2022 drop hunt gear review/trip planning help

ddavis_1313

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Oct 25, 2012
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My wife and I are headed to Alaska this September to chase caribou and doing a drop hunt with ram air sep 9-15 or 17. This will be our first trip to Alaska and we are stoked. I’ve been acquiring gear over the last 4-5 years and either upgrading or adding to the list. I’m hoping to have some of you more experienced guys look over what I have so far and help me fill holes where it’s needed as we as help track down or offer advice on certain gear as well as lend a hand on handling logistics. I’d really appreciate all the help I can get. Here is the gear list so far.

Clothing:
FL wool base tops and bottoms
FL wool boxer briefs
Darn tough socks
Sitka mountain pants (looking to change bc not a fan of fit and upgrade her from Sitka accent)
Sitka medium weight top.
Sitka travers
Sitka kelvin lite puffy
Jetstream jacket (she needs a jacket)
Sitka cloudburst rain gear ( she needs rain gear)
Sitka jetstream beanie
Crispi birksdal boots/her kenetrek
Muck boots/her lacrosse alpha burly
OR gaiters / her needs gaiters
Small sewing kit

Packs:
Kifaru fulcrum/ her Kifaru muskeg 5000
Gun bearer for me and hers has a pocket built in.
(Looking for waterproof duffle for travel)
Carbon trekking poles

Camp:
Hilleberg nammatj GT
Big Agnes UL fly creek 2 (may not take as secondary shelter)
Neo air xlite/her xtherm (may grab another xtherm)
20 degree slick/her Coleman 0 degree (may upgrade the heavy Coleman to another 0 degree and leave the Coleman home)
Both of us have inflatable pillows
Helinox chairs
Ultra lite folding/canvas table
Msr duo stove
Msr ceramic skillet
Titanium sporks
Ursack large for food (may add another one if this doesn’t hold enough)
Tyvek for just in case
2 black diamond head lamps with extra batteries
Polarized sun glasses
Tin foil
Electrical tape
Gorilla tape?
Contractor trash bags (2-3)

Food:
mountain house for main meals
Undecided for snacks
Hopefully fresh fish mixed in
Katadyn hiker pro and aqua tabs

optics/camera/gun
12x50 razor HD/ her 10x42 both AGC harness
16x48x56mm razor hd spotter
Leupold 1200 range finder
Carbon tripod (can’t remember brand)
Sony A73 digital cam with 20-105 mm lens extra batteries
Her GAP 7mmWSM/ me undecided bow/gun
Xdm elite 10mm side arm (needing a chest harness)
Anker 26800 charger (x2)

Kill kit:
Tag bags
Tyto with blades
LT wright large and small northern hunter
Sharpener (need one)
Nitril gloves
Paracord
Tyvek

First aid/survival:
standard first aid with gauze bandages bandaids suture, fire starter, multi tool, etc

Toiletry:
Tooth brush
Tooth paste
TP
Wet wipes
Paper towels

Fishing:
$20 academy telescopic 4’ spinning rig with lures.


As of now I think I’m close to having a complete gear list. Considering adding puffy pants, some sort of waders for crossing stream if that’s the case, crock camp shoes, booties to keep my feet warm with glassing bc my feet get cold easily in the crispis, pad for sitting and glassing, kestrel or wind gauge, gps, sat phone and bear fence (plan to rent phone and fence but no idea how), none saw, hatchet, and a way to keep the action clean on the gun. I’m sure there are a few other things but that’s all I can think of.

Would anyone suggest two full changes of clothes or one should suffice?

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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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You need an inReach or sat phone.

Also, I would add an Israeli combat tourniquet to your medical kit. And know how to use it.

Bear fence from UDAP. Work great.

I will have 2 tourniquets with me. Not sure if they are the same as mentioned but I’m very confident on how to use one. Use to be a registered nurse. They are in the first aide kit


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AKBorn

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Tennessee
My post is not meant to be critical - rather, to give some assurance regarding the strength of your current gear list...

I've done 12-15 remote flyout moose/caribou hunts in Alaska over the past 2 decades. I don't own any name brand clothing such as you have listed; generic wool/synthetic blends have always seemed to work just fine. Most of the repeat resident flyout hunters that I run into don't run any name brand clothing either, as far as I can tell.

I like to wear one set of clothes for the flight into and out of the field, and bring 2 sets of pants/shirts/long underwear that are worn for all of the hunting days (which has ranged from 5 days to 12 days). The flying clothes are only worn on the flying days in most cases. That's how I do it, might be worth considering if you have the weight to spare (gear weight you can bring will vary widely across the different transporters and areas of Alaska, as well as across the different types of planes they use). I alternate the hunting pants/shirt/underwear so they are worn every other day, and this has seemed to keep them from getting too smelly by the end of the hunt.

