate in difficulty but felt great with a light load.  On the fifth day a group of us crossed the north valley that we had yet to go up and set our sites for “Dragons Perch”.  We are obviously convinced that dragons do or did rule this land at some point.  Dragons Perch was unique because it was more isolated and gave us 360 views leading up into 5 different valleys and over top of neighboring mountains.  The Perch was not as kind either, a steep cliff side of broken slippery shale made for a complicated and sometimes nerve racking ascent. This extremely difficult summit was well worth it though.  The peak had a sitting perch for us to view far in any direction and to no doubt feel like the only people to see the world from that perspective!

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[col class=”span6″]Bryan trekking up Dragons Peak[/col]
[col class=”span6″]Our third day hike brought the entire group along.  Traveling all the way up the valley we headed for the North Slope. The North Slope is the point where the Brooks Range Mountains begin to tapper and elevation slowly drops to the sea.  At the end of the slope, at the very last peak, we would climb the ridge of rocky boulders and broken shale to get a sight of the ice field that lies within its grasp.  An exhausting ascent led us to a spectacular view of the valley back to camp and that which then drops back down the [/col]
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[col class=”span6″]                                                                                other side.  We could see the ice pack but our adventurous side wanted more.  Splitting up half of us moved forward for a closer look.  The ridge walking became a glacial rock field working down and then back up to the basin holding the ice in.  Stowing the trekking poles away we had to scramble large boulders of often moving and unstable rock until close was close enough.  The field was tricky to maneuver and since it has been untouched it presented too many dangers for us to continue on.  Being close enough to see the blue shine on some of the ice was awesome though.  The way down was [/col]
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From the top of "Dragon's Perch"

From the top of “Dragon’s Perch”

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[/row]just as precarious with the wind and rain making the temperature bitter at that elevation.

The group, together again made the long hike back to camp and fired up the camp stoves.  The group meshed incredibly well and I am lucky to have shared this experience with those that came along.  Dinner time was a family event for us.  We all huddled around the bear cans sharing the days stories and telling jokes.  Be it gear junkies we couldn’t help but to pick everyone’s mind about there gear as well.  Bartering was the most popular post dinner entertainment.  Chili Mac for Rice and Chicken and two Starburst first required two Starburst for two Jolly Ranchers but the trade was almost soured by the infamous Twix bet of 2013.  Like most trips into the wild there is a large emphasis on food at camp.  A yawn and a stretch and it was time for bed, because we were tired. At one point I had to throw my sunglasses on to sleep.

I love camp sleep, especially with a new luxury pad.  There was but one night that I slept poorly and it isn’t what you’d think.  Sound asleep, I hear a light whisper, “Beej”.  I hear it again, “Beej”. Vince who I shared a tent with was waking me up.  I turn over in my sleeping bag and look up to him staring right at me.  “There is a bear outside of the tent” he says with a frozen look on his face.  I slowly and quietly unzip myself and grab the bear spray sitting between us.  My heart goes from 0 to 60, the adrenaline pumping though my veins.  I assume at this point he is frozen with fear so I jump into action and pull the safety right off the spray.

As I start to get out of the bag and ready for my next move he finally speaks again having been silent this whole time. “What are you doing?” “Whoa, what are you doing?” he says with a blank look. “You said there was a bear outside of the tent!” I said at this point more than confused.  Still staring me down he says “No, I said Caribou”.  Immediately following this he turns and falls fast asleep.  I’m in a daze at this point, my heart still racing but this time a little angry.  Looking outside the tent I can’t see a thing, caribou, or bear.  I shake him awake “What were you talking about”, he responds with a “huh”.  “You said there was a bear!” to which Vince replied, “No I didn’t”.  It took me about an hour to calm down and get back to sleep and the next morning he didn’t remember a bit of it.

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I took a swim in Agaik Lake on our last day

I took a swim in Agaik Lake on our last day

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[col class=”span6″]                                                                       Looking over the trip there is very little I would ever do differently.  Our gear performed exceptionally and I look forward to doing individual reviews after this post.  Our food plan was stellar, our bear protocol and Leave No Trace ethics impeccable (we actually carried out trash and set GPS coordinates for larger debris left by early explorers), and our route (much improved on the way back) was beautiful! We stopped by and exchanged some information with the rangers upon return.  The park ranger said she considers us the “foremost experts on the area”.  Of  [/col]
[/row] all the gear I brought the least used were my mosquito net (we ended up real lucky) and my headlamp. The headlamp seemed silly to bring in the first place due to the 24 hours of sunlight but dark cloud cover would make you regret not bringing it even more.  I hope that this post brings you closer to this wonderful world, or that one day you can visit it for yourself.  We will give a free presentation on our experience on 8/27/13 at 7pm at Roads Rivers and Trails.

RRT Adventure: Gates of The Arctic Part 1

Inside the Arctic Circle
Projecting Your Dream
Written by: Bryan Wolf

The easiest part of a trip for me is when I commit to the trip.  Over a year ago I had no reason to say no, in fact if you ask early enough I’m not sure I ever could say no.  Alaska? Sure!  I figure anything that needs done be it planning, saving, packing, or training I have plenty of time to do it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to belittle any of those steps for anyone else.  Individually they are all huge endeavors. At some point however you have to become a Yes Man (or woman). Say “Yes” to adventure and allow yourself the confidence to make your dreams come to.  I like to set a goal and then put all of my energy to making it happen.  So, Saturday morning I’ll drive to Indy, jump on a plane and 4 more flights later step off in the wonderful wild that is Gates of the Arctic National Park.

