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Thread: Shipping Gear to Alaska

  1. #1
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    Default Shipping Gear to Alaska

    I have been looking into shipping our gear up to AK for our Sept hunt. I have checked with UPS and Fedex and both were about $1500. What do hunters typically do to get there gear up from the lower 48? At that price i would check my bag and pay the extra money for the overweight bag.

    Thanks

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    try shipping your stuff by air freight or anything that can be mailed by usps .

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    It took about 3 time,but we took all our gear up n the airplane. We have flow on Frontier for the last 5 years have only paid $20 a box if its less than 50lbs.We have also shipped a small amount up by USPS. Nothing heavy.We leave Sept 7th and come but Sept 22nd. Good luck on your hunting trip.

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    our packs weigh 100lbs, (USPS has a max of 70lbs) would you break the packs down into 2 small for shipping either by plane or USPS? then once in AK just put everything back into our main pack

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Shipping with the USPS is the way to go. Yes just break it down to 1 pound under the max and ship. I have found that the military sea bags are great for doing this. The main thing that you want to do is give yourself a full month to get it there to ensure that there are no problems. If you have someone there ship it to them or ask your air service if you can just send it to them and have it signed for.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

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    When my daughter moved back to Anchorage from Raleigh last year, I looked at all the options...ended-up shipping 72 boxes via USPS Parcel Postage. Took about 3 weeks for the 4500 mile trip but it's half what you'd pay via Priority Mail. The postal service did good...didn't loose a box. We had over 1700 pounds...I forget the total shipping costs but it was way cheaper than UPS or using a shipping consolidator. If you're individual box is over 70 pounds I think it gets ugly.

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    If using USPS defintely get it in the mail AT LEAST 4 weeks prior to your arrival. If you wait to mail "Priorty", you might as well pay extra baggage fees.
    Make all packages under the limit (or you're defeating the purpose of trying to save money).
    I'd think twice before I mailed something that couldn't be easily replaced where ever you're going to pick up the packages. You can either mail to yourself (@general delivery) or to your transporter/outfitter (after clearing it with them).
    It's a sad thing, but I do not trust the PO as much as I did 10 years ago.

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    sounds like USPS is the way to go, thanks for the input.

  9. #9
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    it really is but Gary is right, you have to make sure that you allow 4 weeks for the general delivery and you don't want to go priority.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  10. #10

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    As a point of reference, shipping via USPS parcel post from Houston Tx on tomorrow, will have package delivery in Anchorage on aug 3.... 50lb package is ~$55. FedEx and ups are both about $250 for the same package and both have delivery in about a week.

    Aug 3 is too late for us and so we're gonna carry on.

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    Another option is USPS Parcel Post. It's cheaper than flat rate but takes a few weeks longer. I shipped my entire library in 6 boxes (24" sq.) for less than $about $60. I also used Parcel Post to ship some of my heaviest mechanic's tools as well as an entire chainsaw mill. Smaller (but still heavy) stuff I sent in Flat Rate boxes. The Parcel Post boxes were beat to hell... badly, but everything was in tact. Pack accordingly. Parcel Post took about 5 weeks. My Flat Rate boxes took not more than two weeks. On average, I'v had Flat Rate boxes get to FL in 3-5 days. One time, I got a large Flat Rate box to FL overnight. (That was a fluke.)

    Few Alaskans ship via UPS/FedEx unless there is simply no other option, and many of us refuse to business with companies who don't give us the USPS option. The one absolute is you must get insurance and some sort of delivery tracking/confirmation.

    By the way, we've got pretty good outdoor/hunting/camping stores up here (Sportsman's Warehouse and REI to name the two biggest). You may look at their websites and just buy a lot of your stuff when you get here. For camping gear, such as stoves and fuel, freeze dried foods, etc, REI will let you order via REI.com and have the stuff shipped direct tot he Anchorage store for free shipping. Takes about 7-10 days on average. I do it all the time. Sportsman's doesn't have that, but you can call the store direct and ask them to stock check whatever it is you're looking at before you fly up.

    I guess if you get in a spot for having an address to ship items to, you can ship it to me (If you're desperate enough to trust a stranger on the net lol) and I'll store it in my heated garage until you get here. (I don't want to be responsible for any firearms though.)

