Alone in the Fortress of the Bears

Alone in the Fortress of the Bears

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This a list of gear I’ll be using on my “Living Off the Land” trip in Southeast Alaska. Some items I’m bringing are old gear not readily available or somewhat outdated. In that case I’ll list the current, better version I would suggest. This is a “heavy” list for a fixed, boat camp. See my backpacking lists which weigh a fraction as much.

Item Brand Name Comment


Kayak Aire Outfitter I Inflatable A boat I already owned. Stable, light, self-bailing.
Paddle Aquabound Sting Ray Carbon 230 CM, w/spare paddle
PFD NRS CVest Type III Or similar. A well-fitting vest is vital.
Pump, Kayak K-Pump Mini Light, simple, compact, floats
Repair Kit Aire With valve, glue, material
Dry Bag NRS Bill’s 3.8 Great value in a quality dry bag.
Dry Boxes Otterbox Invaluable in keeping electronics dry.


Block and Tackle Like This, (no gambrel) To lift food cache into tree
Tent Titanium Goat Vertex 7.5 A huge splurge for me, but it will get some serious use.
Stove, Tent Titanium Goat Wifi Another splurge. Tiny, light, very compact.
Sleeping Bag Feathered Friends Down fill. For boat trips synthetic bags are probably smarter.
Cot Byer of Maine Allagash Low, fairly light and compact.
Camp Chair Folding Another true luxury for rainy days.
Sleeping Pad Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest A dependable backpacking standard.
Hatchet Estwing E24A Sportsman’s For camp. I never carry one backpacking.
Saw Sven Saw 21″ For cutting firewood.
Bear Fence UDAP Bear Shock Electric To protect camp when I’m gone
Buckets With Gamma Seal lids Watertight seal, good seat, multi-use.
Headlamp Petzl Tikka LED lights are a huge advance.
Tarps Unbranded, grommeted To cook under and cover outside gear.
Tarptent Henry Shires For “spiking out” away from base camp.
Bear Canister BearVault BV500 Already owned. For electronics when leaving camp.
Shovel Generic Trowel Primarily for latrine holes.


Water bottles Generic Plastic
Pressure Cooker/Canner All-American Preserving food. Homemade windscreen
Water Filter Platypus GravityWorks 2.0L Requires no pumping.
Foil Generic Aluminum For fish and game.
Fork, Spoon Lexan Light, tough, good for backpacking.
Grill Coghlan’s Broiler Really handy for cooking fish and game over a campfire.
Canning Jars Ball Quart Jars with extra lids.
Jar boxes JarBOX These protect and organize and withstand rain.
Water jugs Reliance 5 Gallon Collapsible Not very strong but compact!
Fillet Board and Knife Rapala Fillet Board With Knife and Sharpener Fillet/Cutting board with clamp.
Knife, Swiss Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster Extremely handy multi-purpose
Lighters Generic Several
Salt/Pepper Generic The only seasoning I’m taking.
Knife Sharpener Speedy Sharp Small and effective
Stove EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove Wood burning. For pressure canning. Quite heavy, but super efficient.
Frying Pan Generic Lightweight, non-stick
Water treatment Aquamira Drops A backpacker favorite


Fishing Rods Fly and Spinning (light/heavy) Various rods I’ve had for years.
Gloves, Fish Rapala Fillet Glove Improves grip and protects hands
Reels Orvis Large Arbor Reel and spinning Heavy and light spinning line, floating and sinking fly lines
Regulations, Fishing State of Alaska I’ll likely consult them often
Fishing Vest Generic Old and well used
Flies Various Including Leeches, egg patterns, buggers, Caddis, etc.
Lures Spinning Pixee spoons, Berkley Power Grub, Mepps Spinners
Crab Trap Danielson 24-Inch Alaska Fold-Up With bouy, bait cage, and lead line.
Landing Net Generic Aluminum
Stringer Generic Polyethylene
Tide Table Printout and iPhone App Important info


Blanket, Space This Kind Reinforced. Warmth, tarp, signal, etc.
Rifle and ammo Ruger M77 Mark II 30-06 Stainless steel and plastic, 180 Grain hand loads.
Shotgun and ammo Richland Arms Double barrel, full/modified, steel & lead shot.
Cleaning Kit Generic rifle and shotgun Will need to clean often for salt water.
Pack ALPS Commander Frame I’ve got an old frame. I’d buy the Alps now.
Also a couple of shotgun slugs, license, harvest tickets and a copy of the hunting regs.


