One of the nicest things about the Kodiak Island trip is that dad and I won’t have to carry all our gear for a week on our backs. Hunting out of a base camp is not something I’ve done often, and the thought of being able to splurge on luxuries – like a book for rainy reading weather and a thermos to sip hot coffee from!! – almost makes me giddy. With a flight payload max double that of our body weights, we might even take 100 pounds or so of dry firewood from Kodiak proper into the alpine. Why not!?!?
Once our gear list finalizes and I go through the usual minutia of weighing each item, I’ll report a full equipment list, but these are my thoughts in the early stages. Bottom line–Kodiak Island is wilder and wetter and windier than anywhere I’ve ever hunted. If you go ill-prepared, misery will be your company (or worse).
There is no point elaborating on the “wilder” side of things other than to say we’ll be picking up bear spray and a portable electric fence to erect around camp from a vendor there in Kodiak City. An inReach or satellite phone is also on the To Buy list for basic communications with our bush pilot as well as the obvious but hopefully unutilized emergency capabilities.
The “wetter” nature of Kodiak Island is almost as famous as its brown bear population, and I’ll be making sure dad knows that any cotton apparel is subject to being burnt at the stake. I already picked us both up a Helly Hansen PVC rain jacket – not exactly as stylish as a Kuiu set of raingear, but the local word (meaning Alaskan, not Ohioan) on HH gear is unparalleled. Perhaps more important than trying not to get wet is having an efficient way of drying out once we inevitably do get wet. Enter the TiGoat WIFI stove – I just picked up a large off a guy on a classifieds hunting forum. Still debating on boot choice, but I’m leaning towards my standard Salomon’s since I’ll be able to dry them out when necessary.
The “windier” climate would likely trash any of the shelters I’ve hunted out of before and potentially lengthy periods of rainy weather is not a good mix with cramped living quarters. From the same guy as above, I actually made a combo purchase of the TiGoat stove with a Seek Outside Redcliff. The set-up was used a single time and he realized it was more spacious than what he needed it for. I dumped some serious change on this set-up, but the reviews are outstanding for having handled some of the nastiest conditions on earth. Both products are teetering on the “bombproof” ranking, and the entire shelter/stove weighs around 6 pounds.
More gear details forthcoming, and certainly the reviews are the real posts of interest. Patience, grasshopper.