Hunt Alaska Essentials

Obviously, there’s no way to come up with a single list of the gear and equipment you can’t leave home without when embarking on an Alaska hunt, since like the state itself, the range of possible hunts is so varied as to make any single excursion utterly dissimilar to another. So, while you may need one packing list for a moose float in southwest Alaska, there will be an entirely different set of must-haves if headed to the Southeast panhandle to scour alpine clearings in the boreal rainforest for blacktails. However, this is Alaska, and there is at least a general list of items that you’ll need regardless of the hunt. Some ideas follow:

• Your rifle/bow and ammunition/arrows (sighted in and ready)
• Quality optics (binoculars, riflescope, rangefinder, spotting scope, etc)
• High-end, durable rain gear
• Case or scabbard for transporting guns or bows depending on travel style
• Matches and/or other fire-starter materials
• GPS/satellite phone
• Dry bags for your gear
• Game bags
• Quality knives, sharpener, and bone saw
• A good frame-pack or oversized, heavy-duty backpack
• Water filter
• Headlamp
• Layering (cotton does not cut it in Alaska—go with high-quality wool or the newer synthetics)
• Extra socks (4- or 5-pair of wool or synthetic socks with cushioned soles)
• Hats and gloves, warm and/or waterproof
• Quality boots, already broken-in
• Hip or chest waders
• A tarp (an endlessly handy item for rainy Alaska, with uses ranging from a shelter to keep your firewood dry to use
as a makeshift litter for dragging or covering your downed game)
• A good camera for documenting your adventure plus batteries and memory cards
• Camp gear, which is obvious if you’re doing it yourself. In that case you’ll need your entire camp: this includes shelter, items for preparing and cooking food (including a compact gas stove), and of course, the food itself. For many Alaska hunts, newer, lightweight tents are the way to go. For sheep and goat hunters, light is the only way to go. And a last note on tents: if space allows, many hunters prefer bringing a pair of small, lightweight tents, one for storing gear and keeping it dry and another for sleeping.
• Bug dope/head net
• Transportation if do-it-yourself like ATV or packraft
• Gun cleaning kit
• First aid kit
• Hunting license and tags
• Personal hygiene/medical needs