I love my gas lanterns, but I don’t love that they can be a fire danger especially as a dad of a couple of rowdy little boys who have an appetite for destruction. For a lot of camping trips, I switched to using a battery-operated lantern, partly for safety and partly because they are easier to use. I’ll never say goodbye to my Coleman lanterns, but there are some real perks to not playing with gasoline and fire. This fall I tried out Cascade Mountain Tech’s LED Camping Lantern. This thing is a beast of light—you don’t want to stare directly at it. Powered by eight D batteries, it is the brightest lantern I’ve used. At its lowest setting it shines for up to 250 hours, which is much longer than lanterns of a similar make. It does weigh nearly five pounds, which isn’t surprising considering the light and hours…
Taku Harbor’s Legendary Man and Myth I stepped into the low light of a derelict cabin and studied moldering walls, broken glass, and filth. My three-year-old son clung to me, scanning the shadows. “Daddy, there could be ghosts! We need to get out of here!” he said. The cabin once belonged to Henry “Tiger” Olson—a hermit, philosopher, and mystic who lived most of his life in Taku Harbor, 20-some miles south of Juneau. By the time we got there, it had been more than 40 years since he had occupied the cabin. To be honest, the place creeped me out a little as well. It wasn’t just Tiger’s cabin that felt haunted, though—Taku Harbor is filled with ruins and stories. Tiger Olson lived in this cabin in Taku Harbor for nearly 60 years. Photo by Chris Miller The harbor is part of the Tlingit T’aaku Kwáan’s territory. The Hudson’s Bay…
Essential Alaska Gear Whether you’re confronting a curious bear outside your tent at night or can’t make it out of the mountains before dark, a good headlamp is a vital part of any Alaska backcountry kit. I bring two headlamps on longer adventures in case one gets broken, lost, or just quits working—which happens more than I’d like to admit. While there’s everything from cheap and quick-to-break models to expensive and large floodlights on the market, the Princeton Tec Vizz Headlamp is a good middle-of-the-pack option that was perfect for everything I needed. Made in the USA with a lifetime warranty, it’s lightweight and offers a relatively long burn time. It fits comfortably, even when you have a Scandinavian bobble-head like me, and it’s easy to use. Other headlamps I’ve tried have stopped working due to moisture issues. I am excessively sweaty and live in southeast Alaska where we locals…
See the gear the wildlife biologist Gretchen Roffler uses in Alaska’s backcountry.
The wavering roadless rule is the latest contention between the timber industry and sustainable use in the Tongass National Forest.
This spotting scope from Maven is small and light, and it has great glass that withstands the punishing Alaska weather.
Caroline Van Hemert is a wildlife biologist and adventurer, and the author of The Sun is a Compass, see what gear she carries.
Our gear editor says these freeze-dried meals are the best he’s tasted. The first time he tried them they tasted like real gourmet meals.
This cooler is good for boat and road trips, plus it’s bear-resistant and the sort of product that should last a lifetime.
Doug Parker has done a handful of shoots in Alaska, filming brown bears and wolves in southeast and southcentral Alaska.