Alaska offers some of the world’s most alluring wilderness…but exploring this awe-inspiring landscape is not without its challenges. So we asked ecologist, storyteller and Huckberry ambassador Charles Post to share the packing list that will help him stay safe and prepared for a two-week Alaskan adventure…
For the next two weeks, I will be traveling across Alaska from the shores of Seward to the glaciers of Denali and the rich waters of the Kenai River. As an ecologist, filmmaker and storyteller, Alaska is one of those places that calls you back year after year. It’s a wild landscape whose rhythm continues to be punctuated by grizzly bears, wolves, millions of salmon, ancient forests and glaciers. It’s a land that’s seemingly frozen in time, save for the melting glaciers and rapidly transforming tundra. There’s no other place of such scale that’s been spared by the collective swing of society’s axe to the degree that Alaska has been. Though, a warming climate is increasingly shaping Alaska to degrees the lower 48 is not experiencing, namely with increased jumps in temperature which will forever change the Alaska we know and love.
When shooting in Alaska during the summer months you’re bound to experience a little bit of each season: rain, snow, sun, wind and bugs…heaps of bugs. That means your gear should include smart layers that reflect the diversity of scenarios you’re likely to face. Not to mention Alaska is home to more than a few predators you’ll want to be prepared for and conscious of, so a hiking buddy, sidearm and bear spray are wise choices. In this case, I’ll be traveling with my fiancé, Rachel Pohl, my 44. Mag Smith and Wesson, and the local flavor of bear spray for prudence sake.
With our trip just a day away, I’ll be looking through the various weather forecasts to get a better sense of what lies ahead. And after wrapping my head around that, I’ll just sit back and get stoked for the adventure that awaits. Looking forward to sharing a bit of what we are working on in the coming weeks. Thanks for tuning in!
Learn more at CharlesPost.com
My AK gear quiver
The drive into Denali NP. Golden Hour.
One of the many epic river valleys that braid Denali. If you sit on the edge of these slopes with patient eyes, you’ll be sure to see a grizzly or two feasting on thousands of berries that pepper the park.
Fall in full form: Photosynthetic lanterns garnishing the wetted edges of Alaska’s creeks and rivers.
Feet up and feasting on the views that pour in from every direction.
Epic mountain #1234577
Denali’s grizzly are smaller than their coastal counterparts mainly because their diets consist of berries, not salmon.
Dall sheep call the rugged brows of Alaska home. And it was in their protection from overhunting that the lands now recognized as Denali NP were initially set aside for conservation. So, without Dall sheep, we wouldn’t have the Denali we know and love today.
An old crown from one of Alaska’s caribou, the true kings of the northern slopes.
If Alaska was to have their own form of currency it would either be wilderness or salmon. Millions still flood Alaskan waters each summer and fall, which represents the base of a still wild ecosystem bound to the pulse of salmon and the rivers they call home.
If you drive into Denali, which is unlikely given the road is closed to private vehicles, you’ll find a dirt artery that will bring you into the heart of this incredible National Park.
Net and hemostats: if you’re going fishing, you’ll need both. I’m in the market for a bigger net too. Hopefully that means I catch bigger fish!
Rachel Pohl neck gaiter: ideal for fishing, hiking and keeping sun/snow off your face. Rachel’s also my fiancé and an amazing artist, which is reason 1,234 why I don’t leave home without this.
When you work on the road, these LaCie travel drives will become your best friends. They allow you to be productive and know that you’ve got every terabite you could ever want within reach. And they’re shockproof…they say. I haven’t had one fail yet! Hah.
Filson insulated deer hide gloves: these are pretty much great for everything except rain. I hunt in these, hike, ride horses and pretty much anything else that might benefit from warm hands.
Sony a6300, Zeiss 16-70 f4, Sony 70-200 f4. This is my travel camera kit, and it does just what I need it to: take hi-res images while not breaking my back with extraneous weight. It’s also pretty affordable, so if you break or destroy any part of the kit, you won’t go broke trying to replace it.
Portable power from the sun. What more could you ask for?
This is my favorite shirt. It’s lightweight, has solar protection, dries quickly and is generally bombproof. It’s a new product for Mountain Hardwear – keep your eyes peeled!
DJI Mavic Drone: Just another tool in my creative toolbox. I bought this a few months ago and it’s totally blown my mind! It’s easy to use and provides some amazing imagery and hi-res video.
Between the Leatherman Wave and the Filson Scout Knife, you’ll be able to survive a winter in the woods or build a log cabin. Or clean a fish, or carve a small bear out of a piece of dried walnut. These two tools will get you a long way on your adventure. Oh yeah, and the leather is some custom-made pieces by one of my best friends, Madi Hester @ Ranchlands Mercantile. Check em’ out!
