The Copper River in Alaska - McCarthy River Tours
Alaska Adventure Blog
Man in bush plan in Alaska - McCarthy River Tours

Alaska Raft Adventure Packing List

McCarthy River Tours & Outfitters Alaska Raft Adventure Packing List

Packing for an extended stay in Alaska’a back-country on an Alaska Raft Adventure can be daunting.  You need to pack for temperatures ranging anywhere from 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (5-25+ Celsius) and between rainy, windy, buggy and/or beautifully sunny weather.  We have assembled the following  list of suggested packing materials from our experiences travelling in the Alaska back-country.  We understand everyone has different needs for temperatures and encourage you to bring warm, comfortable clothes to suit your needs.  If you must pack extra we suggest packing more of the lighter weight packable clothing like long underwear and fleece which supplies more bang for the buck and packs to a smaller size.  Due to size and wait restrictions that apply to many Bush plane shuttle based trips, you will want  avoid overindulging in your packing and keep your gear to one large dry bag to aid in loading on to the bush planes and in your day to day moving of gear from boat to tent and back.

Following this list will aid you in not over packing, remember that your bag will be coming on and off the boat every day and the heavier you pack the more gear you will be lugging to and from the boats.  All clothes should be made of synthetic (poly-pro or Capilene) or wool as they are quick drying and warmer when wet, please leave your cotton clothing at home or save it for the comforts of your post trip hotel :-).

Personal Camping Items:

  • Rain Pants & Jacket: Since it can rain at anytime in Alaska it is important to buy good quality, comfortable rain gear as you may spend many hours at a time in them.
  • Hiking/Camp Shoes
  • Socks: 3-4 pairs heavy wool or polypropylene
  • Sturdy Water Bottle!
  • Long underwear: at least two of each; tops & bottoms
  • Warm Jacket: for days that the temperature stays in the 40’s and 50’s.  Thick buy ultram without prescription fleece, down, or synthetic are fine.
  • Stocking Cap: Good wool or poly blend, we recommend two.
  • Gloves: fleece or wool, good quality, 2 pairs
  • Camp Pants/Shorts: 2 pairs. Quick drying; many people prefer zip-off  convertible brands that function as both shorts and pants
  • Camp Shirts: 2-4. Can be t-shirtsor button ups.  Preferably not cotton.
  • Brimmed Hat: Baseball cap, visor or fishing cap all work to keep the midnight sun off of your face.
  • Flash Light or Head Lamp: bring extra batteries and bulb(if applicable)
  • Sunglasses: We recommend bringing a backup pair as well
  • Personal Toiletries: travel size, try to bring just what you will need for the expedition.

Items you can either supply yourself or outfit with us:

  • Sleeping Bag: We recommend 0 to 15 degree bags, 20 to 25 degree work as well but we recommend including a liner
  • We Rent Sleep Kits that include a 0 degree sleeping bag, comfortable sleeping pad and camp pillow for $5/night
  • Sleeping Pad: Therma-Rests are both compactible and the warmest
  • We Rent Sleep Kits that include a 0 degree sleeping bag, comfortable sleeping pad and camp pillow for $5/night
  • Tent: Good quality 3 season camping tent with solid rain protection.  (We provide 3 person tents for all of our Alaska Raft Adventure Multi Day Trips, and we never assign more than two people to a tent so you can have a little more room to spread out at night.)

Optional Items:

  • Rubber Boots: You will not need them on the river, but they are great at camp for exploring and on cold days.  Bulky and awkward to travel with, these are a luxury item.
  • Reading Materials, Journal, Pen
  • Field Guides: Bird/Plant/Natural History books
  • Binoculars
  • Camera: Highly Recommended, bring extra batteries and pack in a waterproof case such as a Pelican Case.
  • Small Camp Towel
  • Gortex/Waterproof Socks