What kinds of trips do you offer?
Our trips can be divided into these main categories: base camp, backpacking, mountaineering, multi-sport, rafting, scenic/photography, and winter trips. Most of them are fly-in/fly-out, with most trips beginning on the Kenai Peninsula or Anchorage, Alaska. We offer an assortment of scheduled trips each year, and we also arrange custom trips for a variety of groups and individuals.
How long do your trips last?
Our multi-day trips last anywhere from 2 to 14 days (some longer). Cost includes everything from the departure town and back (but see our Terms and Conditions on our Reservation Form about contingencies). Our day trips range from half-day to full-day trips.
What’s included in the cost?
All of our trips are fully guided by sturdy, experienced, mostly Alaskan, professional backcountry / wilderness / mountain guides with training in first aid, river safety, bear safety, and “leave no trace” practices. Kenai Backcountry Adventures provides everything you will need, except for your personal gear (clothes and similar items). We provide expedition quality tents, but you can bring your own tent (upon approval). Our guides have all the communication, safety, first-aid, and repair gear needed for multi-day expeditions. Our guides prepare and cook all the meals while in the field. We can rent sleeping bags and sleeping pads, but we recommend you bring your own. For river trips, we provide small dry-bags for personal items, but we can also rent or sell you a large dry bag for all your gear if you don’t already have one. See each trip for details on what’s included or not included.
How many other people will be on the trip?
Expeditions: including your guide(s), usually no more than 8-12 people on a trip. Most of our trips average about 8 people, plus 2 guides, or in some cases 3 guides. We offer private guided trips for a nominal surcharge, and we can do these with as few as 1 or 2 people.
What are your backpacking trips like?
Backpacking trips are some of our best trips we offer. On average, we travel about 6 – 7 miles a day, overland without trails. The scenery is unparalleled, but the walking can at times be pretty tough depending on which trip you are on. These are our hardest trips, and well worth the effort if you enjoy the satisfaction that comes with traversing Alaska backcountry terrain, rarely seen or visited, all by the power of YOU! Our guests are pretty amazed and excited to show their friends the maps and pictures we provide after a trip showing where you went.
What are your river trips like?
On river trips, we use river rafts, or packrafts. We outfit our rafts with paddles for those that want to get in on the action. Most of the rivers we float tend not to have a whole lot of crazy whitewater; typically up to Class III. The emphasis is more on the wilderness than on high-adrenaline rapids. For the average day on a river trip, you could expect to be in the boat for about 5-6 hours total, including a nice stop for a picnic lunch. River trips often begin and end with a short portage (to transport gear from bush plane to river). On each “moving day,” everyone works as a team to bring gear to/from the river, and to load/unload the boats. River trips frequently include one, two, or three layover days, spent day hiking, fishing or relaxing, or all of the above.
What is a typical camp like?
On all of our trips, we camp in three or four-season tents (each person/couple sleeps in their own tent). Your guide(s) will prepare the meals in a “camp kitchen,” complete with a weather shelter, a hand-wash station, and water filter. For river trips, we add a little kitchen table. Nothing fancy– just a few creature comforts that can make all the difference after a long day of hiking, paddling, or just soaking up the midnight sun. We camp on either gravel bars or just the open tundra.
What is the food like?
You will enjoy three gourmet meals a day and plenty of snacks. Our food is wholesome, delicious, and much of it homegrown recipes created after years of mountain expeditions. Hot drinks are plentiful in camp, and a nice way to stay hydrated and warm. Filtered water is always available. Many clients say it is the best food they have ever eaten on a camping trip, or even rival a local restaurant.
What kind of weather can I expect?
Weather-wise, it’s prudent to expect nothing, and to be prepared for everything. On our Southcentral trips, summer temps range from the 40s to the 80s. It can be sunny, rainy, or even snowy… all in one trip, or even in a single day. June tends to be cooler. July tends to be “buggier” (mosquitoes). August tends to be wetter. On trips in Southwest Alaska, the weather is rather unpredictable, though generally fair overall in the summer. Whichever trip you join, Kenai Backcountry Adventures will help you prepare. We provide a detailed Gear List to follow while you’re packing. Rental gear is available, and we can fully outfit you with all the necessary gear, minus personal items. As you get ready for your trip, you have access to unlimited, personalized customer service (Q&A about gear, conditions, how to pack, etc.). Before we fly from our starting point, your guide(s) will “double check” all gear during our mandatory Pre-Trip Meeting, which usually happens the day before your trip’s start date.
Who usually signs up for your trips?
Our guests range in age from 8 to 80. They are men and women from all fifty states, as well as a many other countries. They are solo travelers, couples, families, groups, or just friends. Our scheduled trips attract a diverse mix of adventurous guests.
I’m in pretty good shape. Do I have to be an athlete to join one of your trips?
We make sure that folks are adequately prepared– physically and mentally– for our wilderness trips by taking time to learn about potential guests’ fitness levels before encouraging them to sign up on a trip. This is fair to the guest, the guide(s), and the rest of the group. Wilderness travel involves risk. This risk is reduced when all guests are in good physical condition, and when they have reasonable expectations for their wilderness trip. You don’t have to be an athlete, but upper body strength, good balance on uneven terrain, and decent cardio capacity (for sustained trekking or backpacking) all make the trip safer and more enjoyable. Many people set fitness goals in preparation for their wilderness trip. The incentive: the better shape you are in, the more fun you will have on the trip. We never run from bears, so you don’t have to worry about that.
How will friends and loved ones know where I am?
99.99% of our trips take place where cell phones are far from coverage and they simply become music players and cameras. We have communication equipment for emergency purposes, but due to the vital role this equipment plays in the big picture, they are not available for general purpose guest use; emergencies only. However, we provide a way for people to check in and see where we are on our trips so your friends and loved ones can check to see where you are at any given time. This is all done through a special link on our website. If you don’t want anyone to know where you are when your on your trip, don’t share the link with them.
If you have more questions, or simply want to discuss trip options, give us a call or shoot us an email.