Sat texter, emergency rescue device and unlimited texts, which makes this little unit a no-brainer when you’re out in the bush. It’ll save your life, your relationship with your girl (i.e., texting capabilities) and allow you to tell your mom you made it back to camp. Hah. But seriously, it’s something I keep charged and on my person at all times.
$50 Suncloud sunglasses. Probably the best bang for your buck pair of shades out there. Not to mention, they’re polarized!
One of my best friends, Cyrus Sutton, has been working on this brand with a few luminaries, and after their launch last year and a few test runs, I quickly realized there’s not a better, Earth-friendly, waterproof sunscreen out there. Not to mention the organic ingredients are all things you can eat!
Now this is something I’ve just added to my quiver, but what I’ve heard is that it’s a must-have simply because you can dip it into any relatively clear body of water, throw the top on and start sipping. Plus, the system works well enough to remove 99.9999% of harmful pathogens (EPA standards).
The Petzl Tikka…. Favorite head lamp out there. 200 lumens, 4 light options including the red light which is great for reading in a crowded tent at night and sneaking around when trying to raid your camp neighbor’s beer cooler.
You can tell by the photo that this book has been lugged around miles of trails for months at a time. For the better part of 10 years I worked as a field scientist mostly studying freshwater ecosystems and songbirds. After wrapping up grad school at U.C. Berkeley, I’ve become a bit more of an ephemeral scientist with a few select jobs a year, but primarily identify as a nature nerd who likes to make films and shoot some photos. Ha ha.
Fishing marsupium: You can pack everything you need in here including my little Sony a6300 and all the flies you’ll need for some solid days of fishing.
Mountain Hardwear Plasmic OutDry Gloves: Basically your hands stay warm, dry and functional on even the wettest days. Plus you can throw in some liner inserts if it’s really cold. A must-have for AK.
Zeiss 10×42 SF Victory + FHF Gear case: If I had to bring one thing with me it would be this. Binoculars will change your life and open your eyes to a world that’s always just been out of view. There is nothing better than good glass, and in my opinion this is the best setup out there…though, there are some really good Swarovski binoculars out there too!
My custom 100x beaver felt hat made by the one and only Cate Havstad. She and I designed this a few years back, and she brought that vision to life. This hat has sat on my head for the better part of every year since she first sent it my way in the mail.
Some Laguna Zuni silver from master silversmith Leonard Paquin. You can find his work on the square in Santa Fe. He’ll be there with his latest crafts proudly displayed on a handwoven blanket. That’s the beauty of Santa Fe, NM.
My wedding / engagement ring made by a friend and someone I hold in very high regard, Anna Sheffield and her office manager Doug Kramer. They’re in NYC, and worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood. My fiancé, Rachel Pohl, has a pretty epic set of wedding / engagement rings from her too. This is something I definitely don’t take off except for Carryology features! Ha ha.
Yeti thermos and Rachel Pohl art stickers! Great for coffee and some visual candy!
My trusty Keen boots. They are the Detroit 8” (soft toe). These have been everywhere from the Mexico border to the high plains of Colorado and the Canadian Rockies. They’ve got some Mossy Oak camo in there, so you can bet I hunt in these each fall.
Pelican case for my camera gear + laptop. This fits in the overhead bins on most planes, and if you find yourself in a puddle jumper, you can bet this tough case will protect everything inside. And that’s another Blackstrap x Rachel Pohl neck gaiter on top, which I swap in for face protection on the river or in the snow/wind!
Bear protection is a must when traveling to Alaska or in our backyard here in Montana: A Smith and Wesson 44. Mag with some heavy grain, lead-tipped bear loads. I carry this on my hip or across my chest depending on the circumstances (i.e., on horseback, fishing or backpacking). And of course, that’s bear spray which is your first line of defense in bear country.
Simms G3 Guide Boot. A must-have if you’re planning to fish and hike a few miles. There isn’t a better, tougher wading boot out there. Plus, it doesn’t have felt soles which is important if you want to limit the chance of transporting unwanted aquatic species between watersheds. That’s important!
Men’s Rio Gallegos Zip-Front Waders. Arguably the best waders out there. Tough, durable, light, quick-drying and warm. Nothing better when you’re spending long days on the river fishing.
My go-to backpacking tent for two. This thing is bombproof, light, easy to set up and spacious for two. Plus it does insanely well in windy and wet conditions. I don’t have a bad thing to say about this tent. This will be home for many nights to come.
Adventure Medical Mountain Series Medical Kit: Pairing a smart med kit with some wilderness first aid skills / certs is about the best thing you can do when traveling in Alaska except for a good head on your shoulders and an adventure buddy. It’s always good to be prepared. In this case, I’ll be bringing a 2-people, 4-day backpacker kit.