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Visiting Fairbanks Mid February 2019

Brisbane, Australia
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Visiting Fairbanks Mid February 2019

I will be visiting Fairbanks in mid and late February. The main purpose is to see the northern lights. If you’ve got any recommendations for companies or businesses for other touristy/“must see” things, I’d love to hear them.

I’m thinking of including dog sledding and an Arctic Circle (very long!) day trip. I’m also open to other suggestions on how to fill the 7 days (as in daytime hours) I’m there. I’m only in Fairbanks for that long period of time because I am trying to get at least some lights viewing, though I’m very aware of how Mother Nature works!

Are down jackets and snow boots absolutely necessary at that time of year? I’ve visited Mt Everest Base Camp and Antarctica with neither, and both of those destinations were very cold/windy most days. I used Scarpa hiking boots, thermal wear, fleece and GoreTex jackets.

Thanks

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Anchorage, Alaska
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for Anchorage
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1. Re: Visiting Fairbanks Mid February 2019

"Are down jackets and snow boots absolutely necessary at that time of year?"

Down, specifically, is not necessary. Neither are 'snow boots'; but proper warm weather gear is necessary.

It sounds as if you are set up with quality synthetics (thermal wear, fleeces, etc.). If the footwear is a winter (insulted) then they should be fine. You probably already know about not using cotton products.

Here's a good weather site (keep an eye out for if it shows Celsius or Fahrenheit)

https:/…

Ice Carving...

- the 2018 championships were cancelled, but I don't know if that means there are no carvings at all there.

- you might find more info. at: http://www.icealaska.com/www/en/

Arctic Circle....

- have you considered a 1 day/2 night side trip to Kotzebue or Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow) instead of a 'tour' to the Arctic Circle 'area'?

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Visiting Fairbanks Mid February 2019

Thanks for your advice! What do you recommend for the Anchorage area as well? Will be in town to see the ceremonial start of Iditarod. But arriving a few days earlier.

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jjo
Chicago
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3. Re: Visiting Fairbanks Mid February 2019

There are local experts here to advise you on what to wear, but I can say that Fairbanks in winter is far far colder than Antarctica (which you visited in their summer) and Everest base camp. You particularly need very warm clothing because you'll be out at night and not moving around much.

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4. Re: Visiting Fairbanks Mid February 2019

I have been to Fairbanks in February a few times

Most of the time it was - 20 F , but I did spend five days there at - 40 F , then it warmed up to zero degrees and it did feel warm

I would recommend a down parka plus base 3 Under Armor

If you dress in layers and feel “ hot “ you just take off a layer

A lot depends on what you will be doing but carry enough clothing in your car that you can stay warm if you break down

Most body heat is lost through the head so a very warm cap or hat is a must plus winter gloves and heavy duty socks

A down vest keeps the most important parts of the body warm and your body will not have to pull blood from the extremities to warm your core limiting the chances of frost bite

I don’t love breakfast but eating a good breakfast and staying hydrated are key to staying warm

If your not use to minus 20 to minus 40 degrees down cllothing is money well spent

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