SUV vs. Sedan: Which is Best for Winter?

The number one question that drivers ask themselves over the winter season is whether or not to go with an SUV or sedan. The Alaskan winter is rough on drivers. The roads are slick, and vision is reduced by snow and sleet. What you need to get through it is the right car, but how do you know which winter Alaska car rental is right for you?

Furthermore, is AWD/4WD necessarily better than 2WD car? The Avis fleet has it all. What winter Alaska car rental should you get?

AWD vs. 2WD

One of the benefits of AWD and 4WD is an added sense of security and safety. AWD/4WD provide better traction control and quicker acceleration. In the winter months, these are major added benefits that can’t be ignored in the tough inclement weather. You’ll still need to leave plenty of space behind vehicles to stop, but you’re less likely to slide on the slick roads. 2WD doesn’t offer the same traction that 4WD/AWD do.

Improved traction means increased towing capacity. If you’re planning on taking trips around the states for winter sports, improved towing is a definite benefit.

However, the downside of 4WD/AWD is its heaviness, and therefore decreased fuel efficiency. This is only worsened in tough weather. You’ll be spending more money on fuel than you would with 2WD. On top of this, the added sense of security can cause collisions. When you feel too safe you may not leave enough space while stopping, or take risky moves that can end in an accident.

That being said, we would recommend the AWD/4WD option for your winter Alaska car rental. Keep in mind the continued danger of winter driving, and you’ll avoid the risk that comes with overconfidence.

SUV or Sedan?

While choosing between an SUV or sedan, there are a number of factors to consider. If you’re planning on engaging in winter sports around Alaska, then you’ll probably want to go with the larger vehicle for the cargo space. Otherwise, you may be better off with a midsized vehicle.

SUVs will keep you safe in collisions, but the added weight increases your stopping time. Even with a AWD and 4WD winter Alaska car rental that has improved traction, you’ll want to leave more space behind vehicles, know your route in advance to avoid surprises, and reduce your speed.

The weight of SUVs reduces fuel efficiency, as well. With a 4WD/AWD SUV, your fuel costs are going to be quite expensive. With small cargo and only two passengers, you may be better off with a sedan to prevent exorbitant costs.

If you’re traveling with children, keep an SUV as an option to ensure their safety. Sedans won’t protect them in a collision to the same degree. Crossovers may also be a smart choice to increase the comfort of you and your family.

So which is the right choice?

Again, the answer to this question depends on what it is you’re looking for in a vehicle. While an AWD SUV winter Alaska car rental is safer, you’ll be paying for the reduced fuel economy and need to watch longer stop times.

Sedans or midsized are right for adult passengers who do not have large cargo to haul. Our sedans are large enough to fit basic gear for a variety of winter sports in the trunk as well as any luggage you may have. They’re comfortable, and will give you the flexibility you need for traveling the state.

Stay safe this winter with the right winter Alaska car rental. Reserve your vehicle from Avis today to begin on your safe, secure, and fun winter adventure.

Boost the Fuel Economy of Your Alaska Winter Car Rentals

It’s no secret that driving in the winter comes with its complications. Icy roads, snow, flurries, darker days, cautious (and not cautious enough!) drivers, and holiday stress combine to produce an uncomfortable experience. On top of that, fuel economy worsens as the temperatures do.

There are a lot of reasons why fuel efficiency drops in winter but not every knows the ways to prevent it. While you won’t be able to recapture the fuel economy of summer in the snowy months, we have a few tips to help you get the most of a tank in your Alaska winter car rentals.

Fortunately, because you’re using Alaska winter car rentals, you won’t have to worry about the major work that goes into fuel economy, such as car maintenance, excess weight, and car quality. We’ve got that covered for you.

