Booking Information

Welcome . . . and thank you for choosing Arctic Wild!

We are excited to share a wilderness experience with you. Once we have received your Reservation Form and deposit you are all set until 60 days prior to your trip.

At the 60 day mark, we will need two more forms from you and full payment by check or bank transfer (we do not accept credit cards).

We require all participants to read, consider and sign our Participant Agreement. It is important that you understand the risks involved in wilderness travel.

The Equipment Request Form is for those who wish to borrow camping gear during the trip. Equipment requests submitted less than 60 days prior to your trip cannot be guaranteed.

In the meantime, please read these materials thoroughly. The better you are prepared mentally and physically, the more fun you will have on the trip. below you will find information on:

If you have questions at any point in this process, just call us or send an email. We will be happy to answer your questions, give more details, or refer you to further resources as soon as we can. As our guest(s), we want you to feel prepared, confident, and excited about your upcoming Arctic Wild trip. Happy planning.

We look forward to traveling with you!

—Michael Wald and Sally Andersen

Preparing for your trip

Travel/cancellation insurance: 

You should purchase travel/cancellation insurance. There are many options and greg@expeditionbroker.com or a website like insuremytrip.com can help you determine the right policy for your particular needs.

Flights to/from Alaska:

Book your flights early and plan to arrive at the trip’s start location (Fairbanks, Kotzebue, etc.) the day before your trip starts, and in plenty of time to attend the mandatory pre-trip meeting.  Plan to depart Alaska no sooner than the evening of the day after your trip’s end date (24 hours minimum after your scheduled return), budgeting time for possible weather delays.  

Return flights & possibility of delay:

Weather and flight connections permitting, you will return around 6 pm on your trip’s end date.  In case of delay, it is prudent to plan one or more extra days in the local area following your trip.  Relatives and employers should be made aware both of delay possibilities and the fact that you cannot contact them from the wilderness. There is no cause for alarm if you are delayed and your family need not worry but please ask someone at home to help re-book hotel reservations, adjust flights etc. should you be delayed. We are happy to keep your family apprised of your situation but can’t orchestrate your travel plans in the unlikely event that you are delayed at trips end.

Maps:  

Your guide will have detailed topographic maps for everyone’s use.  You can also order your own set through www.mytopo.com

Gratuity:

If your guide(s) did a great job, which we are sure they will, a per-person tip of 5 – 10% of the trip price is very much appreciated.

Concerns, requests, or confusion?

Let’s talk about it. Please don’t hesitate to pick-up the phone. Feel free to contact us with questions about your trip. We have years of experience and are happy to share our knowledge. You are our guest, not just a customer. Call us at 907-479-8203. 

Pre-Trip Meeting

Please plan on attending a mandatory pre-trip meeting. A thorough and unhurried pre-trip meeting is critical to the success and safety of your trip, so please plan your travel so that you can give your full attention to the meeting. The details of your meeting vary slightly based upon the starting point for your trip. 

You will need to bring EVERYTHING you intend to take on the trip with you to the meeting, preferably packed as you will carry it on your trip. We will be checking your gear and weighing it during the meeting to ensure we are within safe limits for the planes the following day. 

During the meeting we will also distribute any equipment you have requested, answer your questions, discuss safety and brief you on the logistics for the following day. The meeting usually takes less than 2 hours.

For trips starting in FAIRBANKS (unless otherwise noted):

When: 4 pm on the day before your trip’s start date.

Where: Arctic Wild World Headquarters (142 Nash Street, Fairbanks, AK 99709)

Transportation: You will need to find your own transportation to the pre-trip meeting and we will send directions prior to the meeting. After the meeting, we will almost always be able to provide transportation in our van to your hotel or B&B. You can also expect a ride to and from the small-plane airport at the start and end of the trip. 

For trips starting in KOTZEBUE (unless otherwise noted):

When: 6:45 pm on the day before your trip’s start date. (6:15 arrival into Kotzebue is fine.)

Where: Arctic Backcountry Flying Service/ Golden Eagle Outfitters Hangar at the Noel Wien Airport

Transportation: You will need to provide all your own transportation in Kotzebue. Cabs are cheap and most places are close enough for walking.

