Basecamping Trips

    5 Star Average Based on 23 total reviews.

    Why carry a heavy backpack when you don’t need to? A guided basecamping trip just might be the way to go.

    For many folks a better option is to fly in a remote landing strip, unload the plane, setup camp and enjoy the backcountry without the burden of a 45 pound backpack on your shoulder.

    Sounds fun to me.

    Let the bush plane do the work for you. You’ll be glad you did.

    Review the trips below. Most of them are available as either camping trips with day hikes for exploring or lighter-weight backpacking trips. You choose.

    The FAQ section beneath that should answer many of your questions and concerns.

    Alaska Basecamp Tours

    Basecamp FAQs

    • As a general rule, these camping trips are not roadside camping trips. We fly in to some pretty remote wilderness areas and camp and hike or packraft, etc.

      Backpacking trips involve packing up camp every day (or so) and moving, hauling all your gear on your back. It’s challenging but rewarding.

      Camping trips mean we’ll set up a base somewhere fun and hike during the day with just a small day pack for snacks, a jacket, etc. It can still be a challenge, depending how hard you want to hike.

    • Largely trip dependent. Most of these trips run out McCarthy, AK, in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

      We’ll fly from McCarthy in to our chosen landing trips, unload the plane, say goodbye to the pilot and setup camp.

      Dayhiking (or day hiking and packrafting) is the way to get around, see the landscape and visit the wild.

      At the end of the trip, break down camp, meet our air taxi and fly back to McCarthy.

    • Typically Expeditions Alaska will include that for you. If you’re on your own schedule and would rather handle those logistics yourself, let me know and we’ll work out the pricing structure accordingly.

      Flexibility is the name of the game here.

    • You sure can.

      Fully outfitting your trip is a small additional fee. The exact amount will depend on your trip length, as well as what stuff you need.

      For single individual items, contact me and we’ll see what you need and work that out.

      A tent (1, 2 or 3 person) is $50.00 per person for the trip. If you just want us to handle food and you have all your own gear (tent, etc) we can do that as well.

      Longer trips (5+ days) the food costs go up. But most basecamps are not longer.

      We do NOT provide sleeping bags or sleeping pads or backpacks (except for the scheduled photo tours we include sleeping pad).

    • McCarthy, AK is such a cool place. You’ll love it.

      Typically we’ll stay across the river from the small town of McCarthy in a small cabin or lodge. The lodge backs against Kennicott Glacier. The awesome Stairway Icefall sits just beyond. A 7000′ vertical wall of ice.

      So beyond the astonishing mountain views, McCarthy is a small rustic town in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Originally a feeder town to the nearby Kennicott Copper Mines, McCarthy is now the hub of the park.

      It’s a short 1/2 mile walk into town from Brad’s Lodge (Kennicott Glacier Cabins). We walk because the public bridge across the Kennicott River is a small bridge for foot traffic only. The vehicle will stay on the lodge side of the river.

      A 10 minute walk will pretty much cover the entire town. There are a couple of small air taxi services, a hotel and hostel, a bar/restaurant, a souvenir store and another newer eatery/bar called the Potato. Good food, fun folks, and a wonderful charming environment.

      A 5 mile jaunt up the road from McCarthy is Kennicott (there is a shuttle service available and included to get us up and back; or walk the wagon trail). In Kennicott you’re free to wander the town and look at the historic mill building (schedules private tours available), poke your head in the door of the various establishments (guide services, restaurant/lodge, stores, the National Park Service Visitor Center, etc).

      Just remember a lot of the buildings ARE private residences so don’t intrude.

      A couple of hiking trails out of Kennicott can take you out to the Kennicott Glacier or up to the old mines (Bonanza, Jumbo and Erie).

      An afternoon in Kennicott is a ton of fun and a great way to wind down after your backcountry expedition.

    • Here’s a very simple gear check list. Email me if you have any specific gear/food questions. Try not to overpack but don’t short change yourself on essential items like raingear, tent, backpack, boots, sleeping bag, etc. Temperatures can be below freezing with rainy and even snowy weather.

      Remember Once we leave Anchorage (or Fairbanks), there are usually NO options for purchasing gear, supplies, food, etc. Anchorage has a great REI and several other gear stores, groceries, etc. The best option is to bring as much as you can with and only use Anchorage for forgotten and last minute items.

      Expeditions Alaska will supply bear resistant food canisters, fuel (white gas/coleman fuel, or isobutane mix) and water filter system, First Aid Kit and maps. I highly recommend bringing your own “boo boo kit” – a basic first aid supplies, like sunscreen, blister kit, bandaids, ibuprofen/aleve, etc). We can, if you need, provide tents and food as well. Let me know if you have any specific gear requirements. We’re always glad to work to accommodate them.

      I also recommend you see this post for my gear list for more information.

      Camping Gear

      Tent, w/ groundcloth
      Sleeping Bag (20degF min)
      Backpack – w/ rain cover
      Trekking poles – (Provided if necessary, highly recommended*)
      Sleeping pad
      Plastic garbage bags
      Eating utensils
      bowl, mug
      Water bottles


      Stove (check with Carl)
      Cook set (check with Carl)
      Fuel bottle (check with Carl)
      A couple of gallon sized zip lock bags
      Flashlight/headlamp (if before mid-Aug)


      Long underwear (wicking, top & bottom)
      Long sleeve nylon shirt
      Nylon Pants
      Fleece Jacket
      Additional thermal layer
      Rain shell – Pants and Jacket
      Wool or fleece gloves
      Hat – Cap and 1 Fleece
      Wool socks & liners
      Backpacking Boots
      Stuff Sacks
      Sandals/Camp Shoes
      River shoes MUST be closed toe shoes


      Head Net/mosquito Repellent

      Personal Items

      Toiletry items – Toothbrush, toothpaste, Floss,
      Toilet paper
      Biodegradable soap, etc

      Small first aid supplies

      Blister stuff (mole foam second skin, etc)
      Ibuprofen tablets
      Lip balm


      Small bath towel (2′ long)
      Book/Reading material
      Camera & Film/memory cards

      Mandatory items

      20˚F, or lower, sleeping bag
      Waterproof-breathable rain jacket and pants
      Pack rain cover
      Fleece jacket (min. 200 wt) or (even better) down/synthetic fill jacket
      Sleeping pad
      Closed-toe river crossing shoes

      Do NOT Bring

      Trash bag as rain gear or pack cover
      Flip flops for river shoes
      35˚F or higher rated sleeping bag

    • That is trip dependent.

      For backpacking trips, a fully outfitted option includes your tent (one or two person tent), all your kitchenware, food and cooking by Expeditions Alaska. A typical trip, up to 12 days long, costs an additional $450.00 per person for the fully outfitted option ($350 for 4 day trips or shorter).

      Available “á la carte” options are (per person)

      Tent $50.00/tent
      Food/cooking $325.00 (up to 4 day trip duration)
      Food/cooking $425 (any trip 5 days or longer)

      For personal items such as a backpack, or sleeping pad, talk to me prior to your trip and we’ll see if we can possibly arrange something. If you need a pack I recommend you rent a backpack from a reputable local outfitter. They can find and fit a pack to you rather than “making do” with one of mine that may or may not be a good fit for you.

      Items such as BRFC, bear spray, fuel, hiking poles are included gratis with Expeditions Alaska trips. See What’s Included? for more info.

    • I know you do. I do as well.

      I recommend starting with the General Trip FAQ page

      More questions? Email me or call me  and we’ll go through them.

      Upon your reservation I’ll also send out a comprehensive trip information packet that covers just about everything and more you might imagine about your trip.

    Expeditions Alaska
    Visit the wild