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Thread: Tips, Tricks, and & Skips? - Alaska DIY 2 Weeks Moose Hunt

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    Default Tips, Tricks, and & Skips? - Alaska DIY 2 Weeks Moose Hunt

    A buddy and I are heading out of Bethel with Papa Bear Adventures this fall for moose and though we have experience with one prior hunt (w/ Sportsman's Air), I'd like to be a little more prepared this time. I certainly learned a lot during the first go at it in 2011, there has been advances in gear since, as well as other items. Our main focus is on food, as SA provided all the food, and PB does not. We know that Mountain House types of dinners will be essential, but what else do you guys bring to conserve on weight? Breakfast? Lunch?

    We are also going to bring our own tent (8 man Kifaru Tipi w/ Stove) and was wondering if anyone had any tips or tricks on this. I use a Seek Outside BCS 2 Grande while hunting here in Colorado, so I'm not a rookie, but Alaska is a different animal altogether.

    Lastly, Any gear recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!,

    Danny Stotler

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    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Mountain house makes breakfasts also but I really like an oatmeal mix that I took. 1/2 cup oatmeal, 2 tbs powdered milk, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 tbs shelled sunflower seeds, 1 tbs brown sugar. Any ratio of this but I took enough for two guys breakfast. Boil water, dump in, cover for a few minutes, stir and eat. Pretty good easy breakfast. Lunch we were usually away from camp so had granola bars, jerky, candy bars, nuts etc. We used MRE's but Mountain house are alot better for dinner. We had some fresh meat luckily but we took some dried potatoes and vacuum sealed bags of tuna fish. Ramen noodles and cheese and bread/butter for grilled cheese. We took white gas single burner stove and single mantle lantern. I am sure the jet boil types are faster and easier but that was recommended then. We did take two 5 gallon pails to put gear in and made a good seat around camp.

    I do wonder why you are taking an eight man tent? Isn't there any weight restriction? How many days you going to be out? We were out 10 days and took a 3 man tent. Tight but light. Did take a tarp on the second trip and made a rain fly over the tent door. Nice sitting there when it rained cats and dogs!!

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    Member brule's Avatar
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    When it comes to meal planning, what works for me is to test the foods you think you're going to bring. Our bodies get accustomed to our eating habits, we go on a two week hunt and feed it something new and expect it to perform. Try out different breakfasts well in advance and find out which items provide you the needed energy and how long that energy lasts. It's also a good way to figure out what foods are tolerable for multiple days in a row.
    "One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted"
    Jose Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Hunting.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Smoked salmon, bagels w/ cream cheese, hard salami, soy protein powder, multivitamins, shots of olive oil to keep everything running smoothly....☺
    Go easy on the sugars and starches, fat and protein will keep you going longer.....I'd give you my secret trail mix recipe but then ....you know.....
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    The 8 man tipi and stove will be worth its weight in gold when your wet and need to dry out, and is what I use as basecamp shelter. Don't forget to bring a big tarp for your meat cache or emergency shelter. For foods yea ill eat mountain houses but they get old after awhile, you can go to your local grocery store and fill up on rice and bean mixes, dried soups and even top ramen tuna and olive oil makes an easy cheap meal. Breakfasts are easy starbucks via packs, carnation chocolate mix and granola or oatmeal. Don't over think it but id bring a few days extra worth of food in case of being weathered in, I ration mountain houses for those days cause they are light.

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    I do wonder why you are taking an eight man tent? Isn't there any weight restriction? How many days you going to be out? We were out 10 days and took a 3 man tent. Tight but light. Did take a tarp on the second trip and made a rain fly over the tent door. Nice sitting there when it rained cats and dogs!![/QUOTE]
    Kifaru 8 man tipi weighs 7lbs 9oz. A hillaberg nallo 3 with vestibule weighs 6lbs 13oz.(just picked a random good quality 3man tent) Personally I'd love all that extra room and only sacrificing mear ounces in shelter weight differences. Plus the ability to ad heat is priceless. My .02
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Good advice. I use the Hormel heater meals for suppers. I can fit 2 of them in my coffee pot. Boil, peel & eat. Probably a small step up from Mt. House. I've recently seen that they offer a couple of breakfast meals, but haven't tried them yet. If its going to be 2 of you flying in a beaver, you could get away with some almost insane weight on food. Canned anything would probably not stretch the weight limit too much.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    If your going in on floats take a fishing rod. Can't think how many times some
    Simple gear could have fed us the whole trip. Some simple seasoning will help as well. Ptarmigan with a little pellet gun or something are good too.
    Do you have a weight limit, as posted before you could kill yourself on food if it's two of you in a beaver!
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    Breathable chest waders will be your friend. That kifaru with the stove will be awesome for drying out and staying warm. Lightweight cots would be a nice touch. That beaver will hold a pile of stuff. I imagine you are getting a raft and motor? If you have room for real food, take it.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Some guys obsess over food. I do not. On a weight restricted hunt I need calories in a reasonably palatable form.

