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…
Burn firewood near where you harvest or buy it because pests can travel with the firewood bundle and be introduced to a new area.
Wherever you are in Alaska and whatever kind of camping you prefer, you’re never far from an ACOA campground with what you’re looking for.
Gear editor Bjorn Dihle says he used this tent in some of the wettest and coldest conditions in southeast Alaska and it held up.
Gear editor Bjorn Dihle says this is the best cold-weather camp stove, no other stove has lasted longer or been more faithful.
From beach camping to icy glacial waters, hit all five of the state’s regions to see the top spots for RV camping in Alaska.
Gear Editor Bjorn Dihle recommends the Coleman Guide Series Dual-Fuel Stove as the best stove for friends and family.
Sam Friedman organized camp cooking competitions for five summers while living in Alaska. So he shared some of his tips on how to hold a camp cooking competition of your own. Tips The more the merrier: Make a broad guest list that includes people who like camping and food. Location: Pick a fun campsite, but one that’s not too far afield. Our six-mile walk-in cabin contest was too far away to get a critical mass of people. An urban campsite on a weeknight was too boring. Timing: Consider hosting in the spring when it’s warm enough to camp but the ground is still thawing. People tend to be very busy in the summer in Alaska. Breakfast is optional: Let a few folks make breakfast dishes but encourage people to focus on dinner. In the morning, there will likely be lots of leftovers from the night before.
Sam Friedman organized a camp cooking competition in Alaska for five summers. These are the two winning camp recipes from his last year hosting the contest.