Well, we have some big news. We were so inspired by Alaska that we gave up the easy life in the lower 48 and decided to move here. I accepted a job in Fairbanks, Alaska, which was a place we truly enjoyed on our visits here. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it turned out to be the right one. We moved up September of 2015 and have been living the sourdough lifestyle ever since. The great news for this site, though, is that we’re actually now Alaskan’s and not a day will go by where Alaska isn’t on our mind. We’ve been able to see more aurora borealis this winter than we’d ever hoped in our entire life, it’s truly an inspiring experience!
Getting up here with a U-Haul and trailer was quite a bit different than the road trip camping experience. While we did manage to camp one night during our trip at Liard Hot Springs, we were traveling on the fringes of the winter season and it was preferable to use lodging. It was quite an experience overall and certainly a fitting start to what’s turned out to be a challenging journey. It took us awhile to adjust to the cost of living increases up here, which are considerable from a lifestyle standpoint, but we seem to be through all that now. Overall, it’s been an incredible life choice and we’re diving into the 24/7 Alaska experience as much as we can.
The travel season for road trips to Alaska have renewed our spirits here at TentAlaska.com. We established this site late last year after our last trip up north and have been somewhat slow in our development. We’re running busy jobs, multiple side projects, starting our summer garden and trying to get outdoors when we can. But lately, a lot of progress has been made and I estimate we’re about 75% finished with the site at this point. It’s a lot of work to establish a concept site, especially when the motivations are purely to educate and hopefully establish a community of like minded users, not financial gain.
A lot of the work to the site as of late has been in the background. We intentionally ignored things like SEO (search engine optimization) for the site while we’ve been somewhat in a partial state as we wanted to insure a quality experience for our users. A lot of that work has now been completed, so our hope is that search engines will start targeting us a little better. As of this writing, we’ve seen about 100 users and have a pretty low bounce rate, so that means our target audience isn’t being reached. These efforts should hopefully help these things a bit more.
What an exciting time!
It’s usually late May and early June when the brave early travelers start making their way to the great white north. For these early birds, they often brave the threats of late season snow storms and less than ideal weather on their way up. Early season travel has it’s share of perks, too, in that you get to greet a welcoming Alaska people who’ve been largely hibernating for the winter and early spring seasons. It’s probably a bit aggressive to consider a tent based trek this early, but certainly not outside the realm of possible if you’re properly prepared for the weather.
If you haven’t started your planning and you intend to make the trek this year, the time is definitely now. We find that the planning and preparation aspects can take some time and resources to make it possible, so the earlier you start with the preparations the better off you’ll be. Some of the initial things you want to start thinking about will be the route you’ll take, getting a basic itinerary together, preparing your vehicle, cleaning up your camping gear and other early stuff that you can get done.
It’s been a bit of time in development, and things still aren’t quite finished yet, but there’s enough info on the site now to finally take it live. If we had unlimited time, no day jobs and our interests weren’t split 100 different ways, things would probably be a bit easier overall! But, for now, we’ve removed the maintenance mode, so you can explore the sections of the site that are live and also can participate in our forums. We appreciate you finding the site and taking the time to check things out!
The reason we decided to start this website is when we were planning our trips to Alaska, we discovered that there’s an overwhelming lack of information specifically geared for campers and tenters on what to expect along the way. Plenty of information for your average RV’er, but not much out there on how to plan for the trip. We aimed to try and curb that gap and provide some of the personal experience and suggestions we discovered both in preparation as well as along the journey.