Earlier in the month I completed another remote Brooks Range float hunt for caribou with my 69 year old Dad and my two sons. The trip was great, the scenery incredible as always, but this year the 'bou we migrating late so the hunting was slow. I'm don't have nearly the float hunting experience as others on this forum, but I figured I'd review some of the services, gear and food choices inorder to help out others who may be planning their first float hunt.
Flight services: For anything on the north side of the Brooks Range you can't beat Seventy North http://www.seventynorth.com for outstanding service. This was the second year we used them and Mike McCrary and crew will go out of the way to pull everything together for you to ensure you have a great trip. They've also added some facilities at both Happy Valley and Deadhorse making time at either airport more comfortable.
The river chosen is notoriously shallow and braided which influenced my gear choices. Every pound in the raft would conspire against me and cause us to drag, so I tried to keep weight to a minimum. However, I still wanted comfortable camping and didn't feel the need to go as spartan as sheep hunting requires.
My 15' NRS Otter is in it's third year and has over 500 river miles on it. I only have 2 small wear areas on the floor directly under the rower's position from high centering on rocks and spinning the raft off. The raft is big enough for multi-day float hunts for my family of 4 yet light enough for me to muscle it in/out of the truck for the occasional solo day trip.
For this trip weight/space were an issue due to the flights in and the shallow river so my Action Swivel Seats had to stay home. I was looking for something that offered back support rather than simply sitting on a cooler or thwart which does not. Instead, I bought a piece of 1/2" plastic from Image Plastics in Anchorage, cut it to size, notched the corners to fit inside the frame's LoPros, drilled holes for straps and then rounded all of the edges with a router. The plastic straps to the frame with two 4' straps. On top I strapped 2 Crazy Creek folding chairs http://www.rei.com/product/800086/cr...amp-chair-2010. The Crazy Creek chairs at least offered some back support and doubled as camp chairs. I had a clothing alteration shop stitch a couple of button holes into the lower diagnol strap support of the chairs to allow a 4' raft strap to pass through without interfering with the support system of the chair. I think the plastic and seats together weigh under 15 pounds. Also, the plastic can be removed and double as a camp table.