The Tundra: It’s Cold at Night – Blog 2 – Tundra Series

I was five days ahead and east of Rhett on our long anticipated caribou hunt. Our final destination was just south of the Arctic Circle. I had several business and family stops to make, so I lugged with me only a portion of our hunting duds. Logistics demanded Rhett undertake some basic but critical tasks. Sighting in the rifles was the subject of the previous blog. The chore of checking and packing the rest of the gear also fell to him.

It is always a good idea to compare your supplies, clothing, and necessities against the outfitter’s recommended list.

The plan was to meet up on the east coast Thursday evening, do the final sort of equipment, throw non-wilderness travel stuff in one of the duffels and ship that back west via UPS. The goal was to re-pack the wilderness stuff so that we had only three bags and met the strict weight requirements on the final two legs of our journey to remote, road-less Kujuiak, Quebec, and then by bush plane further north.

I felt the incessant vibration of the cell phone in my pocket Thursday afternoon. “Howdy, Rhett. How’s the trip going?” I assumed the call was simply a travel update.

“It’s going fine, dad.” I noticed the slight strain in his voice.

“Plane’s on time?”

“Yes, the flights are fine.”

“OK, what is it?

There was a long silence. “Well,” he began slowly. “I was going over the equipment list on the last flight and was wondering if you brought the sleeping bags.”

The ensuing pause in the conversation was even longer than that which had occurred the previous evening when I learned that the rifles were being sighted in at the last minute, more or less via truck headlights.

“Are you trying to tell me that we are supposed to bring our own sleeping bags?” I said.

“Yes.” Apparently Rhett had indeed reviewed the outfitter’s requirements. Unfortunately, that was not until he was in between planes in Chicago. Oh well, better late than never.

I sighed heavily. “I assumed the camp had bedding because of the weight restrictions on the float planes.” I thought for a minute. “There has to be a sporting goods store near here somewhere. I’ll see what I can find.”

Two hours later Rhett and I joined forces. He had the rifles and his portion of the gear sans sleeping bags. I had my collection of wilderness necessities, with sleeping bags. A happy ending to the inception of a great story coming your way in this new series.

To be continued . . . perhaps with a special guest blog!

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