- Lent ca 1400 miles
- Duration ca 40-60 days
Throughout Alaska in Kayak
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I have received several questions about boat type.There is no clear right or wrong boat. Each option has its own merits and faults.
Canoes can carry lots of gear, are comfortable to sit in eight to ten hours a day, day in day out, are relatively cheap, and even make excellent tents flipped over in high winds. It is possible to carry more than month´s food in a canoe, and this is their primary practical advantage.
Sea kayaks slice through wind and waves more easily than canoes. The majority of paddlers on big rivers such as the Yukon find this overcomes the primary disadvantages of kayaks: small carrying capacity, cramped seating , and an awkward entry into the cockpit.
I have heard of people using seagoing rowboats. These craft look like sea kayaks. but the paddler sits on top of the hull and strokes backward with two oars. Apparently they just glide through headwinds and waves and have the further advantage of lockable cargo compartments that approach the capacity of a canoe.
I have decide to buy a double kayak in Whitehorse and have it transported to Dawson City. A double kayak can carry everything I need during the journey. Plus I can use the foot rudder to drift hand-free down the river, munching snacks, sipping morning coffee, and staring off into space, all while steering.
Even a canoe catch much wind so whatever my choice will be, it will be heavy paddling but Kayak is easier to control than a canoe.
Almost every inch of the Yukon can kill me. The silt load is incredible. The constant rasping of suspended sand against the boat hull will become a permanent background noise. Many people have drowned after capsizing when their pocket and boots filled with dirt and dragged them under. Above Fort Yukon, the river is particularly swift, sometimes traveling at well over 10 miles per hour, creating swirling eddies and undertows that can quickly drag me down. The water is breathtakingly cold, and can immobilize me or cause hypothermia if i manage to swim to shore but cannot quickly dry off and warm up. And any flat-water section, particularly the headwater lakes and the treeless delta, can quickly be blown into tremendous waves by storms.
So, the water puts a premium not on technical whitewater-paddling skills, but on wariness and common sense. Travel close to the banks, never more than a quick hustle to shore in case the weather turns ugly. Carry extra food and have the patience and paperback books to camp and wait out bad weather, for days at a time if necessary. And always wear a lifejacket.Security analysis every day, hour…..
Paddle Yukon River Require judgment, wilderness experience, and a positiv mental attitude. If I get into any sort of trouble,there will be no one around to help me -cell phones usually do not work. And I must have the mental self-discipline to motivate myself to cover a set distance every day. I must have more than enough times to to do the trip. I can be just 10 miles from the end of my month-long journey,but if the wind picks up, the safest way to travel is sitting inside a pitched tent, waiting the weather out. one of the most common cause of accident is pushing ahead through rough weather to return at a specific time.
Dawson City to the Bering Sea
The old New England saying, ”If you don´t like the weather, wait fifteen minutes,” is true in Alaska and the Yukon, too. It can snow, erupt into a thunderstorm, and/or be a 90-degree scorcher all in the same day. Having said that, there are some general weather patterns.
Interior Alaska and Yukon weather is dry, continental weather that tends to change quickly.When it does rain in the Interior, it gets chilly. And even in the middle of July snowflakes are not unheard of.
Closer to the ocean, the air becomes cooler and wetter. Storms dont´t erupt as suddenly as in the Interior, but they tend to last longer and much more violent. Late July and August are typically rainy. Fall starts around the end of August or the beginning of September, with winter following rapidly.
The term ”land of the midnight sun” is a clich’e because it is true. Although the sun technically sets, or lowers to a certain angle on the horizon, it dosen´t get entirely dark in the summer.
Bears, both black and grizzly (or brown in the Alaskans), are everywhere in Alaska and the Yukon. Odds are, eventually one will come into my camp. This does not have to be a problem if i behave responsibly.
The most effort should be put into avoiding a bear encounter in the first place. First i choose a campsite away from regular bear travel routes; on an island or gravel bar, well away from the moths of tributaries, and relatively free of fresh bear tracks. This is not foolproof, but it is the most effective means of reducing a chance encounter, and retain bears.
I must wash dishes immediately after eating and store them with all other food in airtight containers well away from the tent. Bear bags —hanging food from a tree branch--are usually impractical since most island trees are too short and weak for this purpose.Storing food inside an airtight dry bag is adequate (This may be my dilemma in a kayak).Keeping it in a plastic drum is better. Practice good bear hygiene in other respects, too: I do not wash with scented soap, not use citronella, and not clean cook, eat, or store fish in my camp. If a bear does com into my camp i must try to remain calm . (Perhaps easier said than done).
I bear is just like dogs, they can sense fear and will make an opportunistic attack if i act submissively. This does not mean i should be cocky and antagonistic. Instead I stand tall and talk firmly to the bear in deep steady voice. And I must stay away from my tent , food bags while doing this. In almost all cases, the bear will wander on in search of easier food. As a last resort i must use my pepper spray.
I do not like killing animals but want to show how big Grizzly Bear can be.
Specielt exciting at night when sleeping in the tent.
YES! Grizzly has on humans on the menu