A minimum of two boats per party is recommended for safety. 

  • Four-metre rafts or larger in good operating condition are recommended
  • Rigid kayaks and covered whitewater canoes with floatation are suitable only for paddlers experienced with Class III and IV rapids
  • Folding kayaks and open canoes are not recommended

Emergency equipment

All rafts with fixed floors must carry a bailing bucket. Carry extra food for unexpected delays.

All boats should pack emergency rescue gear in case of an accident. This includes:

  • Throw bags
  • Rescue rope and pulleys
  • A comprehensive first aid kit
  • Repair kit
  • Spare paddles and oars

Emergency equipment is only useful if easily accessible, you know how to use it and have practiced with it.

Personal floatation devices (PFD's)

Ministry of Transport regulations require that one approved PFD must be worn by each traveler. A Type III or Type V PFD is recommended, as they offer a greater amount of floatation.

Thermal protection

The air and water temperatures are cold, particularly when it's windy. Warm clothing that retains heat when wet is recommended.

  • Synthetic fleece and wool layers are preferred to cotton
  • Wearing dry suits with warm layers underneath is strongly recommended when negotiating rapids


Whitewater helmets are recommended for all river travelers, especially when negotiating rapids.

Communication device

Satellite phones are recommended in case of the need for emergency contact. Cell phones do not work on the Alsek River. As the Alsek River crosses an international border, there is no single emergency contact number that is good for the whole river. It is important to know which number to call in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Contact Numbers

Kluane National Park and Reserve
24 hr emergency dispatch: 1 -780-852-3100

Tatshenshini-Alsek Park and Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
24 hr emergency dispatch: 1 -907-697- 2651

Human waste disposal system

All human waste must be packed out of the Alsek Valley. Human waste disposal systems are available for rent from commercial suppliers. Please be sure to arrive at the park with an appropriate waste disposal system. A dump station is available at Dry Bay.

Fire pan

Fire pans are required for campfires. Camp stoves are recommended, since driftwood and deadwood are limited and difficult to obtain.