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|Backcountry Trip Planning - Gear List & Packing|
Summer temperatures in Southeast Alaska range in the 50s to 70s, with some nights reaching down into the 40s! Though we do have sunshine, you must be prepared for rain. To be prepared for both , we stress utilizing the layering principle of dressing, where you add or subtract layers as the weather changes. Bring along clothes that keep you warm even when wet. This type of clothing includes wool, pile or polypropylene; cotton is not sufficient.
Rain Coat/Pants/Hat or attached hood: sturdy, TOTALLY WATERPROOF (not just water resistant). We cannot stress enough the IMPORTANCE of GOOD RAINGEAR. These should be among the highest priority items when planning for any outdoor trip in Alaska. We do not recommend Gore-Tex, but rather a RUBBERIZED, waterproof fabric. If you cannot find these, or do not wish to purchase them, we do have raingear for rent. For the length of your trip regardless of the number of days, boots are $5/person and rain suits are $25/person. To assure proper fit, please include your sizes on your reservation form. If renting rubber boots from us, we recommend bringing a pair of wool or other type of cushioned insert to make them more comfortable. Often you can simply use the inserts that come with your lightweight hiking shoes.
Toiletries (eliminate sweet smelling lotion, sprays, deodorant), sunscreen, suntan lotion, lip protection, mosquito repellent -- we recommend a repellent with a high content of the chemical DEET, flashlight, sunglasses, sharp knife, pocket books--on wildlife, plant and bird identification, something to read on a rainy day, camera and film, binoculars, fishing gear for the Bartlett River area (licenses available here from Glacier Bay Lodge).
SLEEPING BAG & DUFFELS
ALL of your gear bags (even dry bags!) and bear canisters should be lined on the INSIDE ONLY with an appropriate sized HEAVY - DUTY GARBAGE BAG. This is the key to keeping gear dry in this climate. Plastic ZIP LOCK BAGS are useful for organizing and protecting small items and packing individual food items. We personally prefer duffels and stuff sacks over dry bags for general packing because they are more pliable, easier to pack, and make more efficient use of space.
When packing your kayak, gear will fit best into the nooks and crannies of the kayak if packed SEPARATELY rather than having everything in one large pack. This is why each gear bag, sleeping bag, etc. must be individually water-proofed with plastic bags. Our "Standard Beluga" double kayaks by Easy Rider are 17 feet long with a 32 inch wide center and come with built-in foam flotation in the bow and stern for your safety in case of tipping: because flotation does take up space, we use these kayaks only for day trips and shorter trips in the lower bay and Beardslees, for which you should be able to pack gear easily. Our Easy Rider "Expedition Belugas" are 18 foot long doubles with bulkheads both bow and stern, and easily pack gear and food for up to a 2 week trip. Our singles kayaks are 17 foot "Eskimos" by Easy Rider and with bulkheads both bow and stern. Limited unsecured storage space for your baggage and excess gear is available for free in the Bartlett Cove campground, or secured storage is available through Glacier Bay Lodge for a fee of $5/bag/day.
Nesting cook set w/ plates and cups, spatula, silverware, large knife (for cutting bread, veggies, etc.), measuring cup, stove with repair kit, fuel (white gas, only, is available at Bartlett Cove), 1 to 2 half gallon collapsible water containers, water bottles, scrub pads and soap for dishes.
A sturdy TENT (seam sealed -- know that it WON'T LEAK before you leave home!), tarp, toilet paper and matches, extra line for hanging food (in forested areas) and stringing tarps, extra zip locks and plastic garbage bags, iodine tablets/water filter for treating water (note: heavy glacial silt can clog filters). We recommend that you purchase a Trails Illustrated Glacier Bay combination nautical chart/topo map, which is the most current and complete map available, from the NPS at your orientation. A tide table and a Leave No Trace (LNT) brochure is available from the NPS at the camper orientation.
Fully equipped First Aid kit, compass, matches in waterproof container, garbage bags and zip lock bags, space blanket, fire starter, flares, duct tape, gear repair items, and any other emergency items you deem necessary. We don't provide a kayak repair kit. Generally, a high quality duct tape will suffice for field repair of any cracks in the fiberglass. Other helpful repair items to bring along include a few feet of nylon parachute cord, a large safety pin and thin wire for field repairs. Paddle floats are included with the rental of the single kayaks An extra paddle or paddle float is available upon request when we issue you your gear at your orientation.