Luke: "Bring a watch. Seriously. It doesn’t matter which one. Get a cheap one at WalMart. Just bring at least one. Here’s why:
The sun doesn’t set in the summer when you’re in the far north.
Or at least we never saw it set, though it did hide behind some mountains a few times. This, of course, is very confusing for us human beings that expect regular night and day intervals to help us know when to sleep. Even having several Alaskans with us didn’t prepare the team for the fact that at 1am it still felt like maybe 6pm or so. We never wanted to sleep and I, having a watch, was frequently the bad guy for reminding everyone that it should be bedtime, especially if we were hoping to make any kind of serious distance the next day.
The watch I had before the trip and decided to use was a Casio G-Shock 6900. Solar powered, radio sync, and so on. There were really just two features that I though were useful:
1) a 24 hour time scale (or military time). Since the sun is always up, it is a little confusing to have to figure out if it is AM or PM - I think it’s a good idea to have something that distinguishes which is which. I know there were a few times I woke up at 5am or so because of the light and wouldn’t have been able to tell you if it was 5am or 5pm by the light alone.
2) some kind of timer (useful for cooking or for timing water purification tablets should your pump give out on you)"