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Next June .. I'm planning a ride from Connecticut to Alaska with a friend who couldn't make it last year.
I would appreciate those of you who have done this to fill me in on those things that I "should take" and those things that I "should not take". Both of us will be pulling Bushtec trailers behind our wings. I've read every account I can on these boards of folks who have already made the trip, but very few give the list of items that they took .. wished they'd taken .. or should have left home. Any help .. will be very appreciated.
 

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I lived in Alaska for 51 years and have done the Alaska Hwy a bunch of times, albeit in a cage, but the road is the same.

Things to take: I don't think, with the exception of bug dope (heavy on the DEET), that you really need to take anything different from what you would take on any other long motorcycle trip. Just be aware that the road can be rough on a trailer when you encounter road construction areas. Early in the season, there isn't much, but later on there is always road repairs going on. They do their best to keep the road surface reasonable, but where it's unpaved, it can be rough. You might want to pack an extra tire and patch kit for the trailer. Also, it would be a good idea to pack a small air compressor, such as the Slime pump or other like it.

The weather can be quite varied, and once on the highway itself, you have no optional routes to take to avoid bad weather. Your only choices will be to hole up in a motel until the weather passes or just pack good rain gear and tough it out. Temperatures can range from the upper 80's or lower 90's all the way down to below freezing at night. It is entirely possible to wake up on a June morning to snow on the ground!!

I can't' think of anything NOT to take. Like I said above, pack as you normally would and leave at home whatever it is you normally don't take anyway.

Don't forget your passport. At the border crossings they don't ask if you have one, they simply assume that you do have a passport. No guns, pepper spray, large knives or "combat" knives other than a small folding pocket knife. Those are things to leave at home. Only bring small amounts of alcoholic beverages, as you can get booze in Canada anyway. Take your credit card(s) and a small amount of Canadian currency. Remember that while Canadians will accept U.S. currency, the U.S. won't accept Canadian money for some reason.

Before you start, make sure you change your oil and filter and air filter, and have a new set of tires, or nearly new. It's just over 5000 miles from the East coast to Anchorage, and that highway, even though it's paved, is chip sealed and is rough on tires. They'll wear down faster than on smooth asphalt surfaces. You can get tires in Alaska at any motorcycle dealer, but if you anticipate needing new tires before your return leg, you might do well to order up a set and have them waiting for you up there at the dealer of your choice. Tony, owner of Anchorage Honda is pretty accommodating toward riders coming from the "Lower 48." I'm pretty sure he would do that for you. He's got a nice shop there, with a large service section.

There's probably a host of other things to take or not to take, but that's a starter. Just remember, if your plans only take you to Hyder, AK, you really haven't been to Alaska. You really need to go all the way into the interior and ride inside the state. It's amazing. Good luck with your plans and have fun preparing.
 

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Congrats on a trip of a lifetime! Now, I'd suggest going to the "Rides, Trips" forum and searching for a thread by Galute about their trip, titled (I think) "Alaska or Bust". This was a long thread, and one of the best trip reports I've ever seen. It was a fascinating read, and I'd suggest that anybody planning to make the trip read this thread.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Glen
 

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if your camping a nice warm sleeping bag, good waterproof tent, air mattress, mosquito dope, we only had one nite where the mosquitoes were bad but wow they are huge up there

when we went there were always plenty of places to camp

took my Gerbings jacket but never used it, we had great weather, if i was going again i would take the Gerbings jacket just in case

a good wrench for removing the rear tire is a good idea, we had one but never used it, tire plug kit and air compressor, flat tires are pretty common up there

have fun, Alaska was by far the best motorcycle trip i was ever on :thumbup:
 

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Take a look at the Motorcycel Tourers Forum, there's a wealth of experience there.
 

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hey Rabbai!

You are in for the adventure of your life!

from 2 trips...
Take good quality TESTED and COMFORTABLE riding gear. Nothing new or untested on longer rides. Only take what you already like wearing.

Good quality rain gear. Including waterproof boots. You will get wet.

Layers. Lots of layers of clothes. The temperature will change constantly. You need to be able to quickly adjust without completely undressing.