What you can do to contribute to those major aspects of fuel economy is pack light. When you’re driving around town or off on a day trip, pack as little into the car as possible. Now’s not the time to have extra, unneeded luggage in the trunk that hasn’t made it into the cabin yet. Unload hunting and fishing equipment, and holiday gifts the minute you’re done using them. The less weight in your Alaska winter car rentals, the less heavily your engine will have to work. Remove any skis or snowboards from the top of your car when not in use. Full roof racks reduce aerodynamics exponentially, therefore also reducing fuel economy.

Unlead your foot

Most drivers know that the faster you go, the more fuel you’re using. People who speed often have much lower fuel economies than those who maintain the speed limit. However, did you also realize that stomping your foot on the accelerator – regardless of you speed – will reduce your fuel economy?

The best way to accelerate is slow and steady. Gradually apply slight pressure to your pedal until your Alaska winter car rentals gets up to speed. This will have the added bonus of keeping you safe on icy roads and helping you avoid aggressive driving. Similarly, braking at a gradual pace will also help increase fuel economy. And after all, you may find you won’t have to brake as often when you can avoid collision and missed turns simply by going the speed limit.

Remember, though, that cruise control is not advised. While it certainly helps maintain a proper speed, cruise control will reduce your reaction time to unexpected obstacles on wintry roads.

Avoid unnecessary idling in your Alaska winter car rentals

This seems to be a “no-brainer” but you’d be surprised at how often unnecessary idling occurs when it may seem necessary. In the morning when you’re warming your car and using defrosters, you’re using unnecessary fuel. It may not be fun, but get out there with a scrape and brush to manually remove as much snow and ice as you are able. Do not have your Alaska winter car rentals on throughout this, as it will just waste fuel.

Want to avoid spending ten minutes scraping ice? Park your car facing east. We may not get much sun in the winter, but what we do get will help reduce the amount of snow and ice build up on your car. Of course, if possible, park your Alaska winter car rentals in a covered area to avoid the hassle all together.

Check tire pressure

While we’ll make sure your car is in tip-top shape when you pick it up, you’ll want to keep an eye on tire pressure throughout. Many gas stations have spots to fill the pressure for free. But if you’re renting your vehicle for an extended period, checking it every few days in the poor conditions is a good habit to get into as low temperatures contribute to pressure loss, which contributes to terrible fuel economy.

No one likes spending more than necessary. That’s why at Avis, we have the best deals on the best, most efficient Alaska winter car rentals. Reserve your vehicle today for a stress-free holiday season.

Tips for Hassle-Free Alaska Holiday Rentals

Alaska’s winter wonderland is back. The chill has begun, and now that December is finally here, we can say hello to the holiday season! The holidays are always a busy time for us, as we’re sure they are for you too. But if you want it to be hassle-free, you’ll want to book your Alaska holiday rentals soon before the fleet dwindles.

Of course, there’s more to booking Alaska holiday rentals than reserving early – though that is an important aspect. Mostly, it’s just about preparation and staying calm. The holiday season can be a stressful time. We want your car rentals to help reduce stress, not add to it.

Book Alaska holiday rentals early

For many, this is simply common sense. But booking Alaska holiday rentals – cars, equipment, hotels, cabins, and tours – early will go a long way in reducing your stress and increasing your enjoyment throughout the season.

The holiday season is busy in the service and entertainment industries, so you want to beat the rush. The earlier you book, the more options you’ll have for rentals. That means you’ll be almost guaranteed your first preference.

Booking early will also help you properly prepare your insurance. It will give you the time you need to coordinate with your insurance company to ensure you are covered, and if you aren’t, add insurance to your reservation. Just in case you’re put on hold or sent to voicemail, you’ll have plenty of time to get the information you need from your insurance company.

Finally, reserving early often means you get the best price available. While we like to pride ourselves on having the best price for car rentals in the state, prices always peak during the holidays. And, like all holiday prices, early bird may just get the biggest worm for the best deal.

