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Thread: SE Alasta camping

  1. #1

    Default SE Alasta camping

    I read with interest the thread from Border Justice regarding his option of camping during a hunt in Southeast Alaska. I’m glad he ended up getting a cabin, and wish him a good hunt.

    One of the things that stood out in the thread were the number of people who advised against camping; some from the standpoint of dissuading caution, others with a flat-out “fugget-abaat-it!”

    I hunt out of tent camps in Southeast all the time. Have for many (lemme count…27) years. I enjoy it very much, and my friends and I often choose it over more comfortable options. Camping puts us in remote territory where we don’t have to worry about tides or other boat-related complications; it gives us more time in the woods, with essentially front-door hunting opportunities; and most importantly, it’s fun. The camp life is great, and my buddies and I look forward to it every year.

    So I’d like to start a thread listing helpful suggestions for those of us who like this facet of hunting in Southeast. Let’s pool our collective experiences to come up with helpful ideas.

    I’ll start with a few basics – some of the things I consider most important for establishing a comfortable, multi-day base camp in Rain Country. Many of these suggestions were discussed in the previous thread; props to those who already mentioned them.

    1) Tarps. Minimum of 1 covering the entire tent, and another that can extend as an awning in front of the tent. Bring a large roll of halibut gangion or parachute cord to secure them.
    2) Large tent. Big enough to stand up in. Wall tents rule; WeatherPorts are even better. I have a Cabela’s “Guide Model” that ain’t bad, but the wall tent is better.
    3) A heat source. My favorite, considering convenience and heat potential is a portable kerosene heater, 20,000 BTU’s. No firewood to cut; burns all night; plenty of dry heat potential; can even cook on top of it. I’ve used wood stoves and portable propane heaters, but the ol’ Kerosun shines.

    Niceties, but not absolute essentials:

    a) A wooden platform. I have a modular platform of plywood and 2x6’s. Put the wall tent on it, and you have something that is closer to a cabin than a tent. Obviously not an option for most hunts, but trust me, if you can make it work it’s worth it. Paris Hilton would be comfortable in a well-appointed wall tent with a plywood floor.
    b) Folding cots an/or camp chairs. Again, staying off the deck is sweet.
    c) Roll-up tables. At least 1 of them. In a 4-man camp, 2 tables are best. Leave one outside and the other in the tent.

    Now add the usual camp stuff - cook stove; axe, lantern; grub box, etc – and you’ve got quite a load. But if you’re careful balancing essentials with niceties, you can fit 3 guys and your gear in a Beaver for the trip in.

    What else?

  2. #2
    Member Bear Buster's Avatar
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    Default

    Don't forget the beer...guns...and bullets..the Important stuff

  3. #3
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    Default What if you're on foot?

    I'm assuming you're using a wheeler / snowmachine / boat / plane to get where you are going? Cause you definitely won't be carrying all of that on your back. How about listing some of those types of things?

  4. #4
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Default

    I always take one or two Kelty Sun Shade's (work equally well as rain flies). These are free standing, handle winds pretty well, can be set up to provide a big footprint and low to the ground or smaller footprint and a 6'+ person can walk around under it without stooping. They're definitely too heavy for the backpacker around 9lbs. I believe.

  5. #5

    Default se ak camping

    I've done alot of tent camping while deer hunting in november on chichagof in se ak.
    We've always brought our children(12-17yrs) which adds a challenge, but also adds to the enjoyment. we have never felt threatened by the weather, and have experienced tremendous rain and wind storms as well as frigid cold (nov'06). These are not backpacking trips. Transportation is by fishing boat or beaver. It takes half a day for 3 guys to set up camp and cut up firewood. A wall tent with a stove is a must. we burn huge amounts of firewood, and bring in a chainsaw, splitting maul, and axes. Wet clothes are dried at night. Good cots are a huge bonus. We also bring in cut up pieces of plywood to build tables, etc. The only real disadvantage is you have to break down camp and have it ready for plane pickup at the rendezvous time. If bad weather prevents pickup, then you have to set up camp again in the dark, and then take it down again the next morning.

  6. #6
    Member Border Justice's Avatar
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    Talking Good Grief!

    Quote Originally Posted by kloshe View Post
    I've done alot of tent camping while deer hunting in november on chichagof in se ak.
    We've always brought our children(12-17yrs) which adds a challenge, but also adds to the enjoyment. we have never felt threatened by the weather, and have experienced tremendous rain and wind storms as well as frigid cold (nov'06). These are not backpacking trips. Transportation is by fishing boat or beaver. It takes half a day for 3 guys to set up camp and cut up firewood. A wall tent with a stove is a must. we burn huge amounts of firewood, and bring in a chainsaw, splitting maul, and axes. Wet clothes are dried at night. Good cots are a huge bonus. We also bring in cut up pieces of plywood to build tables, etc. The only real disadvantage is you have to break down camp and have it ready for plane pickup at the rendezvous time. If bad weather prevents pickup, then you have to set up camp again in the dark, and then take it down again the next morning.
    Good grief! And you have FUN doing all that. I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoy camping, but wow...I usally plan a camping trip to get away from work! Think I'll stick to ultra-lite.
    "America sleeps safely in her bed because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do her harm."

    G.Orwell

  7. #7
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Its all about a tarp and a good rainfly, tarp to sit under, cook under, etc rainfly to sleep under. I wouldn't think twice about camping in SEAK people who do are just wusses
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  8. #8
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    Default Tent

    I never take the tent down until I see the plane land. A wall tent with a fly and stove can come down in a hurry. I have been with other hunters that always want to break camp the day you are suppose to leave and you never know what the weather is like in town. I guess with the sat. phones now you dont have to worry about that.

  9. #9
    Member Skookumchuck's Avatar
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    Nothing like day four of waiting out the rainstorm for the plane to show up.....when you start hearing "ghost planes" and slowly begin going nuts.

    That's when you really get to know your buddies

    I'll be living in a wall tent all summer and fall on Admiralty. No worries.

  10. #10

    Default

    Like you, SkookumChuck, I've also spent several months at a time living in wall tents in SE. I think there are 2 things that make a world of difference for an extended stay in a tent: 1) Being able to stand up in it, and 2) Having a plywood floor.

    For extended stays, I used to build shelves, tables, coat racks, etc. Very comfortable.

    The only time I felt compromised by a wall tent was on the beaches of the Gulf Coast when the September storms would come roaring in. The tent would pound like a drum, and airborne sand would coat everything inside the tent with 1/8 inch of grit.

  11. #11
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default SE camping is work in a sense

    These guys posting about camping with family and traveling in this country have made SE their home. That means they really choose to participate in living here. That includeds swinging an axe, hauling wood, and creating comforts in camp.

    There are a few forest service cabins but for the most part a man needs to have the skills, patience, and fortitude to build a camp for his friends and family. With those skills the Tongass is his for enjoyment and substance.

    Another contentious issue is the building of "outlaw cabins" in SE AK. Many unspoken locations harbor these ingenious structures for the safe landing of many a mariner.

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