Author Topic: Food storage in the Arctic  (Read 227 times)

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Offline nataliemc

Food storage in the Arctic
« on: October 10, 2016, 11:14:06 am »
So next year I will be biking the Haul Road in Alaska and this will be my first time touring in a place without trees or other options to store food from wild animals. Will my best bet be to just cook, eat, and stash my food a good distance from my tent or should I invest in on of those incredibly heavy bear canisters? I am have toured extensively in the lower 48 and know my way around down here but Alaska and the Arctic are a new challenge for me.

Thanks all!

Offline zzzz

Re: Food storage in the Arctic
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 01:59:35 pm »

I can't answer your specific question but this year I rode from Banff to Fairbanks and did some research that might be helpful to you. There is a company called Bearikade that makes CF bear proof food canisters is several sizes. The smallest one holds 3 to 4 days worth of food and weighs a little under 2 pounds. Like all things that are very light for what they are, it is pricey.

Because I overwhelmingly stay in hotels, in the end I just bought a box of odor proof plastic zip lock bags from REI and put my food in them and moved them away from where I was staying on the couple nights I camped.


Offline zzzz

Re: Food storage in the Arctic
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 02:39:45 pm »
also....(and seemingly off topic)

I was coming up the Alaska Hywy on my trip and I saw a couple of people that had come down the Dalton Hywy (aka the Haul Rd). Apparently they spray calcium chloride on the road in the summer to keep the dust down and it gets on everything and hardens up and is very tough on chains and derailleurs particularly. One guy I talked to went thru 2 chains in the 450 miles and if he had a 3rd he would have used it. I was talking to a couple who I saw a 2  days later who also came down the Dalton and they said you can prevent the worst of the problems by pre-spraying all your stuff with WD-40. In any case, take an extra chain & cables and do everything you can to keep the rear derailleur clean or you'll be replacing that, too.

Also, if you get to Fairbanks and decide you want your bike professionally cleaned go see Fred:

It's a hole in the wall shop in an industrial park that doesn't look like much and won't show up in a google search for bike shops. I was steered there by an old friend who's lived in Fairbanks for 35 years and is one of the top racing cyclists in the state. Fred has a reputation as the best mechanic in town and he took good care of me at the end of my trip.


Offline nataliemc

Re: Food storage in the Arctic
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 02:43:42 pm »
Thanks for both of your responses! I will totally look into that bear container, I have never used them before cause I have always had big trees or no threats from bears when no trees were around. Also, I will definitely stop at that bike shop when I am passing through! I always like to stop at places that come recommended to me by other cyclists.

Offline Venchka

Food storage in the Arctic
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2016, 08:26:31 pm »
Ursack. 8 ounces. 2 sizes. 5-7 days of food. Available from Ursack, REI, etc. Approved by the Grizzly Bear folks in Montana.

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« Last Edit: October 16, 2016, 08:29:39 pm by Venchka »
Deep in the darkest heart of the East Texas Rain Forest.
You've come far pilgrim...Feels like far...Were it worth the trouble?...Huh? What trouble?

Offline spruceboy

Re: Food storage in the Arctic
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2016, 02:29:55 am »
A ursack or a bear canister would work fine.  You can borrow a bear canister from APLIC ( in Fairbanks.  If you are just biking the haul road / dalton highway, then you can hang food from the alaska pipeline, as it is easily accessible for almost the entire route.   

I biked the route several years ago, and have a writeup here:

RE mud on the dalton - the road is treated for dust, and treatment causes the mud to be very sticky. Normally it isn't bad when it is raining, but it can be awful when the road is drying out after the rain stops.  The road drys really fast though, so just take a break until the surface dries out.

let me know if you have any other questions.  I live in Fairbanks, alaska.