As for feet getting cold - hunting caribou isn't like hunting elk, mulies, or whitetails. If you are glassing and your feet get chilly, hop up and walk around a bit to get the circulation going, then resume glassing after you're warm. I do carry a set of light boot covers like you mention, but I leavbe them in camp unless the day starts out really cold.

Good luck and have a great time, caribou are a wild and awesome creature in the Alaskan winderness.
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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Messages
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My post is not meant to be critical - rather, to give some assurance regarding the strength of your current gear list...

I've done 12-15 remote flyout moose/caribou hunts in Alaska over the past 2 decades. I don't own any name brand clothing such as you have listed; generic wool/synthetic blends have always seemed to work just fine. Most of the repeat resident flyout hunters that I run into don't run any name brand clothing either, as far as I can tell.

I like to wear one set of clothes for the flight into and out of the field, and bring 2 sets of pants/shirts/long underwear that are worn for all of the hunting days (which has ranged from 5 days to 12 days). The flying clothes are only worn on the flying days in most cases. That's how I do it, might be worth considering if you have the weight to spare (gear weight you can bring will vary widely across the different transporters and areas of Alaska, as well as across the different types of planes they use). I alternate the hunting pants/shirt/underwear so they are worn every other day, and this has seemed to keep them from getting too smelly by the end of the hunt.

As for feet getting cold - hunting caribou isn't like hunting elk, mulies, or whitetails. If you are glassing and your feet get chilly, hop up and walk around a bit to get the circulation going, then resume glassing after you're warm. I do carry a set of light boot covers like you mention, but I leavbe them in camp unless the day starts out really cold.

Good luck and have a great time, caribou are a wild and awesome creature in the Alaskan winderness.

Thank you for the post and comments. I don’t take it critical. I’d wear solid colors and be fine hunting caribou but the clothing I have is from putting pieces together over the last several years while chasing elk in the Colorado mountains. Luckily, I’ve been able to get almost all of it on huge discount or bought used. I will plan on having a couple sets of clothing. I typically do that when hunting elk but it’s archery and typically much warmer than the tundra so I will need to add another pair of cold weather pants. My wife doesn’t have any cold weather pants so I’ll have to get her situated for sure. Plan is to do like you said and alternate clothing every day like we do elk hunting. Nice part of the new hilleberg is having a clothes line bout into the tent. Should do well if the tent is left vented open all day


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bmrfish

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Aug 15, 2015
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Light weight backpacking cots
Paperback books
GPS
Small siltarp to glass from under when it rains
You have a lot of weight - I would weed a few things out (2nd shelter, spotter, pistols, table, 3rd pair of pants, 2nd pair of boots)

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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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Light weight backpacking cots
Paperback books
GPS
Small siltarp to glass from under when it rains
You have a lot of weight - I would weed a few things out (2nd shelter, spotter, pistols, table, 3rd pair of pants, 2nd pair of boots)

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Second shelter is 1.9 pounds and will most likely be left. Table is less than 1 pound and is nice to use when sitting and eating. Pistol is staying on me at all times. Buddy had to shoot a grizz up there this year in camp and they were run off a caribou kill by a sow and 2 cubs. Will stick with 2 pairs of pants and with plantar fasciitis, I have to keep a second pair of boots or I’d limit it to one.


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mooster

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Dec 2, 2018
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Didn’t notice if you are bringing a shovel but I use a light aluminum wedge type hiking trowel for cat hole. Ez to cut and lift tundra. In fact use a small machete for latrine use when moose hunting. Great for clearing camp, kill site, and then for cat holes.

For Caribou we enjoy a lite weight packabje ti stove in our tipi. We burn brush to dry gear and get warmed up in evening. Really knocks the edge off on cold mornings too.

Might add wet wipes for multiple purposes including knocking the smell down every few days. Not sure how long you’ll be out.

Hiking in tundra especially with heavy packs our hiking poles were important. My buddy lost the feet off his poles quick, and was miserable for the rest of our trip. So maybe reinforce the feet with duck tape if you note slippage.
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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Didn’t notice if you are bringing a shovel but I use a light aluminum wedge type hiking trowel for cat hole. Ez to cut and lift tundra. In fact use a small machete for latrine use when moose hunting. Great for clearing camp, kill site, and then for cat holes.

For Caribou we enjoy a lite weight packabje ti stove in our tipi. We burn brush to dry gear and get warmed up in evening. Really knocks the edge off on cold mornings too.

