Trip Questions & Answers

Float Alaska is more than just an equipment rental company. We are more than just a logistics company. We provide full service from the planning stages to conference calls 1 week before your trip.

Below are some commonly asked questions that come up early in the planning process.

Q: How much rafting/rowing experience do we need?

A: Most of our rivers are rated for beginner to intermediate rowing experience. It is important to have at least one person with an intermediate or higher level of rowing experience and experience with multi-day float trips. The types of river features that can occur on some to all of our rivers include braids, sweeps, obstructions or blocked channels/braids. We ensure that your rowing skills match the river difficulty and we won’t recommend a river that exceeds your groups ability or comfort level.

Q:I have never packed food for a trip like this. What is the best way to buy food for the river?

A:You can buy everything in Bethel. We prefer to buy in our home town, pre-freeze anything that can be pre-frozen and bring it up in 1 large oversize cooler. Dry food will come up in bags or luggage. All of the food can be transferred to our Float Alaska coolers and dry boxes. We provide more detailed info with suggested lists, packing suggestions and shipping suggestions when you book a trip.

Q: I do not have a lot of fishing experience. How do I know where the fish are and what to use?

A: Some stretches are better than others but you will cover the whole river from top to bottom. This is Alaska and it can be ridiculous fishing. We provide a large amount of info to start, we are available for conference calls before you leave and our bush pilots will give you up to date information before you land.You will have the tools, you will have the “tips” and you will catch lots of fish. These fish are not pressured, there are tons of them and they are aggressive. This is not the lower 48!

Q: No seriously! Do you really drop us off on the lake and fly away?

A: Yes! This is a Do-It-Yourself trip. After reviewing our lists, river information, group conference calls and multiple emails you will become more comfortable with the trip. Our pilots help in loading and unloading your gear from the float planes.From there your adventure begins. The rivers start small and slow and as the river grows so will your confidence and satisfaction of DIY.

Q: What if someone in our group has a medical or other emergency?

A:We strongly recommend you carry a good wilderness first aid kit with you to help with most circumstances. In addition, we have a satellite phone for rent. Our bush pilot information is included with the phone and they will advise you on a process to handle your emergency. Yes we are remote but an emergency boat or supercub landing may only be 2-3 hours away. In most cases there is another group of rafters 1-3 days behind you. All of our “emergencies” to date required a satellite phone call and an early float out.

Q: What do we do if we have equipment failure or lose equipment?

A: We provide items that will allow you to successfully continue your trip. We include a raft and tent repair kit, an extra oar, an air pump and a bilge pump. We also provide a backup butane lighter. If we don’t provide it we emphatically recommend it in your lists. Most failures can be fixed and we provide extras of the items you will need. We are prepared which means you are prepared. We are risk averse and detail oriented when developing our lists and recommendations.

Q: Will we see wildlife? 

A: Absolutely you will see wildlife during your adventure! Photo opportunities abound as rafting is peaceful and quiet. However, common sense and precautions should always prevail. It is exciting to see moose, bald eagles, bears, beavers etc, but getting the best picture selfie to show all your friends back home is NOT recommended!

Q: What about Bears?

A:Bears are typically a concern but not a problem. We have recommendations and bear best practices that we use that have been effective over the years.

Q: Do you provide topographical maps of the rivers?
A: No. WE provide detailed GPS coordinates of key river points and river descriptions. You can purchase maps through the through the nearest U.S. Geological Survey office or by calling Toll Free (888)275-8747(From Alaska Only) or (907)786-7011.

Q: Where do I get my fishing license?

A: You can purchase fishing licenses and receive current fishing regulations online.

Q: Are these trips guided?

A: No, these are self-guided, do-it-yourself trips. There is an awesome feeling of accomplishment and independence when you are out in the wilderness providing for yourself. We can make that happen. We provide you with detailed specific information about your river and our personalized service prepares you for a successful and productive float fishing trip.

However, if self guiding is not for you we recommend Marty Decker at Frontier River Guide. Marty runs many of the same rivers we service and has a long track record of successful and exciting trips with some of the best guides in Alaska.

Q: What is the biggest problem that can be avoided?

A: Waiting until the last minute to prepare yourself.  We provide an equipment list and request you review it and reply.  We provide GPS coordinates for creeks and campsites and you need to input this information into your GPS or find it on your map before you get here to identify problems.  We provide lists of the items you may need on the river that we do not provide.  We provide instructions for setting up the tents and the rafts to save you time and keep you dry in a 30mph rainstorm.  We are available for any questions and enjoy a good conference call with your group to make sure you are all on the same page and you have all received the full benefit of our 30 plus years of experience.