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trip to alaska what to pack?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by buggley, May 20, 2012.

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  1. buggley

    buggley Member

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    i might have a chance to work a gold claim in alaska this summer with a friend. he has been doing this for some time and can help me with gear and the rifle. how hard is it to get ammo in kotzebue alaska? what i plan to carry is my k31 and a .357 on the side but i wasnt sure if i should opt for a different rifle round. if i go my money will be spent on airfare and food while im there and i dont have too many options for a large caliber rifle at the house. it is between a k31 and an old sks. every thing else is scoped and i want open sights while im out away from camp.
    is it hard to get things shipped up there? i know there is a cabelas but im not sure if the will shipp live ammo that far north. might have to find a different round to carry up there. swiss ammo is hard enough to get my hands on local, let alone that far north.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Any chance you got a pump shotgun??

    12 ga Rifled Slugs should be pretty common I would think.

    I'd much rather take on a brown bear with that then a .357!

    rc
     
  3. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Extra socks, real raingear.

    I wouldn't think ammo would be impossible to come by, but you have to admit that's an odd caliber and not exactly regularly stocked in most stores.

    If you're really remote, have your friend order some in to where he picks up his supplies. Check airline regs as to how much ammo you can take on a plane these days. Thats FAR cheaper than shipping to Alaska.
     
  4. Old judge creek

    Old judge creek Member

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    Having been in the great Alaskan bush I can tell you that I wouldn't go again without my S&W 629 on my belt and my Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun, which I bought specifically for a return trip that has had to be delayed.

    Regardless, the point has been moot thus far, for I've managed not to have need for either one. Do pay attention to your surroundings, though.

    As well, the Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun has become my preferred boonie rifle. There's nothing in the Lower Forty-Eight that little rifle won't stop.
     
  5. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I have always been told: Mosquito repellant.
     
  6. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    How are you getting to Alaska? Going overland may present a problem if the .357 is a handgun.
     
  7. -v-

    -v- Member

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    I doubt you're going to be getting daily bear attacks, so I would think a full cylinder and a full mag for the K31 will be sufficient. More then that? If you don't plan to do any recreational shooting there, a box of ammo for each should be more then enough, and will probably travel back with you untouched, if you stay aware of your surroundings.

    More then that, get yourself a mini fire-extinguisher of bear mace, lots of mosquito repellent, good rain gear, and a digital camera to document your adventures.
     
  8. we are not amused

    we are not amused Member

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    The K31 round is roughly equivalent to a .308 Winchester, certainly plenty of rifle for a bear. I would hesitate on the SKS, as it is roughly equivalent to a 30-30. But it is a rugged gun and still more powerful than any handgun cartridge. It is also lighter and shorter than a K31, which means it would be faster to bring on target. It should be adequate with the right type of hunting bullets (ball or controlled expansion). I have always been told that a .44 magnum is the minimum handgun for Brown/Grizzly bear, but a ready rifle or slug 12 ga. would be more effective. If the bear is close enough to need a handgun to shoot it with, you're probably screwed anyway.

    As for the mosquito repellent, take it! I understand that the M2 quad 50's are effective, but hard to lug around heavy brush or swampy terrain.
     
  9. buggley

    buggley Member

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    i am packing a few bear bells and some spray for sure. i would like to carry a 12gage but all i have is a short barrel 19" mavrick 88. i couldnt run slugs through it. i fish in bear country but but our black bear isnt half as big as up north. i have read lots of threads about shotguns being the go to but i dont have too many rounds to choose from.
    my brother mentioned the 45/70 and it would be nice to have if i can trade around for it. i also have a chance at getting 10mm before i leave. does a 10mm have the velocity and the size to penitrate and do damage? i was thinking about the .357 over my .45 acp simply because of penitration. i plan on running some full metal flatnose while im up there.
    as far as rain gear is there anywhere to find heavy duty goretex for work? all i have is a flimsy shell to wear over my bibs. i have good socks and boots but i do need to find some sturdy wool pants. cotton kills. from what i have been told it can be 75 out durring the day then drop to 0 or below at night depending on the weather. it would suck to be sleeping in damp cotton socks or sweat in some blue jeans then freeze after sunset while cooking or cleaning up.
    it would be worth the trip just to say ive panned gold in alaska. i really hope i get to go this summer.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  10. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    Take anti-bear pepper spray. It works faster than anything but a central nervous system hit from a rifle or magnum handgun. Use the firearm as a backup in case the bear comes back.
     
