Guns and equipment for an Alaskan caribou hunt

Publisher’s note: Contributor Brad Fitzpatrick used the following gear on a recent caribou hunt in Alaska. You can catch up on that story here.

Savage 110 Ultralight Bolt Action Rifle

Savage 110 ultralight

Savage’s new 110 Ultralite weighs just 6 pounds thanks to its polymer stock and carbon fiber body. Chambered in .280 Ackley Enhanced, the rifle is reliable and accurate and suitable for almost any North American game. Its stock allows you to adjust the height of the comb and the length of the pull, and the adjustable Savage AccuTrigger was set at a crisp 2.5 pounds. MSRP: $1,595;

Hornady GMX Bullets

Hornady GMX Handloads

I used Hornady’s 150-grain GMX-coated handloads. The GMX is a monolithic bullet and is versatile for hunting big game, particularly at extended ranges because it works reliably at relatively low velocities. The GMX has also proven to be very accurate on several rifles I have tested, including the Savage. (The GMX bullet has now been superseded by the new Hornady CX bullet.)

Leupold VX-5HD CDS-ZL2 Telescopic Sight

Leupold VX-5HD CDS-ZL2 Telescopic Sight

A Leupold VX-5HD 3X-15X-44mm CDS-ZL2 scope was the perfect match for the Savage. The magnification range offers great versatility and the Twilight Max HD light management system is excellent. These riflescopes offer custom CDS dials, the easiest and fastest way to adjust elevation in the field, and the ZeroLock feature prevents over dialing. Adjustments are precise and precise and this scope can take a real beating, making it a great choice for any hunting rifle. MSRP: $999.99-$1,299.99;

Arctic Gear Guide

Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD Binoculars, RX-2800 Rangefinder, and SX-4 Pro Guide HD Spotting Scope

good glass:
It is impossible to hunt in the open spaces of the tundra without excellent optics that must be able to withstand constant exposure to driving rain. I was carrying the Leupold SX-4 Pro Guide HD 15X-45X-65mm Spotting Scope, a Leupold BX-5 Santiam HD 10×42 Binocular, a Leupold RX-2800 TBR/W Laser Rangefinder, and a Leupold VX-5HD 3X-15X-44mm CDS -ZL2 scope on my rifle. All optics worked very well; I would drink the same glass again on any trip to the Arctic. MSRP: $799.99 (SX-4 Pro Guide HD Spotting Scope), $999.99 (BX-5 Santiam HD 10×42 Binocular), $599.99 (RX-2800 TBR/W Rangefinder);

Klymit sleeping bag, sleeping pad and extra large pillow

Sleeping bag:
Aside from food and water, getting a good night’s sleep is essential to surviving several days of hunting in the Arctic. I brought a Klymit Wild Aspen 0 Degree sleeping bag, which was comfortable and durable. Its zippers are of high quality and the bag fits into a small compression sack, so the whole pack doesn’t take up much space. I also brought the company’s Static V Luxe SL inflatable mat and X Large pillow, which are also small enough to carry in a backpack, but increase comfort dramatically on rough and uneven terrain. MSRP: $89.95-$99.95 (Wild Aspen 0 Sleeping Bag), $119.95 (Static V Luxe SL Sleeping Mattress), $29.95 (X-Large Pillow);

LaCrosse AeroHead Sport Hunting Boots

Hunting in the Arctic requires covering wet ground, and the LaCrosse AeroHead Sport boots are a great choice because they’re warm, dry, and relatively lightweight and provide ample ankle support. If you are hunting in areas where the water is deeper or hopping on and off rafts all day, you may want to consider modern waders like the LaCrosse Big Chief. MSRP: $200 (AeroHead Sport boots), $170 (Big Chief hip waders);

SITKA camo rain gear

Rain gear is an absolute in Alaska, but don’t buy cheap, poorly constructed rain suits; they just won’t hold. Sitka’s Jetstream and Stormfront jackets and Thunderhead pants proved perfect and while not the cheapest of rainwear, they kept me warm, dry and comfortable. You don’t need a lot of clothes in the Arctic, but you do need good clothes. MSRP: $349 (Jetstream jacket); $599 (Stormfront Jacket), $299 (Thunderhead Pants);