Gearing up for Alaska is unlike anything else. The land is rugged, the conditions are harsh, and, in many cases, you are located in a remote place far from help. Simply put, you don't just jump in the pickup and go home if things don't work out. Your life may well depend on the quality of your gear.
True, most trips don't present such life-or-death scenarios; road trips, weekend campground excursions, day fishing trips and the like give you a chance to bail out if you have to. But if you have good equipment, those events will be pleasant and more relaxing if you're not worried about the quality of your gear.
In Alaska you don't generally toss a rifle in the pickup and go out for an afternoon deer hunt. Here, it's usually an expedition borne of access difficulties, rough country and killer weather systems larger than most states. When things don't go well elsewhere, you just load up the truck and go home to your TV. In Alaska, it's not quite that simple.
Communications equipment for Alaska trips can include any of several items, depending on the situation. In most of the United States, cell phone coverage is good enough to make all other means superfluous. In Alaska, however, it is very different. Though cell coverage is quite good in some areas, there are vast expanses of Alaska without cell coverage. Let's lay out your options.