AK float trip questions - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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AK float trip questions

I have been to AK. I have hunted moose. And I have canoe hunted the Adirondacks. But this 10 day float trip is a first. Here is what I am researching and hoping someone has done it or knows the answer? I will be asking the guy the same questions. But I've been on enough trips that I know not to be afraid to do my own research. And not rely solely 100% on the guide. I've had some bad ones. And some really good ones. On my last moose hunt I really wish I had done my research. The outfitters answers were much different. Then what the guides were when I got there and talk to him in person. As far as gear goes we are driving to where were putting the rafting. So there is no in country flight to worry about weight.

Footwear- waders while rafting then knee high boots? Fishing I have hiked a lot in Alaska in waders. Even the most expensive ones have not withstood the punishment. I do not want a hole in waiters on day one of a 10 day float? What do you guys who have done it recommended and is my thought plan good. My only hesitation is I have bad ankles and the last time I hiked tundra for five days in knee-high boots my feet took a beating. But much of Alaska is marshy enough hiking boots wouldn't work


Communication wise I'm sure the guide will have a sat phone. I am looking for something to use when I don't have cell phone service that Will give me satellite images of location and surroundings???


I am buying a 338 from Kudo. I have a brand new Buckmaster scope from Nikon. Sitting at home. Good? I was going to try to find a scope with a rubber coating to take the abuse. Don't know if anybody makes one or if there's a cover you can get on it?


Also looking at gun cases. I found floating gun cases. Wondering if that is needed? Or just my waterfowl gun case that is waterproof?

Backpack versus a white water rafting waterproof bag? Thoughts?


Back up gun? Not sure how we are going to be pressed for room but if I had a double gun case with an extra rifle along. I don't now?

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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 04:31 PM
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Take a white water waterproof bag. A popular one is called a Bills Bag. They are waterproof. I have flown using that as my luggage carrier. But in those occasions it has been for river trips.
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 04:51 PM
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One of those stretchy rubber scope covers is truly waterproof. The ones that look like they're made from bicycle inner tube.

Anytime I'm in a boat with a gun I make sure there some way to quickly tie the gun in if things get ugly.

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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 05:23 PM
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A couple considerations are: How many people will be on the float? And how many/what type of rafts will be used? Reason I ask is will you have room for some of the extra gear? Boots? Floating gun case, etc?

When you're talking waders, are you talking chest waders or hip waders? Was your last trip a float also?
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 06:48 PM
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Havent been there, but on the boots subject, I have a buddy with foot and ankle problems, and he is swearing by his current pair of Lacrosse knee highs - rubber/neoprene - for best ankle support in a knee high waterproof boot. Floating case cant hurt I imagine. Nit sure if I'd wanna have waders on while in the boat?? In case I went in the drink, and the waders would fill up. Snug, belted neoprene may invalidate that concern.

In any case, have a great hunt, and tell us a story when you get back!....w/ pichers!!! LOL!
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kudu58 View Post
A couple considerations are: How many people will be on the float? And how many/what type of rafts will be used? Reason I ask is will you have room for some of the extra gear? Boots? Floating gun case, etc?

When you're talking waders, are you talking chest waders or hip waders? Was your last trip a float also?

I do not have the nitty gritty yet. I have floated for Salmon in AK. I lived in my waders on that trip. came back with a couple holes. Got new ones and promptly ripped them duck hunting. Never floated while hunting. All my moose hunting was by 4wheeler or walk in or canoe in. coming out daily. When I am talking waders I am talking chest high neoprene. the float will be 1 guide and 4 hunters. Not sure yet if we will stay together while hunting away from raft or be able to wander. You can shoot moose and caribou without him but not grizzly. I am assuming 2 rafts.

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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 09:11 PM
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Use a dry bag for sure.

As far as communication/gps I would go with the Garmin InReach. It's a GPS with satellite text message capability for communication. It does require a subscription, but it's not a lot.

As far as footwear I'd be looking at some of the high(14"-16") lace up waterproof boots.

Last edited by Marcus99; 03-02-2018 at 09:18 PM.
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 09:32 PM
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What unit will you be hunting in?
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 10:30 PM
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By no means an expert on rafting AK rivers. However, in the 70's I did raft the Tonsina River near Valdez. One piece of advice FWIW.
This river was a glacier river and loaded with sediment. Advice I was given was that since this was a glacier river loaded with sediment was that if you went overboard any pockets would collect sediment and if full enough drag you under. Because of this, I would recommend not wearing waders or hip boots in the raft. Rain gear and knee high boots would seem appropriate.

The Tonsina River was a whitewater river and I did get knocked off the raft because of a sweeper and miscommunication going around an island. Beware of the sweepers, they can be deadly. I was wearing regular hiking boots, heavy wool pants, and especially important, the best life preserver available at the time (a mae west). Obviously, I came out ok but that water was COLD. Fantastic trip, had a great time and saw about 30-40 Bald Eagles that day.
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Last edited by bearhollow; 03-02-2018 at 10:33 PM.
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 11:15 PM
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Chester, what river will you be floating? I would recommend getting the book Float Hunting Alaska by Michael Strahan.

1. I always tie my guns in the boat, floating gun cases go down river.
2. Cell coverage is non-exist North of Fairbanks where I'm assuming your going. I don't know of any device to get images, maybe one of the SAT Internet devices. I think they only work on laptops, not sure.
3. Bring a wader repair kit.
4. The knee high boots are nice but no ankle support. If your float hunting you shouldn't be too far away from the river. I know the feeling of walking on a water bed, i.e. Tundra and it is not fun.
5. I would bring a daypack and keep everything in a waterproof bag in the raft.
6. As you know your gun and equipment will take a beating.
7. Go to Alaska Outdoor Forum and look at the float hunting forum.
8. Get the book by Strahan.

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