Be prepared for winter

Alaska is known for its harsh winters. That means that when you pick up your Alaska holiday rentals, you want to be prepared. Bring along an emergency kit for extreme circumstances. In the kit, necessities like a few flares, a first aid kit, thermo blanket, heat candles, and a car phone charger should of course be included. However, it’s not a bad idea to pack some non-perishable food items as well as water bottles and juice boxes. A minimum of 2-3 days of food items and heating candles is strongly recommended.

You want foods that are high in calories and protein to keep you warm and full. Good non-perishables include nuts and trail mix, dried fruit, granola bars, power and protein bars, crackers, peanut butter, ready-to-eat canned goods (fruit, veggies, and even meats and fish) with a can opener, vitamins, baby food (if traveling with infants), and non-perishable milk (certain types of almond milk, for instance). Emergency situations are stressful, so it can be a good idea to bring along some comfort foods. Things like chocolate bars, small snack-sized bags of chips, and dried jerky are great choices.

And don’t forget the furry friends! If you’re traveling with a pet, be sure to bring along extra supplies of pet food and enough water for the whole crew.

Get a car that suits the journey

Soon, Alaska will be covered in snow and ice. Do you feel more comfortable in a large car with 4X4 options? Another reason to book early. Reserve a vehicle choice that suits your needs. It’s possible that if you’ve got a few travelers with you, as well as some gifts and other cargo, you’ll definitely want one of our SUVs or a minivan.

Not only will these add to your feeling of security, but they’ll ensure that the gifts and baby seat fit comfortably to reduce the stress and claustrophobia of your journey.

Start your stress-free holiday season with a reservation for Alaska holiday rentals from Avis.

Alaska Northern Lights Tours in November

We’re known for a few things here in Alaska: Winter, winter sports, fishing, hunting, and, inevitably the most beautiful, the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are an incredible sight. If you’re visiting in the winter, then you’re visiting at the perfect time to see one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations. We always encourage our Alaska winter car rentals clients to look out for these beauties. Sometimes that means leaving the Alaskan cities and heading a little closer to the wilderness.

Not sure where to see the sights? That’s okay. Fortunately, here in Alaska, we like to make sure our visitors are taken care of. Tours are available for Northern Lights viewings. Once that’s done, you’ll know where to take your Alaska winter car rentals – just in case one sighting wasn’t enough.

Some things to know about the Aurora Borealis

There are a couple of things you’ll want to know before setting off on this endeavor.

First, you’re here at the prime time. The Northern Lights are visible through September to April. While you may catch a glimpse here or there in the warmer months, fall through early spring when the nights are longest and darkest is your best bet. You can’t see the aurora in the daytime or in cloudy, light night skies.

Second, the aurora isn’t always predictable. You can’t always know when the aurora borealis will show its incredible shimmer or where. However, if you want to have your best chance, look between 11:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., with the peak hour usually appearing around 1:30 a.m. That’s right – if you want to see a good glimpse of the aurora then it’s going to be a late night. You may want to take a nap earlier in the day so you’re not driving drowsy in your Alaska winter car rentals.

Finally, make sure to wear extra warm clothing. As I’m sure you can imagine, Alaska is a little bit nippy in the winter. You’ll want to wear warm socks, heavy boots, thick sweaters, scarves, a hat, mittens, and a good coat. You can’t go too far. Try windbreakers and a few hand and foot warmers that will make sure you don’t get chilly. Again – better safe than sorry, so there’s no harm in packing extra sweaters and socks in your Alaska winter car rentals.

Tours to see the lights

There are a few different guided tours to see the lights. If you go to Fairbanks, you can catch the Northern Alaska Tour Company. This region is the “aurora oval” where the aurora borealis is the most visible. The tour will even take you a couple hours north to see a few more sights and the aurora.

Many of our Alaska winter car rentals clients stay around Anchorage. If that fits you, try the Salmon Berry Tours Northern Lights Excursions. These will allow you to park your Alaska winter car rentals and will take care of everything. Depending on the experience you’re looking for, the Salmon Berry Tours offer both overnight and multi-day outings. Thinking of a perfect romantic experience with your sweetheart? This may be exactly what you’re looking for. Spectacular sights, romantic midnight outings beneath the aurora – more picture opportunities than you’ll be able to capture. The Salmon Berry Tours season starts November 15.

