But my other new investments have proven to be very useful. Here is my list of the most useful items of this trip:
|Camping in arctic jungle|
Synthetic quilt: On a paddling trip like this you have a very high risk of getting your sleeping gear wet or at least damp. During the last couple of years I have had constant problems with down sleeping bags in this sort of environment: The down starts clumping together and the insulation factor drops considerably. Therefore I had invested into a new synthetic quilt from BPL and it turned out to be one of my best recent investments! To my big surprise I have never been cold at night with this new setup and I never had to use the down bag I had brought on top as an extra layer. Most nights I was just sleeping in my base layer and shorts and was plenty warm. Only on very few occasions I had to put on long johns and a second pullover. From now on the BPL quilt will be my default sleeping bag.
Buff: This little accessory turned out to be of great value on the Yukon and I was wearing it daily. Especially in the mornings it could still be kind of cold on the water - too warm for a warm hat, but the buff was just right then. And when the wind started blowing the buff was perfect to hold my baseball cap in place and protect my ears.
Waterproof socks: I had first thought of buying neoprene socks but a British friend told me about Chillcheater socks. They are not neoprene, but still waterproof and much more comfortable to wear. I heeded his advice and have not regretted it. The Chillcheater socks do not give much warmth: When it got really cold I wore thick socks underneath them and it worked well. But most of the time it was actually very warm or even hot - but still we needed the socks because of the mosquitoes, and then the Chillcheaters were just perfect! I would definitely take them again.
|Cheesefondue for my birthday|
Maps and guidebooks: There are tons of information about the most popular stretch of the Yukon from Whitehorse to Dawson City and we carried the German guide book by Dieter Reinmuth. The town info in this book is great, but the maps are rough sketches only and ok for navigation, but could be better. The much better choice is Mike Rourke's map guides of the Yukon: He covers the Yukon all the way to Circle. His maps are impeccable and he gives a lot of historical information. The best overall guide book is the invaluable Dan MacLean: The Yukon River and its tributaries. For the section after Circle we were relying on US topo maps from Garmin. Unfortunately, the data base of these maps is over 20 years old and the river is changing constantly, therefore navigation was rather difficult with these maps. Still, they were better than nothing and at least they showed were the villages were located.
The best free accommodation on the Yukon is in the Yukon-Charlie River National Park, where a lot of old huts and roadhoused have been restored and are now fantastic public use cabins. Definitely take your time in this stretch and enjoy the free accommodation.