Jim Gallop photo.
Camping with your family or on a solitary expedition can be a rewarding experience. The sound of kittiwakes or eagles will provide music and wildflowers will color your surroundings. It is important to know that Kodiak is a rain forest and your gear should be appropriate in the event of heavy rainfall and/or cool temperatures. A good tent with rain fly is a necessity unless you are camping in your truck or RV. Waterproof rain wear is essential. If you have come to Kodiak without proper rain gear, there are several outdoor clothing stores and sporting goods stores that can help you stay dry and warm.
Camping is available at Buskin River State Recreation Site, Fort Abercrombie State Historic Park, and Pasagshak River State Recreation Site. Sites are $10 per night. Check www.dnr.state.ak.us/parks for additional fees and/or restrictions. There are private campgrounds that accommodate recreational vehicles. There are many places along the road system where you can set up camp, but make sure you are attentive to private land ownership and do not trespass. Check with the Visitor Information Center for permitting information. Public use cabins are available at Afognak Island State Park and Shuyak Island State Park. The Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge handles reservations for eight public use cabins located in the refuge. You can check availability and make reservations by calling (907) 486-2600 or 888-408-3514. At some point during 2009, reservations will be available through the Refuge’s website.
Camping Safety & Etiquette
- Never leave food out when not in use. Store food in your vehicle or a bear-proof locker. Never store food in tent.
- Use bear-proof garbage cans or dumpsters for your garbage
- Keep your camp clean and odor free.
- Do not sleep in the open; use a tent or camper.
- Pack out everything you bring in.
In the backcountry
Choose your campsite carefully; do not camp near a trail, salmon stream, animal carcass, garbage or backcountry fire pit.
Cook at least 100 ft. away from camp, downwind. Do not cook near your camp, cook smelly foods, sleep in clothes with food odors or bring any food or lotions into your tent. Store food, pots, lotions and trash away from camp.
The Fort Abercrombie campground is difficult for RVs to maneuver. Buskin State Recreation Site or private campgrounds are recommended for larger vehicles. Additionally, RVs may be able to camp along the road system; however, most land along the road is privately owned and requires a permit. Check with the Visitor Information Center for permitting regulations before setting up camp in your RV.
You can buy a shower about three miles from downtown Kodiak. Check with the information center for directions.
What to Bring for Outdoor Activities
- Waterproof hiking boots or knee-high rubber boots
- Rain gear
- Warm clothes for layering
- Compass (when hiking beyond city limits)
Extended backcountry hikes without a guide should be carefully planned. Take along extra food, waterproof matches, flares, USGS topographic maps and a GPS.