Hunters in Alaska are confronted with a wide range of species, conditions, types of hunts and spectacularly varied terrain. Most hunts in Alaska take place in the spring, fall and winter, when climate can be the most challenging, so each piece of gear taken into the field has to be reliable, functional and appropriate. And oftentimes, you are in remote locations where replacing a broken piece of gear is not going to happen. It’s with these concepts in mind that we torture-test gear each year so that you can feel at ease when you take items we have reviewed into the field. After another great year hunting in Alaska and beyond, we present the following 2022 Editors’ Choice Awards.

Editors’ Choice Awards: Camping

Camp Chef Sherpa Camp Table and Kitchen Organizer campchef.com This system makes for a nice addition to our base-camp kitchen. First, it all fits inside the main organizer bag, and the handles are heavy duty, making it easy to carry. Second, it’s quick to set up and is sturdy when put together. It allows us to organize our kitchen tools and store any items that we don’t want pests getting into. The system is comprised of 4 zippered bags that are roughly 11” x 12” x 6” (one of which has a coated-fabric interior so you can use this one as a cooler or sink) that fit into a 4-way divider, and a 27.5” long x 17” wide x 28.5” tall table. The organizer has a zippered pouch on the outside that fits the tabletop during transport and can be used to store items when set up. Another feature we appreciate is the square piece of Read More...

Editors’ Choice Awards: Packs

Vortex Glasspak Binocular Harness vortexoptics.com After having spent years in the field with his binos hanging around his neck, Publisher Marcus Weiner starting using the Vortex Glasspak Binocular Harness and he’s sure glad to have made the switch. His Vortex Razor HD 10x42 binos sit securely in the case and are protected from the elements and damage incurred from bashing them around in the bushes. That’s an issue on many of the moose, deer and elk hunts that he goes on each year. The harness sits snugly on your chest, tethers attach to your binos, and a bungee and nylon tab allow for quick access to get the binos into action. The case includes extra storage space with two mesh side pockets and a zippered back pocket. Sagebrush Dry Gear Daypack sagebrushdry.com Made in the southeast Alaskan village of Kake, Sagebrush Dry Gear is designed for the wettest and wildest of adventures. Contributing Editor Bjorn Dihle Read More...

Editors’ Choice Awards: Knives

Spyderco Sustain G-10 Black spyderco.com This all-around camp knife is Alaska worthy! We punished it on several extended camping trips this year and it simply smiled and asked if that’s all we had. From chopping branches to clear a spot to pitch a tent, to processing deer steaks for dinner, to hacking down brush in sections of trail, to cutting ropes and slicing open various food packages, we love this burly cutter. The 6- inch blade, which possesses a saber grind, is made from Crucible CPM 20CV—which, according to Spyderco, is an advanced particle metallurgy stainless steel that contains a high volume of chromium and vanadium and gives the blade a combination of wear- and corrosion resistance with impact toughness. The handle is made from G-10 scales and incorporates a full tang and blind pins. Outdoor Edge Duck Duo outdooredge.com The Duck Duo is comprised of two knives: one is gut-hook skinner and the other is a caping knife. They Read More...

Editors’ Choice Awards: Cooking

LEM MaxVac Pro Chamber Vacuum Sealer lemproducts.com This chamber vacuum machine produces vacuum-packed fish and game that is superior to that produced by smaller, portable machines. What’s more, the bags cost much less than the rolls of bags you have to buy for the non-chamber machines. The machine is simple to use with customizable preset buttons, plus has digital controls to adjust vacuum pressure, seal time and sealing temperature. It has a ¼-horsepower oil pump, dual (3 mm and 1 mm) sealing elements and comes with a 5-year warranty. If you vacuum pack large quantities of fish and game, this unit will pay for itself through many years of service as well as the savings generated from less-expensive bags. UCO Flatpack Medium Grill and Firepit ucogear.com This handy device is made of stainless steel and can be used as a charcoal grill, wood grill, or a small wood firepit. It folds flat so it takes up Read More...

Editors’ Choice Awards: Accessories

Skinner Sights Picatinny Rail with Integral Peep skinnersights.com The Skinner Sights Picatinny Rail with Integral Peep are built for both Marlin and Henry lever guns. The rear sight is machined from solid-steel bar stock, is blued, and is fully adjustable for windage and elevation. The rail is machined from solid aluminum and is black anodized. This rail will allow you to mount a variety of optics to the rifle, while having a backup peep sight. Leupold Custom Dial System leupold.com Trip Tips Columnist and Contributing Editor Sarah Stallone offered the following, “Do you want to shoot more accurately at longer distances? Leupold offers the simplest ballistic solution on the market. The Custom Dial System (CDS) relies on your provided ballistic information to create a custom turret that easily replaces the original scope turret. When you’re on the range or in the field, you only need to know target distance—match the dial to the distance, hold dead on and make Read More...

Editors’ Choice Awards: Firearms

Winchester Blind Side Waterfowl Loads winchester.com We’ve been shooting these waterfowl loads at ducks and geese for many years. They feature stacked Hex Steel Shot and a diamond-cut wad to produce a deadly shotgun shell. We’ve used the 12-gauge and 20-gauge models in 2¾-, 3- and 3½-inch sizing and from size BB through size 3 shot. We’ve always experienced consistent performance with these shotgun shells and they provide substantial knockdown power. Henry Rifles All-Weather .45-70 Government Side Gate henryusa.com Henry now makes a side-loading-gate version of its popular All-Weather .45-70. The All-Weather is a lever-action rifle built for the harsh climate conditions we often face in Alaska. Henry chose a different route to make the All-Weather less susceptible to weather. Instead of stainless steel, Henry chose to use a low-gloss, hard chrome plating on all metal surfaces (except springs and sights) and a durable, industrial-grade coating on the hardwood stock. It comes in two Read More...