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Thread: Gear for a float trip

  1. #1
    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Default Gear for a float trip

    Never did a float trip, hunting that is. What type of gear would you seasoned float hunters reccomend?

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default the list

    Man ,, I have mine, but i am really going to suggest that you take part in Strahans class this year at the sports show, and also try a couple of books that are Alaska river trip stuff.
    here is a partial list, I call it that, because i may leave some items out and take others depending on the length of my trip, how remote, and time of year, and if I am fishing, hunting or just camping..
    Tent, 4 season type, as wind and sidways rain can ,,,well you know..
    Tarp or foot print for the tent, saves your tents floor and extends its life considerably.
    Extra tarps, I usually bring along about 3 extra from 8x10 to 12x16
    synthetic sleeping bag good for planned temps. I myself don't bring along a down sleeping bag on float trips.
    thermarest pad.
    gas stoves, 2 each small single burners with enough fuel for 4 days beyond my planned trip.
    Cooking utinsels, I bring along one big pot like a 3 gallon size that I use for lots of stuff. I bring water from the river in the pot, and let it sit for a while before I filter my drinking water. its easier this way to filter sitting in camp, and will add dozens of gallons of service life to your filter. I never filter water while standing in a river or lake anymore. If you ever have a filter get glogged off and your backup gets clogged too, its just a pain.
    so remember a good water filter with a extra replacement filter.
    Food is something that is personel taste, so plan your meals and menus so you at least get about 1.5 lbs of food per day per person. at a minimum, also plan on 4 days extra, for the extra days I put in stuff like top ramen noodles, and dehydrated meals, etc. this way I don't add alot of weight, or perishables. so if you don't use it, you don't loose it.
    bring along scour pads and earth friendly soaps to do the dishes.
    insect repellant and head nets
    maps and map case,
    sunglasses
    UV protectant skin blocker
    Nylon rope, 100 ft min
    Camp axe or hatchet
    leatherman tool, and also the tools needed to put togather and repair your rowing frame,
    Raftin patch kit, with quick fix bandaid made for your inflatable
    trowel for bathroom duties
    Matches in water proof container.
    First aid kit, make sure it is good enough for truly remote use. Someone may depend on what is in the kit and the amount in the kit if the injured person cannot be removed from the remote site within hours.
    Ace bandages, compression pads, triangular bandages, antiseptic, aspirin and or other pain meds. Eye wash solution, Adhesive tape, and always have a few bandana's handy.
    Safety pins, and Needle and thread.
    Good flashlights with extra batteries,, may not need around june 21st. lol
    Camera with either plenty of film, or plenty of memory..
    a good water proof case to carry your camera in.
    Toilet paper, and baby wipes. once you start using the baby wipes, you won't go back to plan old toliet paper again when in the field.
    Fishing gear,, even if you don't normally fish, bring a small collapsing rod and reel and some tackle, as fish can make those extra days you may spend waiting out the weather for your plane to arrive a little more tasty,,
    Hand saw, I use a small gerber saw that I can use on alders and smaller stuff.
    Bring several extra garbage bags, and I also pak several gallon zip lock and quart size for putting stuff in after I have opened a package of something else...
    water proof bags, for all your gear that is water sensitive. I prefer the smaller long ones that are either clear, or have the window on the side, most airplane pilots would rather have several small long ones than those giant big bulky ones, like a big duffle..
    Compression bags for your sleeping bags,, get good ones the best you can afford,, I have busted up more compression bag plastic thingy's than you can imagine. I want to get just a little more out of the strap, and pow,, I bust the cheap plastic thing, and you have this lopsided thing going on the rest of the trip,,,
    It could just be me, but I am always trying to get my sleeping bag the size of a grapefruit when I put it up for the day....
    I wish someone would make the Texan sleeping bag that I dream of. It rolls out and fluffs to about 7 ft tall and 40 inches accross.. but Like a Texan, once you get all the hot air out of it, you can carry in your front shirt pocket...
    Now bring a good hat to sheild the sun and the rain, and a balaclava for colder conditions. like a late september moose hunt.
    Boots,,,wading shoes , and I wear now days breathable chest waders, get a good quality as you will be in them every day all day in and out, doing a little hiking , but don't think you will be comfortable in these if you start to work a little.. you will be just too hot.. so have your hiking hunting boots ready so you can shuck off the waders and head into the field without a lot of fuss,
    camp shoes are good... something comfortable around the camp..
    socks need to be changed out regularly so keep your feet from getting sore. I use good quality merino wool, with sometime depending on temps, a polar fleece sock.
    I wear a light synthetic underwear during the fall hunts, with polar fleece pants over those, and then my breathable waders, when I shuck my waders, I put on goretex pants or a synthetic or wool huntin pant.
    tops I wear a light synthetic underwear and then layers of wool shirts or polar fleece on top, usually I can withstand temps into the 20s with a wool shirt, a mediumheavy polar fleece zip up shirt ontop of that and then my rain gear top, either goretex or impertec top. this gives me layers that can easily be removed to several comfort levels in just a few moments.
    Gloves, I wear neoprene gloves when on the oars and its a little cold, or I use a pair of good wool gloves, I also bring along a pair of leather gloves.
    As you noticed I did not even suggest bring one single piece of COTTON or DOWN on a float trip.. I think these items are useless when they get wet, and plan on getting wet. Why bring along something that you have to tend to and keep from water or it looses its ability to protect. Cotton is a sponge and will drive heat out of you really fast. if you wear cotton and you get wet, and you sit in a raft in 50 degree temps,you are going to get cold... don't bring it along,, their are so many better products to take up space than Down Or cotton on a float trip.
    you will need a good pack for hauling meat back to your boat,so get one designed for that purpose,
    A day pack is a good idea for explore trips or going after game, you can keep your camera in the pack, your knives for dressing game, and some layers of clothes as you take off and put on thru the day.
    also put your water bottle in here, and some snacks like candy and jerky and your wet wipes or toliet paper. stuff you want to just grab and go if needed, keep this bag near you as you float, tie it down, or use the buckles on the pack by hooking it to the ropes that are keeping the gear in place on the raft.
    you will need a good set of binoculars that are of the best quality you can afford, and they need to be very water repellant, or water proof.
    condensation is a problem so get the ones that will keep that problem out of the mix.
    Your gun and case ,,, you will need to have a hard case if flying commercial airlines, but once you are in the float plane or wheel bush plane, you can carry the gun in a synthetic soft case.
    well,, someone else add or subract some of these things I suggested,, and maybe I will learn a thing or two..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  3. #3

