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.