Packrafts, Babies & ANWR with Sarah Tingey


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Sarah Tingey is one of the brains behind a small packrafting company called Alpacka Raft. It started as a basement type of operation, fueled by adventures in the Far North, including time spent in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Sarah tells us about her experiences on that incomparable landscape, plus what it's like to travel there with a small child (on a 10-day packrafting trip, of course). Taking kids into the backcountry isn't all puppies and unicorns, but it can be hugely rewarding when we do make the effort.

4:00 Career life at a small outdoor products company like Aplacka Rafts (you're a jill of all trades)

6:30 Packrafts - they started as a means for water travel in the deep backcountry, like -- say -- a 700-mile trip across Alaska's Brooks Range

9:00 From a basement sewing machine operation to a company that employs 45 people

10:00 "Design by Sheri" - a staple of the Warren Miller ski days, also what would be the skill base for a packraft company

14:00 Sheep hunting; New Mexico elk hunting

21:00 Visiting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and suddenly feeling like all those discussions about oil development weren't very abstract anymore

25:00 Check out a map of where ANWR is

26:00 Efforts to conserve ANWR predate Alaska's statehood

28:00 Would you rather visit a place called a 'petroleum reserve' or a 'wildlife refuge'?

30:00 Taking a BABY rafting on a 10-day trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (flash floods, weather delays, hustle hustle hustle)

33:00 Risk judgement when conditions change (leave the stress out of it)

36:00 Carrying a baby in the backcountry; hunting with a baby (or not)

42:00 Growing up in a hunting family, but not ever going along

43:00 Sharing the burden of all the extra energy that goes along with taking a kid outside

47:00 Taking kids into the wild isn't all unicorns and ponies

51:00 Catch the Emily Ledergerber episode on Hunting While Pregnant

53:00 An 185-mile overland trip over several drainages in Alaska, and getting to see a pristine salmon run

56:00 "The 'potted plant' phase [of babyhood]... soak it up."

96 episodes