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What Do You Need To Bring?

Packing For Alaska Float Fishing Trip
Packing List

Packing for Alaska can be a challenge with travel in small aircraft a significant part of many trips to remote areas of Alaska how much to pack becomes a concern.

Let's get that out of the way right off. How much is too much? Well, effective immediately 250 pounds is what we are shooting for per person, or you and 50 pounds of gear whichever is less. This is because we have to put you and all of that which you bring and three other persons and their gear into an aircraft that carries 1200 pounds. A.R.A. also reserves the right to utilize any available capacity above or below these weight limits at our discretion. While we will try and accommodate whatever you bring "if it fits within the total weight allowance of the allotted aircraft for the trip" if not it will be your responsibility to cover the additional cost or to leave some unnecessary items behind.

On this page, you will find suggestions of items to bring on your Alaskan adventure but remember to bring what is needed and to leave what is unnecessary behind. Note, there usually is storage at the air taxi to leave some items behind that you do not need on the river.


Clothing ~ with temperatures that average from the '30s to '50s at night and 40 to 70 during the day, a layered approach to clothing works best in Alaska. If you will be fishing in breathable waders your pants should be lightweight warm synthetic material that wicks moisture away from the skin. Warm synthetic pants should be worn under lightweight waders. Most guests wear chamois or wool shirts over thermal underwear with a sweater or jacket over that if necessary. Remember you can always remove layers should you get too warm. While many guests seem able to get by wearing jeans around camp we strongly recommend that at least one pair of pants made from some synthetic material be packed for your trip.

Thermal underwear ~ Two pairs of good quality polypro or capeline underwear are recommended as these wick moisture from the skin and are warm even when damp. Both pairs should be heavy expedition weight for trips in late August and September. Besides your waders, bring some type of waterproof shoe such as knee boots or the LL Bean Maine hunting shoe to wear around camp. Once again, please leave the cotton jeans and shirts at home or save them for use as travel clothing. Invest in some windproof fleece pants and a jacket they are worth the extra cost and can prevent you from becoming cold.

Dry Bag ~ Invest in one or two good-quality roll top dry bags to hold your clothing and sleeping bag for your trip. No wheeled or hard sided luggage will be allowed. We also ask that you pack in two smaller bags vs one large bag as that makes loading the aircraft and rafts significantly easier

Plastic Compactor Bags ~ These work as an added layer of protection for things that you do not want to get wet like sleeping bags. Put those items into these and then into your dry bag.

Rain Gear ~ Quality strong sturdy rain gear jackets and pants are essential on any trip to Alaska. A heavy rubberized canvas top and chest waders offer the driest combo of all. Bring the best you can afford, sure you might not need it but then if you do you will not regret having not skimped on this one item.

Waders ~ Chest waders with wading shoes. Note: that as of January 1, 2012 - Felt sole wading boots were no longer allowed in Alaska waters! The breathable waders with fleece or thermal underwear underneath are the most popular choice of most anglers. Please no stream cleats or studs as they damage our boats.

Sleeping Bag ~ A quality sleeping bag rated down to at least 20 degrees is recommended for most trips, a bag rated to 5 degrees or a bag liner might be a good idea for any September trips. The insulation should be synthetic that dries rapidly should the bag get wet.
We can now rent you sleeping bags. Available are 20 degree or 0 degree bags which come with a "sleeping bag liner" that is laundered between trips / Rate 89.00 pp per trip.

Sleeping Pad ~ For comfort and use on top of the provided cots on all but our intimate rivers trips where it is essential between you and the tent floor/ground!

Jacket - Windproof if best (Light to medium weight, not to bulky)

Thermal socks 2 - 3 pair wool socks

Baseball cap Wool or synthetic stocking cap

Heavy wool sweater Chamois or wool shirts

Wool neoprene gloves

Extra set of clothing Waterproof camp boots

Head net Towel & washcloth Toiletries

Prescription medications

Hand Creame (O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Cream, Fisherman's Friend, Bag Balm)

Camera, lots of memory cards, and extra batteries

Small flashlight

Knife

Pliers

Hook file

Insect repellent (100 % Deet)

Scissors or clippers

Rod Case - Rods should be in a rod tube

"Polarized" Sunglasses (a must)

Prescription glasses if needed

Corkies or other eyeglass retainers

Snacks (we provide 3 meals a day and limited snacks - You may want to bring your favorites if you are a snacker)

Water bottle - Nalgene or similar (these are important)

Thermal Coffee Mug - We have cups, but your favorite mug may work much better!

Water Enhancer - Stur, Mio, Crystal Light, etc in your favorite flavors.

Alcohol and Other beverages - Bring enough for an evening cocktail for yourself maybe a little more if inclined to share. Note you may incur an additional charge to transport your beverages to the river if you exceed weight limits, beer weights a lot, planes only carry so much. How much? Each person has a hard weight limit of 250 pounds with gear. !
Note: there are no liquor stores in Bethel Alaska. You may want to look into a Bush Order service such as the one offered by Brown Jug in Anchorage. (https://brownjugalaska.net/bush-orders/)

Please do not quit smoking on your trip!

Pack in waterproof dry bags made specifically for river trips. Two small bags are better than one large bag no hard sided or wheeled bags please. Remember to leave the cotton clothing at home or at the air taxi during your trip!

Effective all trips 8/8/2022 - We now have to ask all guests to please keep your total weight to 250 pounds or less. This is a subject that is getting more difficult to address than the subject of growing waistlines, so if we say 250 pounds with gear, please do not show up with an extra 100 pounds and expect it to go. Give us a call and we can discuss the options, yes you can still go fishing in Alaska but honestly it may cost you a bit more to get the extra weight to the river...it is what it is as the aircraft can only carry so much!.

Positive Mental Attitude (not mandatory but strongly encouraged for best possible outcome)

**These are the most forgotten items on trips in the past, please ensure that you have these items with you when you board the floatplane, the ability to get any forgotten items to you once you're in the field can be difficult, and very costly. If you don't have a particular item on the list, ask the air taxi if they can stop by the local store on the way to the takeoff site.

Fishing License (You will not fish without one on you) Go To The ADF&G Website

Water Bottle & Coffee Cup

Snacks/Water Flavoring if desired

Dry Bag(s) for personal gear

Sleeping Bag and Pad

Bug Spray/Headnet

Fishing Rods/Reels/Flies/Tackle

Covid Test - It's a thing for some folks. Order Kits Here

*Below is a list of things that people typically bring that will be of no use:

Any fly rod below a 6 wt. or under 9ft.

Wading boots with studs, we will not allow them in the boats. Period.

Any tippet that has an X next to it.

Lots of t shirts or jeans

You need pliers hemostats will not debarb heavy hooks or pull them out of 5+ pound fish.

No need to bring cups or bowls, we provide personal use coffee cups, etc.

Firearms and /or Bear Spray are not allowed. The guides are all armed and camp is safer that way.

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