Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Solo Backcountry Backpacking

I prefer to go solo on my backpacking trips. I trust my judgment and take calculated risks. Some call me anti-social and rash, but I prefer only being responsible for myself, not having to worry about another person's weaknesses. 

Bears and Other Encounters


So the number one question I get from truckers, tourists, friends is “aren’t you scared of the bears?”.

A Hitchhikers Guide to Alaska

In my free time I hitchhiked up and down the Haul Road, back-country, solo backpacking my way through deserted drainages, traversing ridges, climbing peaks, dipping in creeks. The sun never set, so I could hike for 15-18 hours straight and not have to worry about finding a place to camp: I’d find a rocky ledge, set my sleeping bag down and take a 3-4 hour nap.

 

Coldfoot Beginnings



Exploring the northern reaches of Alaska has been high on my priority list since I read Jack London's Call of the Wild (in Russian) as a ten-year-old. So I applied for work across the state, and 4 hours after completing my Multivariable Calculus exam, I flew to Fairbanks, and then by bush plane to Coldfoot to start my new job.  I wanted to hitchhike up to Alaska from the lower 48, but I had time constraints. Oh well, another time.

The Start

I’m known as Nat, Nat-a-tat, Natty, Nattles, Natasha…. I’m a student-majoring in Chemistry and Math + a dose of engineering. I’m currently in the midst of taking a year off to explore the world before life ties me down.