The Arctic Circle Aurora Overnight Adventures offers 2 to 3 day excursions. This will involve a flightseeing opportunity around the Brooks Mountain Range. It goes from Fairbanks to Coldfoot village.

You’ll never get a better experience than that of the tours to view the aurora borealis. And you just need the perfect Alaska winter car rentals to finish off an amazing trip. Reserve from Avis today.






Must-See Events this November!

The days may be getting darker and colder, but who ever said Alaska dies down in winter? This is the perfect time to be out and about in the North of the 49. Our Alaska winter rentals offer you the flexibility and mobility you need. All you need now is a place to go.

We’ve put together a little list of events around the state. A few of these are for Ducks Unlimited, which means you can be charitable to waterfowl conservation (and therefore hunting) while having a blast.

Ducks Unlimited Events

We’ll get started with these – they’re always a blast and they’re for a good cause. As avid hunters here at Avis Alaska, we want to make sure our hunting isn’t without a sustainable foundation.

If you’re a Waterfowl hunter, then check out the Mat-Su Waterfowl Hunters Party on November 5. With games and raffles you may just end up winning something while contributing to sustainable waterfowl hunting! If you’re looking for something a little more traditional and elegant, buy tickets for the Anchorage Fall Banquet on November 12, the Dillingham Banquet on November 19, or the Valdez Banquet also on November 19.

Finally, park your Alaska winter rentals for the night and join in on the fun at the Cooper Landing Bar Night! Fun, raffles, and a taco bar! It’s a great way to escape the cold and relax after a day enjoying the winter sports of Alaska.

Great Alaska Shootout

Despite Alaska’s reputation for hunting, the Great Alaska Shootout isn’t quite what it sounds like. This event occurs annually in Anchorage and brings together collegiate teams for a Thanksgiving weekend of friendly basketball competition.

The Great Alaska Shootout involves two women’s sessions and six men’s sessions, each involving two games. Games begin on November 22, 2016 and run until November 26, 2016. Tickets can be found online here.

Haines, Alaska Bald Eagle Festival

Do you want to show your patriotism? Are you proud to be an American, and proud of our strong national symbol – the bald eagle? Then take your Alaska winter rentals down to the Haines Bald Eagle Festival.

The Haines Bald Eagle Festival begins on November 7, 2016 and goes through November 13, 2016. Around this time of the year, thousands of bald eagles crowd around the Chilkat River to feed on the chum and Coho salmon that flock to the four mile region of the river that remains unfrozen. This has become the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. It draws in huge crowds of people to see a rare sight – bald eagles in large groups, flocking around one area. It’s truly breathtaking.

While here you’ll get a chance to learn more about American bald eagles, and take part in the scientific and artistic cultural sides of this species.

Christmas bazaars and festivals

While you’re out and about Alaska, keep an eye out for the various holiday bazaars that will pop up across the state. With Thanksgiving almost upon us, Alaska has a great number of festivals and holiday markets to keep even Santa’s Elves busy. ‘Tis the season!

While not ever bazaar will begin opening really until December, you will catch a few of the early birds. For instance, the Coffman Cove Holiday Bazaar runs on November 5. The Ketchikan Winter Arts Faire is open from November 25 until November 27, and shows off ice sculpture talents from more than 75 artists in the area. During the same days, the Juneau Public Market kicks off the holiday season with a variety of vendors. Be careful – you may leave with your Alaska winter rentals considerably fuller than before! Also on November 25, “Christmas Comes to Kenai: North Pole on Ice” also begins and runs through until December.

No matter what, there are plenty of activities to get you into the holiday spirit!

