This is our 'Alaskan Style' Survival Kit Display in our Soldotna Store.

Please Click the Photo to see our List of Suggested Items.
Wilderness survival the Wilderness WayWe sell some ready-made Survival Kits here at Wilderness Way, but we consider these to be a starting point for your survival needs, rather than a kit you can buy and forget about.  Frankly, many of the survival kits you find at warehouse sporting goods stores are about half junk, and we only stock the kits that are a good value. You already have some of the essential survival equipment you need, like a small knife or a signal mirror or a good compass,...so why buy a kit with a duplicate item in it? Instead, come on in to the experts at Wilderness Way and let us help you put together your own Custom Survival Kit!  Our knowledgeable staff can help you select the items you you really want and need based on where and how you travel. By putting your own kit together you know exactly what you have with you and can develop the skills you will need to use those items effectively.

 

 

 

SURVIVAL STRATEGIES

  • The first step in Alaska backcountry survival is to be prepared.  Nothing is more frustrating (or fatal) in a survival situation than not having that essential piece of gear or clothing.
  • The second important step is to be well trained.  All the right gear won't help you if you don't know how to use it.  Study up on survival techniques so you will know how to handle any situation.  Wilderness Way has a large selection of survival and outdoor manuals to help you get started.
  • Third, don't panic. Your brain is your BEST survival tool - Be sure and use it. 
  • Assemble your 'Alaska Style Personal Survival Kit' and keep it with you when traveling in the Alaska bush.  When the unexpected happens, it may be all that you have left of your gear, so keep it on your person.
  • Alaska weather can change rapidly. Always wear or carry appropriate Performance Clothing and proper boots, hat & gloves, rain gear, sunglasses and bug protection.
  • In any survival situation, evaluate the survival conditions based on what can kill you the quickest.   

10 Tips on Being Prepared in the Alaska bush (or even the near-road Alaska backcountry!)

1) Your physical condition should enable you to complete the planned trip safely.

2) Be familiar with the terrain that you plan to cover.  Aquire topographical maps that cover the terrain of your proposed trip, and know how to use these maps in conjunction with a compass and altimeter.  Do not rely solely on a GPS unit, they are not a replacement for a map & compass.  Also, discuss the terrain that you plan to travel through with people who are familiar with the area, Alaskan terrain and regional weather conditions.  Learn how to 'stay found' by navigating using terrain features.

3) Know as much as you can about the regional weather conditions that you will likely encounter.  Plan to travel comfortably in the forecasted weather conditions, but also plan to be prepared for the worst conditions that could possibly occur in the area you'll be visiting.  Even on 'day hikes' always wear or carry clothes suitable for spending the night without distress.

4) Leave a written description of your trip plan with a reliable person, or if carrying a Personal Locator Beacon, update your on-line profile and trip plan before departure.

5) Allow enough time to reach your destination well before dark.  But also be prepared to bed down anywhere along the route in case you don't reach your destination.

6) When planning your trip ask yourself, "If I unexpectedly must spend the night in the backcountry, what skills, clothing and gear should I have to be sure that I get through the night and back to the trailhead safely?"  Then acquire these skills and gear prior to departure.

7) In addition to your Personal Survival Kit, you may want to carry some of these other items with you when you leave the trailhead or your base camp:

  • Extra food, snack food or energy bars (in waterproof pocket or bag)
  • Extra clothing (in waterproof bag)
  • Sunglasses and sun block
  • Bug Headnet and Insect repellant
  • First Aid Supplies
  • A small cooking system (JetBoil or pot & mini stove)
  • Temporary shelter (tent, bivy or SPACE bag)
  • Bear Repellant Spray and/or Firearm

8) Be sure that your heat sources are working properly.

  • Your body is your primary heat source.  Stay well fed, well hydrated, dry, and sheltered from the wind.
  • Carry 3 methods of fire making materials and know how to build a fire reliably in the most adverse conditions.
  • If you might be above timberline, take a small stove with windscreen and a metal pot with lid.   Pack a couple packets of instant soup and instant oatmeal in the pot as a quick emergency meal.
  • Take along a couple of chemical warming packets.  These can help prevent frostbitten fingers or toes and can be used to help keep your core body temperature up through the night.

9) Wear the proper performance clothing and lose the cotton!

  • Light layers of modern synthetic fabrics are faster drying than wool.  Cotton will never dry under Alaskan conditions and once wet, will sap your body heat,...leave it back home.
  • Have a set of waterproof-breathable outershell garments to keep your other layers dry.  Wear boots you have 'field tested' and know are comfortable and dry.
  • Carry spare accessory clothing in a waterproof bag.  An extra pair of dry socks can make a big difference in comfort at the end of the day.  A cap and gloves can help conserve body heat and allow you to sleep warmly.

10) Stay as dry as possible at all times

  • Don't overheat. Ventilate to allow perspiration to evaporate when exercising.
  • Put on your shell garments before the pouring rain starts.
  • Find shelter before the storm hits. Learn how to find or quickly create shelter.
  • Keep your sleeping bag dry by lining its stuff sack with a plastic bag.
  • If you aren't carrying a tent, then a lightweight personal bivy sack or SPACE bag is essential.



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