Alaskan adventurer Bruce “Buck” Nelson shares some of the knowledge he gained during his 70-day survival trip in southeastern Alaska.

Surviving off the land in Alaska has been a dream of many outdoorsmen, including me. So, I was eager to ask Buck about that subject.

During your 70 days in the southeastern Alaskan wilderness, what do you rank as the ten most important items that helped you the most?Mr. Bruce “Buck” Nelson:

“Good question. Hmmm. Well, I’ll list ten of the most important items for this particular trip, in no particular order. Some, like fishing gear, have multiple components.

1. A good tent. Getting out of the rain was critical.

image52. Fishing gear. Fish were obviously a major food source.

3. Sleeping bag. Sleeping warm is incredibly important.

4. Canner. Vital for storing food and preventing spoilage.


5. Firestarter. For me it was the boring old butane lighter.

6. Kayak. To travel to food sources. It is hard to imagine doing a trip like that without a boat.

7. Insulation. Fleece worked well in that wet country.

8. Rain gear.

9. Waders. Waders were usually my rain gear for my lower body. Kept my butt dry in the kayak. (I always wore a waist belt to keep water out.)

10. Knives.

P1040322Other items were very important. My rifle, for example, allowed me to get a deer and was nice to have in camp for bears. My five gallon buckets, with the Gamma Seal lids, were very useful. I used them almost daily, to keep stuff dry, to haul water, to hold crabs, to carry fish, etc. Cordage was also very useful. I like parachute cord.”

Did you bring any items that you were surprised that you did not need for you trip?

“A shotgun SHOULD have been really useful. But duck season didn’t open until later in the year and there weren’t any grouse there, so I didn’t fire a shot. Usually I consider water treatment to be crucial, but it was easy to gather rainwater.”

A big thank you to Mr. Bruce “Buck” Nelson for his time and sharing his awesome experience. Learn more about his trip and ask questions of your own at his website.

All Pictures Courtesy of Bruce “Buck” Nelson

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