Backpacking Basics II: What’s Inside Your Pack?
1-1:45 p.m., REI, Anchorage. So you have your backpack loaded with all the “necessary” items for your next backpacking trip. Still think you might be carrying too much? Join REI for this small group session on how to cut weight, carry the essentials and tailor your gear to best suit your needs. In this hands-on class, bring in your personal pack and gear and experts will go through the items you take with you when backpacking and do a group “shake-down” on gear. The program is free, but registration is required. (rei.com)
Fifth Annual Southcentral Alaska Avalanche Information Workshop
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Atwood Building, second floor, 4101 University Drive. Free and hosted by the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center, APU, Alaska Avalanche Information Center and the American Avalanche Association. The event begins at 9 a.m. for those wishing to experience the full range of activities, but the free portion, geared toward backcountry users as well as professionals, is 1-4:30 p.m. (akavalancheworkshop.org/)
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center. Discover which bats are found in Alaska and other facts about these often-misunderstood creatures of the night, and learn about white-nose syndrome. Marian Snively of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game leads the discussion. The program is free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (ernc.org)
Ultimate Recycling Craft Program
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center. Learn to make some unusual paper. Instructors not only help participants turn old paper into new, but also add some interesting fibers. All materials are provided. Registration required, but the program is free. (ernc.org)
Winter Camping Basics
6-7:30 p.m., REI, Anchorage. You like to camp, but have only tried it in the spring, summer and fall? Join an REI winter camping expert to learn what you need and what to expect when camping in a winter wonderland. Learn how to plan, stay warm, select winter-appropriate gear and what to expect when setting up camp and during your overnight. The program is free, but registration is required. (rei.com)
Solo Backpacking the Chilkoot Trail with Baby
6-7:30 p.m., REI, Anchorage. Join REI to hear Heather Helzer talk about her four-day, three-night backpacking trip on the Chilkoot Trail with her 10-month old baby, Finch. The Chilkoot Trail is a historical 33-mile long trail from Skagway to Lake Bennett, Canada. Hikers are required to have permits and a planned-out itinerary prior to hiking the trail. Helzer will talk about how she went about booking her hiking trip itinerary, along with her travel plans to get to/from Skagway. The Helzers will also have their full backpacking setup with them and go over the gear they brought, what they recommend, and how it worked out. The program is free, but registration is required. (rei.com)
Wildlife Wednesdays Zoo program
7 p.m., The Alaska Zoo. The Alaska Zoo’s annual Wildlife Wednesdays program features Max Goldman, Audubon Alaska’s Arctic marine ecologist, who will speak on “Building a Better Bird Map.” The free program is a way to learn about the wildlife in Alaska and fill those cold, dark months with some educational – and entertaining – brain food. The lectures are held the second Wednesday of each month, and attendance is free with regular zoo admission. See www.alaskazoo for prices.
Teen Hike in the Dark
6-9 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center. Have you ever wanted to take a hike in the dark? Participants will take the Albert Loop to the River Yurt on the bank of the Eagle River, where they will cook supper and enjoy s’mores. Limited to 10 registered teens, ages 13 or older. Parents are welcome, but need not attend (there is a release to sign). Teens need to bring backpack with warm gear, water and headlamp. Note: This program is not meant for organized groups. Please contact us to set up a separate program; call 694-2108 or send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction to Backcountry Skills
10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center. Getting ready to head into the wilderness for the first time and not sure what you need to know or do to have a successful trip? Hone your skills during this outing while REI experts discuss the importance of proper planning, equipment selection and other fundamental backcountry skills. This outing will include ample opportunity for demonstrations, discussion, skills practice and questions. The program is $60 for members, $80 for nonmembers. Register at rei.com.
Fireside Chat “The Big Picture”
7 p.m., Campbell Creek Science Center. Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center hosts the annual monthly Fireside Chats at the Campbell Creek Science Center this winter. This month’s program is “The Big Picture: The Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.” Imagine if you could take all the biological research that’s been done in the Arctic and synthesize it into a form that gives a single complete picture of what we know about the physical setting, seabirds, waterfowl, marine mammals, fish and more of the Arctic. Then add to it a synthesis of everything we’ve learned about human uses and impacts in the Arctic – from vessel traffic in the ocean to subsistence use. This is the work Audubon Alaska has recently finished and published as the “Ecological Atlas of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas.” Join Max Goldman, marine ecologist with Audubon Alaska, as he discusses the process of making the atlas, the importance of scientific synthesis and data sharing, and the state of the Arctic and Arctic science today.
Birchbark Basket Making
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center. The waterproof bark of the birch tree has traditionally been used to make baskets and canoes. Learn to make a miniature basket or canoe – all materials provided. The craft involves sewing with a sharp needle. The cost is $10 and includes parking. Registration is required and limited to 10 people, ages 8 and older. Contact ernc.org to register.
Nature’s Medicine Cabinet
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center. Naturalist Ute Olsson will discuss some of the more common medicinal plants of Alaska, including willow, devil’s club and cottonwood. This is a walk-in program, with no registration needed. These are generally appropriate for children (suggested for ages 10 and older) who have a special interest in the topic being presented. (694-2108 or ernc.org)
Mountaineering Club of Alaska Monthly Meeting
6:30-8:45 p.m., BP Energy Center, 900 East Benson Blvd., Anchorage. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite nonmembers. Each month focuses on a topic or presentation of interest to ice and rock climbers in Alaska. (www.mtnclubak.org)
Live Bird Celebration
2-4 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center. Celebrate Thanksgiving with the birds. The Bird Treatment and Learning Center will showcase a variety of its birds. Come by anytime between 2 and 4 p.m. for a meet-and- greet. Bring leftover raw cranberries and turkey necks for the birds. The event is free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (ernc.org)
Armchair Traveler Series: Costa Rican Rainforest
2 p.m., Eagle River Nature Center. Ruth Fitzpatrick will talk about doing citizen-science research with the Earthwatch Institute in Costa Rica studying caterpillars and their parasites. She split her time between the La Selva Biological Station and the Tirimbina Rain Forest Center. Fitzpatrick is also happy to answer questions about her many experiences with the Earthwatch Institute, an international environmental charity that brings individuals from all walks of life together with world-class scientists to work for the good of the planet. Free, but parking is $5 for nonmembers. (ernc.org)