  12. #12

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    Usps. I use rubbermaid or these...http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/st...ck&N=662858530
    "The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time he's on earth. " Theodore Roosevelt

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Few Alaskans ship via UPS/FedEx unless there is simply no other option, and many of us refuse to business with companies who don't give us the USPS option. The one absolute is you must get insurance and some sort of delivery tracking/confirmation.
    UPS is a joke up here. Extremely inconvenient for me. For a long time I was buying and selling spendy HAM radio gear. USPS has been great. And if there is any problem they stand by their insurance claims. You **** near have to threaten UPS with a law suit before they do anything about their insurance claims. They "try" to tell you "insufficient" packaging and let it go. Don't give them the chance....go with the USPS...!!!
    "The emotions that good hunters need to cultivate are love and service more than courage. The sentiments of the hunt then become translated into art." James Swan, In Defense of Hunting

  14. #14

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    For years I've been shipping my hunting/camping gear to Alaska and Hawaii. I containerize everything in Rubbermaid units which just make the USPS cutoff for oversize packages. I load them with 55-65 pounds of year and ship. Parcel Post will take around 4 weeks, as the units go by barge from Seattle to Anchorage. Priority Mail is 3 days at almost double the cost, but that's how I roll. This (for me) isn't about saving money...it's about convenience and practicality. My gear arrives ahead of me in easy to transport containers. I don't have the hassle of airport handling or delayed baggage. It's extra money, but if cost was all that mattered I could probably find 25 more ways to cheapen my trip....but always by working harder in every case.

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    Especially heading into the bush you want to go USPS. I lived there for years and was disappointed by every other service despite limited usage.

    Parcel post minimum lead time is 4 weeks. DO NOT trust what the numbnut at the counter tells you that the computer told them....especially for bush stuff, it can sit in ANC for awhile waiting for plane space and they don't account for that.

    Put things in rubbermaid containers, get tracking and insurance. Go priority if you have any question on the 4 week lead time. While they allow 70 pounds, don't ram it to within an ounce, I routinely noticed heavier items getting manhandled, dropped, kicked, ignored.

    Also, since they now measure all of this stuff and factor that into the price, you will want to pack things densely, shipping fluffy items in big boxes will cost more than heavy in small boxes.

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    Coincidentally, I'm headed to the post office today to ship gear for a caribou hunt.

    Unless you are really pinching pennies, don't feel like you have to cram 70lbs. in one container.
    That can be difficult given the package size limts. Stay away from oversize if at all possible.

    I priced one 70lb large container versus two containers of the same size at 35lbs each and the
    difference for USPS Parcel Post was $8

  17. #17
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    I use the usps also ,I even shipped my gun and ammo by mailing it to my self and evey thing was waiting for me when I got there with my carry on only.The only way to go. You can ship it all back and take your meat and capes on the plane as luggage,you will have to ship the antlers or horns home though. I even took a 9.9 outboard as luggage one time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by headhunter353 View Post
    I even shipped my gun and ammo by mailing it to my self
    How did you do that??? EVERY TIME I've ever tried to ship a gun without going through and FFL on either end, he post has refused to handle it saying it's illegal to ship firearms through the mails without an FFL. I brought all of my guns up here as checked bags over the course of two years during various trips to visit relatives.


    Quote Originally Posted by headhunter353 View Post
    I even took a 9.9 outboard as luggage one time.
    LOL, I brought a steel rim for my car up as checked baggage once, and I also brought up a Craftsman side cabinet for my tool box as checked baggage. (The Sears here said they were not allowed to special order that particular cabinet, and sears.com said that that particular could not be shipped to AK, at any price, so I had it shipped to my mom's house in FL (for like $15) and then brought it up with me as checked baggage.)

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    Hey, while we're talking about shipping hunting gear and checked bags on airlines, here is a cautionary tale on why you should invest in a super high quality gun case for airline travel.

    About 3 yrs ago, I was working as an A&P (aircraft mechanic) at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and I found a gun laying on the taxiway all by its lonesome. It was 3 am, and I was driving back from working a flight and saw what I thought was an aircraft panel laying in the taxiway. I went back to get it and discovered that it was a rifle in what remained of a plastic gun case. I grabbed it, put it all in my truck, and called the airport police to turn it over to them. Then I called the owner (his name and number was on an ID tag still intact) and told him what I'd found and to call airport police if it doesn't show up at his destination.

    Here's the deal, the gun was okay, the case did it's job, but there was not much left of the gun case. I'm sure the bag smashers at AK Airlines just wrapped it up in packing tape and sent it on its way, which means it probably took a beating all the way down to the Lower 48.

    Ever since then, I only use aluminum gun cases. I carried it empty going south (paid the $50 fee because they're $100+ for a new one) and carried it full going north. It basically cost me $100 per gun to get my guns up here, but I didn't have to pay TWO FFL's $30-$50 EACH per gun PLUS those insane shipping charges, neither did I have to go through and pay for FFL background checks and 4473's again.

  20. #20
    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Depending on how much gear you have, I have used a trucker in Mn to ship palletized stuff at $500 per pallet. Pm me if this interests you and I'll give you his number. I shipped a pallet with 4' sides with no problems at all
    Good luck on getting your gear to AK however you choose

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