Vast Alaska’s Brown Bear Hunting Gear List
This gear list should help prepare you in advance.
Temperatures range from 32F to 60F
There are many worthwhile gear makers. Use this as a guideline and a reference, You may use any manufacturer or equivalent for what is listed.
One of the most important pieces of equipment on the Brown Bear Hunting Gear List besides your rifle, is the Wader Pants and Wader Boots. You never know where an opportunity will present itself for a Trophy Brown Bear. The areas we hunt include tidal zones, wetlands, salmon creeks and into the high country of the mountains. It is a necessity that you have both hiking boots (a dry-setup) for the high country and the aforementioned Wader Pants and Wader Boots (a wet-setup) to navigate the lowlands. A spot and stalk opportunity on a good bear is indifferent to any geographic location. The pursuit is ON when we see a high percentage of success for the right Brown Bear. That could require us to cross a creek, cover distance over a wetland or tidal slough.
So to break down your Wet-Setup. In the past we recommended the Chota brand Tundra Hippie wader and a Simms lace up Wader Boot. It was an economical set up and even guides used them for a season with success. Recently the Tundra Hippies are very hard to find. So if you can get your hands on them, they work great for a 10 day hunt. Otherwise, a more durable choice is the Simms Wader Pants and a pair of Simms Wader Boots. Let me describe the pros of the Simms system. The Simms wader pants are very durable and water proof, they have a neoprene sock and waterproof goretex upper. They require you to have a Simms lace up Wader Boot with a rubber sole. They are warm, sometimes too warm when you are climbing hills and in pursuit. I recommend wearing long underwear bottoms or two pairs (full length) and thinner socks underneath your wader pants. When you have the chance, pull down your pants (you can leave your boots on) and vent some of the moisture and sweat out of the pants. The lace up Simms wader boots will give you a lot of ankle support while walking on the uneven ground and the rubber/Vibram soles will give you better traction than felt soles. If you are wearing Simms Wader Pants, you only need a rain jacket.
Here are some other Wet-Setup options. If you already have Wader Pants with integrated Rubber Boots, these will be fine. It is a 10 day hunt and whether they are bibs without integrated boots or pants with integrated rubber boots, it does not matter, they will be fine. If you would rather use rubber hip boots, I have left a link for the Lacrosse Burly Hip Boot (insulated). These used to be called Lacrosse Big Chief insulated with the Air-bob sole. You can roll these down when you are not using them for crossing deeper water. You should have tough ankles to wear these, remember we are walking on uneven terrain and they do not have a lot of ankle support. If you have a Wet-Setup already and you want to know if it will work for your hunt, Call Me.
Deciphering the Brown Bear Hunting Gear List and Putting it all together… As a guide, I choose to wear my Simms wading pants and Simms wading boot every day. It’s all hands on deck being the guide and you have to be leading into the action. It can be warm on the chase, I leave my zipper open and will drop my pants and vent if I need to and if i have the opportunity. In the evening, I put on my Hiking Boots for around camp. Another guide still wears “Lacrosse Burly Hip Boots Insulated” exclusively in the day. They use Xtra Tuff Bama Socks inside for added insulation and to wick away sweat. Some guides still have Tundra Hippies and Simms lace up Wader Boots. You can roll these down when not using them in deep water and they are light. There are some situations where your guide will want you to wear your Hiking / Mountain Boots (Dry Set-up). I couldn’t tell you specifically where and how this moment of opportunity will happen. It can change daily.
Remember, If you are using Wader Pants or Wader Bibs, you will only need a rain jacket when its raining. If you are using hip boots like (Tundra Hippies or Lacrosse Burly) you will need rain pants and rain jacket. Wear your rain pants over the hip boots when it’s raining. If your guide chooses to use your (Dry-Setup) Hiking Boots, then you will want your rain pants, rain jacket and gaiters when it’s raining.
All I can do is prepare you for the event and be open to any questions that you will have. One last time proven item, In all my years Climbing, Hunting, Fishing and pursuing the outdoors, this is a priceless savior. Get yourself a small tube of Fast Actin Tinactin, when your feet have been damp for a few days this will feel like heaven. Get the small tube, just don´t confuse it with your mini toothpaste in the dark (that has been done before and no guide was harmed)! Here are some links…
- Wader Boots – Lace up boots to go over your wader pants. Vibram or rubber sole not felt soled.