    Default Great List

    Wonderful Info, I am always comparing list and I can say our list is almost identical.

  4. #4

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    We pack anything that will fit into those white 5-gallon buckets with waterproof lids. Piece of duct tape on the outside with the contents written in wp ink. Handy for controlling food scents in bear country, too. Great seats in camp, and the handles make great loops for tiedowns in the raft. You gotta put a lot of weight in one before it will think about sinking, so it's also a handy way to keep everything afloat if you dump your load.

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Talking Buckets.. cool

    I have actually seen a previous post where you suggested the buckets Brown Bear, and I will ,, and I mean I will use them this season.. great Idea.
    Other Items I forgot.
    Duck tape
    Wyoming Saw
    gun oil
    GPS for sure
    Satelite Phone for sure. I don't go anymore on remote trips without a phone now. They are cheap, $100 bucks a week and they give you a few minutes with the plan. I use Mine to let my pilot know if I will be early or late or right on time, also I have given weather reports to my pilot about what is going on at our pickup location, wind direction, and estimated wind speed, Cloud ceiling etc. before you call your pilot, have that information ready for him. If you have no flying experience or training, take a course on learning what VFR and IFR conditions are, so you don't have your pilot coming to pick you up and having to turn back because the ceiling is so low he could run into nearby hills etc. Working in concert with your pilot is good for safety sake.
    Before you take off, have your pilot give you GPS cords for drop off and pickups, enter them into your GPS and have a backup plan if you need to change the pickup point. I have done this before. I had an trip where the pilot could not leave his locations due to IFR conditions, Where I was was VFR, After it was deemed a no fly day for him, and the next day looked about the same, we decided that we would continue on down river to a different pickup point and try that if he could get out the next day. This was nice because we were able to continue to fish and hunt and continue to move. Communication is not only a good thing to do with your wife, it works well with your pilot to,,,,,lol
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  6. #6
    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Default

    AK Canoe/Wilson/B. Bear~ what a wealth of knowledge!! I knew you guys were good for something! I have plenty of rafting/camping excursions, just never added the hunting equation into the mix. The plan is to utlize two boats, a 16' self-bailer and a 16' Cat. Can't load the Cat too much, but the raft will be the H2O packhorse. I will take your info & put it to good use...planning on a pre-trip float to find suitable camp locations and to sort out logistical problems prior to the "adventure." Again, thanks for the info... MT Native

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default The shortest way around the barn-

    Quote Originally Posted by Montana Native View Post
    AK Canoe/Wilson/B. Bear~ what a wealth of knowledge!! I knew you guys were good for something! I have plenty of rafting/camping excursions, just never added the hunting equation into the mix. The plan is to utlize two boats, a 16' self-bailer and a 16' Cat. Can't load the Cat too much, but the raft will be the H2O packhorse. I will take your info & put it to good use...planning on a pre-trip float to find suitable camp locations and to sort out logistical problems prior to the "adventure." Again, thanks for the info... MT Native
    Montana,

    Max's list is excellent. This is not surprising, as he's been at this game a long time. He's one of the best resources you'll find here.

    What you will discover is that we all have lists we work from. You will develop your own as well. One concept is to develop a core list that you use on all hunts, and then a list of supplemental items you add in depending on the situation. Clearly a float hunt requires some of the same gear as a drop hunt, but there are also significant differences as well.

    I have written a book that's due out this spring, entitled, "Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers" and you can ORDER IT AT THIS LINK. Normally I would not post a brazen ad for something I'm involved with on this website, but truly I believe you will find much of what you seek in this book. Just the appendices alone include around 30 pages of gear lists, menus, food lists, forms, diagrams and resource material for planning and executing your own float hunt. The fact is that this book contains nearly all the information you need to plan your float hunt. I say "nearly all", because I deliberately chose to not include details like game counts, hunting pressure and other data of a perishable nature. It's your job to do fresh research in these areas with each hunt you plan, and this book shows you how to do that to the tee. This book has taken a LONG time to put together (way longer than I expected), but it will arrive in plenty of time for you to use in planning your fall '07 hunt. To those who have already placed advance orders, I apologize for the delay; we intended to have it out in late summer '06 but had yet another unanticipated setback. It will be here this spring.

    At any rate, if you need more gear lists now, please search the archives on this website. There is already a wealth of information on this topic that has already been written and is there waiting for you. Not trying to be rude, I just don't have enough time to write it all again.

    Hope this helps!

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  8. #8
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    Default Good Gear Advise

    Thanks, guys, for all the info. It's good to have updated info. Archives are good for basic stuff, but technology changes so fast, it's nice to see what other people wear, menu ideas, etc. We printed the list! I'm sure we'll tweak it for us, but it's a great starting point!

  9. #9

    Default

    WOW! two 16' boats, just curious if you have looked at transport costs for those two monsters?

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