Brown Bear and Moose Hunt
Gear and Equipment

I highly recommend purchasing gear from Barney’s Sports Chalet. Barneys is an Alaskan-owned and operated sporting goods store that specializes in outfitting hunters with the proper gear and equipment needed for hunts across Alaska in the most unforgiving conditions. The owner, Kevin Dana, is a personal friend and an avid Alaskan hunter himself, as all are of Bareny’s staff. They can help you with all of your needs and are happy to answer any and all of your questions. They have the experience with this gear and if they do not have something on my gear list, they can help you find an equivalent. Barneys is famous for the Barney’s Pinnacle Pack, the Barneys Brooks Range Jacket and pant, the PA18 softshell pant, Nunivak and Wooly Mammoth 1/4 zip pullovers, and other purpose-built gear that they have designed.

Contact them today, and let them know you are hunting with us – (907) 561-5242


You MUST have waders!

Waders are your single most important piece of gear on a moose or bear hunt. You will live in these waders all day every day. Hiking boots are not acceptable. YOU MUST WEAR WADERS.

Do not come on this hunt planning to carry waders and put them on as needed – You ALWAYS need waders.

Without your feet in good condition, you can not effectively hunt. Wear your waders and hike in them to make sure they fit. Poorly fitting wading boots will at best make you miserable and at worst completely ruin your hunt.

  • Waist-High Breathable Waders: I recommend the highest quality Gore-Tex style breathable waist-high waders. They protect you from the elements, keep you dry and warm, and are quite comfortable to hike in provided you layer correctly. Do not bring chest waders. They are simply too hot for hiking in. Do not bring neoprene waders – they are way too hot and heavy. You may use rubber hip boots but I strongly recommend waist-high breathable waders such as the following; Simms G3 Guide Pant (my favorite), Simms Freestone Pant, Dryft Session GD Wading Pant, Reddington Escape Wading Pant, Patagonia Swiftcurrent Wading Pant.
  • Wading Boots: Simms G3 wading boot, Simms G4 wading boot.
  • Wool Socks: I recommend at least 6 pairs of the highest quality sock such as; Darn Tough Heavyweight Hunting Sock, Kuiu Strongwool Hybrid Crew Sock, Smartwool Hunt Full Cushion Tall Crew Sock.
  • Neoprene Wader Sock (2 pairs): I strongly suggest fall bear hunters bring heavy-weight neoprene wader socks, which can be worn over your wool socks, on days when it is extra cold. I like the SealSkinz Waterproof Extreme Cold Weather, Mid-Length Sock.
  • Crocks or other camp shoes

Base Layer

Absolutely NO COTTON!

  • Underwear bottoms (4 pairs): Exofficio Give-N-Go Boxer Brief, Kuiu Ultra Merino Boxer Brief, Stone Glacier Chinook Merino Boxer.
  • Lightweight Short Sleeve T-Shirts (2 pairs): Kuiu ULTRA MERINO 120 LT SS CREW-T, Stone Glacier Chinook Merino Crew SS, Exxoficio Give-N-Go Short Sleeve.
  • Lightweight Merino Wool Long Sleeve T-Shirts(2 pairs): Kuiu Ultra Merino 145 Weight Zip-T, Stone Glacier Chinook Merino Hoody.
  • Lightweight Merino Wool Bottoms (2 pairs): Kuiu Ultra Merino 145 zip off bottom, Stone Glacier Chinook Merino Bottom, Smartwool Classic All-Season Merino Baselayer Bottom.

