Brown Bear / Moose Hunts
1 pair rain gear (minimum); I personally wear an Arcteryx Ascent jacket and I use a Kuiu Gear Chugach jacket (for back up) and pants (unless I am wearing waist high waders). Sitka Gear has a good reputation as well. Helly Hansen Impertech (heavy and hot) is what many of us have worn in the past. The key here is, easy to dry, and don’t worry about the noise. G3, G4 Guide jackets from Simms are probably hard to beat as well, but short.
2 pair of fleece, or synthetic pants-avoid heavyweight style (I use Cabela’s Legacy Fleece and the Windshear option is preferred)
1 down jacket or similar synthetic (essentially a good mid-weight warm layer) Avoid heavy winter style coats.
1 fleece jacket, or pullover-midweight (Cabela’s Legacy Fleece or Microtex)
2-3 thermal shirts, Kuiu’s merino wool is superior to most due to keeping the odor down for weeks! Duofold, Thermax, Under Armour, or Simms Waderwick tops are very good. Go with midweight, or lighter.
1-2 thermal bottoms, (I use Simms Waderwick Core bottoms). Merino wool bottoms are also very good.
3-5 top quality hiking socks, Thorlo’s Mountaineering sock are the best I have found to date. Cost around $17 per pair, but worth it. These are getting more difficult to find and they are fairly bulky for warmer weather or close fitting boots, so I am usually using Thorlo’s Coolmax Light Hiker. Do not, I repeat, do not skimp on socks, or try unfamiliar types for your hunt, buy the best and wear them before the hunt. Waders or hip boots. I prefer the waist high breathables for myself. The breathables are typically stocking foot (neoprene sock-foot) waders, and I highly recommend using a good wading boot in conjunction with these. Cabela’s makes a waist high stockingfoot that I have used successfully in the past (Dry Plus), but I currently use Simms G3 Guide Pant, which has pockets, and a zippered fly, and I use the Simms Guide Boot as well. A lightweight hiking boot can be used, rather than a wading boot, if you prefer, but they should typically be 1 size over your normal boot size. Avoid neoprene waders and in my opinion hip boots are for people living in the dark ages.
1 pair of camp shoes can be nice if you don’t go overweight with all your other gear.
I am currently using the Mystery Ranch G 7000 that is made in Montana. Capacities for all packs should be 6,000 cu. inches or more. External frames with similar capacities can be used if necessary. Apart from the Mystery Ranch I would look to Dana Designs and Gregory.
1 large pack cover-waterproof and lightweight
Sleeping bag -Currently I am using the Mont-Bell Super Stretch #2, which is a 25º bag and probably not warm enough for some folks. I use the extra long model and it weighs in at 1 lb. 15 oz. and of course it is down. The Mont-Bell Ultra Long Super Stretch #0 is rated at 0º and weighs in a wonderful 3 lb. 1 oz., while the #1 in the same product line is rated at 15º and weighs in at 2 lb. 7 oz. Long bags are recommended if you are 6’ or taller. Synthetic bags rated between 0º to 20º degrees are fine as well, but a bag weighing 5 lb. is simply not the way to go. Please spend the money and keep your bag under 3.5 lb.
Therma-rest self inflating pads are great, and I use the Pro-Lite 4. If full length pads are used they should be the models no wider than 20”. Do not bring a 4” thick air mattress from Wal-mart.
1 hat, and fleece facemask or similar.
Gloves-wool, or any waterproof glove is good, although neoprene tends to sweat, and gets clammy.
Knives-avoid overweight Rambo knives. Small caping type knives are preferred.
Gun oil and maintenance tools. Critical tools to dismantle rifle in the field may save the day. Minimal weight is the key.
GSI Outdoors Lexan® 32 oz. Fairshare Mug (www.campmor.com) and additional small cup for coffee, etc.
Nalgene water bottles, at least 1, 32 ounce bottle
Spoon (yes we can afford spoons, but I recommend you carry your own)
Washcloth, towel-lightweight, soap, toothpaste and toothbrush, razor if you are so inclined. Packaged moist towelettes (baby wipes) are great for freshening up. Small bottle of shampoo, etc.
Flashlight-small LED headlamp, or similar. Headlamps are certainly preferred and I consider mini Maglites to be the curse of the Earth. I use a Petzl Myo XP LED.
First aid-prescriptions, ibuprofen, gel blister pads.
MSR Mini-Works – Water purifiers are recommended if you have concerns about giardia and the State of Alaska recommends their use in all waterways.
Binoculars-8×40 minimum, but 10×42, or 10×50 are best, higher grade glasses permit longer viewing with less eye strain, which brings better results in the long run-don’t skimp if you are purchasing for the first time.
Spotting scope is optional, but recommended if you are going to constantly want to look through your guide’s scope.
Laser rangefinder is optional, as guides pack one.
Rifles and cartridges should be discussed prior to the hunter’s arrival.
20 rounds of Ammo should be sufficient, but 30 is not too much.
Length of nylon rope has many uses.
Emergency space blanket, -Thermo-Lite® Emergency Bivy Sack by Adventure Medical Please do not bring the small aluminum foil type that fit in a shirt pocket (www.campmor.com)
Camp Time Roll-up Pack Stool® or REI Trail Chair (I prefer the trail chairs) or similar. Invaluable when glassing for hours. The Crazy Creek Hexalite Original (REI) appears to be a great chair at 14 ounces. Avoid the chairs that require an additional pad inside, such as most of the Thermarest models.
Insect Repellant, and lightweight headnet, or jacket.
Weight: Individuals need to keep their gear at 50 pounds max, excluding rifle, due to load constrictions on chartered flights.