What to Bring

Preflight orientation at the Homer Spit Office

IMPORTANT — PLAN ENOUGH TIME TO CHECK IN AT OUR SPIT OFFICE THE DAY BEFORE YOUR TRIP FOR A DETAILED ORIENTATION IN ORDER TO EXPEDITE A TIMELY DEPARTURE ON YOUR DAY WITH THE BEARS.

 

Departures

Check-in at the Homer Beluga Lake Office on your travel date is 8.30 a.m. and we will depart around 9:00 a.m. Exact time will vary according to the group and how long it takes to load the aircraft. The flight to bear country is about 1 hour and 30 min each way. Departure in June and early July could be dependent on the tide. Returns are again dependent on the group and the tides; usually 5–6:00 p.m. or possibly as
late as 7:00 p.m.

 

You MUST bring your own lunch

You will be hungry. Bring food and snacks (enough to last throughout the day). Please do not leave any garbage at bear viewing site. Bring plenty to drink (water is best). If you choose not to pack your own lunch, we can recommend several local restaurants that provide boxed lunches. Boardwalk Bakery offers orders via e-mail: boardwalkbakery@gmail.com or call, 907-235-2131.

 

What to wear

PLEASE DRESS APPROPRIATELY for cool, wet weather. We highly recommend layering: t-shirt, turtleneck, sweatshirt, coat, raincoat and rainpants, extra socks (for a better fit in our loaner hip boots in June and August), hiking shoes in July and September, gloves and hat.

 

Soooo, where are the restrooms?

We are in the Alaskan wilderness and there are no lavatories at bear viewing sites. Bring toilet tissue and a plastic bag to take your used tissues back for disposal.

Bear with tasty prize
Photo by Ben Larson
Small Boat Harbor, Homer Spit
Photo by Elisabeth Terenius
Quaint business buildings on Homer Spit
Photo by Elisabeth Terenius

Bugging out

Unfortunately, there are lots of mosquitos in Alaska, so we suggest bringing insect repellant with at least 30% DEET. In addition, you might consider insect-repellant clothing.

 

Packing it in

You should bring a good quality daypack that will hold your lunch, water, camera equipment and anything else you'll need.

 

Smile for the camera

If you’re still using a film camera ... bring lots of fresh film and batteries. You probably will be using a digital camera and we suggest bringing extra batteries and storage cards. Binoculars aren't necessary, but feel free to bring a pair.

 

No-No’s

DO NOT bring pepper spray or bear spray. Pepper spray does not repel bears and can be deadly to the pilot and passengers if accidentally discharged during flight. Firearms are not permitted and Federal law prohibits firearms in the aircraft or in the park.

 

Weight limitations

We reserve the right to limit the amount of carry-on baggage. A small backpack and camera equipment, or 10-12 pounds is allowed per passenger. To ensure passenger safety and comfort, we cannot accommodate passengers weighing 300 lbs. and over fully dressed.

 

All trips are weather-dependent with limits set by the Federal Aviation Administration. If we are unable to go because of weather, each passenger has an option to a full refund or to rebook another date (on a space available basis).