But nothing can make your trip more complete than the perfect Alaska winter rentals. Avis can help you there. Reserve your vehicle from us today for great deals, safe winter handling, and friendly service.

Take your Alaska Rental Car to Hike at Alyeska

After driving in your Alaska rental car, you may be looking to stretch your legs a bit. Fortunately, Alaska is known for its incredible hiking trails and mountain paths. The landscape is unique in comparison to the other states, and it is often by foot, bike, or water that our Alaska rental car clients choose to uncover its secrets. Because Alaskans are proud of our state, we prefer ways to discover its interiors without invading too much upon its natural workings. The beautiful resort of Alyeska is no different.

Alyeska Resort in Girdwood is renowned for its fantastic ski courses. Throughout the summer months, however, after the snow has melted and drifted off into the rivers, these mountains become a haven for hikers. In fact, the mountains are riddled with surprise paths and unexpected offshoots from the trail.

The Alyeska resort has even ensured there are trails and paths for all levels of hiking. Below we will outline the trails that are available, as well as those within each skill level. All you need to do is make sure to pack your Alaska rental car with a lunch, a sweater, and proper walking shoes.

Looking for a work out?

If you’re an experienced hiker who is looking for a bit of a challenge, then the North Face Trail is the one for you. Stretching 2000 feet vertically and spanning 2.2 miles, it is America’s longest double black diamond ski run. This trail is certainly not for the faint of heart. It offers a steep, unrelenting journey to the top and rewards you with a spectacular view and a mighty workout. You’ll definitely make sure you want to bring a camera for this one – the views from the top of the trail are breathtaking.

After such a hike you’ll likely be a little peckish. Fortunately, you’ll find a chalet at the top where you can enjoy a meal. Not up to hiking all the way back down? Take the Alyeska Resort gondola to the bottom for free.

Easy hikes

The easiest hiking trail is up and around Chair 7 lift. Following the chair lift up you’ll see many offshoots and other trails that can be trekked. Follow the one closest to Chair 7, and at the top, turn right to grab lunch in the Bake Shop at the Bear Cub Quad. When you turn back to Chair 7, you’ll be able to trace it back down to bottom.

If you’re looking for an intermediate hiking experience, there are other trail options that you’ll see when you reach the top of the trail at Chair 7 lift. Rather than turn right, take any of these other options and you’ll be given a slightly more challenging path. If you want to avoid super difficult, though, do not take the trail marked as Spoon Line, which offers trails of the hardest skill level.

Start from the base

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, your best bet is to grab a map of the trails and start off on one of the many paths that begin at the base of the mountain. These include: Winner Creek Trail; Upper Winner Creek Trail; Winner Creek Extension Trail; Multi-Use Nordic Loop; Girdwood to Indian Bike Bath; Upper Tram Terminal Trails; The North Face Trail; and South Bowl Trails. Be warned: the last three on this list are more challenging.

Once you start on a trail, you’ll find myriad forks and marked paths that will take you through the labyrinth of the mountain. Why not wander? As long as you bring a map, you can find your way back. We advise bringing a marker to make note of your route on your map as you go – just in case. And of course, make sure you don’t forget your water bottles in your Alaska rental car!

Hiking around Alaska is a top-notch way to learn its secrets. Start off on a hiking road trip around the state this year when you reserve your Alaska rental car from Avis.


The Alaska Airlines Merger: All You Need to Know

This spring, Virgin Airlines and Alaska Airlines announced that the two companies would be merging. This made big news – Virgin Airlines has been one of America’s most trusted and popular companies for decades. What would happen when the two airlines joined? What could travelers expect? And how could this affect our Alaska car rentals clients?

Particularly in recent decades, company mergers are a common occurrence – not always to the benefit of employees, companies, and clientele. But the merger between Alaska Air Group and Virgin America does seem promising, offering expanded opportunities to both airlines’ clients. Furthermore, this has the opportunity to increase traffic flow between Alaska, the Lower 48, and other parts of the world.

