Packing for a trip to Alaska will be unlike most of your other travel experiences. Alaska is an outdoor adventure with opportunities to hike, fish, and kayak – so you may need to create a cruise packing list or a general vacation packing list depending on what you have planned.
Most of your packing space will be regulated to proper clothing that you’ll need to wear to take in the sights. The other half will be for outdoor equipment that you’ll need for hikes and camping. With a little planning beforehand you’ll find that these pieces can easily fit into a carry on with room to spare. All you’ll need for packing will be two sturdy backpacks- one large and one small- to fit all of your gear.
What to Wear
Alaska weather during the summer months hoovers around the 70s with some days reaching up to the 80s. Nights can dip into the low 50s. If you’re planning to view glaciers or head out to sea on a boat be aware that it can get pretty chilly in those areas. Warm, odor resistant, and quick-drying materials are ideal for traveling through Alaska’s climate.
Long underwear, light fleece jackets, and a waterproof jacket as an outer layer are recommended. Pack a few tee shirts just in case an extremely warm day hits. As for what to wear below the belt, it’s best to stick with durable pants or a pair of nylon pants that zip-off into shorts. Pack a pair of jeans for a night out in the city.
Create a lean packing list and leave your fashionable accessories at home when packing for your Alaska trip. Your Alaska list should include:
Sturdy hiking boots or shoes that are comfortable for long walks and offer good traction are the best footwear options. If they’re waterproof, that will be even better. If you’re the type of person who feels cold easily pack a light pair of gloves and a scarf.
Bring a lightweight hat or baseball cap to protect your skin from the sun and rain. Sunglasses are also recommended. For this trip you might want to choose a cheap polarized style and leave your designer glasses at home. You’ll also need a lightweight backpack to carry water and other essentials during your day trips. Your accessories should be lightweight, practical, and items that you won’t feel too bad about if you accidentally leave them on a cruise or hiking trail.
Record Your Trip with Compact Accessories
Before you go on your trip you might want to invest in a compact waterproof camera. A camera that is built to withstand just about anything that your Alaskan adventure can throw at it will allow you to leave your investment camera at home.
There are many options on the market that will allow you to capture the Aurora Borealis or Alaskan wildlife clearly. If you prefer to shoot with your phone, be sure to invest in a waterproof case for it beforehand. You can also buy an inexpensive lens to attach to your camera to enhance your photos. Whichever you choose, be sure to pack your charger and other accessories in your carry-on.
Don’t Forget to Protect Yourself
If you’re visiting in June or July or plan on doing a lot of hiking or camping you’ll need effective bug repellent to ward off mosquitoes. There are miniature sprays that you can pack in your carry-on. Likewise, you’ll need to bring a miniature bottle of sunblock, as the sun can be even more intense from the glare from glaciers and water.
If you plan on partaking in the Alaska’s salmon industry by enjoying a few days fishing in the local rivers or the Artic sea, be sure to bring your fishing licence. Of course, you can also buy it locally once you’re in Alaska or online. You’ll just need to make sure that you have your licence or Passport handy.
How to Pack Toiletries
Your local pharmacy will have miniature versions of your favorite toothpaste, body wash, and moisturizer brands. If you prefer to use your own products you can always buy a pack of small plastic bottle that you can pour your skincare products into.
Prevent messes by putting all of your toiletries in Freezer zipper-top bags. Pack extra zipper-top bags for soiled or wet clothing. Tuck a few Band-Aids and ointment into your toiletry bag for minor cuts and scrapes. If you prefer to have the extra space in your carry-on you can always buy toiletry items from the lodge or cabin that you’re staying at.
Where To Put Your Outdoor Equipment
If you shop smart you can easily fit all of your gear into a backpack. Choose a tent and an insulated sleeping bag that rolls up easily to strap onto your backpack. Most hiking backpacks will have straps where you can secure these to either the top or bottom of your bag.
Deflatable water bottles will be a big space saver as well as headband flashlights. Unless you’re looking to cook the fish that you just caught, seek out protein bars, jerky, and a few fresh foods that you’ll buy in Alaska to avoid carrying bulky cooking equipment with you.
Image via Gray Line Alaska