Batteries AA and D For GPS, camera and bear fence
Battery Pack Lepow Moonstone 6000mAh Features “pass-through” charging.
Charger, AA/AAA IGO USB For GPS, camera and headlamp batts
Solar Charger ALLPOWERS Folding 18V 28W To recharge various batteries.
Smart Phone iPhone Camera, journal updater, GPS, more.
Kindle Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ with 4G For writing and backup commo via 4G.
Solar Charger, Backup Suntactics sCharger-5 I no longer recommend due to failure rate.
Lights, Backup LED Mini Light Lightweight, long-lasting.
Weather Radio WR-335 ADVENTURER Weather/AM/FM/Shortwave. Power boosted by solar and hand crank.
GPS Garmin eTrex Legend HCx With Garmin TOPO maps.
Camera Panasonic Lumix I’ve got an older Lumix and like it.
Also misc items such as cables, mini camera tripod, iPhone clamp, etc. You’ll notice I have lots of redundancy in electronics. There are several reasons: weight is a minor issue on this trip and electronics are fragile, especially in wet climates like this. If my tent leaks I can fix it myself, if my electronics fail I’m probably out of luck and I’m relying on commo to let people know I’m OK.


Balaclava Generic Perhaps the warmest item per oz. I carry.
Bandana Generic Washcloth, skeet/sun protection
Cap, Rain Generic “Jones Style” An old school style that still works well.
Cap, Baseball Alaska Smokejumper I wear with a bandana “Foreign Legion” style for sun and mosquitoes.
Boots, Rubber LaCrosse Men’s 18″ I expect to wear these a lot.
Waders Caddis Men’s Deluxe Breathable What I’d buy now. Worn with belt.
Wading Boots Caddis Men’s Ultralite I’d replace my current boots with these.
Gloves, Neoprene Glacier Glove Premium For cold and wet.
Gloves, Rubber Generic For when dexterity is less important.
Jacket, Fleece Patagonia Fleece Any quality brand will work.
Jacket, Fleece Hooded Cabela’s Fleece Similar to above.
Jacket, Micro Puff Patagonia Awesome jackets for cold and wet
Jacket, Rain Helly Hansen Impertech The gold standard for very rainy country.
Pants, Fleece Generic For camp or coldest days
Pants SportHill Men’s Expedition Stretchy, fast drying, comfortable.
Pants, Rain Red Ledge Thunderlight Full-Zip Light, inexpensive, comfortable
Shoes, Running Comfortable, Asics for me. For camp wear
Socks, Sleeping Possum Wool For sleeping only. Check ebay for best prices.
Socks SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Comfortable, excellent socks.
Underwear, Long Patagonia Capilene Midweight Bottoms and Zip Neck Top
Underwear Under Armour Boxerjock Comfortable, prevent chafing.
T-Shirt Cotton Generic For camp wear, towel, etc.


Antacids Antibiotics Antibiotic Cream
Lip Balm, SPF Lomotil Shampoo
Floss w/Sewing Needle Ibuprofen Laxatives
Soap Sunscreen Tinidazole (for giardiasis)
Toilet Paper Toothbrush Toothpaste


Bags, Plastic* Bands, Rubber Binos, RainGuard
Books Compass w/mirror Paracord, 550
DEET Glasses, Spare Glasses, Sun
Glue, Super Kit, Misc** Maps, Topo
Leatherman Juice S2 Notebook Pack, Day
Pens, Pencils Sealer, Silcone Tape, Duct
Vice Grips (Small) Wallet, Cards, Cash Wet Ones
Wristwatch Zip Ties
*Plastic shopping bags, garbage bags and Ziplocs. **Tiny plastic box with wire, compass, lighter, AA batts, LED light, duct tape, nail, fishhooks, line, p-38 (not needed this trip!), safety pins, tacks