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  1. #1
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    Northern Lights tips

    So, contemplating taking a trip I can't afford to mark a big event. This place never ceases to amaze me in its knowledge, so whatcha got? The wife and I (and possibly our 8 year old kiddo?) might be taking a trip somewhere in the late fall/winter to (hopefully) view some northern lights. Cost is a consideration, always, but I also recognize that a trip like this isn't going to be three-fiddy. Willing to go north (Fairbanks?) or Canada or Iceland or ??? Probably looking at something like a 5 night trip? Hard to see affording much longer (or arranging child care if the kid isn't with us).
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  2. #2
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    The most cost effective measure is to just take some acid and stay home.

    Pro tip. don't dose the kid
    "Its not the arrow, its the Indian" - M.Pinto

  3. #3
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    Check Iceland Air.
    They usually have some sweet package deals (flights + hotels).

    I attended their annual music fest, Iceland Airwaves roughly 10 years ago and it was fairly reasonable (flight + hotel + festival tix).
    Saw the Northern Lights while standing in line to see a band in downtown Reykjavik. I remember looking up and seeing these neon flashing lights and naively asking the Icelander standing in front of me "are those the Northern Lights" and he just shrugged his shoulders and said "yes" like it was an everyday occurance for him (probably was).


    If you go to Iceland I suggest you rent a car and at the very least drive around 1/2 of the country (my buddy and I did it in 3 days). Best way to experience the place.
    Also, as touristy as it is, The Blue Lagoon is a must.
    'Nuff said.
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

    http://www.blizzardsportusa.com/

  4. #4
    mtngirl79 is online now accidentally awesome at times
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    Fairbanks has a big ice carving festival in Fenuary. It's the world ice carving championship or something.

    My dad and brother went there to spread my moms ashes...

    I saw the northern lights in Montana. Sorta rad to have it just happen.

  5. #5
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    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
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    Iqaluit is cheaper......as it has way higher rates of poverty and tuberculosis.

    Come for the northern lights, stay for the post colonial oppression.
    "Its not the arrow, its the Indian" - M.Pinto

  7. #7
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    make sure it ain't cloudy
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  8. #8
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    Go to Fairbanks rent car drive to Manley Hot Springs look up.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rideski View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    the situation strikes me as WAY too much drama at this point

  10. #10
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    Never been, but I think thereĒs a review or two on Svalbard buried in here somewhere...

  11. #11
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    Chena Hot Springs northeast of Fairbanks.

    check this site
    https://www.gi.alaska.edu/monitors/aurora-forecast

    Clear skies help

  12. #12
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    Nov 2018
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    Dec thru feb gets mad cold in Fairbanks and ice fog is an issue. Make sure your eyes are adjusted to the dark, can seem like faint clouds at first. Large events are sporadic and bursts come as fast as they go. There are aurora forecast fb pages and websites that will give an idea of how strong an event may be, but like any weather it is rather unpredictable.

    If going to fbx go sept through November or march-april. There'll be enough darkness but it won't be so cold that there's too much ice fog.

    Your phone cam likely won't capture them, it is worth bringing a nice cam with large aperture/long exposure.

    Plan other activites in case you get skunked. You can dogsled, see the santa claus house, see reindeer at UAF, or go to/stay at chena hot springs. Fairbanks is kinda hard to recommend as a destination because it isn't Ak pretty like you'd expect, but you can still have a good time.

    Light pollution is the enemy. Get 'above' or out of the trees as the lights can be near the horizon. Good events you'll be able to see while in the middle of the city, but are kinda rare like good pow days. With good weather and little light pollution, you'll still be stoked on small events, just takes more work. If you have any q's about squarebanks or the aurora I can try my best to answe em.Name:  FB_IMG_1552196058612.jpg
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    Edit: more things to do would be check out a Fairbanks Icedogs nahl game. Some rowdy ass fans and decent junior hockey if into that kinda thing.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chugachjed View Post
    Go to Fairbanks rent car drive to Manley Hot Springs look up.
    This, or actually Chena Hot Springs which is closer to FBK and has a nice resort geared to aurora watching. March is a good month.

    Edit: ^What DeathVan and Kyle said.
    Donít give up until.

  14. #14
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    Go to the Yukon and enjoy the 30% Canadian discount.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rideski View Post
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    This. Good luck.

  16. #16
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    It's been a long time but... I saw some wonderful episodes in northern Canada and AK in May and September (1989). The best were on the prairies in northern Canada, being able to see horizon to horizon right down to the ground was great. Lying on my back watching the sky dance was one of those wonderful life experiences I'd like to have again.

  17. #17
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    used to see great northern lights going north into quesnel lake in late september which wasnt very far north or in winter, altho there was a big lake and no light pollution
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    It's been a long time but... I saw some wonderful episodes in northern Canada and AK in May and September (1989). The best were on the prairies in northern Canada, being able to see horizon to horizon right down to the ground was great. Lying on my back watching the sky dance was one of those wonderful life experiences I'd like to have again.
    I feel exactly the same way. I spent two summers in AK in the mid nineties and caught the lights at the beginning and end of each season. In particular I remember one night on my way south on the Alcan in mid to late September. We pulled over and watched them for I donít know how long- an hour or two maybe. Filled the whole northern horizon with absolutely zero clouds or artificial light to spoil the view. Green to red to purple in just gigantic undulating waves. That sight is imprinted on my brain. Just spectacular. I donít know when but hopefully I get the chance to see it again some day.

  19. #19
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    OP - Aim for the dark of the moon. If you have to schedule in advance, be prepared to move around for clear weather.

    Find an "Hours of Daylight" table. Highly unlikely anyone sees the NLs in May...Alaska has been my home for decades, and I've spent winters in the Arctic (and Antarctic)... but like some others here, the best I ever saw were in late September of 2002. But I wouldn't recommend September for NLs - bad weather, too much daylight - that event just happened then.

    Fairbanks is kind of a dump. Sophie's Station or The Wedgewood if you can't get a nice B&B/Cabin-With-Plumbing. Chena Hot Springs may be the best for you, as it's nice, and way out by itself away from city lights of FAI, such as they are.

  20. #20
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    Northern Lights tips

    The best way to see the aurora is on a boat. Its harder to accomplish if youíre not working on a boat but on watch in the Bering is absolutely the best Iíve ever seen them. And I grew up outside of Fairbanks beyond the reach of light pollution.

    Also funnily enough I may have seen them on a boat in September of 02 I remember a few days in the fall and the Bering was like glass and there were no clouds. Like being in a different universe. Was awesome but eerie as fuck.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  21. #21
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    Iceland is surprisingly easy to get to. However, tourism there has really boomed in popularity, so it certainly isn't cheap anymore (if it ever was). That said, when you want to go will be a relatively cheap time to travel there and it's an interesting place to visit any time of the year. The landscape is incredible. You can set off on your own to find the Aurora or just book a tour. They are plentiful.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chugachjed View Post
    The best way to see the aurora is on a boat.
    Poor man's Alaska cruise: book a long passage on the Alaska state ferry system, sleep on the chaise lounges outside with sleeping bags- watch the glaciers go by and maybe the aurora? I did Prince Rupert to Juneau many moon ago- that section isn't as north as would be best, but maybe try one of the more northern routes

  23. #23
    mtngirl79 is online now accidentally awesome at times
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    They are talking about shutting down the ferry system I heard.

  24. #24
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    Only in the winter. Our governor is a fucking idiot.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  25. #25
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    Lofoten
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    "My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police." M. Thatcher (RIP)
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    Judges smoke it, even the lawyer too...So you've got to legalize it..." Peter Tosh

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