Might add wet wipes for multiple purposes including knocking the smell down every few days. Not sure how long you’ll be out.

Hiking in tundra especially with heavy packs our hiking poles were important. My buddy lost the feet off his poles quick, and was miserable for the rest of our trip. So maybe reinforce the feet with duck tape if you note slippage.

I do need to add a shovel of some sort. Debating a hatchet as well or maybe a quality shovel hatchet combo. Wet wipes will be for sure be added. And I was planning on duck taping the wide feet to the trekking poles. I’ve already read about poles sinking and feet staying buried in the mud. Lol


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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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You need an inReach or sat phone.

Also, I would add an Israeli combat tourniquet to your medical kit. And know how to use it.

Bear fence from UDAP. Work great.

Checked the tourniquet and they are both the one you mentioned.


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cnelk

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Mar 1, 2012
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Location
Colorado
Ive been to Alaska 3 times on drop camps - 2 moose/ 1 caribou

Here are a couple short vid of the clothes & gear I brought last Sept moose hunt.
Should give you an idea what worked well - YMMV a bit







 

diamond10x

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Apr 9, 2018
Messages
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Location
Alaska
-drop the muck boots for crocs or similar add gaitors
-2 to 3 tarps between you, 2 for camp/meat 1 for glassing or breaking down caribou in rain
-drop the toilet paper and just go with wet wipes, can dehydrate and rehydrate easily
-trowel instead of shovel
-backpacking chair instead of sitting pad, can be used in camp and to glass
-can either of you eat a mountain house everyday and be okay?
-I’d add a single fixed blade knife between the two of you
-I would take one pair of clothes and an extra pair of base layers


How many lbs are each of you allowed?

I can PM you a gear list for AK that I’ve put together and use for everything just add or remove some things depending what I’m doing
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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Tarps. You need some tarps. The Tyvek isnt enough

Just ordered two siltarps. 3x5 and 8x10. That had slipped my mind. They tyvek I was taking isn’t big enough for rain. One mainly to use for cleaning and the other as a spare that always seems to get used for something


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Voyageur

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Others have given you some solid advice so far.
I would get something similar to the Matty foam mat sold by Seek Outside. You can leave it as is or you can cut it up into smaller pieces to use as sitting pads and such. It is 1/8" closed cell foam I believe.
My hunts are weight restricted between 50-65 lbs depending on the air service used. Because of that I've always only brought one set of clothes. The exception being I bring an extra pair of socks.
Sat phones can be rented from Surveyor's Exchange. It is a hassle free process.
I know many on here will disagree, but an alternative to a sat phone is the Garmin InReach. I have used the InReach instead of a sat phone the past two years on my moose hunts and been very happy with it.
If weight is an issue I would ditch the spotter. For me a caribou is either big enough to shoot or it isn't, I don't base that decision on details such as points, double shovel, etc. Also, if it is far enough away that I need a spotter to make that decision, it is much further than I care to pack the meat.
@AKBorn makes a great point in reminding you to not overcomplicate the gear selection process. Cover your bases with good shelter, food/water, weapons, meat care, and you are good to go.
Just my opinions and worth exactly what I'm charging you for them. Have a great hunt!
Hope this helps.
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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-drop the muck boots for crocs or similar add gaitors
-2 to 3 tarps between you, 2 for camp/meat 1 for glassing or breaking down caribou in rain
-drop the toilet paper and just go with wet wipes, can dehydrate and rehydrate easily
-trowel instead of shovel
-backpacking chair instead of sitting pad, can be used in camp and to glass
-can either of you eat a mountain house everyday and be okay?
-I’d add a single fixed blade knife between the two of you
-I would take one pair of clothes and an extra pair of base layers


How many lbs are each of you allowed?

I can PM you a gear list for AK that I’ve put together and use for everything just add or remove some things depending what I’m doing

I’d appreciate the list if you can send it over. Just ordered a 3x5 siltarp and a 8x10 with stakes and guy wires that weighs in at 20 oz. 3.5 is super light. We have a helinox chair each that we are taking so the pad would be extra and can be easily removed. As far as mountain house, we both have a few flavors of breakfast and dinner that we enjoy. May try a different brand to see if there is any other options to add but her and I both have the same mind set. This ain’t glamping lol. Some sacrifices may have to be made such as eating rehydrated food over cooking food fresh. We will take some seasonings as well as some lemons or lemon juice in case we are so fortunate to snag some fresh fish for lunch or dinner and to season caribou if and when we harvest. Hard to hear some fresh cooked heart right out of an animal in my opinion.

