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Backpacking Guide

If you have an adventurous spirit and want to experience Kenai in its true wild splendor, multi-day backpacking trips are the ultimate Alaskan adventure. There is so much to see in Kenai that would rank as bucket-list-worthy, and much of it is in the heart of Kenai where few people go. With any one of our Alaska backcountry adventure tours you can relax knowing you’re in safe hands with our experienced guides who know the area like the back of their hands. But even if you’re a veteran backcountry trekker, the level of remoteness and ruggedness of Kenai may have you wondering exactly what to expect with multi-day backpacking trips of this caliber. This backpacking guide will shed some light on what it takes to get in and out of this wilderness safely.

Alaska Backcountry Adventure Tours In Alaska Take You Through Epic Terrain

Multi-day backpacking trips with Kenai Backcountry Adventures take you to some of the wildest areas on the planet, with some of the most epic terrain to match. When you choose one of our Alaskan adventure packages or design your own trip, you have options in where you go and what you see that range from the beaches and grassy banks in Lake Clark National Park to glaciers on the Kenai mountains. Most of our multi-day backpacking trips involve moderate to strenuous hiking with several hundred feet of elevation gain – so you’ll want to be fit before you attempt them! Your Alaskan adventure will take you on established trails or preset paths, but the environment that surrounds you is pristine wilderness that can be equal parts unpredictable and unforgiving. That’s why planning ahead is the first step in backpacking.

Kenai Backcountry Adventures takes care of all the planning for you. Our Alaska backcountry adventure tours are conducted by skilled guides who know the area better than anyone, with the equipment and ability to take you in and out safely. Your Alaskan adventure may include several modes of transportation through the wilderness, including bush plane, float plane, helicopter, and rafting, but with any multi-day backpacking trips, the mode of transportation you will have to depend on the most is your two feet. In this kind of rugged terrain, your body will appreciate having to carry less of a load, but you cannot skimp on essential gear, which is why what to pack is a common question we get asked from our guests.

Backpacking Guide: Necessary Gear For A Successful Alaskan Adventure

When most people go on multi-day backpacking trips for their first time, they tend to pack all kinds of gear that they don’t need. These include things like books, tablets, large amounts of toiletries, etc. But on these Alaska backcountry adventure tours you are going to be too distracted with wonderment and awe to care about non-essential gear, and more than likely straining your body enough to not want to carry it, anyways. Some things that you do want to bring include the following:

Safety Gear

The wildlife, and especially the population of both black and brown bears in the area, makes bringing along deterrents an absolute necessity. Bear-spray has effectively stopped 90% of bear attacks according to most studies, so carrying a can of it is a no-brainer when out in this country. Bear-spray should always be worn attached to your person where it is easy to grab and deploy quickly, and never stowed away in your backpack while you’re in the bush. Also, be sure the wind isn’t against you when you spray, or you might just be seasoning yourself to delicious perfection!

A tool to allow someone to find you in case you become lost or trapped is also essential in the remote areas of our multi-day backpacking trips. We provide this equipment to our guests, along with other gear designed to keep you safe:

  • Medical & First Aid Kits
  • Repair Kit
  • Radios, Satellite Phone, Cell Phone, GPS, Location Tracker
  • Rescue Equipment
  • Guides carry necessary wildlife protection gear


Depending on where you are or what time of the year it is during your Alaskan adventure, the clothing you bring may vary. You will undoubtedly need to bring cold weather clothing along with you for the chilly nights and in the event of adverse weather. If you will be hiking high in the Kenai mountains you will need a coat and a base-layer. Clothing that can be dried out quickly can save your life, so polyesters and other synthetic materials are preferred over cotton. Wool socks are excellent for hiking, as they keep your feet warm and do not rub in the way that cotton does, causing blisters.

A good pair of shoes comes down to what you are most comfortable hiking in for the most part. Some people will choose waterproof boots for the wet conditions they will encounter, while other peoples feet sweat too much inside of them, negating their purpose. Shoes that can grip wet rocks are an excellent feature to have on many of our Alaska backcountry adventure tours.


Rain gear, whether it is a full suit or just a poncho should be brought. A rain covering for your backpack will keep your clothing and sleeping back dry. A backpack in the 30-50 liter range should be accommodating for most multi-day backpacking trips. You’ll need a sleeping bag rated to the temperature of the environment to keep warm at night, though body heat inside of your tent can allow you to get away with one rated a few degrees warmer. Tents need a rainfly and a waterproof foot pad beneath.

Backpacking Guide: We Provide Much Of The Gear You Will Need

This backpacking guide covers most of the basics of what to expect and what to bring on multi-day backpacking trips to Kenai, but it would take a manual to cover it all comprehensively. As far as gear, Kenai Backcountry Adventures will provide most of the essentials besides clothing, raingear, backpacks, and other personal gear:

  • Expedition tents
  • Cook tent / gathering tent
  • Most meals – see specific trip itinerary for details
  • All cooking equipment (stoves, fuel, cookware, etc)
  • Eating utensils, bowl/plate, hot drink mug
  • Water filtration equipment
  • Water containers
  • Trekking poles
  • Bear Resistant Canister (trip specific)
  • Electric bear fence (trip specific)
  • Sleeping bag with liner, sleeping pad, and pillow (base camp trips only)
  • Storage for your extra travel items while in the field
  • All internal transportation for each adventure (bush planes, boats, etc.)

Your Alaskan adventure is a vacation, after all! With our guide service, you should worry most about bringing good spirits and an expectation to be amazed. If you want to talk to us more about what to expect and bring, or find more information about our Alaska backcountry adventure tours, you’ll find the links at kenaibackcountryadventures.com.