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Packing Information


For Alaksa

what to pack on Alaska float trip
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 bring becomes a concern. Let's get that out of the way right now. How much is too much? 250 pounds is what we are shooting for per person, or you and 50 pounds of gear, whichever is less. Why? Because we have to put you and all of that which you bring and three other persons and their load into an aircraft that carries 1200 pounds. We reserve the right to utilize any available capacity above or below these weight limits at our discretion. While we will try to accommodate whatever you bring, "if it fits within the total weight allowance of the allotted aircraft for the trip," it will be your responsibility to cover the additional cost or to leave some unnecessary items behind.

On this page, you will find suggestions for items to bring on your Alaskan adventure. Remember to bring what is needed and leave what is unnecessary behind. Note, there usually is storage at the air taxi to leave some items 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 are fishing in breathable waders, your pants should be lightweight, warm synthetic material that wicks moisture away from the skin. 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 try to get by wearing jeans around camp, remember if cotton gets wet, it stays that way. Therefore, we strongly recommend you include at least one pair of pants made from some synthetic material.

Thermal underwear ~Two pairs of good quality poly pro 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 late August and September trips. Besides your wading boots, bring some form of waterproof shoes such as knee boots or the LL Bean Maine hunting shoes to wear around camp. Invest in some windproof fleece pants and a jacket. They are worth the extra cost and can prevent you from becoming cold. If you ski, waterproof windproof ski pants work well for this. Once again, please leave the cotton jeans and shirts at home or save them for use as travel clothing that you leave behind at the air taxi.

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, making loading the aircraft and rafts significantly easier.

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

Rain Gear ~ High-quality, sturdy rain gear jackets and pants are essential for any Alaska trip. A heavy rubberized canvas top and chest waders offer the driest combo. Bring the best you can afford. You might not need it, but you will not regret not skimping on this item if you do.

Waders ~ Chest waders with wading shoes. Note: 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 for anglers. Please do not use stream cleats or studs, as they damage our boats.

Sleeping Bag ~ A quality sleeping bag rated at least 20 degrees is suitable for most trips. A bag rated to 5 degrees or a bag liner is a good idea for any September trip. The insulation should be synthetic and not down.

We can now rent you sleeping bags on trips out of Bethel. Available are 20-degree or 0-degree bags with a "sleeping bag liner." The liner, not the bag, is washed between trips at a rate of 89.00.

Sleeping Pad ~ If you have a favorite and can pack it, bring it. We do have a supply of inflatable pads available. Let us know if you need one at the time of your final payment, and we will make a note to have it available.

Jacket -Windproof if best (Light to medium weight, not too bulky) Thermal socks: 2 - 3 pairs of wool socks Baseball cap Wool or synthetic stocking cap Heavy wool sweater Chamois or wool shirts Wool or neoprene gloves Extra set of clothing Waterproof camp boots Head net Towel washcloth Toiletries Prescription medications Hand Cream (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 three meals a day and limited snacks - You may want to bring your favorites if you are a heavy 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. Please do not quit smoking on your trip.

Alcohol and Other beverages - Bethel has no liquor stores. You may want to look into a Bush Order service from Anchorage to your B&B or to Renfro's Air Service in Bethel some weeks ahead of your trip. (Google Search "bush orders for alcohol in Anchorage") Please do not quit smoking on your trip! Bring enough for an evening cocktail, maybe a little more if you want to share. Whatever you decide to bring counts towards your weight limit. Please do not quit smoking on your trip!

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

Please note that the following items will not be of use on your trip: Fly rods below 6 weight or under 9 feet in length, wading boots with studs (they are not allowed in the boats), clothing made of cotton (such as T-shirts or jeans) as they absorb moisture and get wet, hemostats (as they cannot debarb heavy hooks or pull them out of 5+ pound fish), bring pliers, and firearms/bear spray (as they are not allowed since the guides are already armed and the camp is safer that way).

**These are the most forgotten items on trips in the past. Please ensure you have these items 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 only fish with one on you) Go To The ADFG Website. Water Bottle Snacks Water Flavoring, if desired Dry Bag(s) for personal gear Sleeping Bag ~ *Bags are available for rent with fresh liners. Bug Spray/Headnet Fishing Rods/Reels/Flies/Tackle Covid Test - It's a thing for some folks.

Packing For Alaska
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packing alaska float trips
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