Partner bailed 6 days before our Zachar Kodiak goat hunt in Sept. I went solo. First time to Kodiak. Studied the map; called a bunch of people, selected Andrews Air Service for drop off (14 days). Place I first selected (by map) had hunters there and like a good drop off service, they didn't want to drop me on top of others. We talked about some other places to be dropped off. I already had my mind made up to get dropped in the salt and hike up.
Flew over the area; very cloudy; didn't see much, but did see some goats a long ways away (in my area). I got tons of time and equal determination. I agreed to be dropped off there.
Topo map showed no water source up there, but I always find water that's not on the maps. I didn't sweat it. Loaded with 2.5 liters, hiked up the mountain bushwacking through alder hell, raspberry hell and grass hell. Worse bushwacking I've ever done...ever. I got 700 feet in elevation (half way to the tundra) and ran out of water at 1600 hrs. Made the painful decision to climb back down through the conquered hell to the salmon stream full of fish and bears just to get water and regroup/rethink things.
Before critics chime in.... This decision was thought out. I didn't want to get to 1500 feet dehydrated, electrolyte depleated, tachycardic with no promise of water anywhere close and have to make the trip down the next day with cramping muscles and a 65 lb pack to my back. I made the demoralizing 700 foot descent back to the salt. I hydrated, slept with my bear fence around me, counted numerous bears with in 200 yards of my tent, and waited for a miracle....even considered calling Andrews Air for a new drop off point (expensive$$$$).
I awoke to rain. It looked socked in. I laid in my cat's meow looking at the top of my rainfly collecting water...drinkable water. I had at 10.5 X8.5 tarp that I purchased at Wiggy's from Marc on his recommendation. Thank you Marc, you may have saved my hunt.
I knew that if I could climb quickly through alder hell, and set up the tarp while it was still raining, I could survive and collect all the drinkable water I needed.
I did exactly that. Got up above alder level, set up the tarp before the tent, even in a misting rain, it collected water....lots of water. That's not why I took the tarp, but it worked perfectly.
It saved my hunt. I shot a 9.5 inch billy that evening and hiked out the next day...after drinking from my water reservoir (which was 12 inches deep with pure rain water. I had enough water to last me many days if I needed.
My recommendation to everyone is to pack a water tight tarp, light weight piece of plastic, or something like it. I will never go to the mountains without one, now. The hunt was great.