    I'm content with freeze dried dinners but for my tastes the MH breakfasts are horrible. I prefer instant oatmeal with added raisins ('cause I like raisins). 2 packs plus half a mini box of extra raisins per day.

    Lunch is always on the go and mostly cheese, jerky, gorp (more raisins) and snack-pack crackers. I also stop to eat several handfuls of berries throughout the day when available.

    Dinner is freeze dried augmented by the occasional bird or fish. I don't plan on grouse or grayling but make a meal when I can.
    I also really like the freeze dried soup mixes by Bear Creek. Lightweight, filling and tasty.

    I bring butter to ensure I get fat for energy. I don't eat this much at home but on a hunt I eat a 1/4 stick a day--usually added to my dinner.

    On float trips where I can swing a few luxuries I bring vac sealed pouches of home cooked stew or chili. I also bring packets of seasonings for roasting tenderloins over the fire.

    As to the tent? I rather a smaller tent combined with a large rain fly or tarp (12x20) to provide a dry space for the tent and gear--of course this presumes there will be trees from which to string said fly.

    A moose hunt will involve getting wet whether in and out of a raft or in the rain at a fixed camp on a lake. And given their propensity for expiring in the water I second the vote for stocking foot breathable waders (but with a hiking shoe vs wading shoe)

    Bring a bow saw and spend day one making fire wood since you can't hunt and you're going to be making a racket anyway getting camp set up
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member nooksack's Avatar
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    An inexpensive food dehydrator, and a menu of home cooked meals you like is simple and light. Dehydrating reduces meals to 25% of hydrated weight. The taste is excellent. You can dehydrate soups, chili, spaghetti, etc etc. If you use potatoes in any of your meals cut them small as they take the longest to soften back up.

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    thanks for the reply's so far. very good recommendations. To answer a couple questions. The 8 man tent is really not huge or heavy compared to the Alaskan outfitter tents provided but the stove option, as well as the option to stand up in the tent is a great plus. We will certainly bring extra tarps for sitting (as well as using to get out of the rain if needed in the field and game preservation).

    Our weight limit is 100lbs per person including food.

    I was told that Bethel, though expensive, has a grocery store to buy any sort of perishables (bread, ect) so we can take a quick trip to buy some last minute food items as well as those sent up.

    We are not sure what type of hunt (swamp or ridge top) we will be having, but I'm assuming swamp. We will both bring breathable waders and honestly never got out of them during our first hunt out of Galena off the Hogatza River.

    Lastly, this is what is provided by Papa Bear: Boat/raft, Tent (though were bringing our own), Stove, Kitchen Kit, Chairs & Cots

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    Sounds like a great problem to have, what pack for a hunt like this. I'm probably one of those that obsess about food. For lunches we do the dried snacks like markopolo50 mentions. We pre-bag them in gallon freezer bags, so all you have to worry about in the morning is grabbing a lunch bag. Breakfasts usually instant oatmeal but sometimes will cook up something more substantial. I really like to supplement with trout or grayling, and have found that a little salsa and some flour tortillas can make anything taste a lot better, and make for awesome fish tacos. My camp kitchen has been for float trips, so take from it what can work for you on your fly-in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by standswittaknife View Post
    thanks for the reply's so far. very good recommendations. To answer a couple questions. The 8 man tent is really not huge or heavy compared to the Alaskan outfitter tents provided but the stove option, as well as the option to stand up in the tent is a great plus. We will certainly bring extra tarps for sitting (as well as using to get out of the rain if needed in the field and game preservation).