For peace of mind, extra gas. You can use MSR bottles or a can in the trailer, but it would be good to carry some extra. (2 32oz MSR bottles is my choice) A bit more wouldn't hurt.

Moisture-wicking well-fitting-underwear. You will get wet and need to dry quickly without getting chafed. (baby, gold bond, or monkey butt powder where you can easily access it.) Use it the moment you feel ANY hot spots.

Gerbings may be needed in June. Better to have rather than wish you did.

Light on the blue jeans/shirts/ underwear. 2-3 pr jeans 4-5 t-shirts 3-4 pr underwear. Rinse dirties out every night and dry on the line (if camping) or on the A/C (in the room). If not completely dry, put them in a baggie and dry them next night.

Lots of various sized baggies.

Good tool kit. Enough tools to pull either tire/wheel, or any body panel. wire ties, duct tape(not on roll fold 10 feet in a six inch flat roll on itself) same with electrical tape. Lots of velcro straps/wire ties. Stick-on velcro tape. Extra wire, fuses and a relay of each type in the array. Tire guage, pump, rope plugs (practice on an old tire before you go.) (SERIOUSLY!) extra valve stem and I even take a large c-clamp to break the bead and change a stem out on the road if needed.

I like to take a set of soft ties and 4 tie-down straps in case I need to trailer the bike, go on a ferry, whatever... Never know

Sunscreen (HIGH SPF)

Rear tires... Please see "darkside"... I personally believe it to be inconcievable to even attempt this trip with the standard fare over loaded, underrated, highly unstable in deep gravel/construction, low mileage, "need to get one changed out mid-trip" other kind of tire. I HAVE PERSONALLY DONE IT BOTH WAYS AND (for me) THIS IS NOT AN OPTION! You, of course, can make your own decision on that.

If you decide to ignore the above. Buy an extra rear (and front if possible) tire and rim and carry it with you. Or, waste the better part of a day shopping in a Honda dealership while they change your tires when you could be enjoying the riding moments of a lifetime.

Front tire: BT45 That's all I'm gonna say 'bout that...

50# bag of sunflower seeds... Optional for you. It's my own bad habit. (Everybody needs one.)

Extra bulbs for all lights.

Extra helmet with headset, and extra cords for your headsets. I find it is sometimes helpful to change helmets every few days or whenever a sore spot might develop. This trip is not a good place to break in a new helmet! Take a tested and comfortable one. The spare headset(especially if you are communicating with your riding buddy via CB) keeps you from wasting valuable riding time troubleshooting a defective cord. You can then do that in the evening or at your convenience. You want to keep moving as much as possible. There is a LOT to see...

Enough for now... Enjoy your trip. I'll let someone else who camps fill in that piece if you need it.
 

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I got something you "should take"........................ME! Interested in picking up "wingers" along the way for the ride?

I mentioned this thread to my wife and she said "you should go", so before she changes her mind, I'm throwing it out there...............I think she is trying to get rid of me for a month or two next year and I'd be an idiot if I didn't take advantage of THAT.
 

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there is a guy I met at a rally in August, James Bonner. I don't know if he uses this board but he is on Facebook. He completed a ride to Alaska from the southeast recently. Amazing stories.
 

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Nobody has mentioned.........ALWAYS be on the lookout for Wildlife.
Especially Moose, they can be ornery.

Plug Kit, Compressor, Spare Valve Stems.
 

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I made a solo trip July 2010. If you like wilderness you will love the ride. a lot of good advise here. Look for small orange tri-angles or flags, they mark rough road and I mean rough. Once you are off the highway, everything is gravel, all parking lots for resturants and gas stations. Study the Milepost. I marked all gas stations in mine and after every fill-up I would make a note as to the distance to the next two available, incase the first one is closed. I did not carry any extra gas, and never got below 1/2 tank. I am planning a return trip in 2012 also, but this time in a truck/with camper. I did not get to see all that I wanted to the first time. a lot of road construction and they let motorcycles go to the front of the line when waiting on a follow-me vehicle. I saw a lot of animals also, keep a good lookout, they clear a lot off the highway to the wood line, it helps. Enjoy the trip. :thumbup:
 
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