- Wader Pants – Have neoprene sock foot lower and goretex wader upper pants.
Hiking or Mountain Boots, When I was climbing we always called them “Waffle Stompers”, I dont think that term is used anymore but it is fitting. I really could not tell you which boot is best, feet are unique. I do have my preferences that are good Boot Makers, I will leave a few links down here. Remember, this is not a Sheep or Goat Hunt, you dont have to have the stiffest boot on the market. You should definately have them above the ankle and a good supporting boot with Goretex and water proof. Always wear the boots on uneven terrain and always wear a sock liner under your medium weight socks. I am a big fan of Sock Liners what ever brand, I prefer Wig Wam Gobi , they are very thin, slick and seamless. You wear these under your medium weight wool socks. This will put the friction layer between your socks, rather than between your foot and 1 sock.
- Hiking / Mountain Boots:
- On the Stiffer Side (4 out of 5 on stiffness)
- Not as Stiff (3 out of 5 on stiffness)
- Socks: 4 pairs wool socks, I prefer Darn Tough hiking
- Sock Liners: 4 pair Wigwam Gobi
- Long Underwear Top: Sitka Gear Core Lightweight Crew Long Sleeve. Best Investment Yet for Street or Field is the Barneys Sports Chalet Nunivak 1/4 Zip Pullover (My wife and I both use this, it’s 12 degrees and blowing 38 knots outside the hangar right now. Sitka Gear Fanatic Hoody Heavy Weight.
- Long Underwear Bottom: Sitka Gear Core Lightweight Bottoms and Sitka Gear Heavy Weight Bottoms.
- Pants: 1 pair Sitka Mountain Pants for Spring Hunts or 1 pair Sitka Timberline Pants for October Hunts.
- Jacket: Sitka Gear Traverse Cold Weather Hoody
- Raingear: Jacket and pants or bibs. Sitka Stormfront Jacket, Sitka Stormfront Pants, or economical and but effective Grunden Weather Watch Pant and Grunden Weather Watch Hooded.
- Overcoat: Synthetic parka with hood like the Barney Sports Chalet Super Cub Hoody or Sitka Gear Kelvin AeroLite Hoody for Spring Hunts. For Fall a Barneys Sports Chalet Brooks Range Jacket and Barneys Brooks Range Pants.
- Gloves: 1 pair wool or fleece
- Hat: wool or fleece
- Ball Cap
- Headlamp: Tikka XP2, Black Diamond Spot or equivalent.
- Gaitors: 1 pair Sitka Gear StormFront Gaitors
- Water Bottles: 2 32 oz. H2O Bottles -or- 32oz. Gatorade jugs
- Sleeping Bag: 15°ƒ for Spring Hunts and 0°ƒ for Fall Hunts
- Sleeping Pad Thermarest Ridgerest
- Binoculars: 10×40 with a Binocular Bra (harness system that hangs from your shoulders)
- Eye Protection: UV Sunglasses
- Rifle: 375 or larger. Controlled Round Feed and Stainless are both pluses. 2 boxes of ammunition
- Rifle Scope; 1:4, 2:7 or 3:9 close range large field of view.
- Backpack: frame or internal frame pack 5,000 cubic inches
- Toiletries: medication, toothbrush, small toothpaste, etc
Be advised cotton clothing does not wick away rain and sweat from the skin, it requires too much energy for you to get dry. Synthetic or wool fibers ONLY.
Barneys Sports Chalet – 907.561.5242 http://www.barneyssports.com is a good outlet for hunting gear. The crew can assist in your decisions on what you need for where your going. They are located in mid-town Anchorage, Alaska. They are avid Alaskan hunters and suppliers since 1963. If you need help with anything they are well versed and will give you advice or direction. Website sales and support. They are familiar with Vast Alaska Brown Bear Hunting Gear List and have just about everything on the list in stock.
Sitka Gear – www.sitkagear.com– The finest technical gear on the planet