ALASKA FLOAT TRIP PERSONAL GEAR LIST (page 1) * WHAT TO BRING & WHY
CLOTHING AND BASIC OUTDOORS GEAR - What to Bring and Why
Information for Alaska Float Trips:
Clothing for Alaska raft and kayak trips should be made of synthetic fibers well
known for their capacity to wick moisture away from your body,
elevated warmth to weight ratio, and rapid drying properties.
These synthetic fibers include Polypropylene, Capilene, Synchilla,
Polartec, Polarfleece, Microfleece, synthetic piles, Thermax/Coolmax,
Polarguard, polyesters, Nylon etc.
NO COTTON!! NO
COTTON!!!! Cotton and fibers with similar properties retain the
body's moisture holding moisture against the body. These
uncomfortable characteristics can take the
entire trip to dry, and once wet becomes heavy and packs poorly.
Cotton is pretty much dead weight for Alaska waters and your float
Generally speaking, bring at least one full change of
clothing. It is nice to have a dry set in case the rivers, rains,
or your own body sweat saturate the clothes you're wearing.
(* Look around an outdoor
site or store like R.E.I., Cabela's,
Sportsman's Warehouse, or local outdoor retailers for these
materials ranging from high dollar to practical valued brands.)
for Alaska River Float Trips:
IT RAINS IN ALASKA! Sometimes it will rain steadily throughout
your entire trip. Whenever it rains it is normally at least
a little chilly or downright miserably cold. On a remote wilderness
float trip, Alaska's
sometimes-unfavorable weather can introduce demoralizing
discomfort as well as introducing the hazards of hypothermia.
Many Alaska guides over the years swear by heavily rubberized
overalls and hooded jackets like those designed for commercial fisherman that
are tough, dependable and won't easily tear out. Classic old school Semi-permeable
fabrics like Gore-Tex, Entrant, Pore-tech, etc. are okay for day
excursions or light intermittent precipitation, however, with hard
driving rains or constant spray while sitting in a boat...
water will eventually pass through these WATER RESISTANT
materials. Whatever you choose - tough, long cut and oversized,
waterproof raingear is what you want.
- Newest developments in Triple Laminates and some
micro-coated Semi-permeable fabrics make fine choices today...
These most recent, genuine improvements are materials like
dive/dry suit grade Gore-Tex, and other breathables that are used in the fabrication of
high-tech waders, one or two piece whitewater dry suits, and so
(*Other significant mentions that are versatile and
comfortable: Cabela's DRY PLUS, MT050 or comparable
fabrications from Browning, Columbia, Remington, Walls,
Mossy Oak, 10x, etc. & highly recommended Helly Hansen
Impertech Rain Gear)
- Less expensive alternatives to keep you comfortable is process utilizing
semi-permeable plastic lamination bonded to synthetic shell-like
garments like Frogg Toggs. These cheaper laminates have billions of microscopic holes in the
fabric process that provides pretty good, inexpensive breathable raingear
and wind protection. Using this method other manufactures have created
very economical, and lightweight rainwear. PVC coated
Helly Hansen Rain Gear can be had at great bargains, and will keep
Waders for Alaska
River Float Trips:
Old-school closed-cell neoprene waders of 2mm-5mm thickness or the
lightweight, easily packed, and more comfortable
multi-layer/laminated breathable waders designed for sport fishing
and a pair of felt soled wading shoes are strongly recommended.
Neoprene waders are pretty cumbersome to wade around in,
hard to pack, take awhile to dry out clamminess, and can be hot on
a nice summer day, nevertheless, in really wet, cold to frigid conditions
they can be advantageous. Newer generation laminated Breathable
fabrics like Gore-Tex
products are far more favorable for all around comfort,
versatility, safety, and better mobility.
Wearing bib-style chest waders with a waist belt coupled with a
whitewater-paddling top becomes one of the most durable, dry,
safe, and warm and versatile combinations available for
Alaska River Float Trips.
- WE CAN PROVIDE YOU BREATHABLE WADERS BUT NOT
FELT SOLE WADING SHOES -
Wet Suits, Dry Suits, and Immersion
Gear on Alaska's Wilderness Rivers:
Wet suits are hardwearing, less expensive than dry suits, and do
offer sensible protection. Whitewater specific dry suits are more desirable overall
when compared with wet suits and immersion gear for continuous
exposure to Alaska's cold-water
conditions. Wearing a wetsuit or immersion gear for the duration
of an entire wilderness river float trip will be often uncomfortable,
especially putting it on wet midst an already chilly morning. With
the exception of perhaps rugged portages or running the fiercest of white water
sections that risk tearing out a dry suit; experienced river runners in
Alaska's more demanding waters will wear a dry suit over using wet suits
or immersion gear. Whitewater dry suits are expensive, but
if you ever go into a river averaging 37-45 F you'll be much
better equipped to deal with the circumstances.
(Continued on next page)