    Our weight limit is 100lbs per person including food.

    I was told that Bethel, though expensive, has a grocery store to buy any sort of perishables (bread, ect) so we can take a quick trip to buy some last minute food items as well as those sent up.

    We are not sure what type of hunt (swamp or ridge top) we will be having, but I'm assuming swamp. We will both bring breathable waders and honestly never got out of them during our first hunt out of Galena off the Hogatza River.

    Lastly, this is what is provided by Papa Bear: Boat/raft, Tent (though were bringing our own), Stove, Kitchen Kit, Chairs & Cots
    Well sounds like you have a good plan and I didn't realize how light your tent is. Very nice and you are right, being able to stand up is a huge plus inside a tent. What kind of breathable waders do you use? Hope you have a great hunt.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    You might think about bringing along a couple of Roll-a-Cots for that tipi. I did a trip out there with the tipi and we had a tough time finding a flat spot to set it up. Most of the areas they hunt out there are really hummocky and it's hard to find a flat piece of ground to lay on. The cot gets you up off that. Of course you'll still need a sleeping pad; your body flattens out the fill on the bag and you'll freeze without a pad.

    Weigh everything and stick within the weight limits! Steve will have you weigh all your stuff when you get there too. No wiggle room on this!

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    I have 2 simple suggestions for the tipi. Make drying racks out of aluminum rods (see photo). I put 3, could use 4, rods up high for coats, boots, etc., and 3 rods down low above the stove for drying socks, gloves, hats, etc. Bend one end of the rod 90 degrees so you can affix it to the pole with 2 hose clamps per cluster of rods. I probably used 1/4" rod - can't remember.

    I really like these camp chairs for inside the tipi and around camp: https://www.campmor.com/c/camp-time-...FYqPfgodbIUIIw I use a 8 man Ti Goat tipi and it's soooo nice to be able to sit by the stove in a chair and eat your food, sit around and B.S., etc.

    Aluminum rod for drying rack.jpgDrying rack.jpg

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Fill your pockets and wear your heaviest clothes
    On the flight in!! Lol
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    Love the rack idea!

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    Hi Danny,

    Couple things I've learned from doing those trips for years. Figure your meals and food closely by the day. Take enough to get through and enough for one extra day. Lots of extra food is a luxury but a waste of weight. Kill a ptarmigan or grouse....maybe something bigger. I know a number of guys who want to eat like kings when they hunt, but prefer to go in spare and eat within my budgeted food. Be aware that perishable items can be attractive to small pests and your lunchmeat, cheese, bread etc can be gnawed to ruination by mice, voles or pikas. You don't want them in your tipi because the next thing targeted will be your wool socks or maybe a sleeping bag.

    The rod/drying rack is a great idea. I did mine by using carbon arrow shafting. I drilled holes through my center pole (top 1/3) and then used sections of arrow shaft inserted all the way through the pole. One shaft piece = 2 rods. Top rods are shortest and they get longer going down the pole due to the tipi's spread. This works superbly in my Kifaru 8-Man and using only 3 shafts I can have 6 rods protruding for hanging and drying stuff. Also, I bring a 25' (minimum) section of light paracord and 20 plastic clothes pins to rig up outside for a clothesline.

    Ever since going to a tipi I've been using the same LuxuryLite Cot. I'm to the point I'd probably rather have the cot than a wood stove. Seriously. I sleep elevated and comfortable for just a few pounds. Bag and pad never touch dirt. I also prefer a Helinox chair which is the most compact and comfortable unit I've ever found. A very useful thing in camp is a 5 gallon plastic bucket. You can load it tightly with food going in. Store food in it in camp. It has at least a dozen possible uses, including something to sit on in the tipi. Stuff it full of gear or trash when you fly out. Hard to beat.

    For water we use a Basecamp type gravity bag filter and we bring 2 of the 2.5 gallon collapsible jugs to receive filtered water. Try to calculate your stove fuel needs carefully. Fuel is heavy and lots of extra is just wasted weight. Bring enough fuel to do all your cooking, plus a few bucket-baths and shaves.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Shaves???? Lol
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