Overlanding is all about taking the road less traveled; leaving normal tourist places and activities, taking you out of your comfort zone. This is why I love driving a big truck around the world: Africa, South America and soon heading up to Alaska to spend the summer season there. In an overland vehicle you are self-sufficient for several days and this can lead to amazing camping spots or hiking in totally remote places. Overlanding is all about getting involved and being part of the success of the trip. On an overland trip, you’re more than just a passenger, you’re part of the crew, and everyone gets involved to help with setting up camp, pitching tents, shopping for food and even cooking. This idea of ‘pitching in’ as a group has always been a part of overlanding – and that’s why I love it so much: I am making travel friends all over the world!
Although people believe it to always be cold in Alaska, there is a window from June to September that the plants, animals and locals all rush to get outside in the sun that never sets and temperatures that average around 72 F (25 C.) The perfect time to explore it with our remodeled school bus, our self sufficient overland vehicle! And here are the things I can’t wait to do:
Sea Kayaking…just outside of Valdez at the Columbia glacier, with towering icebergs, meandering through the bays only accessible by kayak to observe sea otters, harbour seals, sea lions, bears and, quite often, whales! Imagine sitting in a kayak and spotting a whale not far from you!
Trailblazing…through a few of Denali National Park’s six million acres of wild land. Grab a compass and map, maybe even get a little lost wherever you desire. This is hiking the way I love to do it – off the beaten track!
Flying! Hop in a small plane for a flight over and around the 20,328′ (6,196 m) Mt. McKinley for a unique encounter with the highest peak in North America that is only visible 20% of the year. But this flight isn’t just about Mt. McKinley, you also get an amazing perspective of the national park, viewing the surrounding mountain ranges and 100’s of glaciers clinging precariously to their host.
Ice climbing…in the stunning beauty of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park. I have never done it before and it’s definitely on my bucket list! Although it looks quite scary to me – but hey: get out of your comfort zone and get the adrenaline going!
Bush camping…along the Maclaren River within a few kilometres from the Maclaren glacier; experiencing the wilderness in its entire splendour, sitting around the campfire with more stars than you can imagine. This is real freedom to me!
And finally to see my first bear in the wild! That has been a wish since I was a little child when I got a big stuffed bear to guard me while I was sleeping. Not sure if the wild bears in Alaska will guard me while I am sleeping outdoors though. That’s why you will find me probably on the roof of my truck gazing at the stars or the bear from a safe distance…