Mid Layer

Hoody and Pant

  • Mid Weight Merino Wool or Grid Fleece Hoody (1-2): I wear this over my t-shirt. I prefer hoodies, which not only keep you warmer when it is cool, but also offer better concealment: Kuiu Ultra Merino 210 hoodie or Kuiu Peloton 200 Zip T Hoodie, Stone Glacier Helio Hoody, First Lite Kiln Hoody, Sitka Heavyweight Hoody, Eberlestock Pioneer Half Zip Hoody, Barneys Nunivak or Wooly Mammoth ¼ zip.
  • Wader Pants (1-2 pairs): These should be light, warm, highly breathable polar fleece style pants. I do not recommend wearing typical softshell style hunting pants under waders. They do not breathe and are uncomfortable under waders. The best options, which offer the perfect combination of breathability and warmth, are as follows; REI Teton Fleece Pant (my preferred pant), LL Bean Fleece Wader Pant, Orvis Pro Lt Under Wader Pant

Insulation Layer

Jacket, Parka, Pant

I prefer Synthetic Insulation for Moose and Bear hunts. Down is a fantastic insulator, compresses better, and weighs less than anything synthetic, and I certainly prefer it on sheep hunts and in certain situations, but even treated “waterproof” down is inferior in wet, humid weather to modern synthetics like Primaloft Gold, Climashield Apex, or many others. These hunts are very wet, and you will be damp. Synthetics handle this weather better than down. The choices below are all top-notch synthetic fill.

  • Mid-Warmth Puffy Jacket (1): This should weigh about a pound and be highly compressible. This is your most used layer; Sitka Kelvin Aerolite Jacket, Kuiu Kenai Hooded Jacket, Stone Glacier Cirque Jacket, Otte Gear LV Insulated Hooded Jacket.
  • Super Warm puffy parka (1): should weigh no more than 2 pounds & be highly compressible: OR Pro Colossus Parka, Barneys Brooks Range Jacket (these are my favorite two jackets). Other options are the Kifaru Lost Parka, CANIS Pamir Insulation Jacket, Simms Bulkley Insulated Jacket
  • Extra Puffy Layer (1 – Optional): Moose, and especially Brown Bear hunting can be very cold, especially late season October and November hunts on Kodiak, and anytime you have to sit stationary all day long. For this reason, if you are sensitive to cold temperatures, I recommend a third ultralight weight puffy jacket, in down fill (or light synthetic), for weight and space savings. Lots of good options available, including the following: Kuiu Super Down Pro Hoody (my favorite), Stone Glacier Grumman Jacket, Sitka Kelvin Lite Down Jacket, First Lite Brooks Down Sweater, Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisper Jacket, Sitka Ambient Hoody or Sitka Arrowhead Kred MLX Hoody-MDWi.
  • Light Weight Puffy Pant (1 Pair): Kuiu Kenai Pan, Patagonia DAS Light Pant, Rab Photon Pant, Mountain Hardware Compressor Pant.

Rain Gear

Buy only the best rain gear!

This is one of your most important pieces of gear. We strongly recommend rubber rain gear over breathable types for these extremely wet hunts. You will probably be wearing this every day. Even on days when there is no rain you often find yourself wearing your rain parka to break the cold wind. Because the majority of moose and bear hunting is stationary, we find rubber rain gear to be superior to “breathable” rain gear. Do not come with cheap rain gear. You will regret it. Get one of the choices listed below.

  • Commercial Grade Rubber Rain Parka: Helly Hansen Impertech 2 Guide Parka ¾ length, Grundens Brigg 44 Jacket (tall), Grundens Neptune Jacket.
  • Breathable Rain Jacket (optional – good for hiking in, and for light rain): Kuiu Yukon Jacket, Kuiu Kutana Storm Shel, Sitka Stormfront etc…
  • Rubber Rain Pants (Optional): Helly Hansen Impertech 2 Pants, Grundens Neptune 219 Pant.


Only High-Quality Packs!

You MUST have a pack that is at a minimum, 3300 Cubic Inches, and I much prefer larger packs in the 6-7,000+ Cubic Inch size. Do not bring a small pack thinking you will have to carry less. A high-volume expedition pack weighs virtually the same as a small pack, and it will ride much more comfortably than a small pack will. You need the larger volume pack for this hunt. Your day gear, warm clothes, and rain gear are very bulky, and although it does not weigh much, it takes up a lot of space in a pack. It is also MUCH faster to throw your gear in a cavernous, large pack when we have to move FAST to go after an animal, rather than struggling to jam it into a pack that is too small and is bursting at the seams.