Increased opportunities

Thus far, the largest benefit that clients are raving about is that the merging of these two airlines will allow for an increased route plan. Both airlines have limited flights to restricted sections of America. However, when the two airlines officially merge, there will be as many as 1,200 flights out of the airline per day with many more destination options on offer.

Most importantly, many of these new flight options will be nonstop. If you’ve traveled through these airlines you’ll know that transfers and layovers are a very real possibility. With the merger, the airlines are attempting to reduce the number of stops that travelers must endure on their journey.

Not only will this merger connect more Americans with other parts of America, it will also bolster opportunities with international partners. Both airlines are dedicated to expanding their client base, while maintaining the same customer service for their long-term loyal customers. We, for one, are excited to meet new Alaska car rentals clients from all over the globe thanks to this merger!

Membership programs

One of the largest concerns about the merger has been the outcome of both airlines’ mileage and loyalty plans. Until the transaction officially closes, these mileage plans will remain distinct and separate, allowing travelers to use them as they always have. Once the transaction is complete, the mileage and loyalty programs of the two airlines will merge, and Virgin American loyalty customers will be able to use their award miles in the new program.

The new loyalty program continues the commitment to rewarding great customers. It relies on outstanding customer service, and will continue to offer destinations around the world – now as many as 900.

Blending the top 2 – a Super Airline

The idea behind the merger is to blend two of America’s top airlines in order to create an enhanced, super airline of sorts. Consistently, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America are ranked at top in flight service, top for customer satisfaction, and best employers of the major airlines in the United States. In buying Virgin America, Alaska Airlines decided to expand upon both airlines’ skillset and combine the two in order to create the best of both worlds. Together, the airlines will be able to improve on what needs improving, learn from each other, and elevate what is already positive in both companies.

Will this affect our Alaska car rentals clients?

Here at Avis Alaska car rentals, we truly believe that this merger can only be advantageous many of our clients. It will offer you many more opportunities to reap rewards from your airline, and offer you more convenience flights in and out of Alaska to a wider variety of destinations. Alaska remains a major hub for this airline, alongside San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, which provide greater traffic flow and popular paths between these major American cities.

For more information about the merger from Virgin American, go here. If you’re a regular Alaska Airlines flyer, click here to find out about the merger directly from the company as well as details on how it may affect you. Both airlines have said that their clients will not be directly affected by the merging membership plan, and will only experience positive outcomes.

One thing that will always stay the same – Avis Alaska and our commitment to high quality Alaska car rentals matched with supreme customer service. Reserve your vehicle with us today.

What You Need to Know Before Moving Alaska

Are you considering moving to Alaska? We can tell you right now, that Alaska is a top-notch place to live. Whether we’re lifelong Alaskans or new to town, we’re proud to say that Alaska’s quality of life is higher than any other state in the Lower 48. So if you’re here scouting the state in your Alaska car rental, there are some things you’ll want to know before making any final decisions.

Get finances in order

While it’s true that the satisfaction of Alaskan residents is much higher than that of other states, the economy is Alaska is also much different. Cost of living is considerably elevated in comparison to other states. Everything – fuel, groceries, goods, equipment – is more expensive in Alaska than it would be in Ohio, for instance. You’re likely to notice this even just by traveling around in your Alaska car rental.

That being said, the economy didn’t crash with the rest of the states. Jobs are always available to those who want them, and wage is much higher to match the heightened cost of living. The state quite literally will pay you a permanent fund dividend (PFD) for every person in your household once you have lived in Alaska for more than 12 calendar months. This is to encourage a larger population in a generally low-populated state, and to help assist residents with the inflated cost of living.

If you’re already visiting in your Alaska car rental, you may also know that the flights in and out of Alaska are pricey. Alaska can be isolated, and if you have family outside of the state trips to visit for the holidays are going to be hefty.

