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Messages - janetanorth

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Routes / Re: Fairbanks -> Anchorage or Anchorage -> Fairbanks?
« on: February 06, 2014, 01:27:51 am »
please check my FAQ bicycle touring in alaska at crazy guy on a bike, and then feel free to ask me specific questions.

Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 01, 2014, 03:40:32 am »
i know you said freestanding, but you might give this a look at:
the terra nova zephyros 1; incredible price, additional 5% off with code: RMN5
i bought one mostly to use the fly as a tarp.

Routes / Re: Planning route from Anchorage to San Fransico
« on: November 29, 2013, 07:33:16 pm »
when you buy "the milepost", they will give you a code that makes their digital version available from their website.
unfortunately, it only reads from south to north- very irritating for those going the other direction.

if you would like to lounge around the campsite and be on the internet for long periods of time, i recommend a "hotspot" or "mifi" type device available from any cellphone provider. it is a rechargeable, stand alone, small plastic transmitter to find a wifi signal through the designated carrier. you are usually allowed up to 5 devices per account.
for the no contract option you will have to pay full retail price for the device, and then what ever they charge per GB. this isn't cheap, but it's convenient.
depending on your route, AT&T or Verizon may have the best coverage. i would check their websites.
this has worked well for me with my ipad, ipod, iphone and husband's galaxy tablet, also laptops in the past.
i would suggest setting up the device in the store, connecting your devices, and making sure there aren't any problems before hitting the road.

General Discussion / Re: Fuel Canisters in Hokkaido, Japan
« on: May 30, 2013, 05:36:04 pm »
i used Primus cannister fuel all through my japan tour. i bought my stove especially for the availability of the fuel.
i googled "sporting goods store" or "camping store", and then checked what was offered.
i think snowpeak is actually a japanese brand.
enjoy, hokkaido is fantastic! the "mishi no eki" will become your best friend-it is an amazing rest stop area with food and toilets. i've even camped out back!
i also recommend a strong set of lights (many, many tunnels) and a kickstand-leaning bike against stuff is discouraged.

Gear Talk / Re: Tips for avoiding back pain at night
« on: May 20, 2013, 01:14:29 am »
try getting a bike fit at from a bike shop
ride less miles
pillow under or between knees, under neck (laying flat is awful for a tight back)
cyclobenzaprine 10-20 mg (flexeril, a mild muscle relaxant)
it sounds like you're getting in to a tightening habit that doesn't get any relief
good luck! i find 10 mg. of flexeril and 400 mg. of ibuprofen for a few nights early on in a tour keeps me from getting in to bad habits from over exercising and poor sleep.

General Discussion / Re: Tents
« on: April 29, 2013, 01:01:25 am »
2 people really need two doors and two vestibules, especially if one door/zipper goes bad and you have to sew it up.
if your trip is less than a month, you could probably get by with squeezing in together with regular discomfort. once you get past 4 weeks you might consider splurging a bit for bigger space.
if your companion is large, snores, flops around or keeps weird hours you might want two small tents.
i'm eyeing the easton kilo 1p.

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 15, 2013, 12:38:58 pm »
I see it is the "OpSac" that is smell resistant, not the 'aloksac'.

Gear Talk / Re: No Stove
« on: April 15, 2013, 12:30:02 pm »
If you don't cook at home, you probably won't cook on the road.
If you change your mind, you can just buy one.

Gear Talk / Re: Camping Gas/stove
« on: April 15, 2013, 12:26:52 pm »
I don't find it hard at all to find cannister fuel, though the larger sizes are more difficult to locate. I travel with one large one, and a backup that can be smaller, if necessary. Most are universally connected to any stove- i did have to update my device to enjoy this convenience. The empty canisters are now recyclable, if one has the proper emptying tool.
I would recommend surfing several of our outdoor stores to check for fuel compatibility with your stove:
Let's hear it for the box stores.
Regards, janet

General Discussion / Re: Bears
« on: April 15, 2013, 12:17:14 pm »
If nerves will keep you from sleeping, I recommend investing in a high strength bear spray (and keep it at hand) some bear bags such as "aLokSac" (, and staying away from established campsites as much as possible. Even if there is nothing from which to hang the food bag, at least things will be packed in multiple layers.
I've found the worst campground pests are the small gnawers that come out at night.
Beware the rodents!
Cheers, janet

Routes / Re: Haida Gwaii
« on: April 04, 2013, 11:10:18 pm »
I sent some touring motorcyclists there on their alaska-to-Argentina trip, they loved it.
Would recommend you're ready for fire road type conditions, be fully self-contained.
Enjoy-i cycled prince of wales island in SE alaska, very closely related.

General Discussion / Re: fitting tents into rear panniers
« on: July 05, 2012, 03:02:08 pm »
pack tent in one waterproof bag, ground cloth in plastic bag that will be dirty, fly in another bag (may be wet and need drying later in day), poles and stakes (replace stock stakes with something stronger) separately stored to avoid puncturing things.
 unless you have bought a tent specifically for short length poles to fit in a pannier, you most likely will strap them crossways on the rear rack or along the top tube.

Gear Talk / Re: Pannier that converts to knapsack?
« on: May 17, 2011, 04:43:12 pm »
the ortlieb vario is a fantastic bag, but nowhere near as big as most of their panniers.
regards, janet

Gear Talk / Re: Ipad, Tablets vs. Netbooks
« on: April 13, 2011, 12:07:55 pm »
I had an Asus eee tiny pc for a bike trip in Japan 2 years ago. it was easy to carry and worked well. However, now that I have an iPad with 3G I wouldn't consider any other device. It would make the need for a gps obsolete, as there are a ton of gps and tracking apps. The only concern might be data usage in Europe when not on wifi. I have heard about cheapish temporary data plans out of England that might work and could probably be found if googled. The original iPad is being sold off for sale prices in some locations.
I have my iPad in the apple case, which fits in a padded sleeve and then a 2 gallon ziplock for pannier/backpack/dry bag travel.

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