  11. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

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    How to tell brown bear poo from black bear in Alaska? It has little bells in it and smells like pepper. Seriously though, 12gauge shotgun and Xtra tuffs for your feet.
     
  12. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    2 pairs of boots at least one pair waterproof.
    Already mentioned socks.
    Long underwear. I like 100% silk.
    Check out Filsons clothing. Not cheap but possibly the best.
    Deck of cards and a board game to fight cabin fever.
    Solar phone charger if you have connection. Satellite seems more likely,
    Cold nights means warm sleeping bag.
    Rain gear.
    Watch cap.
    Gloves. I buy waterproof ones from Farm Supply for a few bucks. I'll bet the water will be cold regardless of air temp.
    Fire starter.
    Good fixed blade knife. The best quality you can afford. A boken blade leaves you up a crick.
    Pocket folding knife. Same comments.
    Bug spray.
     
  13. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    I totally agree with this statement. Unless you are really good with a gun bear spray is more effective IMHO. I cant tell you how many times I had friends who would show up from the lower 48, want to go hicking or fishing, and ask me for a gun. I would give them bear spray. They would want to take my .44 even thought they had never even shot one before. If you have three seconds to react to a bear charging than you are lucky. Most of the survivors say that before they knew what was happening they were attacked. Even dropping a bear with one shot with any gun is pretty difficult. Bear spray has, in spite of the negative press, a proven history of working.

    That being said, most people consider a .44mag to be the smallest acceptable caliber in a handgun. Personally I always carried both spray and a gun. If I could only have one for some reason it would be spray. We also kept a mosin nagant in the camp a lot. But nothing is as effective as a 12 gauge with slugs. We had one of those around a lot as well. Fortunately for me I never had to shoot one.

    Keep in mind that while bears get all of the glory Moose can be very dangerous too. Obviously a thinner skin and easier to take down. A cop in Anchorage dropped on with his service pistol not too long ago. But keep an eye out for them.

    Bug Repellant
    Extra socks
    Bug repellant
    Extra rain gear
    Extra shoes
    Bug Repellant
     
  14. -v-

    -v- Member

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    I might catch crap for this, but, I found the Police/Fire/EMS rain jackets that Galls sells (their store brand - Galls) to be top notch at a very affordable price. Just throw something on under them, since wet they offer negative heat retention. Just in case, always throw in a can of that silicone waterproofing spray. Seems to do an OK job of making non-water repellent fabric water-repellent.

    For that 12ga I would think some of the Remington Buckhammer 1 & 3/8th oz 3" magnums would work fine for bear. 602 grains of soft lead at 1300fps should be adequate, barring that some 000 3" magnums for that 12ga.
     
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I would take a couple rain suits (top and bottoms); the kind you get at the better hardware stores that run about $10 each.

    Extra shoes and a least one pair of good rubber boots and if you are panning, I'd go hip waders for sure that fit you.

    Extra socks, flannel shirts, tea shirts, blue jeans... normal stuff.

    I would talk to your friend. There is more to take than a rifle and handgun.

    Do you expect to make any money? How well does your friend do? Is this strictly a panning operation or a dredge or what?
     
  16. 84B20

    84B20 Member

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    I have been planning on a trip like that for some time now and my firearm selection is a Ruger Redhawk with Garret Cartridges 340gr hard cast ammo to carry on my person and my Remington Wingmaster 870 loaded with Winchester rifled slugs for my wife to carry along side me. I need the hand gun because I'll be carrying a 50 lb. camera pack and need the handgun for maneuverability. I hope I never need either gun but being prepared is my motto.
     
  17. buggley

    buggley Member

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    right now my going is based souly on what he finds up there. i run a small firearms custom shop with my wife so there is no point going if there is nothing up there. he is almost 80 years old and going to be working with a partner that is around 50. im only 25 so that leaves me with the grunt work but i am more than happy with that. if they get in to a good mess of it i will be comeing out to be the pack mule and help around camp. from what i have been told most of gold will be filtered from a sluse and some panning on the side. i have worked pipeline in west virginia for a bit but i dont know how the climate compares to alaska. out here in the winter it is cold muddy and wet. some days -7 then the next could be 70 dependign on what holler the warm air get stuck in when the wind blows. most of my clothes will be wool flannal it stays warm better when its wet. rain gear is great but never keeps you 100% dry.
    in the boyscouts i learned some basic woodsmanship and survival but this is the real deal. i will probably sell or trade the sks before i take it up there.
    it is going to interesting trying to pack as little as i can but still have what i need. the sleeping bag was a good point. i dont ussualy camp in anything below 20F it might be nice to up grade.bug spray and scotch guard is a good idea too. i will most likely get them up there. i dont think i can pack them on a plane. we will be making trips to town every now and then but most of the time we will be on our own.
    i hope he finds what hes looking for up there this trip is like a dream vacation for me. i would love to put gold mining the alakan frontier under my belt
     