The best of both

Many Alaskans are proud to admit that Alaska is almost like a country and culture entirely its own – separate from the Lower 48 in mentality, hobbies, environment, and history. You’ll be able to find modern cities snuggled alongside sweeping landscapes and omnipresent wilderness. It’s not uncommon to see wild life roam the cities. Most of the moose are friendly and human-tamed, but keep your distance to be safe!

Because of this, Alaskans have adjusted their lifestyle around the environment of the state. Fishing, hiking, water sports, winter sports, and hunting are hobbies that everyone in Alaska enjoys. Residents and visitors alike bond through festivals and competitions that focus on these activities, and you’ll find yourself welcomed in if you take part. You will quickly discover this if you take your Alaska car rental around the state in the summer.

Your daylight hours will change

Daylight is a bizarre concept in Alaska. In the deep winter months, daylight only comes to visit for 5 hours a day at most. Even then, daylight is never full – it remains partially dark and dim, even at noon and the sun never full rises in the sky.

During the summer months, daylight is your only companion. At 1 a.m. you will still find a dim, dusky light in the sky that looks closer to dawn than the darkest hours of the night. For anyone who has experienced this for a short period of time, you’ll know that these arctic daylight hours can take some getting used to. If you need extreme dark to sleep, you’ll want to invest in black out curtains before you make your big move.

Strong family community

Because Alaska is so isolated, the people in this state know how to build a strong community and to adapt. They understand function over fashion in their clothing (if it isn’t good for the outdoors, it isn’t good for an Alaskan), and keep their loved ones close – but are always willing to welcome newcomers into the fold. Dogs are everywhere in the city, trotting beside their humans with wagging tails. Many Alaskans can make anything out of anything, and know how to survive with minimal daylight in the largest snowfalls. There’s no doubt that in Alaska, you’ll learn a new kind of living that will become almost addictive.

Once you’ve reserved your Alaska car rental from Avis, we’d be happy to offer you tips on scouting the state for a possible move. Once the move is complete, we can then help you find the perfect permanent vehicle to travel the state.

Camping with Alaska Winter Car Rentals

Are you looking for a new kind of challenge? Are you an experienced camper that needs a bit more a thrill than the typical, warm-season camping can offer? We are with you. At Avis, we’re adventurers and thrill-seekers, outdoorsy types looking for new ways to enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re taking out one of our Alaska winter car rentals, then you’re likely looking for an adventure or journey to get to know the state in all its glory.

But before loading up your Alaska winter car rentals and hit the snow for the adventure of a lifetime, there are some things you need to know. Winter camping can be tough for amateurs. If you’ve never done it before, then you’ll want to start slow and work your through tougher levels. Here are a few of our tips for winter camping.

Don’t overdo it

Don’t challenge yourself too much. Challenge is good, but within reason – you don’t want to push your limits into the realm of danger, and there certainly is real danger in Alaskan winters.

Test out winter camping with an easier locale before you go out further into the wild. Keep your cellphone on you, and your Alaska winter car rentals nearby so you can escape back to society if need be. Choose an area that you’re familiar with, even if it’s only slightly more familiar than other camping spots. There’s no room for pride in winter camping – be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot handle, or at what level your camping skills are rated.

Keep an eye on your packing

It’s always better to over pack when it comes to warm clothing, than under pack. Your survival depends upon your warmth and you won’t have your Alaska winter car rentals with you the whole time. Keep under layers, fleece and down, and thermo socks to ensure your warmth.

Your body isn’t the only thing you need to keep warm. Thermo layers and insulated sleeves are essential for ensuring fuel and water stays warm. You need the fuel for your stove, as hot meals are certainly not something you want to miss out on when traveling in such cold weather.

Don’t skimp on equipment

The equipment you bring camping will make the difference between a good trip, and a horrible experience. Your sleeping bag is one of your most important pieces of gear to ensure you stay warm at night. Do your research. Find a sleeping bag that is good for negative 20 degrees F temperatures and a solid tent with tarp that will prevent leaks. It’s important that you keep your sleeping bag zipped to the top throughout the night and wrapped around your head.

