Katmai Coastal Bear Tours
General Information

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General Information

In order to make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable, we have compiled check-off lists of required and recommended items to bring in addition to your own outdoor gear. Guests are required to bring adequate personal gear to ensure protection from the Alaskan weather.

All bed and bath linens are supplied by the boat. All teddy bears are welcome.

*** Bring only what is needed for your tour ***
Leave extra unneeded items at the hotel or the floatplane office.

Please use soft-sided, collapsible baggage/luggage. AVOID SUITCASES, except for your photography and viewing equipment. A backpack can be useful.

CLOTHING: Casual...Comfortable...CASUAL...COMFORTABLE... Casual...Comfortable...

Being able to dress in layers is the ideal situation for any type of Alaskan weather.

  • Soft luggage bag for packing luggage needed on the tour.
  • Warm jacket, gloves, hat and scarf, good quality, light raingear (pants and jacket).
  • Long john bottoms just in case; they work well with rain pants
    (easy to change in and out of).
  • Light hiking shoes or tennis shoes and slippers for around the boat, something easy to get in and out of, as there will be various foot gear changes during the day.
  •  Hip boots - see "The Boot Story" below.

 --- You can't do this trip without hip boots ---

BOOT STORY: Hip boots are a necessary piece of equipment for accessing the brown bears' various habitats: intertidal areas, wetlands, lagoons, beaches, rivers and streams. As all these imply, there is water, often above knee-high level, which makes these boots a daily must.

We have a good collection of hip boots available on board the vessel. These boots need to fit well so you can walk safely and with good balance. We strongly urge you to bring several combinations of socks to ensure a warm and comfortable fit, as boots donít come in half sizes.

It is your responsibility to let us know your foot size so we can make sure the size you need is available on board. If you have an unusual foot size, please purchase boots and bring them with you. Boots are available at all sporting goods stores in Kodiak. If buying your own we suggest ultralight with wading shoes


The remoteness of Katmai and Alaska in general dictate the need for buffer days. The area you will visit is separated from the nearest road by over 100 horizontal miles of mountains, ice fields and the rich Gulf of Alaska. This remoteness increases the challenge of getting to the Katmai coast, but assures an abundance of undisturbed wildlife within an intact ecosystem. To guarantee you as much time as possible in this wilderness, it will be in your best interest to understand the value of buffer days, and you should build them into your itinerary.

A Buffer Day is a day to be allowed by you on each end of your scheduled stay on the boat. This would be one day prior to and one day after your scheduled stay on the vessel.

Buffer days enable us to allow for the whims of Alaskan weather. For example, if we see a weather system approaching that is likely to delay or restrict our air taxi, we would contact you on the buffer day and make you aware of a change in scheduling. Most likely we would fly you in earlier or make arrangements for alternative transportation to Katmai. This strategy keeps us a step ahead and gives us room at the end of your adventure to expand for any reason.

Longer stays on the vessel due to weather or other forces of nature are at no charge to our clients. We recommend you keep an open mind, rely on our reputation, and have confidence that you are going to get the absolute best possible service. We recommend purchasing travel insurance, so you can then relax and enjoy your tour.

IMPORTANT: Please remember to inform us of your contact phone number and itinerary for the buffer days, in case we need to reach you. Plan to contact on your arrival.


A word of advice for Alaska travel: don't attempt to do too much in too short a time. Booking tight schedules will create stress and limit your Alaskan experience. Try to allow more time in fewer places and avoid dashing from place to place in hopes of seeing it all. Allow time for excursions and unscheduled events that might take place, or spend some time investigating the local and natural history of the area.

Alcohol, Tobacco, Guns

You are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages, although consumption of these will be limited to time on board the vessel. The Master of the vessel will consider the circumstances of each case with the safety of passengers, crew and vessel as top priority and have the final say regarding the use of alcohol.

Please note: Guests wishing to drink more than the complimentary wine provided with dinner are welcome to bring their drink of choice.

Smoking will be tolerated in designated smoking areas with regard to secondary smoke and safety. No smoking is allowed inside the vessel or on the shore boats. Tobacco butts and filters will not be discarded in the wilderness. This is a perfect opportunity for smokers to reduce their tobacco intake.

Note: Non-smokers make up 95% of our guests. As for the few smokers we have had in the past, they have been more than gracious in their efforts of consideration.


For a printable information packet to be returned to us choose one:
Info Packet in MS Word format
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Katmai Coastal Bear Tours
Site Directory/Map


Katmai Coastal Bear Tours
Homer, Alaska 99603
Phone 1-907-235-8337 katmaicoastalbears@gmail.com

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