How to Prepare for a Hunt in Alaska

Posted January 23, 2023 in Travel Guide - Last updated May 5, 2024


When people hear about hunting, they first think about the guns, bullets, and other hunting gear they need. But unfortunately, many forget about the rigorous mental and physical preparation they need before hunting in an unforgiving terrain like Alaska. A person preparing to hunt must be in good physical and mental condition. Let’s explore more on how to prepare for a hunt in Alaska.

Most big hunting games in Alaska are something like an expedition. Therefore, a licensed professional must accompany tourists who want to hunt in Alaska. Usually, tourists are expected to walk from their drop-off location to the hunting area and pack out the game they catch. This can even entail walking for many days, crossing creeks, and trying mountain climbs while looking for a game animal. All these require the hunter to be in excellent physical and mental condition.

Some important things to do to prepare yourself physically and mentally before hunting in Alaska include the following.

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Be fit year-round

Experienced hunters advise tourists to maintain a healthy exercise schedule year-round rather than trying to get in shape a few days before the hunt. Being in good shape all year will help improve your stamina for difficult and strenuous hunts. Exercises like leg presses and box step-ups can improve the strength of your leg muscles. The type of exercise suitable for each person depends on their body and health condition. Before choosing the exercises, talk with your doctor and physical instructor. Choose exercises that can improve your stamina and endurance. Build your muscles and strengthen them. Identify your weak points and plan accordingly.

Go hiking

One of the best ways to prepare for hunting is hiking. If you have a hill or mountain near your home, spend two or three weekly workout sessions trekking up them. Make sure to carry at least 25 or 30 pounds in the backpack. You can also wear weighted vests to increase the load or pressure. Carry all the hiking gear you need. This will give you an idea of the physical requirements you will need during the hunt. Hike as hard and as often as you can. If there is no suitable terrain near you to go hiking or you do not have sufficient time, try using stair climbers at your gym to have the same experience.

Do not skip strength exercises

Many people preparing for hunts focus more on cardio exercises and may entirely forgo weight training. But this can be detrimental, especially if you prepare for physically demanding hunts like dall sheep or mountain goat hunts. These hunts happen in rugged terrain and can often be extremely dangerous. Although a licensed professional always accompanies tourists, you must be physically ready for these hunts. Join an excellent strength-gaining exercise program at your gym. Do calisthenics like push-ups, squats, sit-ups, and burpees. Also, try other strength-gaining exercises like jogging, swimming, and biking. You can also try cooperative calisthenics to develop good body resistance.

Be mentally prepared for difficulties

Physical preparation is only one part of a hunting expedition to Alaska. Logistical planning is also essential for an enjoyable hunt. Weather is an important factor that affects the hunting experience. Hunters should be independent and capable of working harder than expected in challenging conditions. There may be very few creature comforts and services during the hunting period. So, being mentally unprepared can take the joy out of the trip and make you miserable the entire time.

Be realistic

It is also essential to set reasonable goals. Success is never guaranteed when you go hunting in Alaska. Extreme climatic conditions dramatically affect the hunting productivity of the ecosystem in the state. Here, hunting can be either extremely rewarding or incredibly disappointing. Your level of preparedness for unforeseen circumstances and how you define success can significantly influence how things turn out for you. To have a rewarding hunt, you require determination, patience, and the ability to put in a lot of effort and never give up. Train yourself to keep a positive outlook throughout the entire hunt. Remember that patience is the key here, and never lose hope. You may get a good game on the first day if you are lucky. But if you don’t, do not lose heart. You may enjoy a good game any day during the trip.


Being fully prepared and planning a hunting trip to Alaska is essential. Any inadequate preparation or inattentiveness can lead to dismal or even disastrous hunts that can cause the loss of lives. Therefore, though hunting guides are fully prepared to handle all situations, tourists should also prepare themselves adequately to keep the hunt safe and enjoyable.

Start planning your trip now with Travel-Wise’s free trip-planning tools to have you on your way to your destination faster than ever!

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