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Old 10-27-2012, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,346,252 times
Reputation: 13702

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Get a Spot GPS tracker and have your family watch where you are online. It has a S.O.S feature built into it.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,922 posts, read 11,719,793 times
Reputation: 5605
How did we ever survive those trips before sat phones came out???? And just cause you have a sat phone you better have numbers to call. I came across a lady towing a small trailer a couple of years that had jackknifed on her. She was able to get a hold of a wrecker in Watson Lake. 8 hours, after numerous calls, she was still waiting. Just because you have a phone doesn't mean that help will be coming anytime soon. If you're gonna make the trip you need to be able to take care of yourself.

And if you come across someone obviously broken down stop and make sure they are okay.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Bethel, Alaska
21,358 posts, read 32,346,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stiffnecked View Post
And if you come across someone obviously broken down stop and make sure they are okay.
I do this when I see a hood up or a car on jacks. It's pretty much the rule/law of the Alcan.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,922 posts, read 11,719,793 times
Reputation: 5605
Quote:
Originally Posted by warptman View Post
I do this when I see a hood up or a car on jacks. It's pretty much the rule/law of the Alcan.
Me too. I also carry tools, jumper cable and a tow strap. I'll do what I can, within reason. It also helps if you have a GPS so you can give an exact position to whoever is coming to help. I found that saying the person was just a little south of Dease Lake wasn't very helpful...
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Old 11-02-2012, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
1,926 posts, read 3,914,141 times
Reputation: 862
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Van Diest View Post
It sounds like you have been living in Alaska so already should know how to drive on snow and ice. Just take it easy and don't push it. Winter is the best time to drive it in my opinion.

totally
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Whidbey Island, WA
11,970 posts, read 10,789,055 times
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Yes of course preparation is key. A Satt Phone worked for me throughout. Including on the Ferry.....$150 for the two weeks including 1 hour air time.

That said reasonable you have to be able to stay warm for several hours. If you can't do that you should not make the trip in winter. If you become disabled put help signs out flares work well.

Most likely if you are not off the road you will be blocking it so there is little chance they won't stop. But here's the thing. If you DO breakdown you must be able to stay warm. Hypothermia in less than 15 minutes.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:25 AM
 
96 posts, read 212,099 times
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Sounds like you have the idea. However, driving at night is not a good idea. Trust me. Too many animals. If you do drive at night keep your speed down.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,381 posts, read 11,962,145 times
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Well one thing people left out, the AlCan is a maintained road. There may be times when traffic is sparse in the winter, but you dress accordingly and carry supplies to get you by for a few hours in the event that something does go wrong.

In the 50's and 60's the road was a nightmare, you spent most of the time watching your tail lights as the original road went around all the ponds, swamps and did everything but go straight. Now it is pretty much a very easily traveled road. In the interior Alaska highway system, people drive in -40 weather all the time, most survive with little effort, but even here you want to carry winter survival gear. In the dark of winter, the days are short so you more than likely will be driving in the dark for at least a few hours as well.

The AlCan has Plow Trucks, Mounties and other type items on it as well as normal truckers, tourist and the locals that travel from one town to another, and just like Alaska, outside of Anchorage or Fairbanks, there can be miles between towns or "Spots" where people live. Gas up or start looking when you hit at least half a tank on the gauge and just before dark, top off and you will do fine. If your are driving an old clunker, bring tools and spare parts or wait till spring if you don't think it is in good shape.

Basically if you are in Alaska, the roads aren't that much different than the AlCan, in some cases they are worse here in Alaska!

Common sense is a requirement, if you drive at night, have good driving lights and drive slower. Driving in the day is also prettier because you can see the view, but not mandatory.

Once you have driven the road, you will find that it isn't that big of a deal anymore, fifty years ago you carried a couple of spare tires, extra gas, rock screens over the radiator, tow ropes and did all sorts of modifications to your car so it wouldn't die somewhere.

But if the AlCan intemidates you, driving in Alaska will be just more of the same. If I needed to head South of the Boarder from here, I wouldn't even blink an eye about going. Carrying winter gear is what I do just driving in Alaska after about October, so I don't really need much more except more luggage I suppose.

Basicaly, having a dependable mode of transportation, cold weather gear, road flares (they mark the road for emergencies, but also you can start a fire with them no matter how cold your hands are), spare tire (not the goofy donut tire either, a real one), extra gas isn't necessary and is more of a fire hazard now days if you did get into an accident.

A CB radio is by far more useful than a cell phone or Sat-phone, all the truckers use them to chat back and forth all along the highway at each other and you can ask them for assistance if needed, and those that live along the highway have them at their homes as well to chat with others in the area.

When I was a kid, my parents had a coffee can, roll of toilet paper and bottle of alcohol as an emergency stove in the car when driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks fifty years ago, cars broke down a lot more then, and there was little to no places to stop for help. Put the toilet paper in the can, pour the alcohol on it and light it, kept heat in the car with a window cracked for fresh air.

Mandatory though is a good camera with lots of storage space (use to be film, go figure) for lots of neat shots.

I have no idea of how many times I have been up and down the AlCan over the decades, but I have alway enjoyed the trip and would do it again for a flimsy excuse just for the heck of it.

Most of all, enjoy your trip!
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:13 AM
 
1 posts, read 572 times
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Hi all, Ive been reading many posts regarding the drive on the alcan to Anchorage. my scenario is this : leave New Mexico on January 7 and give ourselves about 7-9 days to get to anchorage. we will be driving a 2015 Nissan Titan towing my rogue on a trailer behind us. Where to stop is my major question but any other or more advise will be so appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2016, 03:27 PM
 
1,316 posts, read 942,392 times
Reputation: 3379
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisaschuerman14 View Post
Hi all, Ive been reading many posts regarding the drive on the alcan to Anchorage. my scenario is this : leave New Mexico on January 7 and give ourselves about 7-9 days to get to anchorage. we will be driving a 2015 Nissan Titan towing my rogue on a trailer behind us. Where to stop is my major question but any other or more advise will be so appreciated.
Do you have a lot of serious winter driving experience? If not, the Alcan with a trailer is not the place to get it.

It's going to be seriously dark much of the time and running into storms is a very real possibility. If you don't want to drive at night (which is not advisable) then where to stop is pretty much dictated by where the towns are. Take advantage of every second of daylight.

I would also highly recommend studded tires. Also, be sure to bring some serious winter survival gear. The road is typically "good" (as in, arctic traveler type of "good"), but is very lightly traveled and it's easy to get into trouble.
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