Packing for a big Alaska adventure is often more adventure than the adventure.
Or, at least, it’s more stressful.
Where did I put those gaiters? What happened to my Gore-Tex rain jacket? Should I take 40 rounds for the rifle, or will 20 be more than enough?
What should be a simple two hours of throwing gear together becomes a two week ordeal of digging, finding, not finding, ordering, buying, fitting, returning and fiddling. On the bright side, by starting this early and investing this much time, you’re so well prepared the night before your flight that you can lay awake for hours trying to remember what you forgot to pack.
My friend Tom and I have been gearing up for a big Alaska adventure with AlaskaExpedition.com. We started “packing” about three months ago. I just finished. The plane leaves in 2 hours.
We will be indulging in that old kind of “do everything” Alaska adventure young men and women dream of. Salmon fishing, duck hunting, moose and bear hunting… and trying to remain dry enough to enjoy some of it. Here’s a partial gear list that might help you to reconsider planning a trip like this of your own:
Mossberg Patriot, 375 Ruger with sling (Moose beware!)
Leupold VX-3 2-10 scope with neoprene cover (let it rain.)
2 boxes ammo, 285-grain Grand Slam bullets (Shame to haul 40 rounds when I’ll only shoot two.)
Leupold BX-3 Mojave binocular
Leupold RX-1200i TBR Laser Rangefinder
Steady Stix bipod
Mossberg M930 Pro Series Waterfowl 12 ga. with sling.
4 boxes Federal Premium Black Cloud FS Steel shells in #2 and #4
Silynx Clarus Pro Noise Cancelling Headset (hear the ducks but not the gun shot.)
Swiss Army Knife
Toiletries (toothbrush, floss, razor, etc.)
4 polyester briefs
4 wool socks
4 poly liner socks
2 polyester base layer pants and shirts
2 fleece pants
2 fleece shirts
One versatile L.L. Bean green polyester cargo pant and Adirondack button down shirt for travel and backup hunting use.
Poly-fill nylon jacket
Polyester Polar Max balaclava
Heavy fleece balaclava
Fleece watch cap
4 pairs gloves (easily lost, so extras.)
Simms G3 Guide Boot (our guides say they live in this Simms gear to stay dry, so we’re following their lead.)
Simms polyester wader pant
Cabelas 9 weight fly rod, reel, line
Leaders, salmon flies, char flies (egg pattern)
2 Canon 70Ds, battery chargers, 5 batteries
2 Go-Pros, 4 batteries
iPhone 6s, charge cord
2 TB backup hard drive and power cord
I’ll use an ALPS H20 Extreme daypack for hauling all camera gear, optics, one complete change of hunting clothing, gloves, balaclava, rain jacket, etc. so I’m ready for the wilds should the Alaska Airlines lose my checked bags. Guns and enough clothing to hit the 47-pound mark are going in a Nalpak Tuffpak. The rest go in a light nylon duffle back shoved into a 48-quart Coleman cooler taped shut. On the return trip, the cooler should be full of moose and salmon.
If all this preparation and gear list seems extensive to the point of excessive, it may be. But consider what it would look like if we were backpack hunting/camping. Tents, bags, pads, stoves, packs, pots, spoon, cup and food! The food alone would cost an extra baggage fee. Fortunately we get to stay at Driftwood Lodge, sleep indoors with heat and real food and have ourselves a wonderful time, even if if rains and blows everyday. And the forecast says it just might. Stay tuned. The water’s about to hit the fan.
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