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Old 11-10-12, 07:41 PM   #1
HawkOwl
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Winter Bike Camping

Saw an intriguing presentation about a couple guys who use their bikes to winter camp. They put everything they need on their bikes, ride snowmachine, dog sled and other trails camping as they go. The presenter showd video of one trip they made from Paxson, AK to Cantwell, AK last March. Pretty interesting. I'm intrigued.

Anyone here do that kind of thing? Experiences? Tips for doing it successfully?
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Old 11-11-12, 09:19 PM   #2
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Have to confess I'm a bit surprised that with the length and breadth of posted experience on this forum no one has any experience with winter bike camping.
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Old 11-11-12, 11:13 PM   #3
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Maybe because two of the three trails you mentioned required moving a bike through snow? I have reached a point in life where camping requires full hookups.
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Old 11-12-12, 03:43 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
Saw an intriguing presentation about a couple guys who use their bikes to winter camp. They put everything they need on their bikes, ride snowmachine, dog sled and other trails camping as they go. The presenter showd video of one trip they made from Paxson, AK to Cantwell, AK last March. Pretty interesting. I'm intrigued.

Anyone here do that kind of thing? Experiences? Tips for doing it successfully?
I've done some winter bike touring/camping. I don't use a snowmobile or a dogsled though...
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Old 11-12-12, 04:37 AM   #5
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I would be very careful doing it. Obviously it's doable, re: the guys you mentioned.

I do a fair bit of XC skiing, and using snowmobile/dog/reindeer sled tracks is considered a no-no there. Especially if they're marked tracks close to ski resorts or other habitats. Someone's bound to come blasting along at some point, and snow dampens sounds very well. I'd imagine you'd have time to move over (IF it's a snowmobile), but not enough for a planned exit at a well chosen spot. If you just blindly jump off the track, you'll end up in waist deep powder even with normal XC skis, nevermind a bike. That may or may not be fun. Plus you'll only get barely out of track that way, and getting back is going to be hard work at best.

If you're way out in wilderness, sure, anything goes. Anywhere else with more traffic, be careful.

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Last edited by Juha; 11-12-12 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 11-12-12, 06:04 AM   #6
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Might try the Touring forum.
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Old 11-12-12, 06:54 AM   #7
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My idea of winter camping is a Motel 6. A case of frost bite in the late 70s took away all desire to camp in the cold.
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Old 11-12-12, 08:06 AM   #8
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Tips? Dress warmly.
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Old 11-12-12, 08:52 AM   #9
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I don't mind riding all day in rain, cold or snow but at the end of the ride, a hot shower and warmed cognac sure are nice to retire to. Winter camping? No thanks.
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Old 11-12-12, 03:11 PM   #10
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I guess folks here are "old", eh?

The route these guys used is the road. Don't know of any trails that go all the way through the ~135miles. The Denali Hwy isn't maintained in the winter but some of the lodges, etc. along the way groom portions. Then snowmachiners, trappers, skiers, etc. do make pretty good hardpack for a bike if it has fat tires. Since the snow is very dry, takes about 10+ inches to make one water inch, once packed it makes a great road.

Over the years I've spent a fair amount of time outdoors summer and winter. Yep, when it is -40 F/C it can be challenging, but doable and even fun. But I've never used a bicycle as my transportation. I was hoping someone here who was past the immortal years had and could pass on some tips.

May never do it. But the idea is intriguing.
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