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Arctic Rucking/Backpacking
Old 09-12-2017, 18:46   #1
JamesIkanov
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Arctic Rucking/Backpacking

Title pretty much says it all. I'm looking for advice on ruck training/land nav in deep snow and mountain terrain. Any anecdotes or advice would be helpful. It's less because I want to beat myself and more that if I want to train "on terrain" then that's the terrain available here for six months out of the year.

Is there non-obvious winter specific kit that you'd recommend? And how important are snow shoes?
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Old 09-12-2017, 19:08   #2
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My advice is don't.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:36   #3
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Originally Posted by JamesIkanov View Post
Is there non-obvious winter specific kit that you'd recommend?
And how important are snow shoes?
You reside in Ak and need to ask about snowshoes??

Start here: Watch the last 25 seasons of Life Below Zero

Pay particular attention to Sue Atkins and Glenn Villeneuve

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/life-below-zero/

IMO,, Two of the most miserable individuals on the planet, that seem to like the cold..

Then watch Agnes Hailstones and her family. They know how...



Follow up by watching Yukon Men

Do not under any circumstance watch Alaskan Bush People,, unless your mother is also your 1st cuzan, by your uncle/syster,, who owns a really big pot farm..
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:31   #4
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My advice is don't.
Best - and most relevant - advice EVER!!

This is an easy one: go get an Akio, pile all your worldly possessions in it, drag it across Norway whilst spilling shit and creating yard-sales over much of Europe. Don't forget to have it run you over on the down hills when your team mates think it's funny not to brake the sled and watch it punch you down into the snow like Thor's hammer. Make sure the junior guy spills all your stove fuel and that the commo guy burns the batteries by placing them too close to the fire you made to prevent ya'll from freezing to freaking death from falling through the iced-over river you fell through trying to find your way around the pass that was closed by an avalanche. Oh...and you have only 17 hours left to travel 15 mapsheets to make your target time.

When you get airlifted back to your support site, promptly burn the Akio and the 400 pounds of "lightweight" arctic gear you were forced to pack and put in a 4187 to 7th Group.

ALTHOUGH - I did like the fact that there were no bugs. Had that going for me.
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Old 09-13-2017, 17:28   #5
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Do not under any circumstance watch Alaskan Bush People,, unless your mother is also your 1st cuzan, by your uncle/syster,, who owns a really big pot farm..


That's what we call "Wasilla-billies". Suffice to say that the TV show didn't even get the lowest common denominator, as scary as that may be



As for snowshoes, I've got a pair, but I've always been stubborn and just trudged along without them. That just seems like a poor idea to attempt with an extra 45+ lbs on my back, up a mountain, in snow deeper than I usually deal with. I'll watch me some national geographic specials as per advice and then make a couple of dry runs. If it goes well, I'll keep at it. Otherwise, seems like the best course of action would be to "ruck" the local gyms stair-master....
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Old 09-13-2017, 21:25   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ_BPK View Post
You reside in Ak and need to ask about snowshoes??

Start here: Watch the last 25 seasons of Life Below Zero

Pay particular attention to Sue Atkins and Glenn Villeneuve

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/life-below-zero/

IMO,, Two of the most miserable individuals on the planet, that seem to like the cold..

Then watch Agnes Hailstones and her family. They know how...



Follow up by watching Yukon Men

Do not under any circumstance watch Alaskan Bush People,, unless your mother is also your 1st cuzan, by your uncle/syster,, who owns a really big pot farm..

"Start here: Watch the last 25 seasons of Life Below Zero"


You're kidding, right? There's not a one of them you mentioned that could survive without modern equipment and amenities.

I've been to Alaska, beyond the arctic circle, was there when it was -60 degrees.

It’s not rocket science but screw up and it will kill you real fast.

I’m sure there’s many a book on cold weather and survival training. And it depends how far down the rabbit hole you want to go as far as training.
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Old 09-14-2017, 21:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesIkanov View Post
Title pretty much says it all. I'm looking for advice on ruck training/land nav in deep snow and mountain terrain. Any anecdotes or advice would be helpful. It's less because I want to beat myself and more that if I want to train "on terrain" then that's the terrain available here for six months out of the year.

