Camping experience in Alaska
Four words – I can’t believe myself!!.
Camping is the least I want to do in my whole life. I hate the word CAMP. My friends knew me very well and they exclude me out of the program. No invitation needed.
Mosquitoes, sleeping on the cold ground, stinky smell, ants, itch and snakes are among the factors why I hate camping. Where to brush my teeth? No big mirror, no warm toilet seat where I can sit and do my business and no privacy are another reasons why I hate sleeping outside the house
But Mike tried to prove that, camping in Alaska is fun. AND he made me do it.
So, I don’t know what it is like camping in Malaysia. Because I never did it before. So, it was a grand start for me to experience with Alaska.
In Alaska, they have a Fee Station at the entrance of every campground. Non attended. No staff. So, my conclusion among many others that, Alaskan are good people. They still pay even with no one around. Macam meniaga Nabi kat Mekah gitu.. tuan tak de, tapi tetap letak duit bila ambik barang jualan. It so that with the money, it can help to maintain the facility of the campground.
Deposit box with cash in it, unattended too. Here in our country, donation box in the mosque also people robbed. Selipar tok sah cerita la kan.
Tekun Encik Mike mengisi borang.. macam nak buang undi pula.
Actually Mike showed me a few campsite around. From Wasilla to Talkeetna Mountains (Hatcher Pass). So we went to two places. So I summed it up both experience into one.
another one is Little Susitna River Campground, Houston.
You see, after seeing all campgrounds, I started to feel excited. I thought it was something like deep, dark in Amazon – like jungle. Or, maybe since it was summer, the camp area wasn’t dark at all even at midnight. I hate the woods. It creeps me out every time I see the woods like that, too. The Blair Witch Project, The Hills Have Eyes, Cabin Fever, Wrong Turn and the worst – Friday the 13th – THE BURNING/SLEEPAWAY CAMP!!! Ok. I watched too much horror movies.
To guarantee the comfort, Mike brought me to the warehouse where you can get everything you need (some look like LUXURY) for your camping. Mike really tried to make sure my 1st camping experience favorable or else I swear I will never do it again.
Welcome to Sportsmen’s Warehouse, Alaska.
It has Camping, Hunting, Fishing, Boating, (you name it) in different huge section.
I can feel the vibe of wildlife, nature and me become into one (perghh) as soon as I stepped into this warehouse! Hundreds of sleeping bag style according to thickness, season and campsites..
Camping, hunting, fishing, boating… any outdoor activities is like a life to Alaskan. Not another life, but, a second home. Being cold almost the whole year, makes them just wanna stay outside the whole summer, enjoy 20 hours sunlight on dry grounds..
They took outdoor activities seriously. Weekends especially. Unlike us, spent most of our time on traffic jam and shopping malls.
Hundreds of tent from single to whole family. I never seen Mike do shopping like, seriously shop like this before. He really spent quite a long time in here, checking stuff and all. Just like when I am in shopping malls!
and I saw this tent, which can fit 2 single bed and dining table and boxes and backpacks.. like… OMG!? This is a house to me! No need to sleep on the ground!?
…after seeing this, tent complete with door and window, crazy idea came into my mind. I told Mike “Let’s tour Route 66 and South America by car and sleep in a tent. I want to sleep in a tent by the Grand Canyon and see the Sunset”. And he gave me the unbelievable look like “I don’t trust this crazy woman talk”
The stores has all kinds of necessity. From butt powder to gun’s bullet. From canned food to big, portable BBQ pit.
After thorough consideration and preparation – So, this is our car boot looks like.
and I get to make S’MORSE the old school style for the first time! Using twig!!! OMG OMG OMG.
Although Alaska campground doesn’t have snakes. But their mosquitoes are triple than Malaysian’s size. And they are vicious! So Mosquitoes spray repellent is a must.
The mosquitoes attack you and whatever around as soon as you stepped out! Mike sprayed everything.
Sprayed the whole spot and finished the whole spray can.
Oh, all the campgrounds comes with standard facilities : Clean flat ground, Table with bench, extra bench and fire pit with grill.
The campsite looks like a parking lot or, house lot. Every lot sit next to each other, only divided by well trimmed bushes or trees. Very nice.
Wet Tissue is a must. Every camp ground here has toilet located nearby but as usual, no water. I thought we had to bring our own tissue rolls, but come to surprise, tissue rolls provided as well. ALOT of it. I didn’t take the picture of the toilet though. But I can tell you, it looks BETTER & DECENT than our public toilet!
Yep! Not sleeping on the cold ground. Battery operated air pump is a must.
Air Bed is serve, maam. Me likey!
Spray lotion for skin is also needed. To keep those vicious mosquitoes away.
Guns and Rifle. While I was afraid of witch, ghost and psycho killers, they bring weapon for protection from wildlife. Like bears. Knowing that by developing a campsite like this, human are invading the wildlife’s space. They didn’t chase them away. Hoping that the bears are COOL with us sharing spaces, out in the wood – is stupid.
Mike assembling the tent. I like they way he do things. He just do it, without asking me to help him or bother me to do other stuff. Unlike me, I always expect him to give me a hand even to boil the water. No wonder he don’t understand when I became so upset when he finished all my drink water and didn’t replace it.
But I tried to contribute. So I collected twigs for the fire later on. Uhmm…
and it spoiled my nail polish 🙁 But I feel proud because I helped.
But, not until I saw Val (Mike’s sister) came with that.
Ok, it was my 1st experience. They excuse me. So I excuse myself to go around and take pictures.
See the little house? That’s toilet.
Nancy Lake at 10PM
The tent, fire, chair is ready.
Ah, I tell you, I never had dinner this good outside the house. Val prep this at her house before we came to pick her up. Pasta, chicken and vegetables. Cooked in aluminium casserole, on big open fire like that. THE BEST!
Photo time. Look at Mike’s face. Smudged with charcoal while trying to start the fire. But he’s happy. That’s a true campers’ look.
All set and now it’s time to relax. Drinking and wait for the food to cook.
Once we finished the food, before we sleep, all was stored back in the ice box, placed inside the car boot. We have to make sure NO LEFT OVERS. Not to avoid ants ya.. but the bears…
Bears be like “Hey, we share spaces, why you no share food?”
Jordan (Mike niece’s husband) came later than us. So he is assembling a big tent for the family next to us. That day, none of us bring the air pump. So he blew the air bed (queen size bed) for almost an hour. And the bed used for few hours only. Crazy!
From setting up the tent and cooking, keep me safe and making me happy – he is my man 🙂
We played around and took more picture. That is taken at 1 AM.
Later, I feel so tired and sleep sound. Never worried about Jason Voorhees or Witch Blair. But the guys never slept. They been up all night, drinking and chatting because day like this isn’t happen all day. Everybody busy with work and family, only night like this they spent time talking and make up plans.
Next camping, it was only Mike and I, at Little Susitna River campsite. No one around JUST us. While I sleep with my thermal long john on in a sleeping bag on an airbed in the tent, Mike up all night sitting by the fire pit with his gun. Because….
I woke up like a gangsta. (Pffttt). Excuse my fatness. It was the layering. Summer in Alaska is below 10 degree Celsius.
As a conclusion, I never thought camping is fun. I mean, it will be more fun if more people joining. Family and friends. But NO, you can’t put up loud music and party like a wild. All you’ve seen it was just in the movie.
I love to camp again. But only with Mike and his family and with all those equipment. Because I know I will always feel safe when he is around, and he always make sure I feel like at home.