Using the right gear can mean the difference between life and death on a remote Alaska float-hunt. Here is the most important gear we used on our recent trip.
Packrafts: Alpaka Raft Forager and Pristine Ventures PR-49 with PFDs and 240cm Aqua-Bound Shred Carbon paddles. MSRP: Forager $1,595-$2,250, Aqua-Bound Shred Carbon Paddle $260; alpackaraft.com | PR-49 $1,550-$1,625; pristineventures.com.
Waders: Frogg Toggs Grand Refuge 2.0 (one word: awesome). MSRP: $269.99; froggtoggs.com.
GPS/Communication: Garmin InReach (stay found, communicate and summon help with one device). MSRP: $399.99; garmin.com.
Dry Bags: Watershed Yukon and Animas (nearly everything will go inside these). MSRP: $159; drybags.com.
Footwear: Muck Boots Fieldblazer II (comfortable, warm, easy on/off). MSRP: $139.99; muckbootcompany.com.
Clothing/Raingear: Sitka Gear (lightweight and capable). MSRP: $40-$489; sitkagear.com.
Sleep System: Big Agnes Battle Mountain 3 tent and insulated Air Core Ultra pad (warm synthetic bag; you’ll sleep like a baby). MSRP: $849.95; bigagnes.com.
Backpack: Barney’s Frontier Gear of Alaska Freighter external frame. MSRP: $289; barneyssports.com.
Maps: MyTopo.com custom (for big-picture orienteering). MSRP: varies; mytopo.com.
Rifle: T/C Venture in .300 Win. Mag. (due to a gunsmithing accident, I ended up taking my backup rifle). MSRP: $578; tcarms.com.
Miscellaneous: compass, 200 feet of para-cord, 12x14-foot tarp, Pristine Ventures TAG meat sacks, headlamps, folding saw, knives and more (all this stuff may be your regular hunting gear; just make sure it’s quality and waterproof).