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Old 10-21-2012, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 7,909,173 times
Reputation: 3325

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The humidity may be more of an issue for the guitars than the cold. In the interior, it's extremely dry in winter; and down south it's a rain forest and pretty humid most of the year. Neither is the best for fine hard woods. Add the drying effect of woodheat and the dampness during breakup, it can wreak havoc on fine woods. You might do better, for acoustic guitars, to find them new loving homes or invest in climate controlled cases (Pelican makes guitar cases that you can add humidifier/dehumidifier discs in). If they're electrics, then you should be fine, might have to make periodic bridge and neck adjustments and possibly replace the fretboard more frequently, but the body won't be as affected. If you're going to be living off-grid, ditch the big expensive amps and hang on to your little travel amp... those big amps draw too much power to be effective.

At the highest I've seen now, a cord of mixed green delivered (not spilt or stacked) $300, but most commonly for that price you'd get seasoned birch split and stacked. LP is running $3-4/lb at the end of the road where I live, but it's pushing $4/gal in town on delivery contract, roughly 4 lbs/gal so "bush prices" are roughly 4x town prices. Gasoline and diesel are running $4-5/gal in town, and $6/gal here locally, with gas a bit less than diesel in most places. Heating oil is running slightly below diesel, a little better pricing if you can buy in bulk or on delivery schedule (not always possible in the bush).

In the long run, self-harvested firewood is by far the most cost effective if you have time and tools and don't have to travel very far to collect it. It costs us less than a cord purchased to fuel our chainsaws, splitter and ATV to get it ourselves. A good quality chainsaw & splitter would cost you less or the same as a single winter's worth of purchased cordwood. If you don't want to fell and haul trees out of the forest, a chainsaw and splitter will still save you a bunch because 8' & 4' logs are cheaper to buy than split cordwood. Yes, you can split by hand with an axe or maul & wedge... but if you've got a bad back or any bad joints, it's easier on your body and medical budget to get a splitter
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Old 10-21-2012, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Itinerant
4,222 posts, read 3,204,583 times
Reputation: 3484
Quote:
Originally Posted by Displaced Washintonian View Post
Thank you. I'm concerned whether or not my expensive exotic wood guitars and amps will survive the climate up there. I will gladly sell off all my expensive guitars/amps if they are going to take a beating, and just bring two or three work horses.

Whats worst case $$$ for a cord of wood, and LP per #?

Thanks again.
Quick info on this...

My Guitars (electric) just needed a little extra neck relief (about 1/4 turn on the bridge high E side adjustment screw) at the bridge and a 1/4-1/2 turn loosen at the truss rod, to get them back to playing without fret buzz on my trip from Seattle (Coastal humid) to Interior AK (Continental dry). If that's beyond your comfort zone, then keep it in the case for a couple of months, and then take it to a tech for a restring and adjustment. It can take that long (or even longer) to adjust to the local conditions, it depends on the construction, but in a neck thru, or set neck with bottom routed solid body construction there's not a lot of actual wood exposed to the air to allow the natural moisture to escape (or enter) the wood. It's certainly not going to be getting through the polyurethane or nitrocellulose lacquer. Bolt on neck, (semi)hollow body or top rout with pick guard leaves more naked wood exposed in general, so will adjust to the local humidity sooner. Other than that the only other gotcha can be fretboard conditioning, mine went from needing conditioning about every couple of weeks to once a week.

Acoustic wise get a humidifier (you might also need a dehumidifier too if your humidity swings too much), however if you have high quality acoustics I'd imagine you also have a good idea how to keep and maintain them. The only exception being one of the carbon fiber dreadnoughts, which are completely immune to humidity changes.

Temp wise, shouldn't be an issue, you're probably maintaining your inside home temperature at around the same temp as your previous place. So that's a non-issue. Moving from warm to cold to warm again (like transportation) unless it's going in the bed of the truck, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. If it is going in the bed of the truck, then I don't think you would have asked the question.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Bay area, California
15 posts, read 13,749 times
Reputation: 20
Well, after mulling it over for a year I have decided the time has come for us (me, my bad knees and bad back) to head north. I am so done with California.

I sold off my more exotic guitars and some other gear, traded the Subaru in on a truck to pull a trailer, quit my job, bought a trailer to put behind the truck. Leaving in a couple days.

My current plan is to spend a year in Fairbanks to experience all the seasons and what not, then see how I feel.

I do not know anyone in Fairbanks, so if any of you are in or near Fairbanks perhaps we could meet up for coffee, my treat.

Thanks again to everyone for the great responses, input, opinions. It is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
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Old 08-22-2013, 08:46 AM
 
702 posts, read 618,301 times
Reputation: 552
Best of luck to you! Post back with how you like it in Fairbanks
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,433 posts, read 3,553,463 times
Reputation: 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by Displaced Washintonian View Post
Well, after mulling it over for a year I have decided the time has come for us (me, my bad knees and bad back) to head north. I am so done with California.

I sold off my more exotic guitars and some other gear, traded the Subaru in on a truck to pull a trailer, quit my job, bought a trailer to put behind the truck. Leaving in a couple days.

My current plan is to spend a year in Fairbanks to experience all the seasons and what not, then see how I feel.

I do not know anyone in Fairbanks, so if any of you are in or near Fairbanks perhaps we could meet up for coffee, my treat.

Thanks again to everyone for the great responses, input, opinions. It is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Hit a bookstore in the Seattle area and pick up a copy of The MILEPOST: Alaska Travel Guide and Trip Planner . In my opinion it's the best guide to the drive.

I assume you'll come up I-5 to get to Canada. I always recommend getting off the freeway in Bellingham and crossing the border at Sumas.
http://goo.gl/maps/J7CPy
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Bay area, California
15 posts, read 13,749 times
Reputation: 20
jdhpa, thank you, will do.

AKStafford, I have a Milepost in hand. Thank you for the crossing recommendation and map. Until now I was thinking Aldergrove crossing, since it appears to be much smaller than Sumas. Why do you prefer Sumas?
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21 posts, read 36,085 times
Reputation: 67
Have a safe trip up and post an update on your thoughts of Alaska once your settled in.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,433 posts, read 3,553,463 times
Reputation: 1758
Quote:
Originally Posted by Displaced Washintonian View Post
jdhpa, thank you, will do.

AKStafford, I have a Milepost in hand. Thank you for the crossing recommendation and map. Until now I was thinking Aldergrove crossing, since it appears to be much smaller than Sumas. Why do you prefer Sumas?
Hmm... I guess I didn't know about Aldergrove. I've just always used Sumas...
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:04 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
3,051 posts, read 2,372,730 times
Reputation: 7948
Good luck! Enjoy the drive, it's beautiful.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,286 posts, read 10,890,181 times
Reputation: 4804
It seems like people going to Alaska that cross at Aldergrove get extra attention from Customs. Save yourself the headache and just cross at Sumas.
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