I think I woke up in Alaska

I’ve been to Alaska more than once and I’ve toured the Bering Strait during the winter, but this blows. I like winter more than the next guy; seriously, it’s my favorite season. You get fires and hot chocolate, mulled wine and snowball fights, sledding and gleaming ice-covered trees; it’s a lovely time of year.

It’s 5 below at the moment with a windchill factor approaching 20 below. Because I’m living in hotel rooms every day I wanted to pack as light as possible. I was pretty sure I would not be showing up in Lapland or Siberia, so I didn’t bring a parka or the beaver-skin hat. I guess I needed to; this is the warmest place we’ll be in 4 days. At least we’re not going to International Falls, MN–windchill factor -50 F.



Filed under Travel, Winter

2 responses to “I think I woke up in Alaska

  1. Wyoming

    You say you’ve been to Alaska? 5 below is picnic parka weather. At those temperatures a picnic on the beach is a real possiblity (if you can find the beach under the drifts and washed-up bergs). Some of the best times are in the spring when the days are getting longer after a couple of months of darkness and you dig a pit to block the wind, start a fire, roast a dog or two, drink hot chocolate and then snowmachine back to the village.


  2. Hey 5 below isn’t all that bad, if you have the gear. I’m not touring around the country with below zero gear–not enough room in the car. Gear that I have, but not with me:

    Beaver hat: didn’t bring because unless it IS below zero, the thing is just to warm to wear.

    North Face Parka: see above

    Ski Mask: really an oversight on my part, just didn’t think I’d need it for some reason

    Stuff I did bring:

    Fleece: great layer gear

    Long Johns: great layer gear

    Sweatshirts: great layer gear

    Solid winter coat: great layer gear

    Waterproof hiking boots.

    4 layers of appropriate clothing is good for most contiguous 48 locations. In Wisconsin and Chicagoland, we were facing 35 and 40 below wind chills.

    In fact we went out one weekend to hike the Shiawassee National Wildlife Preserve and just couldn’t do it. I layered up as best I could, and was wearing the earbands and cap and scarf, long-sleeve cotton, winter fleece, sweatshirt, winter coat, etc.

    Got to the preserve, temperature -3 F. Wind speed off the water: 40 mph. Couldn’t do it.

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