Is there non-obvious winter specific kit that you'd recommend? And how important are snow shoes?
Ok, you live in Anchorage. I won't comment on that. Get a P.O. box in Skwentna and walk to pick up your mail a couple of days a week this winter.. As for your kit, just observe everyone else on the river after freeze up. Some will stop and ask you WTF you are doing out there in your bermudas. Good time to ask about their kit. You will not meet anyone from the Brown family, but some real characters I guarantee!

Best snowshoes I ever had were the old military wooden ones I bought from a surplus store 25 years ago.
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Old 09-15-2017, 00:24   #8
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I can't vouch for it personally, but there's a company here in Anchorage that'll take your money and teach you things.

Learn to Return specializes in wilderness survival. The founder's bio says he is a former USAF SERE instructor and Desert Survival instructor with 5th Group.

S.
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Last edited by Requiem; 09-15-2017 at 00:47.
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Old 09-15-2017, 22:29   #9
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I'm not exactly in Anchorage, but I'm close enough it doesn't matter too much for practical purposes. I chose to list Anchorage because I didn't want to be TOO specific. Anyway, a hike out to Skwetna would be a pretty interesting 6-7 day trip, if I can figure out whether the Knik actually freezes solid enough to be crossable anywhere. Then again, I guess if I drive closer and then walk, that would certainly save me some hassle. Feels a bit like cheating, but in retrospect that's probably what you meant... I mean, probably.

Frankly I could see myself doing a trip like that once or twice, and probably spending a lot more time in the state forest more directly to my east. That was essentially the original plan anyway.


Learn to return sounds interesting.... not sure it's what I'm looking for, but I could see myself giving it a whirl just for some cold weather advice and gear recs. If I do go I'll be sure to do a show and tell or at least a tell on how it went.... if there's any interest.
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesIkanov View Post

Is there non-obvious winter specific kit that you'd recommend? And how important are snow shoes?
Rain deer or seal skin gloves, hat and boots. (normal footwear and gloves will not work in that cold)

Might also want a heavy tinted pair of sunglasses so you can make it back to camp. (snow blindness).

Figure out what you are going to do for water... canteen's and water bottles don't work after it dips below 20F.

Light Saber for your Taun-taun never know when you have to crawl into one to stay warm.
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Old 09-17-2017, 15:05   #11
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I can't vouch for it personally, but there's a company here in Anchorage that'll take your money and teach you things.

Learn to Return specializes in wilderness survival. The founder's bio says he is a former USAF SERE instructor and Desert Survival instructor with 5th Group.

S.
USAF SERE instructor

"Desert Survival instructor with 5th Group" (That I'd like to see in writing.)

(giggle, giggle, giggle.....LOLOLOL)

Let me tell you a secret, Air Force doesn't teach Special Forces, it's the other way around. The founder started his "survival school" in 1986, I never saw or heard of any AF "airmen" teaching 5th Group.......... and I've been to desert survival a few times with 5th Group. Few people on this planet "teach" Special Forces....... Air Force survival is designed for their pilots....... not ground combat soldiers. USAF SERE and Special Operations SERE are worlds apart...........

I think USAF SERE idea of survival is a tent without air conditioning and tap water instead of bottled water..........
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Old 09-17-2017, 16:26   #12
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LOL! Team Sergeant, I dangled that bio out there to see if anyone would bite.

I have no idea what's legit or not, and I didn't want cast aspersions on the genuine thing. I left it to the Professionals.

S.
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Old 09-17-2017, 18:35   #13
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LOL! Team Sergeant, I dangled that bio out there to see if anyone would bite.

I have no idea what's legit or not, and I didn't want cast aspersions on the genuine thing. I left it to the Professionals.

S.
Yeah, I was in 5th Group until 1987........ I never saw or heard of any "airman" teaching desert survival to us. But, it sure makes your potential clients think you're an "expert" in the field.

And if I had a dime for every fraud that was in 5th Group, or taught 5th Group............

5th Group soldiers are the desert "experts".
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