that causes your group to deviate from their original plans due to your lack of planning.
Recently, I was on a hunting trip well North of the Arctic Circle. I was invited on the trip, and have been out plenty of times
with the individual before, so I expected them to be prepared for what the far North could throw at us.
Things started out well, and the 700 mile drive North was pretty uneventful. That is until we were about an hour South of Cold
Foot. The person who had invited me brought along a home made trailer. I didn't take a hard look at it, and at first glance
everything looked okay. Believe me, I know crappy trailers, after having towed a nightmare all the way to Alaska from the
North East. Needless to say, the Dalton Highway is not the place you want to test out your homemade trailer. So, with a
broken leaf spring shackle, we limped in to Cold Foot, hoping that a welder was available to help us out. No one was
available at 5am, and we figured we might as well get a hot meal before we headed up over Atigun Pass.
I rigged up the trailer with a chain and binder to hold the axle in place, and we finished off the last portion of our trip to
Galbrath Lake without incident. Upon arriving at Galbrath Lake, I noticed the opposite side of the axle had its leaf spring
shackle shear off. This would have to wait until the end of the trip to get my attention, so, we headed out on our first day of
When hiking in five miles in sub zero temps, you don't want to be so hot that you sweat. You want to be comfortable enough
that you don’t get cold, but stay warm enough to keep going. This is where a good layering system comes in. Wool base
layers, followed by breathable water proof outer layers. This isn’t the time to wear the same suit you would wear while sitting
in a deer stand in the lower 48. Sure, those suits are warm, but too warm. You sweat, they don’t breath properly, and in sub
zero temps, you get cold fast when you stop. Two out of the four of use were well prepared for the weather we were
To make a long story short, we were not able to sit out on the hunting grounds long enough to have caribou herds come
rolling through for us to fill our freezer. Instead of getting to hunt, we ended up going on a nice 10-12 mile tundra hike each
So, the moral of this story is be prepared for the worst possible conditions. I’ve been on many a fishing trips where guys don’t
bring a rain jacket, and a torrential down pour rolls in for 15 minutes. Granted, this can be ok when the weather is decent, but
when you’re fishing in colder weather, this can be a game changer. Don’t be the reason your group has to deviate from their
plans and make sure you're ready for what Mother Nature has to throw at you.
Don't Be The One
by Christopher Tobias
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
October, 2015 Issue
Christopher Tobias holds a USCG
Masters License, Alaska Guide License
and is co-owner of Roe Hard Guide
Service, based out of Wasilla, Alaska.
Roe Hard Guide Service operates on the
Susitna River drainages and Kenai