This packing list will help to ensure you will have everything you need for your trip to Alaska. Plan your travel wardrobe around informal and comfortable clothing; even at mealtimes, the dress is casual. The weather in Alaska is quite variable so clothing that can be layered is ideal. Of special note is to make sure you bring a high-quality rain suit so that even if it rains, you can stay comfortable outdoors and have an enjoyable experience. Items made of wool or synthetic fabric remain comfortable and warm even when wet. Cotton is not recommended for any Alaska outdoor activity as the fabric does not easily dry and once wet has no insulation.
All this talk about the weather is not meant to dampen your enthusiasm about visiting Alaska. The summer in Alaskan is usually quite mild with temperatures in the fifties and sixties. We liken the Alaska summer to spring or fall in other parts of the country. The most reliable advice is to be prepared for any type of weather! We have found that when our gear and spirits are well suited, the weather is always perfect.
Clothing you can layer: The weather can change from minute to minute and you will stay most comfortable by adding or removing layers when necessary. Alaska is very casual. If you’re traveling in the winter, consider packing:
– Long underwear: Tops and bottoms in silk, polyester, or wool – this is the key to staying warm
– Fleece middle layer: Wear over your normal clothing for maximum warmth
– Heavy winter coat: Preferably waterproof, with a hood and easily accessible pockets
– Snow pants: You may want a pair to keep your body fully warm for longer periods outdoors or for winter sports like dog sledding and skiing
Waterproof, breathable jacket: It can rain any time of summer and a raincoat is also great for wind
Comfortable walking shoes: Running shoes or slip-ons are fine for average activity; bring a pair of well-worn, waterproof hiking shoes if you plan to do deeper exploration
Knit hat and gloves: Even in the summer, it can be chilly at night and on glacier tours
Swimsuit: Your hotel may have hot tub, sauna, or pool facilities
Medicine and toiletries: Not every town has a pharmacy, so be prepared with what you need for the entire duration of your trip. Consider seasickness medicine if you will be taking a boat tour.
Insect repellent: The mosquitoes are not as bad as rumored, but be prepared
Sunscreen: Also sunglasses, a brimmed hat, and an eye mask if you are sensitive to light at night
Camera / video camera: Film, batteries, lenses, chargers, lens cloths, tripod, and memory cards
Watch/alarm clock: Long daylight hours and time zone changes can affect your perception of time
Cell phone and charger: Check with your provider for coverage and roaming information
Binoculars: Get a close-up view of Alaska’s wildlife
Backpack or tote bag: A day bag is very useful for excursions
Identification: US driver’s license and/or passport
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