A visit to Katmai National Park and Preserve carries some inherent risk. Preparation can make the difference between the adventure of a lifetime and tragedy.
Have a trip plan. Always let a responsible person know where you are going and when you expect to return. Let them know how long overdue you can be before they should start to worry. Trip planners can be filled out in person at the King Salmon and Brooks Camp visitor centers or email your itinerary to Katmai's dispatch office. Park staff do not track individual trips, however a detailed itinerary may provide rangers with extremely valuable information in an emergency.
Prepare for the unexpected. Strong storms sweep through the area any time of year. Carry waterproof rain gear and extra food since weather may delay pick-up from a chartered aircraft for days. A properly prepared party can usually wait through bad weather and thus may be a few days overdue with no cause for alarm. Backcountry travelers should consider carrying a satellite phone and/or a satellite-based text messaging device. Don't make your schedule too tight. Allow extra time for delays and always have a backup plan.