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Black Bear Hunting Gear List for Alaska at Cabela's

Black Bear Hunting Gear List for Alaska

Author: Cabela's Staff

This gear list will get you prepared for your big hunting trip for black bear in Alaska.

 Camping

Sleeping Bag — A good, quality constructed sleeping bag rated to -20°F. Mummy style bags are preferable since they pack into smaller spaces and retain more body heat than conventional box designed bags.
Complete Listing 

Sleeping Pad — A good sleeping pad not only makes a night’s sleep more comfortable but also effectively reduces heat loss to cold ground surfaces.
Complete Listing 

Backpack — For transporting your gear afield, or packing meat back to camp, nothing compares with a quality, external frame pack.
Complete Listing 

 Footwear

Hip Boots—Crossing small creeks and slogging through boggy tundra is a daily occurrence in much of Alaska. Therefore, a set of hip boots is a necessity.
Complete Listing 

Hunting Boots—A good set of well broken-in waterproof, and breathable hunting boots are nice to have in certain areas—to save pack weight, these boots should be worn to Alaska as your normal footwear.
Complete Listing 

Camp Shoes—For lounging around the lodge after the day’s excursion, or gathering wood behind the tent, a comfortable set of camp shoes will be welcomed by your tired feet.
Complete Listing 

 Clothing

Base Layer — Since weather in Alaska is often the epitome of extremes, plan on hunting conditions that range from -20°F to +70°F. Layering is the key to meeting these ever changing conditions. Avoid cotton items next to your skin and start with a good, perspiration wicking underlayer.
Complete Listing 

Shirt — A warm, quick drying shirt is perfect for layering over your thermals.
Complete Listing 

Pants — Comfortable, windproof pants are great for layering or wearing around camp.
Complete Listing 

Insulation — After a good base of moisture wicking long underwear, an insulating layer that can be removed or added depending upon the conditions should follow.
Complete Listing 

Outerwear — To top everything off, Alaskan Hunters will need an outer shell that is warm, waterproof, breathable and quiet.
Complete Listing 

Rainwear — For an extra measure of protection against rain, bring along rubber rainwear to use while sitting.
Complete Listing 

Insect Proof — Depending upon the time of the year, biting flies and mosquitoes may be a problem.
Complete Listing 

Headwear — Since the human body losses over 30% of its heat through the head, a hat or stocking cap is useful for regulating your body temperature as well as staying warm in frigid conditions.
Complete Listing 

Socks — In order to keep your feet warm, comfortable and blister free, a combination of quality socks should be worn. For a normal weeklong hunt, six pairs of each should be brought.
Complete Listing 

Insulated Gloves — Keeping your hands dry and warm for that moment of truth is an important consideration in the Alaskan bush, where days can be cold and wet.
Complete Listing 

Leather Gloves — For hiking and climbing over rocks, leather gloves protect your hands and are more abrasion resistant than ordinary insulated gloves.
Complete Listing 

 Hunting

Rifle Optics — Since hunting in Alaska varies from open tundra to dense alder thickets, a variable powered scope is perfect for changing hunting conditions.
Complete Listing 

Binoculars — A good set of binoculars that won’t fog or induce eye fatigue after a day of glassing is indispensable in Alaska.
Complete Listing 

Soft Case — If a bush planeride is in your plans, your rifle will need to be in a soft rifle case.
Complete Listing 

Hard Case — For road or airline transport a hard rifle case is required.
Complete Listing 

Knife — From gutting to skinning to caping, a sharp, well-designed knife is mandatory.
Complete Listing 

Knife Sharpener — In order to keep your knife sharp while afield, a pack sized sharpener is ideal.
Complete Listing 

Flashlight — Every hunter should have both a full sized flashlight for around camp and a "mini" flashlight in their pack for emergencies.
Complete Listing 

Headlamp — For hiking or working around camp after dark, headlamps are ideal for keeping your hands free and your work area well lit.
Complete Listing 

Multi-Purpose Utility Tool — For tightening a loose scope or sharpening a hook, or should you need to improvise in a survival situation, no hunter or fisherman should head to Alaska without a quality utility tool.
Complete Listing 

Radios — Keep in touch with your hunting party or listen to weather broadcasts. A good radio can help you when an emergency arises.
Complete Listing 

GPS — For finding camp or relocating a downed animal a GPS unit should be included in every pack.
Complete Listing 

Rifle Cleaning Kit — A week of wet hunting can do irreversible damage to your firearm if it is not properly cleaned at the end of each day.
Complete Listing 

Gun Recommendations — While many cartridges will "do the job" on black bear, we prefer ones that are perfect for the job. For many hunters, this is a once in a lifetime hunt and it should not be spoiled by inadequate cartridge performance. While .30-06 and 7mm Rem Mags will do the job, we recommend .300 Win Mags and the .338 Win Mag.

Bow Recommendations — For black bears, we recommend bows with at least a 65-pound pull, and arrows with a total weight of at least 450 grains. While expandable broadheads, can and do work, we prefer fixed-blade heads for these heavy boned animals.

Muzzleloader RecommendationsMuzzleloaders should be a minimum of .50 caliber and fire a conical bullet or sabot. Many of the hunts are conducted in constant rain, so proper precautions (nipple and muzzle cover should be used). A take down tool and necessary cleaning supplies should also be included as it is recommended to clean and dry the gun each night.

Cartridge Selection — Black bears have a thick layer of fat and are tough to track if they get into heavy cover. For this reason, ONLY premium controlled expanding bullets should be used. We have found that bullets made by Swift and Barnes work very well. They reliably expand to twice their diameter while still retaining over 90% of their original weight. These bullets are also available as factory-loaded ammunition or alone for reloaders.

 Miscellaneous

Dry Bag — For wet weather or on a float trip, a large Dry Bag is a must for keeping all your clothing and pack items dry.
Complete Listing 

Water Bottles — Drinking water while afield is always a concern, a collapsible or hard water bottle should be included in your pack.
Complete Listing: Hydration Packs , Collapsible & hard water bottles

Water Purifier — While there is often drinking water available at camp, should you run out while afield, packable Water Purifiers work well.
Complete Listing 

Parachute Cord — For lashing quarters to a pack frame, hanging food in a tree or even as emergency guy wires for the tent, no camp should be without a large supply of Parachute Cord.
Recommended: Parachute Cord 

Space Blanket — Used as a dry spot for sitting while glassing or as an emergency shelter, every pack should have a Space Blanket included.
Recommended: Emergency Blankets & Sleeping Bags 

Fire Starting Material — Like any outdoors trip, having a reliable means to start a fire is an absolute necessity to have in your pack. Magnesium fire starters will even work when completely wet.
Complete Listing 

Game Bags — To pack out meat and protect it against insects, bring along some game bags.
Recommended: Game Bags 

 

Zip Lock Bags — You never know when you are going to happen upon dry tinder to start your next fire. Zip Lock bags are great for keeping small items dry.

Vise Grips — To remove bear knuckles and skin paws, pack a pair of vise grips.

Extra Duffle Bag — For the trip back home, place your hide and skull into an extra duffle bag.

Electrical and Duct Tape — Your pack should always contain tape for field repairs and improvisations.

Personal Gear — Every hunter should include his own personal gear such as pillow case (stuff clothes inside for a comfortable pillow), toothbrush, lip balm, eyeglasses, sunglasses, tissues, sunscreen, pain relievers, and any necessary medication.


 

Outdoor Information