Always buy a sleeping bag that has a head piece that ties up so that you are completely protected from the cold. The only areas of your body that should be exposed to the cold are your mouth and nose, to allow for both breathing. This will also help to prevent moisture from your breath getting into your bag. We’d recommend either the Mountain Hardwear Ghost sleeping bag or the Western Mountaineering Lynx sleeping bag to keep you warm in the arctic temperatures.

Just as important is your sleeping pad. Get a good, strong sleeping pad to act as both comfort while you sleep and a barrier between you and the cold ground. If you are looking for a little extra protection, also bring along a hard cell foam pad to place underneath your sleeping pad for added insulation and leak protection.

When in doubt, cabins are available

If you doubt your abilities, or if you cannot get the appropriate equipment, we’d recommend starting with yurts or cabins. Two good choices for cabins are the Eagle River Nature Center or the Byers Lake Cabins.

Enjoy a real taste of the outdoors with Alaska winter car rentals from Avis.

Moose Hunting Extends into January

Hunters in Alaska will receive a belated Christmas gift this January. Moose hunting in Alaska normally opens in the fall, but this year, with an increased population in moose calves in the Western region of Alaska, wildlife managers have decided to grant an extension. Throughout the month of January, hunters may continue to enjoy their sport until 10 cows and 15 bulls have been taken. This extension is particularly good news for those who have yet to bag a moose, and with the underwhelming caribou population this year. So, load up your Avis Alaska car rentals and let the games begin!

Restrictions on the extension

As mentioned, the quota for the extension is 10 cows and 15 bulls. The wildlife managers have identified this quota as the maximum harvest that the increased moose population can withstand. Only those who have not yet bagged a moose in the regular hunting season may continue their quest and may take up to two moose.
The hunting region for this extension is limited to Game Management Unit 17A, where the moose population increase has occurred. This region is closest to Togiak and Twin Hills villages, and expands between Cape Newenham and Cape Constantine.

Getting to GMU 17A

If you’re staying in the more popular region around Anchorage, then getting to GMU 17A may be a bit of a journey. We recommend taking your Alaska car rentals. Though the drive is just under 400 miles to Togiak village, you’ll get a peek at some of Alaska’s less populated areas and see more of the beautiful landscape offered by this state.

Make sure to register

Whether you’re a resident of Alaska or a visitor from out of state, you’ll need to make sure you’re properly registered in order to take part in the hunt. As you likely already know if you’re a seasoned hunter, registration is an important part of maintaining and keeping track of game populations. Remember that you are also required to report your harvest to wildlife management. All reports must be completed in person or by mail, and in many cases now, by an online service.

During this extended season, in particular, it is essential that the wildlife management of GMU 17A can keep an eye on how many moose are being bagged per day in order to remain within their quota of 10 cows and 15 bulls. You don’t want the season to be affected next year!

Plan ahead. Register online before you make your trip to Alaska to avoid last minute complications. We would also recommend remaining updated with the extension, especially if you’re travelling to GMU 17A later in January – you don’t want to plan your trip only to find out that the quota has been met. If you can’t, go sooner rather than later.

How to identify restricted moose

You are restricted from hunting some moose. As this hunt is an “antlered” bull moose hunt, all hunters are prohibited from taking male calves. You’ll know these by the short antler growth just beneath a layer of skin and hair. If you see that small growth, move on.

Off road driving

We just want to take this opportunity to remind our loyal customers that Avis Alaska car rentals are limited to the use of paved roads only. We’d like our vehicles to help you in your hunt as much as possible, but be aware that coverage of our Alaska car rentals does not extend onto off-road areas.

Often, there are hunting lodges that will be able to take you to and from the hunt and we would recommend teaming up with one of these seasoned professionals. Not only will this save you time and effort, but these professionals often know the best places to find game.

Get your hunt started with your Alaska car rentals reservation from Avis today.