Fixed blade knife - are you saying just have one between the both of us or add one more to the two I’m taking? I’m planing on taking my large and small northern hunter by lt wright. I’ve grown to love these knives based off their design. They work wonders breaking down animals. If I added one, I’d probably add something like a drop point hunter for something sturdy breaking down joints but those two handlers her elk she shot this year just fine. Tyto was going mainly for caping the skull bc in my opinion, that’s about all that knife is good for. I tried it on and elk a few years ago and I’d rather sacrifice a lot more weight than use that as my only knife.

As far as weight, I double checked on their website and its 125# per person plus rifle. I don’t think I’m even at 125# all together.

Water? Did you bring a larger water bladder like a 10L and store water at camp for food/hydration bladder in packs or just run the hydration bladder in your pack. We both run 4L MSR dromedary bladders with a quick disconnect that I can hook up to my katadyn hiker pro and fill up without having to take it out of the pack.


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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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Ive been to Alaska 3 times on drop camps - 2 moose/ 1 caribou

Here are a couple short vid of the clothes & gear I brought last Sept moose hunt.
Should give you an idea what worked well - YMMV a bit








Thanks for posting the videos! It was a help for sure and I see a few smaller things I will be adding


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cnelk

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"As far as weight, I double checked on their website and its 125# per person plus rifle."

Holy smokes. You can have the kitchen sink! lol

Seriously - pack to enjoy your hunt with that weight limit
 
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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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Others have given you some solid advice so far.
I would get something similar to the Matty foam mat sold by Seek Outside. You can leave it as is or you can cut it up into smaller pieces to use as sitting pads and such. It is 1/8" closed cell foam I believe.
My hunts are weight restricted between 50-65 lbs depending on the air service used. Because of that I've always only brought one set of clothes. The exception being I bring an extra pair of socks.
Sat phones can be rented from Surveyor's Exchange. It is a hassle free process.
I know many on here will disagree, but an alternative to a sat phone is the Garmin InReach. I have used the InReach instead of a sat phone the past two years on my moose hunts and been very happy with it.
If weight is an issue I would ditch the spotter. For me a caribou is either big enough to shoot or it isn't, I don't base that decision on details such as points, double shovel, etc. Also, if it is far enough away that I need a spotter to make that decision, it is much further than I care to pack the meat.
@AKBorn makes a great point in reminding you to not overcomplicate the gear selection process. Cover your bases with good shelter, food/water, weapons, meat care, and you are good to go.
Just my opinions and worth exactly what I'm charging you for them. Have a great hunt!
Hope this helps.

Thanks for the reply. It does help by reminding me not to over complicate it when it comes to gear. I’m trying to keep it as simplistic as I can. It having never been to Alaska and taking my wife I just want to make sure I cover all my bases.

Embarrassingly, I’ll have to admit that I am pretty ignorant on the inreach as far as how they exactly work and what functions they have as far as contacting. I’m pretty sure you can preset messages to be sent when needed unless I’m way off. I would like to have some sort of gps be it hand held or onX on my phone. (No idea how to do the onX on the phone other than downloading the app). Reason for gps is hiking at night back to camp after 2-3 miles if we end up having to hike that far. Someone said ditch the spotter bc if they are that far it’s farther than they would want to pack. Neither of us are afraid of packing animals a few miles. My wife is an absolute gym rat and is very strong for a woman as well as lives on the stair master and stationary bike doing high resistance intervals (daily). She runs circles around me in the mountains and destroys me if I try to keep up with her in the gym. It would be me telling her “that’s too far to pack an animal” and I’m in pretty dang good shape. Lol

So I am needing to figure out best option for gps/communication. I’ve never needed it where we hunt in Colorado.


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ddavis_1313

ddavis_1313

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"As far as weight, I double checked on their website and its 125# per person plus rifle."

Holy smokes. You can have the kitchen sink! lol

Seriously - pack to enjoy your hunt with that weight limit

You say that but that’s more stuff to lug in the airport, try to keep up with, spend money on, etc. lol. I was shocked myself when told this bc one of their planes is a Cessna but the other is a super cub.

I’m keeping it simple. Plus, we don’t mind the minimalist style. I’m sure I’ll add some stuff food wise in the form of snacks or some potatoes to cook in the field or something. May add the sauce pot to the msr duo cook kit and that would open up some other cooking options as well. But we are going to hunt first and foremost. Not that it’s all about killing but we genuinely enjoy hunting hard. It’s part of the adventure. My wife could have picked an Africa safari hunt or Argentina dove hunt. She had the option to be fully catered and pampered on a hunt. She chose this bc she loves roughing it and loves it just being us two.


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