We are navigating the uncertainty associated with COVID-19 just like you. Fortunately, backcountry travel is the original social distancing and we feel grateful that there is little to no risk of contracting the coronavirus while in the backcountry. All out-of-state guests must adhere to the State of Alaska’s travel guidelines. You may be required to wear a mask when interacting with pilots, drivers and rural communities en route to your destination. In the backcountry, safe cooking and hygiene practices are always a priority, now more than ever. Most of all, the pandemic has highlighted the necessity of purchasing trip insurance for your adventure. Be sure to look for a policy that includes cancellation due to COVID-19 complications.
Seeing bears in the wild is one of the most amazing parts of backcountry travel in Alaska. The vast majority of the bears we see make every attempt to avoid us and go about their lives. Understanding bear behavior helps us coexist with these bruins in the backcountry. We also take all necessary precautions to avoid negative encounters with bears, including storing food in bear resistant food containers, cooking a suitable distance away from our sleeping tents and making noise when traveling through brush and other areas with limited visibility. Everyone on all of our trips is issued a bear spray canister and given instruction on how to use it. In most circumstances, our guides do not carry firearms on our trips. We do not allow guests to bring a firearm on trips under any circumstances. For more information on bears and bear safety, check out our blog post on all things bears.
Maybe. The first mosquitoes emerge in mid-June, followed by no-see-ums, biting flies, ‘white-socks’ flies and others. If you are sensitive to bugs and bug bites, a head net is an absolute necessity and bug spray is recommended. Bugs are a part of backcountry travel in Alaska, but we try to schedule our trips and plan our destinations to avoid the worst of them.
On average, June is often sunny but cool, July is warmer yet buggier and August can be a bit more damp. You may experience blazing sun, persistent rain, snow, sleet or wind any month of the summer or all in the same day. We have seen it rain everyday in June, snowstorms in July and weeks of sunshine in August. Always be prepared for the worst and hope for the best! By following your trip’s gear list you should be prepared for most weather conditions.
Our trips take place in the backcountry. Often emergency medical care is a long, weather-dependent plane or helicopter flight away. Before signing up for a trip, you need to honestly evaluate your ability to be in a truly remote setting and share the realities of your condition with us. If you and your doctor have determined that backcountry travel is safe and appropriate for you, we would love to discuss which trip might be right for your circumstance. Failure to disclose medical issues that results in an inability to complete or participate in a trip will not be eligible for any refunds.
We strongly believe that the outdoors are for everyone. But off-trail travel carrying a heavy pack is not for all fitness levels. Please thoroughly read the trip description before committing. Guest packs typically weigh between 35 and 50 pounds depending on individual packing style. Many guests train prior to their trip because the better shape you are in, the more fun you will have. We love the Summer Strong Program – specifically designed to get you ready for backcountry travel in Alaska. If you have any questions at all about your ability to complete (and enjoy!) a trip, please don’t hesitate to reach out so we can provide more specifics on the physical demands of backcountry travel.
We do not have dedicated space to store your belongings. Luggage can often be left at your hotel.