Caribou Hunting Gear List
Caribou Hunting Gear List and Important Information if you are considering a DIY Caribou Hunt
*This is also the list available for rental on our unguided caribou hunt.
Obviously, as an experienced hunter, you have a list of things you like to carry, but this is a list directly from an Alaskan outfitter and there may be a few things here that you hadn’t thought about.
- Framed backpack
- Folding saw with bone blade
- Rifle with 30-40 rounds of ammo
- Soft gun case for the backcountry flight
- Knives with a sharpener
- Good sleeping bag and pad (we recommend a -20 bag or better)
- Hip boots
- Flashlight and/or headlamp
- Camera with extra batteries
- Water bottle (filter if you desire)
- Insect repellent (100% Deet)
- Stocking hat/gloves
- Top quality rain gear
- Camp shoes (insulated leather boots)
- 1 pair of insulated hunting pants
- 1 pair of non-insulated hunting pants
- 2 pairs top and bottom of medium weight insulated underwear (DO NOT BRING COTTON)
- 2-3 hunting shirts
- Heavy wool socks (1 pair for each day)
- Heavy coat (with Gore-Tex)
- Game Bags
- Personal toiletry items
- Handheld GPS unit (with downloaded map)
- Extra Batteries
- Iridium Satellite Phone (Iridium is the only satellite phone that works well above the Arctic Circle)
KEEP PERSONAL GEAR UNDER 70 lbs. (not including weapon)
Camp Gear (for every two hunters):
- 6-man tent (we suggest the Alaska Guide model)
- Coleman cook stove with 4 one pound propane bottles
- 2 Cots (optional)
- 2 Chairs
- 2 rolls of toilet paper
- 1 tarp
- 1 box of matches
- 3 lighters
- Cook set
- Garbage bags
- Lantern with extra mantles
- 2 sets of silverware, plates, bowls and cups
- 1 roll of paper towels
- 1 dish soap
- 10 Quart size Ziploc bags
- 20′ twine
- Coffee pot
- Basic First Aid kit
- Pot, pan and basic cooking utensils
Food (for every two hunters):
This is just an example of food you could take that will keep your weight reasonable. Feel free to mix and match, but be aware of weight.
- 5 lbs. potatoes
- 2 loaves of bread
- 5 onions
- Peanut butter
- Cooking oil
- Gatorade/Kool-Aid mix
- Coffee Mate/Sugar
- Bag of candy
- Granola bars
- Instant oatmeal
- Hot cocoa
- Ramen Soup
- Salt and Pepper
- Mountain House breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts
Clothing: Keep your clothing lightweight, warm and waterproof. Synthetic materials work best due to their drying and wicking capabilities. we suggest you do not bring cotton. It is slow to dry, and does not wick away moisture. In short, COTTON KILLS. Blaze orange is NOT required in Alaska.
Footwear: Make sure you have broken in your boots (including waders and wading boots).
The #1 thing we hear from our hunters when they return from their caribou hunt is that tundra is awful to walk in. It’s like trying to walk on frozen rolling footballs. A great pair of comfortable, well fitting, lace up, supportive hiking boots are ESSENTIAL!
Campsite: Prior to setting up your camp, survey the area; try to locate your tent(s) on a cleared off, level spot next to trees or bushes that will protect you from the wind. Keep food items in totes with lids, out of and a short distance away from your tent.
Select an area away from camp for your “privy,” and cover waste prior to leaving. Consider burning food items, which are odorous or greasy to prevent problems with bears. Bag up metal and other garbage items to be hauled out.
Do not cook inside your tent. This can deplete oxygen and can damage the ten leaving you without shelter. Use of your camp stove to heat your tent can cause you to run out of propane. Bringing the proper gear will have you outfitted to be comfortable without wasting fuel.
Weapons and Ammo: Alaska law does not separate licenses or seasons by weapon.
Firearms: Appropriate caliber selection is important. We recommend .30 caliber or larger. Smaller calibers will work just fine for caribou, but remember you are in grizzly bear country.
Select PREMIUM ammo and sight in prior to your hunt. While on a commercial flight, your ammo needs to be in the original box or a container specifically made to hold appropriate ammo.
Archery:Alaska archery requires a 40 lb. minimum draw weight for caribou hunting. Also required is a minimum of 7/8″ broadhead with a 300 grain minimum (shaft/tip) weight. No mechanical broadheads are allowed.
Field Care of Trophy: We recommend consulting your taxidermist prior to your caribou hunt for instructions on caping and fleshing your trophy. Heads must be caped and fleshed in the field with the ears and lips turned and salted. We also recommend splitting the skull caps. They can easily be put back together by your taxidermist, and you will save hundreds of dollars on shipping fees. While in the field, keep your cape opened up, out of direct sunlight, and preferably hung in a small tree or bush so it can have air circulation and stay cool.
Meat Care: All edible meat must be salvaged. You are responsible for packing all edible meat back to the runway at your camp (including rib and neck meat). Meat of the front quarters, hindquarters, and ribs must remain on the bone until removed from the field (or eaten). Keep meat out of direct sunlight and a short distance away from your camp. Set it so it can cool and have circulation all around it. Don’t put your meat in a pile – it will either quickly spoil or freeze into one solid hunk. Antlers MAY NOT be removed from the kill site until ALL salvageable meat is removed. DO NOT STORE YOUR MEAT IN LAKES OR RIVERS.
Fishing: It is likely that you will be dropped near a stream or river which will probably contain Arctic char and grayling. If you wish to fish a fishing license IS required.
Wolves: We recommend that you purchase a wolf tag. They are a great bonus to a caribou hunt. Harvested wolves must be skinned (hide and skull) for transport out of the field and then sealed by local troopers or AKDF&G.
Bears: You are in grizzly country. Respect them. If you see a bear, avoid it if possible. If you encounter a grizzly, make noise. YELL continuously. Stand up and make yourself look as large as possible. Do NOT run. Defend yourself by shooting the bear as a last resort.
Keeping Warm: Moisture is your enemy! Your sleeping bag will hold moisture and a few days build up may make it lose it’s ability to effectively insulate you. Open bags up, hang, etc to let them dry as needed. Wet or damp clothing can be dried in the sun or next to a small fire… be careful. Damp clothing can be worn in your sleeping bag and your body eat will dry it overnight. Utilize layering of clothing during the day, and do not overdress while hiking. Sweating will make you cold for hours.
Getting Picked Up: On the day your are to be flown out, have your gear packed and ready to go. Do not pile gear/meat/antlers on the runway area. Keep it assembled off to the side where it was unloaded. Depending on the weather, you may need to keep a tent up for shelter.
Stay near camp and be attentive to air traffic. Pick up times are weather dependant and not time specific. If the plane comes to get you and you’re not at camp or ready to go, the pilot may not be able to wait for you. If weather is un-flyable, don’t panic. Remain at your camp and know that you will be picked up as soon as the weather breaks.
WHAT ABOUT HIRING AN OUTFITTER?
Want to go unguided, but not have to worry about all the logistics/gear? Check our unguided caribou hunts!
Our Alaska unguided caribou hunts have no hidden costs. They include airport pickup/delivery, all food, tents, cots, camping equipment, transport of meat, cape(s) and antlers. The Outfitters’ logistical support and coordination assures your unguided trip will go as planned from start to finish.