Backcountry Basics


The remoteness of the Togiak Refuge is both a challenge and a reward for travelers. The staff has tips that will help you plan for the safe and memorable trip of a lifetime.

Be Self-sufficient 

Because of the remoteness, be prepared to handle any situation on your own. Bring emergency survival supplies. Carry and know how to use a map and compass or GPS.

File a Trip Plan 

Just as Alaskan bush pilots do, file a trip plan with your air taxi service or the Togiak Refuge office before you start out. Close your plan when you return.

Leave No Trace 

In the wilderness area and elsewhere, practice “leave no trace” travel so that future visitors can enjoy the same wild vistas. Travel and camp on durable surfaces (gravel, rock, sand, or snow), dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife and be considerate of other travelers. Littering is a Federal offense; violators will be prosecuted.


  • Pack out all trash; leave nothing behind.  
  • Use only artificial lures with single hooks while fishing in the Wilderness Area. 
  • When going to the restroom, you should be at least100 feet from the water, and should dig a hole to bury your waste 8-12 inches deep. Burn (do not bury) toilet paper. Wild animals, particularly foxes and bears, are known to dig it up, scattering toilet paper and leaving an unsightly mess. 
  • Keep a clean camp to minimize the chance of bear encounters by reducing smells that will attract bears. 
  • Scatter firewood when leaving a camp site. Practice low-impact camping. Leave a clean camp behind; your camp should look as though no one was ever there. 
  • Practice proper catch-and-release fishing to ensure fish survival. 
  • Respect the cultural heritage and subsistence activities of local residents; avoid trespass on private lands. Lands outside the Wilderness Area, and some Native allotments within the Wilderness Area boundary, are private. Camp only on gravel bars. 
  • Do not litter or leave any trash in camp or in the fire ring. 
  • Don't stay in one campsite for more than three days. 
  • Do not bury food or trash. Bears are attracted by the scent, causing dangerous situations for campers. 
  • Do not leave any unburned toilet paper on gravel bars or in the uplands. 
  • Don't disturb subsistence gill nets. You are required to stay at least 300 feet away from net sites. 
  • Don't camp or trespass on private land. You can avoid doing so by packing out your human waste and camping on gravel bars, or by obtaining use permits where applicable.