So besides commitment what else goes into planning a trip like this?  How do you get to one of the most remote National Parks in the world? It takes a dream and a plan. In my case it also took a team.  Start by assembling your team and by projecting your dreaming.  This isn’t happening on two weeks notice for anyone.  Team leaders included our friend Scott and RRT owner Joe.  Scott is great at planning and organizing, when he got a break from work and wasn’t hanging from a wall at the Red, Scott was able to book permits for the park, bush plane and float plane flights, and hotel stays for the whole group.  We had our days picked and some ducks started filing into a row.  This is where Joe came in; Joe has been a guide in Alaska for years and to Gates of the Arctic three times already. With some topographical maps and some beers Joe, Scott, and I sat down to find potential routes.

The Gates don’t have blazed and maintained hiking trails, this is remote and untouched (hopefully forever) landscape.  Our entry point was restricted only by that of the size of the lake we wanted to fly to.  A lake has to be big enough for the float plane to land and take off again. Coordinating a pick-up and drop-off point with your pilot is an important step.  Once we arrive we are free to roam.  If we so chose we could frolic through the wild grass and lake side pebble beach for 10 days.  Honestly though, who goes to Alaska to be on the beach all week?  Looking at the maps we decided that the first two days would cover 8-10 miles per day through a valley on relatively low elevation.  The brush can be thick in places and the terrain is untamed so this is no place for light weight or vulnerable gear.  The game plan then shifts to much shorter days backpacking and setting up base camps earlier in the day.  Doing this will afford us some more flexibility in our travels.

There are 13 people in total on our trip this year.  If you have ever been with such a group you’ll understand that people often want to go at different speeds or even take different routes.  Our gear and trip planning will allow us to do that.  Staying in groups of 4+ we’ll be taking all the safety precautions.  A group of four or more will be much more safe when it comes to wildlife encounters.  We have also brought groupings of gear for just this reason.  We have several stoves, water filters, bear spray, first aids, and other essential items to divide amongst us.  This will come in handy mostly for our day hikes.  After setting up base camp we’ll venture out to higher elevations and bigger WOW moments.  We have already mapped out several snow fields that we’d like to hike up to in the 7,000 ft range.  I’ve only been to Alaska once so far but I can tell you that there is a sense of discovery and natural beauty that is unmatched when you discover your own path, when there is no trail.  Taking the time to stop and pay attention or to look around another corner may just mean that you are seeing something that no one else has ever seen!

By the end we’ll do a full circle right back to our original lake; Lake Agiak.  The loop mileage can range considering our open day to day plan but is expected to be in the 50-60 mile range for backpacking miles.  In doing so we can burn 2-3,000 calories a day leaving us pretty hungry.  That is where having a team member like RRT owner Emily helps out as she broke down our day to day meal plan for the group, which can apply to any back country experience. With food, weight and pack space are just as much of an issue as with any other gear, but unlike your Crazy Creek chair, this is one thing you can’t leave at home.  Here are some tips for your meal plan: try to pack things that you like at home, bring yourself some sort of comfort food or treat, pack some variety, always bring one extra day of food, but don’t over pack.  For ten days in the park we’ll have 1 and 1/4 bear cans each with our individual food weight at 14-15 pounds.  Same rules apply out there as when you are home, being hungry can turn you into quite the drama king or queen so eat often and keep fueled up.

For a gear or food checklist feel free to come buy the store and grab one.  We’ll also be happy to review specifics to your trip.  Always use and double check your checklist no matter how experienced you are.  Upon returning I’ll post Part 2 of this blog.  We will also have a presentation on 8/27/13 over our experience including a beer tasting by Mt. Carmel Brewing Co. I hope you can join us then.  A well planned trip and a well organized group will put you in line for unforgettable moments.

Here is what is in my pack, keep in mind that there are some group items not shown (like first aid, bear spray, and camp fuel):

gear layout

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[col class=”span6″]A. Sleeping Bag and Sleeping Bag Liner (Sea to Summit Coolmax and Trek III)

B. Trekking Poles (Komperdell)
C. Sleeping Pad (Big Agnes Q-Core SL)
D. Pillow (Thermorest)
E. Stove (MSR Reactor)
F. Pack Towel (MSR)
G. Rain Gear (Rab Latok Jacket)
H. Rain Gear (Sherpa Pertemba)
I. Hiking Top (Rab MeCo L/S)
J. Hiking Pants (Rab Alpine Trek)
K. Pack Cover (Osprey)
L. Sun/Rain Hat (Outdoor Research)
M. Backpack (Osprey Aether 85)
N. Bottles (Nalgene)
O. Bowl/Spork (Sea to Summit)
P. Bear Can

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[col class=”span6″]Q. Personal Hygiene

R. Bug Repellent
S. Knife (Helle Egan)
T. Bug Net
U. Beanie (Rab Fleece)
V. Matches
W. Gloves (Rab Phantom Gloves)
X. Vibram (Maiori)
Y. Tent Poles (MSR Hoop)
Z. Tent Body
AA. Tent Fly in own drysack
BB. Water Filter (MSR Miniworks)
CC. Insulating Jacket (Rab Generator)
DD. Extra Clothes/Layers
EE. RRT Buff
FF. Headlamp (Princeton Tec Vizz)
GG. All Purpose Tarp/Mylar Blanket

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