What to expect…
One thing that you should realize is that Alaska weather can be almost anything during the summer…hot, sunny 80 degree days backpacking; windy, rainy days sea kayaking; cold and snowy mountaineering (even in July). You could possibly have all of these conditions in one day! It’s also possible to have nothing but sunshine for an entire week, or rain every day for 9 days. So expect nothing in particular, and bring what’s on the list!
How the Trips are Structured…
Our trips are usually broken up into segments such as multi-day kayaking, multi-day backpacking or other day trip activities. Between segments any gear you do not need can stay in your duffel bag in the van. For example you wont need your backpack and hiking boots during the kayaking trip so they would stay in the van.
What to bring…
You’ve asked us to help you explore and enjoy Alaska, the first step is to follow our advice on gear. Each of our trips has a specific gear list which you can download below on the tab called “Gear Lists“. Ask questions but please bring what’s on the list unless we advise you otherwise.
We’ll do a gear check at the beginning of each trip and will want to actually see and inspect the critical required gear from your list. This important step is to ensure that people have the minimum they need for the activities they have signed up for.
Do NOT make decisions about what to bring based on some weather forecast that you see from home. AK weather can vary greatly within 15 miles. Don’t trust the weather channel to tell you what it’s going to do.
A Word on Packing
All trips start with a gear check, so you do not have to be thoroughly packed for backpacking (or whatever) on the morning of Day 1. We will not be able to delay start of the trip if your checked bags don’t make it to Anchorage. You might want to pack your really essential items in your carry-on bag.
Shopping & Re-supply
Most of our trips start in the morning of Day 1, which is often a Sunday. Shopping opportunities are limited at that time of day so if you do not have a required item we may be delayed in starting the fun stuff…and the rest of the group may not be very happy about spending part of their vacation waiting to go shopping!
Some trips may include a brief opportunity to at least dry some clothes (though not do a full wash routine). There also may be a chance to buy something during the week, particularly on the Exposed Series Tours.
Our Expeditions will usually have NO chance for resupply during the week.
With new restrictions on airline baggage, consider renting equipment from us for your trip. **Rentals must be arranged in advance.
Sleeping Bag (20 degree, synthetic, with liner); 3 Days: $28, 6 – 9 Days, $48.
Sleeping Pad (inflatable); 3 Days: $14, 6 – 9 Days, $32
Backpack (large for overnight or multi day trips). Extreme Week $39, Expeditions $55
Day Pack , (perfect for an extra jacket, camera, water and lunch). $10 for 3-9 days.
Save 10% on your rentals by sending in your Arrival/Rentals form
before you send in your final trip payment.
Arrival and Gear Rental Form
Kayak Gear and Rain Gear
We work on the theory you will have 2 complete sets of clothes. One for day-time use while you are active. This set may get wet but you will still be active and warm enough. The second set is a sacred dry night-time set so we can keep you warm at camp when you aren’t moving around as much and are more likely to get cold.
In addition to the gear on your gear list, we provide rubber boots, heavy duty rain gear & dry bags for packing your clothes. There will be a large dry bag for your clothes that packs into the boat which you cannot access during a day, and a smaller drybag that stays on deck and is your “day pack”. You might want to bring cycling or sailing gloves if your hands are prone to blisters. Your hiking boots, duffel bags or backpacks will stay in the van for the kayaking portion of the trip.
You will also need your own waterproof/ breathable rain jacket and pants in addition to the ones we provide. Any trip gear (such as hiking boots and backpack) that you do not need for kayaking will stay in the van.
Cameras, Electronics, Phone and Internet Access
We like to think that the best camera is the one that you have ready and available. A big, expensive, heavy SLR packed deep in a dry bag or in your backpack is not as useful as a much less expensive point and shoot that lives in your pocket and is always ready.
If you do choose to bring a very expensive camera, be advised that conditions may damage your equipment, particularly sea kayaking. There are a lot of options for protecting your gear on the market, shop around and decide how much “insurance” you want to buy.
Charging opportunities are very limited during the trip. If you are staying in accommodation during your trip you will have an opportunity to recharge electronics, but if not, you should bring sufficient batteries to last the duration of the trip.
There is no guaruntee you will have access to internet at any point in your trip and please let your loved ones know that cell phone access will be limited to when you are passing through civilization.
Often, the only option for storing of valuables will be in the van (our “office” is not in Anchorage, where the trips start.) Storage in the van is usually fine but we can accept no responsibility for your valuables. Most folks will be staying in a hotel prior to the trip with us, and they are often happy to store extra gear and valuables.
We do not recommend down sleeping bags for our trips. Many of our trips include sea kayaking in a rain forest after all and even when it is not raining the environment is very damp. If you have a down bag, and are very experienced with using it and vigilant about keeping it dry then you can bring it on the trip. If you are the least bit inexperienced, forgetful, clumsy, inattentive or unsure, use a synthetic bag.
If your trip includes backpacking that means you will need to have sufficient space to carry your personal gear and your portion of group food and gear (including your tent). Our backpack size recommendations are based around putting all your gear inside your pack. Due to the likelihood of rain and bushwacking nothing should be strapped onto the outside of your backpack
Boots and Shoes – We get this question a lot. If your trip includes overnight backpacking (Extreme, Xxtreme, Extreme PLUS) you need hiking boots that come up over your ankle. If your trip includes only day hiking (Exposed trips) you can bring low top trail hiking shoes.
A large soft duffle bag is often easier for travel than a backpack and can be used for storing your extra gear with us or in the van while we are out in the “bush”. We travel with our backpack inside the duffle bag to protect all the straps during the flight. If you follow our list and don’t bring a lot of “extras”, everything you need should fit into a duffle bag that’s about 110 Litres or 6700 cubic inches.
Suitcases are bulky and difficult to load in the van, and pretty much impossible to take to your tent. A zip up duffle bag is far superior for this type of trip.
If you have extra clothing, gear or suitcases not needed for the Exposure segment of your trip, please look into storing these at your hotel before your trip with us begins.