The best gear for your Alaskan adventures
BY BJORN DIHLE
Alaska and adventure go hand in hand. Every year I revisit the wild places I cherish and make a few new journeys into unexplored wilderness. For me, there’s nothing more curative and centering than these trips. This summer I hope you’re able to disconnect to reconnect with good ol’ Mother Nature. Whether you take a walk in the woods or a paddle of the Inside Passage, Alaska is your ultimate adventure destination. Here are five products I’ve tested and can recommend that will help you on your journey
Kokopelli Rouge Packraft
Packrafting is probably the most revolutionary thing that’s happened to backcountry travel since the Bering Land Bridge. I thoroughly tested my Rouge on everything from wanders across Admiralty Island and Chichagof Island to exploring different rivers in the mighty Taku River watershed. Whether I was crossing oceans or plowing down rocky waterfalls with it, the Rouge proved to be up for the challenge. Rolled up, it provided comfort during those long and lonesome nights when I held it, confessed my fears, and gossiped about who’s hot and who’s not in the outdoor industry. The Rouge weighs in at 7.5 pounds and comes with a Tzip option, which allows you to store cargo in the hull of the raft. It fits perfectly in the bottom of my pack and is good for everything from day floats to multi-week epics. If you feel like something is missing from your life, it’s probably a good packraft. From $1050.00; kokopellipackraft.com
MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Stove
New for 2019, the PocketRocket Deluxe offers all of what we love about previous versions of the PocketRocket, but adds a number of great features. What’s new includes a pressure regulator—making the tiny stove boil water more quickly and efficiently in a wide variety of temperatures and weather; a broader burner; and a durable push-start ignition. If you’re an ultralight traveler or like cooking with a minimal amount of fuss, you should check this stove out.
Stone Glacier Sky Guide 7900 Expedition Pack
Gird your loins and get ready to flee to the mountains, rivers, and woods with Stone Glacier’s ultimate expedition pack. With its huge capacity, the lightweight Sky Guide is great for multi-day backpacking trips and especially epic walkabouts. There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Sky Guide, and it’s justified—this pack is renowned for carrying heavy loads without crippling your back. Between expeditions and subsistence hunting, I’ve gone through a whole gauntlet of packs. While I’ve destroyed some also-rans after a single trek, I found the Sky Guide to be indestructible, crafted to take years of abuse. If you’re in the market for an expedition or hunting pack, don’t let the price turn you off. With Stone Glacier, you’re getting what you pay for. You might even save money as you’ll likely never have to buy another pack. Plus, you can’t put a price tag on the health of your back.
MSR Dynalock Explore Backcountry Poles
These poles are great—I’ve been using them multiple times a week since last fall. They’ve accompanied me over hundreds of miles on dozens of mountains and survived quite a few of my temper tantrums, which would have been the ruin of many ultralight trekking poles. My Explore Backcountry’s don’t show the least bit of wear and tear. Weighing in at about a pound, these poles are strong and meant for everything from casual day hikes to mountaineering epics. Versatile and comfortable with a three-section packability, these poles will join me on outings far and wide
for years to come.
GoPro HERO7 Black
Document your adventures with the HERO7 Black. Rugged and waterproof, with crisp, smooth filming, GoPro’s latest model has evolved to the next level of awesomeness. It’s tiny, weighing in at four ounces, and offers hyper-smooth video stabilization, 12MP photo quality, live streaming, and face and smile detection among many other features. I’m using mine for filming bears, salmon spawning, and other wild critters. Check out my Instagram if you want to see proof of how awesome the HERO7 is. I also used mine to film the birth of my child, but that’s for members only.