Survival: Learn Patience in Alaska

Don't let low points get you down.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

If I Only Knew Then (Feature Narrative) | Recognize Grizzly Behavior | Save Yourself in Whitewater | First Aid Emergencies | Unsafe Snow Conditions | Unexpected Accidents | Make Good Judgment Calls

After 23,000 miles of long-distance hiking, mostly in the Lower 48, I was confident in my ability to pull off big treks. My planning was meticulous, my gear and food prep dialed, and my mental fortitude was proven. Or so I thought. Then I embarked on a 4,700-mile route through Alaska and Yukon’s wildest backcountry. I wish I’d known that there, nature is in the driver’s seat, always. At one of my lowest points, I got stuck in a snowstorm at the bottom of two avalanche-prone passes. Stopping and waiting drove me crazy—this wasn’t going according to plan. I contemplated backtracking or calling in a bush plane. Eventually, I made it, but it was on Alaska’s schedule, not mine.

Choose Your Partner Wisely

Erik Weihenmayer, Blind climber, Everest summiter, and competitor on ABC’s Expedition Impossible

Cross a River Safely
Tracy Ross, BACKPACKER contributing editor

Don’t Always Trust A Topo
Jim Gorman, BACKPACKER contributing editor

Trending on Backpacker