Our sponsors provided gear, food, and advice that was key to Expedition Arguk's success. We are tremendously grateful to all of the organizations listed below.
In June 2013, the American Alpine Club awarded Expedition Arguk the competitive Scott Fisher Memorial Grant and the Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Conservation Grant. The Scott Fisher Memorial Grant, established in honor of famed climber and Everest guide Scott Fisher, who lost his life on Everest in 1996, funds "environmentally proactive expeditions to mountain regions throughout the world." The Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Conservation Grant is named after beloved Seattle climber Lara-Karena Kellogg, and funds expeditions that "support and improve the health of mountain environments and habitats" with "creative and beautiful solutions." Expedition Arguk is deeply honored and proud to receive monetary aid from these two funds, and we hope our projects live up to the goals and visions of their namesakes.
The American Alpine Club is America's premier climbing organization, and "provides knowledge and inspiration, conservation and advocacy, and logistical support for the climbing community." The AAC gives over $100,000 annually in grants to support climbing and conservation, organizes festivals and volunteer opportunities, publishes two high-quality annuals, and curates a library and museum. To learn more about the AAC, visit their website here. To make a tax-deductible donation, please click here.
Founded by the legendary naturalist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is one of the largest, oldest, and most influential wilderness advocacy groups in North America today. The Alaska Chapter is especially active in Arctic issues, including global climate change, resource development, and land and water use. Associate Field Organizer Lindsey Hajduk helped us with information and resources to help us better understand a number of Arctic issues, and the Sierra Club made a significant monetary contribution in support of our media projects. To visit the Sierra Club Alaska Chapter on the web, click here.
The American Packrafting Association promotes river safety, works to educate the public about packrafting, and fights for river access for packrafters. With over 400 members in 20 countries (as of June 2013), the APA is the biggest and most active advocate for packrafters. The APA helped us get the word out about our trip and connected us with other sponsors. Visit them on the web here. They have a great history of packrafting here.
The Alaska Wilderness League aims to "lead the effort to preserve Alaska's wild lands and waters by engaging citizens and decision makers with a courageous, constant, victorious voice for Alaska." They are especially involved in Arctic issues, including land use in the too-little-known NPR-A. The Alaska Wilderness League supported Expedition Arguk's media production efforts with a significant monetary donation. To visit the Alaska Wilderness League on the web, click here.
Northern Alaska Packrafts is a Fairbanks, Alaska-based Alpacka packraft and packraft rental shop. We connected early on in our trip planning and owner Ed Plumb offered us a generous sponsorship on new Alpacka boats. Aside from his direct sponsorship, Ed also gave us a huge amount of valuable advice on gear, clothing, and travel specific to our location in the Arctic. This is the company to connect with if you're planning a packrafting trip to northern Alaska. To visit Northern Alaska Packrafts on the web, click here.
Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge is a luxury lodge in the heart of the Brooks Range wilderness, 60 miles North of the Arctic Circle. Accessible only by private plane, Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge offers visitors customizable packages that include "fantastic wildlife viewing, fishing, canoeing, birding, hiking, float trips, legendary meals and private cabins inside Gates of the Arctic National Park." Inikak Lake Wilderness Lodge was one of our first sponsors, and graciously covered the cost of our remote-controlled plane. Owner John Gaedeke, who is also the President of the Brooks Range Council, also encouraged us to engage with development and land use issues in the Brooks Range. Visit the Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge website by clicking here.
Black Rock Gear hand-makes premium-quality ultralight down hats, mitts, and vests. Black Rock Gear provided down hats and mitts for every member of Expedition Arguk, and we used their gear almost every day, from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Ocean. Black Rock is quietly gaining a reputation for its impeccable craftsmanship, top-notch materials and ludicrously lightweight gear. Visit Black Rock Gear on the web here.
In 2007, Hig Higman and Erin McKittrick packrafted, skied, and trekked their way into expedition history with a monstrous 4,000-mile trip from Seattle, Washington to the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. The same year they founded Ground Truth Trekking, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that aims to "educate and engage the public on Alaska's natural resource issues through a combination of wilderness adventure, scientific analysis, and the creation of web resources." Hig and Erin gave us invaluable advice on cold-weather packrafting clothing, gear, and equipment, and offered us a loaned packraft for our expedition. Check out Ground Truth Trekking here. To make a tax-deductible donation to Ground Truth Trekking, please click here.
Nature's Bakery makes delicous, dairy-free, kosher fig bars out of natural ingredients with pronounceable names. Founded in 2010, Nature's Bakery fig bars have warmed (and fueled) the hearts of many an athelte and outdoor adventurer, earning nearly-perfect user reviews on sites like REI.com and Amazon. Nature's Bakery sponsored Expedition Arguk with a humblingly huge shipment of apple cinnamon, blueberry, and raspberry fig bars that kept us going through the long--very long--Arctic days. Check out their well-designed website here.
MaryJanesFarm is a family-owned company based out of Moscow, Idaho that makes a wide variety of home, garden, farm and food products, including backpacker-friendly organic dehydrated meals. Their simple, flavorful dehydrated meals are an appealing alternative to the blander offerings from other brands. Mary Jane's Farm sponsored Expedition Arguk with generous bulk packages of spicy black beans, alfredo, and southwestern pasta, and also offered us a discount on additional food (which we happily accepted). Check out MaryJanesFarm's food pantry here. (Bonus: they sell in bulk!)