7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Next Yukon Road Trip
A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web-Extra
1. What sort of budget am I on?
We’ll start with the obvious. Most of us think about how we’re spending our money. But food in the Yukon is expensive, even more so the further from society you are. Consider that renting a vehicle with a fridge (or just packing a big cooler) might end up saving you a bit of money in the long run—depending on how far you’re going and for how long. Beer from the territory stores is the same everywhere though.
2. What regulations does the area have?
Always keep an eye out for the burn status. Fires are great for the environment, but not when they’re started by people. An out of province fishing licence is about $35, but in most lakes and rivers you can only use barbless hooks. It’s $12 a night in Territory Campgrounds. And while it’s permissible to shoot bears from the road, there’s not much sport in that.
3. Can I do without technology?
GPS is handy, a must if you’re doing some serious bushwhacking. And watching a pre-loaded episode of Silicon Valley on your laptop by an extremely secluded lake does bring on delicious irony. But there’s something to be said for unplugging completely. You can do that up here. Aishihik Lake is a great place for it. However, be aware that there will be times when no one is around for miles. You won’t get cell service outside of most towns, but it’s good to have. Also, Bell is the big carrier up here.
4. Do I have everything I need in case something goes wrong?
Ok, one word here: tires. Bring an extra. Bring two if you can. Some of the roads around here are treacherous. A lot of them are gravel, some are strait up… rocks… And if something goes wrong you don’t know when someone might come along, and most of the territory is sans cell service. Have a full sized spare, and make sure your tires are in good condition. It also doesn’t hurt to have that emergency GPS handy. Just in case. Especially if you’re heading up the Dempster Highway.
5. What sort of road trip am I on here?
Is this a stop and smell the roses road trip? Am I going to hit every “scenic lookout” I see? If so, make sure to give yourself extra time. It’s taken me days to go a hundred kilometers in the Yukon. There are photo opportunities at every turn. You'll want to stop.
6. What are you trying to get out of the trip?
Are you out here trying to catch some big fish? You just want to wander? Be honest with yourself. If all you really want to do is get away from people and do some reading, don’t bother packing the laptop. Ask yourself if you really are going to fish, instead of just brining the rod. You can always use that extra space for the cooler. Do you need your pair of hiking boots?
7. How am I going to (insert essential living thing here)
So what kind of trip are you on, and what are you going for? Know that? Good, now you can ask how you’re going to brush your teeth. What are you doing for water? Cleaning? Cooking? Baby wipes (aka hippie wipes) are a great resource if you’re camping. A lot of the lakes and rivers are way too cold to bathe, and besides, you don’t want to pollute them with soap.
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