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Thread: Shipping gear ahead of you

  1. #1

    Default Shipping gear ahead of you

    I am planning to ship a box of gear ahead of me. I will ask my transporter to hold it for me or possibly the shuttle service I intend to use. I plan to ship gear, food (nonperisable like mnt house etc), isobutane (if I can - I think I might need a license), clothes etc.

    Anything I should be aware of other then leave more then enough time for it to arrive?

    I was going to stop at walmart and/or sportsmans wharehouse but I figured why bother? I will need to get all my gear there, take a taxi (not to mention what do I do with my firearm and luggage while shopping)? It will be a little more expensive to ship it but likely not a lot vs getting a taxi etc. Not to mention if I get delayed not taking 2 hours to go shopping, find stuff, check out, wait for taxi etc is priceless if it saves me missing my charter flight and loosing a hunting day.

    Anyone see any problems with this plan or have suggestions?

    What is the cheapest way I can ship it?

  2. #2
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    I`m not sure about shipping the isobutane but the post office can definately let you know. I have been to Alaska four times on hunting trips and have mailed most of my gear ahead every time. I generally send a couple boxes of gear. I also ship my rifle. I take my binoculars, camera, and a full set of hunting clothes in my carry-on and wear my boots. I ship everything plenty early and make sure everything arrives long before I get there just in case.I use the U.S. Post Office and have never had a problem. I do the reverse coming home using the cheapest"snail mail". I`m going back up in Sept. and won`t change a thing EXCEPT I hope I kill a bear this time!!! Good luck!

  3. #3
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    USPS to the transporter, WELL in advance of your arrival. Personnally, I'd get it in the mail about 3-4 weeks ahead of time, unless you go the priority route, then allow 2 weeks. You can also mail a long gun to yourself, but I'd take it as checked baggage.
    I'm pretty sure that any stove fuel will be considered a hazardous material - not worth the trouble (and expense) of shipping, it will be cheaper to buy it when you land. Make sure your stove is COMPLETELY aired out before you ship as not doing so could cause your whole package to be held by the postal service.
    I understand that you're trying to save all you can, by not planning on an overnight before you fly out, but stuff happens and you also need to plan for that eventuality. What if your gun case doesn't arrive on the same flight as you? That's extreme, I know, but stranger things/delays have happened.
    Carrying your optics, camera, gps, etc in your carry-on is the ONLY way to go, as stated earlier.

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    Don another option is pay the extra baggage charge with the airlines, 50 pounds per bag and $20.00-$35.00 per bag (depending on Airline) is still cheaper then mailing it ahead. Also if you plan on mailing, like others had said plan on plenty of time. My last trip I mailed 2 boxes up a month ahead of hunt time. One box made it one did not. It was there a week after my hunt was over. Oh and this was first class.....! So we have resolved and actually saved money by paying the extra baggage cost, or buying the extras when we get to Fairbanks. Dave

  5. #5
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    How about sending the transporter a shopping list? Most of them will go shopping for you if you ask. Heck most of the guys on here would do it for another hunter if you asked.

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    Do not cut yourself short on time whats acouple of hours or even a day enjoy your trip do not try and rush it!

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    You didn't supply enough information for me to offer a good recommendation. Here are some questions for you:

    1. Where are you shipping from, and to?

    2. How much weight are you talking about?

    3. What are the heaviest / dimensionally largest pieces (weight and measurements)?

    4. What is your budget for shipping?

    5. What are your time constraints (can you afford to arrive a day early / leave a day later)?

    And a caution on your butane and any other HAZMAT (stove fuel, etc). You can't ship it through the post office. In fact, I don't generally recommend the USPS for your gear shipments anyway. Even with tracking, there is no accountability to ensure you will get your stuff. A few years ago some of my clients shipped via the USPS to a village (it was a hunting trip). They're still waiting for their stuff to show up. I had to scramble a camp together for them and ship it air cargo out to them.

    Lots more to say on this, but we need info before we do.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    You CANNOT ship flammables by any other means than ground shipping. There is really no practical way to ship flammables from yourself to yourself in Alaska. Plan on buying it here.

    I can't imagine needing more than 100# of gear to go on a hunt. Two 50# bags on the airlines, your rifle case with your binos or other small items in it to bring it up to 50# and you now have three 50# bags. It's going to be cheaper to just fly your stuff up with you.

  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    You CANNOT ship flammables by any other means than ground shipping. There is really no practical way to ship flammables from yourself to yourself in Alaska. Plan on buying it here.

    I can't imagine needing more than 100# of gear to go on a hunt. Two 50# bags on the airlines, your rifle case with your binos or other small items in it to bring it up to 50# and you now have three 50# bags. It's going to be cheaper to just fly your stuff up with you.
    Doug,

    Your comment about not being able to ship flammables by air is incorrect. My hunters do it every season. You just have to pay the HAZMAT fee and ensure that it is packaged correctly.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  10. #10
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    My experience has been quite the opposite without using a "known shipper", even in state. I have attempted it with FedEx and UPS with negative results from the lower 48. Within state, it's more of a hassle, but not as much of a big deal.

  11. #11
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    We ship propane and other flammables weekly in the Summer/Fall via air cargo to hubs in SW AK. It simply involves declaring it and paying the hazmat fee.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  12. #12
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    My experience has been quite the opposite without using a "known shipper", even in state. I have attempted it with FedEx and UPS with negative results from the lower 48. Within state, it's more of a hassle, but not as much of a big deal.
    I'm talking about shipments via air cargo within the state of Alaska. I never ship USPS, UPS, or FedEx. The former is too unreliable for large shipments of gear, and the latter are too expensive and restrictive. NAC, Alaska Airlines, Everts and the rest all accept HAZMAT shipments.

    Since more and more cargo shipments are scanned these days, I expect the "Known Shipper" issue, required on passenger carriers, may change. If that's an issue, simply go with a regular cargo carrier.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  13. #13

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    Also: I fly into fairbanks, then get down the Delta Junction, fly in with Gary Halls owner of Mt Hayes Air (formerly M&M). I m hunting caribou first, solo, then moving and hunting moose. Flying in a cub, drew a great caribou tag DC827. Unit 20a

    I do not have a budget (as cheap as a I can!), as for bringing it all with me, I plan to bring almost all of it with me, prepackaged daily food bags (12 or so) take up a lot of room, and biggest problem is isobutane containes, airlines do not allow them. Good points about using bags to get gear to AK. Gun case is heavy and 2 rifles(bringing a backup to leave with pilot just in case) is at about 40 pounds already. I have seen airlines lately go down to 40 pounds per bag, WOW!

    It would also be nice to have more gear ready to bring to me if needed, like a change of cothes, warmer clothes, spare thermarest, more food etc. I can fly in with 70 pounds but likely will leave 50-70 pounds with pilot.

    Cleveland to Fairbanks. Weight/size unknown right now, but guessing it will be a large package (by USPOS standards) and weighti around 20 pounds. I like to "double up" on some things, like clothes/boots ship some and fly with some (that way I have 2 chances for it to get there)!

    In the past I have always tried to bring it all for above mentioned issues, also good idea about transporter, I was thinking of that (at least for fuel) but I also want to keep him really happy (so I get placed in a great spot.

    Time constraints are I "hope" to arrive in Fairbanks early in AM and fly out after 4pm that evening (Delta Junction to 20a). This is september this year - I would likely ship 6-8 weeks ahead to be sure. had some packages take a while going tio POW and arrive looking like a brown bear played with it for a week!

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