What to Pack for a Brown Bear Hunt in Alaska

Gary Sentman

Gary Sentman

If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the wild frontier of America’s 49th state, there are few better ways to do it than chasing big game through the untouched wilderness. You might have experience going after deer in your local forest, but a trip to Alaska’s frozen tundra might be intimidating to any first-timer who is stepping outside of his or her familiar territory. While you can work with a guide to increase your chances for a successful hunt, there are some things that you can do before your adventure to prepare. Here are some suggestions to help you pack for bear hunting in Alaska.

Appropriate Clothing

The weather in Alaska might seem like it’s cold for the entire year, but temperatures can vary greatly in this giant state. If you’re going to be out in the wilderness for a few days, you won’t have the opportunity to go to the mall for more appropriate clothing, which is why you should pack a range of apparel to fit any situation. You’ll probably encounter a lot of water as you traverse the countryside, so be sure to include waterproof layers like coats and waders to fend off moisture.


Bears might be large creatures, but they might not be easy to spot among the trees and other vegetation in the Alaskan wilderness. If you wait until you’re close enough to see the animal with your eyes, you run the risk of scaring it away or putting yourself in a dangerous situation with a wild creature in close proximity. This is why binoculars are an essential piece of gear when packing for brown bear hunting in Alaska.

Headlamp and Batteries

A day out in the wilderness can start early and extend well into the night, so you’ll need some assistance to navigate the brush and other obstacles that you might encounter. A full moon might provide a good amount of illumination if there’s no cloud cover, but you should be prepared to provide your own light during less favorable conditions. A flashlight is a good place to start, but it also keeps one of your hands occupied. Headlamps can serve the same function in a hands-free capacity that’s always illuminating the area directly in front of you.

Firearm and Ammunition

If you’re going bear hunting in Alaska, you’ll need the appropriate firepower to accomplish your goals, which is why you should consult your guide for recommendations. For those who are uncomfortable checking a rifle in luggage for the trip, many guides offer firearm rentals to eliminate that hassle from traveling.

Personal Items

While it’s possible to hunt without creature comforts, your time in the wilderness might be easy with a few personal possessions like snacks or technology. Just remember that you’ll have to carry everything on your excursion, so keep weight in mind when determining if an item is essential.

Enjoy Your Trip

These are a few things that you should pack for bear hunting in Alaska, but be sure to consult your guide before embarking on your adventure. By doing some careful planning, you’ll be better prepared for a successful hunt.