Bear Spray & Fuel
In Gustavus, campers may purchase camping supplies, bear deterrent pepper spray, and stove fuel from either Toshco in Gustavus or the Glacier Bay Lodge gift shop in Bartlett Cove. Toshco, a Costco re-sale store, is located along the main road in Gustavus on the way from the airport to the Glacier Bay/Bartlett Cove campground. White gas, iso-butane and bear spray is generally available at both stores, however, the selection of camping supplies and the types of butane/propane stove fuel canisters they carry may be limited. The most common iso-butane fuel they carry is the kind that screws onto your stove (rather than pop-on). If you wish to use a butane/propane type stove, or if you have become separated from your stove in your travels, you should call ahead to Glacier Bay Lodge (1-907-697-4000, as of opening day in May) or to Toshco (1-907-697-2220) to determine that the stove fuel that you will need on your camping trip is available. Sometimes both Toshco and the Lodge run out of fuel in the middle of the summer, so we recommend that you call ahead to Toshco, pre-pay for the fuel with credit card, and then pick it up on your way to Bartlett Cove on the day of your arrival. Be sure to arrange for TLC Taxi (907-697-2239) to transport you, as the Glacier Bay Lodge bus is unable to make special stops on the way out to Bartlett Cove.
Stove fuel may often be obtained for free from the NPS Storage Shed, located next to the NPS Visitor Information Station in Bartlett Cove. Returning campers decant white gas and leave partially used butane/propane canisters there if they are departing by plane. However, you should not consider this to be a dependable source for fuel. If you are traveling by AMHS ferry to Gustavus, you may also purchase your stove fuel, bear spray and camping supplies in Juneau. When you board the ferry, be sure to give your fuel to the deckhands and they will put them in a fuel safe storage locker for the journey. Be sure to remember to get your fuel back before disembarking in Gustavus!
Increasing security on planes has led to more and more frequent confiscation of fuel bottles, stove pumps, and entire stoves. If you want to be completely sure that you and your stove will be together on your Glacier Bay camping trip, consider mailing your stove, empty and purged of all fumes, to us about two weeks before your planned departure. Use U.S. Priority Mail only.
Stove fuel and bear spray are both items that are considered to be a hazard to fly with (“hazmat”). The FAA prohibits hazardous material from being flown on small planes with passengers on board. If you want to fly these items from Juneau to Gustavus, you will need to make advance arrangements to fly them over on a “freight only flight” at an approximate cost of $25 with Alaska Seaplanes, an air taxi service based at the Juneau airport. Contact Alaska Seaplanes at (1-907-789-3331) to confirm cost and flight times.