  18. buggley

    buggley Member

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    from what he has told me is that there have been two bears killed in our area up there in the last month. i dont know the circumstances behind it and i am sure atleast one of them had more to do with a stupid decision rather than a hungry bear. i totaly agree that bear spray is much more effective but it is good to know there is backup just a sling away. im sure if we keep a clean camp and washup a ways from camp that will be more helpful than a firearm. most times it is human error. ussualy kids not washing up before they sleep or leaving food close to camp even picking you camp sight has some to do with it. problems ussualy start with us not the bears. if a person hangs food right next to camp and the bear gets hungry and cant reach it there is a good chance hes going to root around camp looking for scraps.
    i am more worried about hypothermia than bears.
     
  19. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are building a business and have a dependable income you're better off putting your efforts into your business instead of chasing gold dust.
     
  20. buggley

    buggley Member

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    i wont be going uless there is a need for me. i am very good friends with this guy we have been in the same church for years he is kinda like a father figure or at least he thinks he is :). on top of it being a fun adventure i feel obligated to help him. i dont really like the idea of two older men being up there with out some help. it would be foolish to go for the entire summer but if there is a sure proffit and the help is needed i would be up there as soon as i can book the flight. my wife and i do wood work and metal plating it is a limited field right now so the work is slow i drive off road truck part time for a buddy when we dont have orders. it seemed like an adventure i would regret missing out on if i turned it down. i would regret it more if something happened to them up there. he doesnt hear very well. i feel like i need to be looking out for him. he is very capable but i would feel ashamed if something happened up there. it is hard to respond to a situation by your self. if he or his partner got hurt it would be a strugle to for the person trying to get help.
     
  21. Hk Paul

    Hk Paul Member

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    You should go. You have the rest of your life to work.
     
  22. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    The only people who make money in gold mining are the Chandlers (those are the equipment and goods suppliers...)

    If you are in it for gold, either get with a PROFESIONAL AND PROVEN miner
    or do it as a hobby, anything else will just not quite what you think.

    Consider, an average 2 man team walks out for with something like 6-8K in gold, NOW, that is for 3 months hard work, consider that the supplies probably cost 2+K, transport 2+K(and now thats probably per a person) so, end of the day you can end up LOOSING money, if you have a good business, Spend 11 weeks building it, and then fly up and spend a week at one of the gold camps, there are some really good outfits that will teach you lots, and you aren't 'ruffing' it, well, you are, but it ain't sleeping under a poncho in and freezing your butt off.
     
  23. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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  24. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    Noticed in you post above that you seem to be obligated because you are worried about the two older (80 and 50) men that are already up there. Don't let that be what pulls you up there. They are grown men who made the decision to go.

    I do agree with this statement:

    If I was 25 and the trip was not going to break me, I'd go in a minute.....just to get my feet wet, up there, one time, just for the experience.
     
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Good luck getting GP11 or any Swiss in the bush. You can find it Anchorage sometimes, with luck.

    I suspect that working a claim you're going to be so beat up that the idea of carrying a large firearm around will soon seem like folly to you. I did briefly use the K31 as a trail rifle, but found it to be pretty bulky. I'd hate to imagine what it would be like carrying around while working a claim. It reminds me of the word one Swiss vet used to describe his carbine. Started with a "B" ;-)

    I'd suggest a slug gun with a good folding stock in a backpack style scabbard or a magnum you can handle well with hardcasts in a belly holster. Something that will stay out of the way. Either that or just take some spray.

    Don't forget the sun cream, either way. People are surprised how crispy they can get in Alaska in the summer. I use the combination bug/sun block. Also a considerable amount of mosquito netting in case the Horde attacks. Enough to completely cover you. And also bring some naptha and a match to light yourself on fire if they get through the barriers. Bears are a comparatively minor threat. Ever seen Aliens? Imagine billions of those things flying around in black swarms, ready to ram their inner mouths into your flesh.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
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