Camping on the Alaska Highway is fairly easy, although there are definitely unwritten rules that you will want to follow. Camping along this road is the adventure of a lifetime, but serious caution is needed. This is still a wild stretch of road; it has an abundance of moose and bear. Stretches of this road can go nearly a hundred miles without signs of a town. Still, camping the Alaska Highway is an achievable adventure vacation.
1. Prepare thoroughly before your trip. If you're traveling the entire Alaska Highway, you will need a passport to pass back and forth between Canada and the United States. In addition, this highway covers a massive amount of miles, and preparation is critical for a safe trip. Get your hands on every map of the highway you can. Set aside money for picking up local maps along the way.
2. Double check your emergency gear. While the Alaska Highway is not a hair-raising, white knuckle nightmare of a road like it used to be, it's still an adventure. You don't want to be stuck without a spare tire or without a first aid kit.
3. Plan out a specific route, including at least a tentative set up for where you are going to camp each night. Many people look at the Alaska Highway on a map and don't realize just how much territory that route really covers. You want to make sure your plans are realistic. Even if you don't follow your plans exactly, they'll give you a general idea of where you should be if something goes wrong.
4. Enjoy the possibilities. There are private campgrounds along the entire road, but you can also look for public campgrounds or even rest stops that have open ground for camping. Local ranger stations along the way will have some of the most up-to-date, detailed maps of local roads and stops, and locals along the highway are used to visitors and often very eager to lend a hand. There are several Websites included in the Resources section that cover Alaska Highway campsites for tent camping and RVs.
5. Always ask local advice. Locals will always know the best campsites, if there have been recent animal problems, and they'll know any other important travel information that will make your camping on the Alaska Highway much easier and much safer.
Items you will need
- Camping gear and/or RV
- Local maps
- Bear spray
- GPS navigational device
- Train with bear spray before going on the trip. This is the most effective way to deal with bears, but it has to be used properly.
- Have plenty of spare supplies for every "just in case" emergency scenario.
- Let someone know your general plan. If you're many days overdue, someone can look for you if they have your itinerary.
- glacier bay, Alaska image by Alan James from Fotolia.com