I spent a major part of my morning trying to decide how to pack for my trip. Keeping in mind that my focus is function, not fashion, I worked through the hockey-sized 40lb. duffle bag sent to me by CH2MHill Polar Services. Unpacking was something between the treasure hunt from Hades and watching clowns climb out of a circus Mini Cooper: no matter how much I pulled out, there was still more to come!

Step 1: try everything on - Fleece jacket, knit caps, bug jacket, and several pairs of gloves, - OK. Fleece pants, outer jacket, rain set, fleece neck gaiter, - GONG!!!

Step 2: try gear - 0˚ rated sleeping bag, too warm; fleece bag liner, too new; 4 season 3 person tent and high density mattress, just perfect. (I feel like Goldilocks!) I can fill in the rest from my own gear.

Bug Suit
Barney tries on the bug suit.

Step 3: Now, the other package...40lbs of electronic wizardry from Roy: ToughBook computer and Pelican case, camo design solar panel, various adapters and charging connectors, satellite phone and 2 antennae, 13lb. auxiliary battery...and case...WOW! If I can't wave to Russia from Ahklum Mts I bet I can talk to them on the phone! Now to figure out how to use all this stuff and practice, practice, practice!

Step 4 : Assemble personal gear to take too - toiletries (very basic), unmentionables (not to be discussed), replacements for stuff that won't fit, some convertible pants, shirts, sox, extra glasses, binoculars, school mascot, personal journal and sketch materials, Alaska native plants guide, and Seattle Sombrero.


Step 5: Load it all as compactly as possible in the least number of bags.....the airlines with their dinky size and weight limits are gonna love me! - When I hit full I had to start making choices and trade-offs.

Two Hours Later
Bags all packed up and ready to go!

I am becoming such a minimalist! Toiletries relegated to 6X10X3 inches including towel; Fleece set, long johns, storm gear and sleeping bag in compression sacks; quick-dry shirts and pants, leave out one set; many pair of sox, gotta have; unmentionables.....hmmm, what about commando?

As of this writing I am still working on it. Suffice it to say that this is not going to look like Barbie does Alaska!

Weather Summary
Clear and hot