For trips starting in other locations (King Salmon, Haines, McCarthy, Adak, Inuvik, etc.) we will share the location and time of that meeting with you via email.

Wilderness/Expedition Etiquette

In addition to our discussions during the pre-trip meeting, during the first days of your trip, your guide(s) will give thorough safety briefings and lead a discussion on how to minimize our impact on the wilderness. These are important topics so we include a quick primer here.

Leave it as you found it: if you get the feeling that you are the first person to ever set foot on the tundra…. it is because those who came before respected the wilderness. We ask that you help us preserve the wilderness experience for those who will come after.

Bathroom:  With a little effort and planning, we can prevent fecal contamination and prevent others from seeing signs that we have traveled through.  We almost always use a group latrine, in a location designated by the guide, which ensures that the water stays clean. Burn the toilet paper, completely, on site. Female menstrual supplies should be placed in a Ziplock and deposited in the “group garbage”. When/ if no latrine is available: Dig a hole 6” deep with the trowel we provide, make your deposit, and cover it up again, again burning your toilet paper.  

Tent sites:  When choosing a tent site, look for places that will not require moving rocks or uprooting bushes.  When we leave a camp we try and put everything back just how we found it. Being sure to pick up any garbage no matter how small.

Souvenirs: Please resist the understandable urge to take natural objects like feathers, bones, arrowheads, and antlers. If these things seem plentiful, it may be because they have been left in place by other conscientious travelers. (That said:  rocks are fair game, our rationale being that rock appeal is extremely subjective and rocks are indeed plentiful.)

Campfires:  We enjoy campfires as much as anyone and will have them occasionally as site conditions and weather permit. 

Soap and washing:  We provide biodegradable soap and hand sanitizer, and ask that you always wash your hands after going to the bathroom, and prior to handling food. 

Cultural respect:  We will be traveling on Gwich’in and Inupiat Lands. Respect the privacy and customs of people living along our routes.  Before taking pictures of people or their property, please ask for their consent.  Respect private property and cultural differences.  It is illegal to collect articles of historical significance.

Fishing:  If you are not fishing for a meal, crimping the barbs on your hooks will make the fish much easier to release. If the fish is bleeding or injured in any way, we’ll keep it for a meal. Bears love fish. Ask your guide how to fish in bear country without inviting a bear into camp.

Staying Safe

Remoteness:  All of our trips are in remote regions, far removed from civilization and rescue.  Quite possibly, this is the most remote you will have ever been.  Help each other and accept that offered hand.  Always remember where you are, and how long it could take to be rescued.  

Free time:  There is ample free time on our trips. If you want to go off alone, it can be very rewarding.  Please, however, be aware of the inherent risks and responsibility of wilderness travel. Please also tell us where you are going.

Bears:  Rule #1— Watch where you are going.  Rule #2—Watch where you are going.  It is wise to move slowly and noisily while walking through brushy areas. It is also important to keep a clean camp and to properly store food. We will provide you with bear deterrent (pepper spray), and your guide(s) will have a shotgun on river and base camp trips. There will be a detailed briefing at the beginning of your trip about living in bear country.

The cook area & food storage:  Your guide(s) will designate a “cook area” and will camp closest to it.  Clients should set up their tents farther away from the cook area, without surrounding it.  To reduce food smells overall, your toiletry items and snack food will be stored in the cook area with all of the other “smelly stuff.”  Do not eat or store food in your tent, as this can attract bears not to mention tent-tearing ground squirrels.

Water filter:  We provide a water-filter and strongly encourage you to use it. If you choose to drink untreated surface water you might be fine, but…

Communications: We carry satellite phones for medical emergencies and for the safe conduct of every trip. We do not use them for any other reason. In addition to the satellite phone, we also carry a ground-to-air radio for line-of-sight communication with passing aircraft, if necessary. Please do not bring your own satellite phone.

With these practices, Arctic Wild anticipates a safe and memorable journey, leaving minimal impacts on the wilderness, wildlife, and people of Alaska. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.