Legend has it Mike Janes was born on a glacier beneath the northern lights in a Taku windstorm. By age four, he was wandering the mountains with only a harmonica and a philosopher’s sense of wonder. Since then, he’s made a life guiding and teaching mountaineering and forecasting avalanches. For the last 15 years, Mike has worked as an avalanche forecaster in Juneau. He also works with local search and rescue group SEADOGS, where he and his dog Otis are certified in avalanche and wilderness air scent work. He is a lead avalanche instructor for the Alaska Avalanche School and a board member of the newly formed Coastal Alaska Avalanche Center. Mike lives on Douglas Island with his wife and three kids on their “urban farm” with chickens, ducks, rabbits, and fish. When he’s not working—and sometimes when he is—you’ll find him wandering the mountains with his family. Follow him on Instagram @tongasspottery.

Product descriptions by Mike Janes

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MSR 2 Person Hubba Hubba Tent

MSR Hubba Hubba tent

I was introduced to the Hubba series of MSR tents when I purchased a Papa Hubba for a five-month family bike trip in South America. More recently, I used the Hubba Hubba in southeast Alaska for hunting. It keeps us dry and holds up well in wind.


Mystery Ranch Selway 60 Pack

backpack with camo pattern

I still own my first Mystery Ranch pack that I used on numerous expeditions climbing Denali. When it comes to big-load hauling, its suspension can’t be beat. I got the Selway 60 pack as a lightweight load hauler for alpine deer hunting in southeast Alaska, but I use it for overnight hikes. My family members have borrowed it to go on multi-day trips in the desert as well. The adjustable yoke allows it to fit a wide range of torso sizes.


Patagonia DAS Parka

puffy blue zip up jacket

This is my go-to layer when things start to get cold. I have used the DAS parka on Denali summit days as well as keeping warm sitting still on fall hunts. In southeast Alaska, we are frequently challenged by wet weather, and the synthetic loft in the DAS keeps me warm even when it gets wet.


Hestra Falt Guide Glove

white and yellow gloves

Because I work with my hands so much in the snow and ice, I am kind of a glove snob. These gloves are well made of very durable yet pliable leather and come with a removable wool liner for easy drying. They are warm enough and still allow a good degree of dexterity.


Banks Fry-Bake

metal pan and lid

This workhorse of a pan is versatile enough to bring on most trips. It’s light enough you can backpack or hunt with it; in fact, it’s a staple of many guiding operations on Denali. As the name implies you can bake or fry with it and even use it like a Dutch oven buried in coals. At home, I am a diehard cast iron user, but this pan comes as close as you can to cast iron without the burden of the weight.

starting at $67


Bjorn Dihle is Alaska magazine's gear editor and a lifelong resident of southeast Alaska. You can follow him at instagram.com/bjorndihle or facebook.com/BjornDihleauthor.

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