  • Barney’s Pinnacle Pack and the Stone Glacier Sky Guide 7900 are the best packs. If you wish to use a smaller size pack, which will weigh virtually as much as the higher volume packs, then Stone Glacier 5900, 6900, etc.

Other Gear

  • Warm hat and ball cap: Kuiu Kenai Bomber Hat, Enlightened Equipment Torrid Hat.
  • Head lamp (2): Fenix HP65R and extra rechargeable battery.
  • Waterproof Rubber Insulated Crabbing Gloves (2 pairs): This is a critical piece of gear. They are the only gloves that will keep your hands dry and warm. Do not waste your time with Gore-Tex style gloves; Showa 282-02 TEMRES Breathable, Waterproof, Insulated – PU Coated Gloves.
  • Shell Mitten with puffy liner: Kuiu NorthStar Glomitt, Stone Glacier Altimeter Mitt, OR Revel Shell with Alti II Liner Mitt.
  • Water Containers: You should have one Platypus 3L Hoser to drink from while hiking and one 48 oz Nalgene Bottle.
  • Water Filter: Platypus Quickdraw Filtration System.
  • Camp soap.
  • Blister patches such as Glacier Gel, Rock Tape, Moleskin.
  • Small roll of backpacking duct tape.
  • Recharging battery bank (to charge your phone, inreach, etc…):  I prefer Anker Powercore Essential 20k
  • Communications: Garmin Inreach and/or Irridium Sat Phone – Optional.
  • Reading Material: A couple of good books, or book on phone/audio book,(no hard cover/heavy books).
  • Trekking Pole(s)
  • Long Handle Spork: Sea to Summit Alpha Lite Spork.
  • Lightweight Drinking Mug: GSI Outdoors Fairshare Mug.
  • Binocular Harness: Kuiu, Stone Glacier, Mystery Ranch, Marsupial Gear.
  • Ultralight Sil Nylon Dry Bags: I like at least 3-4 of these compressible ultralight dry bags of various sizes to put my jackets, gloves, extra socks, and other gear in so that it is organized in my pack and safe from moisture, and tightly compressed so as not to take up space. A mix of sizes is best depending on what you plan to put in each bag. I prefer the Kuiu Roll Top Dry Bags or the Sea to Summit Ultra-sil Dry Sack.
  • Soft gun case: You will want a soft gun case to travel with your gun on the flight from town to camp, and also for carrying your rifle in the many boat rides that we go on from day to day on Kodiak. I strongly recommend rubberized Waterproof cases on Kodiak, especially the Nomar Waterproof Rifle Scabbard.
  • Knife: If you bring a knife, don’t bother bringing a heavy weight large knife. Just bring a small, super lightweight folder or fixed blade, such a Victorinox or Havilon.
  • Rubberized Dry Bag (1 large 100-120L size OR 2 smaller sizes): Though not required, I strongly suggest bringing a large rubberized dry bag to put your personal gear in at camp, rather than flying with your airline luggage or canvas duffels, which can easily get soaked. Note that this is not the same as the backpack you wear hunting. Think of this as waterproof luggage. My two favorites are the Sea Line 120L Dry Pack or the  Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack 120L.


  • Light weight down sleeping bag rated between 0 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Should weigh between 2 and 3.5 pounds: Kuiu Super Down Sleeping Bag 0 or 15 Degree, Western Mountaineering Antelope MF 5 degrees, Western Mountaineering Kodiak GWS, Feathered Friends Ibis EX 0, Stone Glacier Chilkoot 0 degrees, etc, Mountain Hardwear Phantom Gore-Tex.
  • Lightweight sleeping pad: Thermarest NeoAir  Xtherm is the only way to go.
  • Inflatable Camp Pillow (optional): Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium.
  • Compression Stuff Sack for sleeping bag: Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Compression Dry sack.

