The Ten Essentials for Backcountry Travel in Katmai
To have a safer and more enjoyable visit to Katmai, be sure to bring these essential items with you.
1. Sturdy Shelter
Winds, ash, and insects make for some uncomfortable bedfellows. A good three-season tent is a must whether you are in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, out on the Katmai coast, or camping near Crosswind Lake.
2. Bear Resistant Food Container
Required for all backcountry travel. Store anything with an odor that might catch a bear's interest inside.3. Good Rain Gear and Extra Clothing
Always plan for rain at Katmai. Dry, insulating layers are always a welcome sight at the end of a long day. Fleece or wool hats, gloves, socks make the rainy days a little more bearable, and rain gear is excellent for wind protection as well. Dry suits or chest waders are great for rafting trips or for crossing coastal creeks.
4. Map and Compass/GPS Units
There are no trails in the Katmai backcountry so route finding is a necessary skill. Maps can be downloaded from the USGS MapStore or purchased from Katmai’s cooperating association, Alaska Geographic. All members of your group need to be familiar with using these items. Keeping the GPS unit charged with a solar panel system is an inexpensive way to assure that you have battery power.
5. Extra Food
Backcountry travel in Katmai is all about the weather. Always carry 1-2 days extra food, especially when you are depending on transportation such as airplanes or boats. Weather changes may change your plans. Carry and eat high energy foods to get you through the day.
6. Water and a Water Treatment System
Staying hydrated in Katmai’s climate is sometimes more easily said than done. Water sources may dry up throughout the summer, so talk with rangers before heading to the field to know where alternative sources of fresh water are. It is a good idea to filter or boil water in the backcountry.
7. Camp Stove and Extra Fuel
In many places wood is scarce and is difficult to ignite if wet.
8. Appropriate Footwear
Most backcountry routes require walking in trailless areas and multiple cold water crossings. Sturdy walking shoes are a must but keep a pair of multisport sandals handy for water crossings.
9. Safety Items
10. Safety Items You May Not Have Thought About
Last updated: January 2, 2018