First of all, this was not a backpacking trip. The primary goal was brown bear photography. Why do I have a trip report here? Because I had to use a lot of UL techniques to keep the gear weight down. I was going to be flying a couple of hops where the airlines want to charge fees for checked baggage. Then I was going to be flying a hop or two with a 50-lb baggage limit, with a penalty over that. My camera gear weight came up to about 45 lb., so I ended up with 6 nights of camping gear and food in about 10 lb. At first, I thought that there could be no butane or white gas fuel carried at all on the aircraft, and that I would need to use a wood stove. Then later I found out that they sell both fuels at the destination. This is part of Katmai National Park, and the NPS rangers do an excellent job of keeping humans separated from the bears, so there isn't much need for bear spray or bear flares. The brown bears there have such a salmon-rich diet that they don't care much for humans as a prey species.
The first day that I arrived there, I attended a 20-minute bear etiquette class, and then I was carrying my heavy load up to the campground. I thought I heard somebody or something running up behind me on the trail, so I started to turn around. A subadult brown bear sprinted past me! About five paces behind, a second subadult followed. Then about twenty paces behind them, an adult brown bear was chasing the first two. They just ran past me like I wasn't there. Fortunately, the campground has an electric fence around it.
Bugs were bad. The mosquitoes were there, but it was the biting flies that were really bad, and I have about a dozen infected bites to prove it. Bug net head bags work. DEET and Picaridin work some. Permethrin, I couldn't tell.
Although the weather was not really cold, it seemed pretty bad because of the wind and frequent rain showers.
When things seemed tough, the Brooks Lodge served 16-oz attitude adjustment.
On one day that I was photographing the bears at Brooks Falls, there were 29 bears in front of me, within 150 yards. On the next day, there was only one bear.