Rifle, Ammunition & Optics

  • Caliber:
    When brown bear hunting, a .375 caliber rifle is by far the best option. It gives you plenty of range if required and lots of knockdown power. My favorite is the .375 Ruger or H&H. The 33 calibers, such as the .338 Win Mag, are a great choice as well, but not as good as the .375s. The 30 magnums work but are not nearly as good as the .33s and are greatly inferior to the 375s on the big bears. The .416s are excellent, but I think the .375s give plenty of knockdown power and a much better range. I like bear hunters to choose the following calibers: .338 Win Mag, .340 WBY Mag, 33 Nosler, .338 RUM, .375 H&H,.375 Ruger (my favorite), .416 Rem, .416 Rigby.

    When moose hunting, the 30 calibers are ideal, and the 33 calibers are great as well. The 375s work great too.300 Win Mag., 300 PRC, 300 WBY Mag, 300 RUM, 338 Win Mag, 340 WBY Mag, 33 Nosler, 338 Rum, 375 H&H, 375 Ruger.

  • Bullet type: NO TARGET BULLETS!! Use only high-quality bonded or solid copper hunting bullets! I prefer Barnes TSX or LRX by far. Swift A-Frame, Nosler Partition, Nosler Accubond, etc. No Berger bullets.
  • Rifle: I recommend high-quality stainless steel, synthetic stock rifles over classic wood stock with blued steel. The conditions we hunt are extremely harsh and your gun will get beat up. It will be wet almost all the time, and it will be constantly exposed to the elements.  Though not necessary, I strongly encourage Control Round Feed actions, such as the Winchester Model 70, Ruger M77, any rifle with a Mauser 98 action, and Kimber Montana/Talkeetna These action styles have superior reliability in harsh conditions to non-CRF actions.
  • Rifle Scope:
    I recommend high-quality optics. These should be variable power in the 1-10 power range, give or take, with 1" or 30mm tube diameter, and no more than 44mm objective diameter to save on weight. On bear rifles especially, I prefer optics that go as low as 1 power and have an upper range of 6 to 8 power (1-6x, 1-8x, etc). When choosing a scope for a bear rifle, do not get a scope that does not have a low power setting. Large, long-range scopes with minimal zooms of 4 to 6 power and max zoom powers of 18 or more are not acceptable for brown bears, as many of the shots are well inside 50 yards, and most are no farther than 200 yards. One of the most common mistakes I see is people bringing long-range target scopes on bear rifles.

    Finding the right balance between quality glass and lightweight is difficult, but your scope should not weigh more than 20-23 oz at the most. The scopes I have listed are proven very durable and repeatable. Adjustable elevation turrets for shooting long-range are of no concern when hunting bears, though can be very useful when moose hunting, although seldom needed.

    Some of the best scopes for bear and moose rifles are as follows: Leupold VX3 2.5-8.5 x 33mm, VX6 1-6×24 or 2-12×42, Nightforce NXS 2.5-10×42, Nightforce NX8 1-8 or ATACR 1-8, Swarovski Z8 1-8×24.

    I strongly suggest getting a Ballistically matched turret for your scope or knowing the MOA/Mrad come up at different ranges. This is the best way to shoot at longer ranges (beyond your 200 yard zero). Though elevation turrets are not recommended on bear rifles, you need to know how your bullet drops, and should know basic holdover values.

  • Rings and Bases:  I recommend Talley, Warne, Leupold, ERA Tac, Nightforce, or other high-quality extremely strong rings and bases.
  • Binoculars: Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss – 10×42 are best. Use the best quality optics.
  • Spotting Scope (optional): Swarovski ATX 65 or 85, with quality tripod such as Outdoorsmans or Gitzo Mountaineer, and fluid head such as Gitzo or Outdoorsmans. I do not recommend clients bring spotting scopes unless you do not mind carrying the significant extra weight.
  • Bipod or shooting sticks (optional).