Yup, we’re back! Did ya miss me? I sure missed being at home and all the comforts of home . . . a daily shower, naps, my computer, and my online buddies!!!
I’m writing about our trip in great detail in the hopes that it will help someone. Maybe someone needs to prepare for a hunting trip in Alaska. Maybe I’ll need to look back next year and see what we did and how we packed and what we ate. Maybe I just need a reminder, next time The Bull says “let’s go hunting,” of how difficult and uncomfortable a trip it really was! ;)
One of my biggest concerns, of course, was the FOOD, since I am truly hungry, literally every two hours. (Mind you, I can only eat a few bites at a time, but I can’t really skip meals or snacks these days!)
I decided to pack things that were easy to prepare using mainly hot water; I tried to find nutritious foods, but the need for quick preparation limited us severely. I packed our foods in separate garbage bags, each one labeled:
- Breakfast: Instant oatmeal (one large box, one regular sized box), raw potatoes.
- Lunch: Cup o’noodles.
- Snacks: (This was one of my most important meals, since I eat so many times a day! Plus, eating on the road is one way to keep the kids occupied. More on that later.) Pop*Tarts and the real Gummy Bears from Germany (both are long-standing Moose family hunting traditions), Nutri Grain bars, trail mix, chips, cookies, licorice, bananas, and cheese/cracker packs. No, not very nutritious. But hey, it’s a vacation right?
- Dinner: Cans of ready-to-eat soup (I normally buy the condensed soup, but we were bringing a limited amount of water), crackers, and Mountain Home freeze-dried camping meals (which we never even opened! We forgot about them! I guess we’ll just save ’em for next year’s camping. . . not like they’ll go bad or anything! ;) )
We also brought a cooler, which held eggs and bacon (breakfast), bread and lunch meat and cheese and PB&J (lunch), salami (snacks), hot dogs and buns (dinner.)
In another tub, I had a frying pan and spatula, ketchup and mayo packets, paper towels, kleenex, toilet paper, coffee, coffee pot, a pan for boiling water, hot cocoa mix, styrofoam cups, plastic cups, plastic utensils, paper bowls and plates, a small cutting board, a good sharp knife, dish soap, and a dish cloth. Whew!
We also had a propane stove and lots of propane bottles. And lots of waterproof matches!
Keeping the kids occupied
For the road, we had some kid-friendly and snacks (as non-messy as possible!) I also loaded up my mp3 player with some neat stories (some courtesy of Homeschool Radio Shows) and songs.
The weather was predicted to be wet, drizzly, cold, and dreary. I figured we’d have to spend lots of time in the trailer. So I brought along books, kids’ card games and other games, toys, a tape player and tapes (and extra batteries!), washable markers and coloring books, a couple of school books, and a school activity project. I put all these in a tub to keep them out of the kids’ reach until needed.
As it turned out, the weather was gorgeous (for September in Alaska, anyway, with highs around 60 degrees!) and we didn’t need the things in that tub! I did get a couple of the games out one day, but mostly the kids ran around outside and played in the dirt. We were all really dirty by the time we got back to civilization! (And I hadn’t packed enough clothes, oops! Since I knew the kids would be getting into the dirt anyway, they got to wear the same clothes for a few days in a row. No point in putting on clean clothes to go play in the dirt!)
We had borrowed a little trailer that is usually used for hauling snowmachines (what folks in other places call “snowmobiles.”) While it was enclosed, it was not airtight and not heated. But it would keep us safe from animals and out of the (expected) rain and dreary weather. Plus, we wouldn’t need to pitch a tent every time we stopped.
We brought along two twin sized bed mattresses for The Bull and me and good camp pads for the children. We also had lots of pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags, more than we thought we’d need.
We also had a couple of propane heaters. Well, one was actually a propane light; the other was a catalytic heater. We only had the light when we’d done our “test run” of camping prior to the trip; it kept the trailer bright enough to see overnight without flashlights and put off a little heat. So The Bull got the heater for backup.
Now, we had plenty of propane bottles for the light and the propane stove but we should have picked up a few extra propane bottles for the heater! As it turned out, we didn’t run out of propane. But it was close. Another good thing to have had was extra mantles for the light. :)
* Sorry, folks, but I’ll continue with the trip tomorrow! Otherwise this post would get really super duper long.*