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The big camping trip is in the 2nd half of August - ferry from Sitka, Alaska (where I live) to Haines, AK (overnight in Juneau) then drive to Valdez for "fish camp" then return. I'm probably the only one who drives from Sitka to Valdez to fish, but my Aunt, Uncle and assorted cousins (who live in Oregon) will be there with two RVs and since they can't drive to Sitka (where we have plenty of salmon but RV's are prohibitively expensive on the ferry) they drive to Valdez. In the past I've joined them by flying, but now since I have my E - I'm drivin'!

Since part of the trip is ferry I can't have trailers (they charge by the foot after 15') or too many kinds of flamable gases/fluids. (I can have one sealed propane container).

On the trip I can predict

  • mosquitos and no-see-ums (100% probability)
  • rain (probably, possibly every day)
  • bears (possible)
Influenced by the "favorite things" thread - far I have
Sportz SUV tent and
rainfly

I got the tan and blue one instead of the white and blue one because the flat top of the white and blue one didn't seem like it would stand up to rain. Not sure if we'll be able to set it up attached to vehicle in all situations but I wanted a tent I could stand up in and with the rainfly it seemed like a good stand-alone tent too. (Also was influence by the fact the tan-blue rainfly had free shipping to Alaska but the other one didn't)

It seems hard to set up with one person (it arrived but I haven't set it up yet) but my Mom is joining me for the August trip.

In may when it was 20% off, I also got the REI mini kitchen with free shipping for REI members.

My Mom is flying up to Sitka and joining me and since they don't camp anymore she's bringing me a hardly used Primus 2 burner propane stove and two therma-rest mattresses as well as some really cool enamelware plates with cowboys on them. We're both short (5'6 and 5'4) so we'll sleep on the seats or just remove the back seats and sleep on the floor.

So now the big question is - coffee?
Percolator? or
drip? We both like really hot coffee and I make drip coffee (Ravens Brew) with a
manual Mellitta at home - but I zap it in the microwave to warm it - so I'm wondering if percolator might keep the coffee hotter - or I could boil water in a pot then
drip into the percolator pot then keep it warm on a low burner??

Also I'm contemplating a Yakima Load Warrior - free shipping to Alaska from Campmor!
 

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How about drip into a thermos or insulated mug?

These days I'm using Melita 'tea bags' for my coffee. They are long sleeves meant to hold tea leaves, but work just as well for coffee. Imagine using one your socks as filter bag. :) But I'm the only one who drinks coffee, so I just need to make 1 mug's worth.
 

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Man, wish I could join you!! I will eventually get to Haines, but, this summer is not gonna happen. Plus, would love to meet one of the few AK'n EOC members that actually posts. Sitka is also on my bucket list... :roll::razz::razz:

Bring the camera and the EOC along with you!! Love to see the pix along the way!! :)
 

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Sounds like an epic trip! I hope you will take lots of photos to share with us.

On coffee, I could not be happier with my java press. JetBoil, java press -- great coffee in just a few minutes.

Can your Oregon relatives bring propane or whatever fuel you'll need with them?

Are you taking a tarp and using a ground cloth with the SUV tent? Lots of guy line rope? The tent is very tall so you'll want it guyed out well if you are expecting much wind. I'd guy it out at least twice per corner and have four more stakes in case you're hit with a storm.

If you're expecting much rain then I'd have a light tarp (6' X 8', or so) that covers the tent's tunnel to the E (lots of seams there, prone to leakage and water pooling), also a tarp that more than covers the inside floor of the tent, garbage bags to hold whatever clothes you may have stored in the tent (I'd keep as much as possible in the Element) as well as a ground cloth or tarp under the tent.

Should take tent seam sealer, too, and apply some when you practice setting the tent up at home.

It is tedious for one person to set up because the two fiberglass poles are sooooo long. Doable, but I must confess that during setup young, impressionable children should not be within earshot of me.

I have a Yakima LoadWarrior. Terrific, solid as a rock yet very lightweight. It will knock about 2 mpg off and be a bit noisier at high speeds (above 70mph or so).

After two camp trips this past month I remain delighted with that REI mini-kitchen.


:)

 

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Discussion Starter #5
How about drip into a thermos or insulated mug?
The problem with that is that when it comes out of the drip it's not hot enough for me (especially since I add milk - loves my coffee but my stomach can't take the acid in the morning anymore) so I add my milk then zap it at home.

So I'm thinking - while camping I want to drip into container I can heat - and is since the Farbarware percolator (with free shipping) is no more expensive than a good wide mouth thermos - why not drip into that and ten put in on the camping stove? (Or experiment with perked coffee which I am too young (at age 50ish) to have ever made myself but it might be fun)

I needs my two big cups of really strong (and hot) coffee in the morning!
 

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Discussion Starter #6


I have a Yakima LoadWarrior. Terrific, solid as a rock yet very lightweight. It will knock about 2 mpg off and be a bit noisier at high speeds (above 70mph or so).

After two camp trips this past month I remain delighted with that REI mini-kitchen.

:)

I live in town with no speed limits over 45 mph (the roads end within 7 miles of town) so not too worried about high speed mileage. :grin:

Definitely picture to come (perhaps when I set it up here in Sitka - the instructions for seam sealing say - wait for a dry summer day - ?????? hard to come by when you live in a temperate rain forest! Can I set it up in my living room? I can leave all the windows open!)

Your pics of the REI kitchen definitely sold me!

No problems with propane past Haines - just don't want to deal with too many different fuels (e.g. Jetboil) - have to call up the ferry people and see how they feel about having a couple of disposable propane thingies rather than just one 5 or 20 lb one. The official rules say "one 20 lb propane container" but when you actually talk to them they're more flexible.
 

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Just to wet your appetite for pics - here's me in Valdez in a previous year (with my uncle) and my Mom. This was in 2004 when it was unusually sunny (hence the sunglasses) - other years it rains full time. Don't mind the rain if we're catching fish but one year it rained so much the freshwater pushed the saltline out to sea in Prince William Sound so the salmon didn't come in and we we caught no fish!
 

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No problems with propane past Haines - just don't want to deal with too many different fuels (e.g. Jetboil) - have to call up the ferry people and see how they feel about having a couple of disposable propane thingies rather than just one 5 or 20 lb one. The official rules say "one 20 lb propane container" but when you actually talk to them they're more flexible.
When I took an Alaska ferry years ago, they wanted to put my empty gas cans (on roof rack) in the paint locker. I don't think they asked about Coleman fuel.

I've taken Alaska boats from Whitier to Valdez, and from Haines to Juneau to Ketchikan and on to Hyder. I would have like to stop in Stika, but it didn't fit in our schedule.

On another forum someone was asking about the Whitier to Juneau run. That's only a couple of times a month, and relatively expensive.
 
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