The following equipment is required for your upcoming photography workshop in Katmai National Park & Preserve, Brooks Camp.
You will see where I have hyperlinked to different options/models of gear in some cases, with the understanding that any of the choices will be fine.
I have also included some random photos from past workshops in Katmai that might help to give you an idea of what to expect.
Please contact me with any questions you have.
- Clothing. Avoid dark (black or brown) clothing, you do not want to look like a bear!
- Long-sleeved shirt (2)
- Long-pants (1-2)
- Extra socks
- Lightweight jacket with hood (softshell)
- Rainjacket (see below)
- Sandals (optional but handy in camp and lodge — Crocs work well)
- towel for showers
- Sleeping bag
- Lightweight down or synthetic, not cotton
- Temperature rating of 20°F – 30°F
- Sleeping pad
- Therm-a-Rest Base Camp sleeping pad (or lighter weight versions)
- Rain jacket
- Packable, like this Marmot PreCip (avoid black clothing)
- Sun/rain hat
- Shelta hats (brim does not blow in wind – but can bump into the camera)
- Tilley Hats (flexible brim, nice when camera bumps into it)
- Make sure the hat has a wind cord on it
- Polarized sunglasses with a keeper strap
- Helps when wading
- Hard to read camera menus and viewfinder, but doable
- Ideally get some with a high transmission of light (not dark, but light)
- Hiking shoes
- Good ankle support
- Ones that you have worn and broken in, versus brand new blister makers
- Waterproof, or quick-drying, is good,
- Trail running shoes work well if you are used to hiking in them
- Trekking poles
- Make sure they can be folded down, or telescopic so you can stow them in/on your pack
- Tie a short (2-3 foot) leash on them with two carabiners (one on each end) to clip them to your waders in the river when not using them.
- Chest waders and wading boots
- I highly recommend bringing your own waders vs. renting them in Brooks Camp (if there are no rentals available you will be in trouble)
- You need chest waders, hip waders will not work where we are going.
- Gore-tex breathable waders are recommended
- Getting waders with a zipper fly is worth the extra price! When mother nature calls, it can be a challenge to undo all the straps…
- The wading boots should be rubber-soled. Having cleats helps with footing in the river. You have to remove your cleated wading boots in the lodge at Brooks Camp — no big deal, just leave your boots and waders outside and wear sandals.
- Here are some models of chest waders I recommend:
- Patagonia Swiftcurrent Expedition Zip-front chest waders (expensive, very high quality, zip front fly)
- Simms G4 waders (tough, zip front fly, expensive, very high quality)
- Reddington Sonic Pro waders (more affordable, no zip front fly)
- Waterproof daypack
- A waterproof daypack is good to put your extra lenses and gear in. If you have one that is truly waterproof you can worry less about your gear while we wade rivers. You can use a waterproof pack (expensive) or use a waterproof drybag inside your existing conventional pack (understanding that your existing pack will get soaked)
- Patagonia Guidewater Sling pack
- Sea-to-Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack
- Exped Typhoon 25 liter pack (good value, can handle a quick dunk)
- ULA Epic Pack (expensive, versatile, what I use as a backpack in Alaska and packrafting)
- Sea-to-Summit Big River Dry bag (durable, watertight, can use inside your daypack, 35 L size recommended, or larger for big lenses)
- Rain covers for your camera/lens
- It helps to be able to photograph during a light rain/drizzle while in Katmai. A lens rainjacket and camera rain jacket, and some microfiber towels are worth bringing in your day pack.
- LensCoat rain covers (camo is good if you ever shoot from a blind)
- LensCoat rain cover that covers both camera body and lens (good for serious rain)
- Microfiber towel to carry with you, very handy!
- Platypus foldable water bottle, easy to travel with and pack
- We will be able to fill up our water bottles each morning at the lodge/campground. You can bring a water filter if you desire for backcountry trips.
- Medicines (COVID masks, cold, allergy, digestive)
- Many people get sick while at Brooks Camp! Allergies are insane due to the tall grass and growth, the lodge can be closed up with poor air circulation. Bring cold, allergy medicine, decongestant, Immodium, Pepto-Bismol pills, Benadryl pills, Benadryl cream
- Insect repellent
- The bugs can vary at Brooks Camp. Most trips are not bad. If it gets hot they can get worse. Cover up! Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, Buff on your neck (soaked in bug juice), hat soaked in bug juice. Spray down a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and hat at home, before your trip, with Permethrin.
- Taking vitamin B can help
- Insect repellent wipes/towelettes are handy. Picaridin or BugX
- Mosquito Net
- Make sure it fits with your brimmed hat
- Super handy for sun and insect protection in Alaska. Bring a few of them.
- Soak one Buff in Permethrin at home before your trip.
- Useful (required) to find gear in the gear shed, and for walking at night from the lodge back to the campground, where you will encounter bears. Bring extra batteries.
- Useful for backing up your photos, and for reviewing photos.
- I will coach/teach Lightroom Classic and Photoshop if you desire, during our breaks
- There is no internet at Brooks Lodge/Brooks Camp
- Book to read (there is no internet or cell phone service at Brooks Lodge)
- Extra hard drives for backup, with extra USB cables
- Back up your photos in 3 different places, you would hate to lose your photos from a trip like this!
- If there is a cable that you require, bring two of them.
- Nice to have at least one, and extra cable. Put your name on it.
- Extra memory cards
- Bring as many as you have, on most days we will be taking >2,000 photos.
- A waterproof case is a good idea. These Gepe card cases work great.
- Extra camera batteries and chargers (put your name on all of these — the lodge will be full of other photographers). Having more than one battery charger is a good idea.
- 6-10 foot extension cord with multiple outlets
- Short outlet and USB strip.
- Ground-plug adapter
On the Brooks River
Note the wading pole tied on a leash
Heading to Margot Creek
Mellow bushwhacking by Margot Creek
Group on the gravel bar by Margot Creek
Typical dress at Katmai
The fireplace at the lodge
All you can eat buffet at the Brooks Lodge