What to pack for Alaska

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    bear glacier and boat
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    He thinks I couldn't see him.
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    He sees everything while have to squint...
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Most Viewed What to Pack in Alaska

  • wrldtrvlr3341's Profile Photo

    Pack for Both Extremes

    by wrldtrvlr3341 Written Sep 4, 2011

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Always take a warm jacket, rain cape and warm knit cap, other wise you will be purchasing one as you get off the boat.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: In that you will pay more for any medical supplies, if you can find them, always take any medicines you may need as supplies are either limited or costly.

    Photo Equipment: Cameras a must, and videos would be great to capture the whales and other sea critters in action.

    Related to:
    • Whale Watching
    • Cruise
    • Family Travel

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  • While Hiking be prepared!

    by Matyas Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Useful packing list for day-hikers and backpackers as well including Clothing (Base-Insulation-Shell-Other Layers), Footwear, Head Gear, Hand Gear, Toiletries, Shelter, Sleeping Gear, Walking/Hiking Gear, Cooking Gear, Miscellaneous. Definitely have a look at this list before you head to the mountains.

    Camping somewhere in Alaska
    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • livinmydreams's Profile Photo

    Bring it and be HAPPY!

    by livinmydreams Updated Nov 18, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Regular suitecases are fine - bring a backpack as well for day trips and or over night trips!

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Rain Jacket
    Hiking shoes
    Layers, layers, layers - one minute you could be hot, the next cold so wear things you can layer up and down to keep good. I suggest a tank top, then a thin thermal or T, thin fleece and a wind braker

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sun block - bring it or buy it here, you may be suprised at how often you need it if it's nice outside. If doing any glacier trips or spring outdoor activities you will need it as well.

    Lotion - it is dry here compared to some places, people that live in humid areas find they use lotion way more here than at home.

    Photo Equipment: ZOOM, ZOOM, ZOOM - some wildlife may be a bit far away so make sure you have what you need to take a great pic.

    I also suggest a camera tripod thing that has flexable arms that you can wrap around a tree branch or whatever happens to be around so you can get that great shot or self portrait!

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Camping

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  • CruisingGoddess's Profile Photo

    Alaska Cruise

    by CruisingGoddess Written Sep 27, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Baggallini Messenger Bagg for walking around – This backpack purse is awesome. It even fit my jacket or fleece when I wasn’t wearing it.
    Formal night purse
    Kipling Hiker Expandable Backpack
    A reusable shopping bag to hold your souvenirs
    Insulated lunch bag to hold snacks and packed lunches

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: WOMEN’S
    Bathing suit
    Convertible pants – converts to shorts so didn’t need to pack them seperately. We brought 4 pairs each for 11 nights.
    Formal dresses
    Sundresses for dinner
    Fleece cap
    Fleece pullover
    Flip flops (I didn’t pack these and wish I did to walk around the ship on sea days)
    Formal shoes
    1 set of long underwear top and bottoms
    Rain pants
    Socks that can be worn with pants or shorts
    3-4 short-sleeved shirts and the rest long-sleeved shirts
    Low top hiking shoes
    Waterproof jacket w/hood

    Suit with dress shirts & shoes
    Fleece pullover
    Flip flops
    Convertible pants
    1 pair of long underwear bottoms
    Rain pants
    Socks that can be worn with shorts or pants
    Swimming trunks
    3-4 short-sleeved shirts and the rest long-sleeved shirts
    Low top hiking shoes
    Waterproof jacket w/hood

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Other than the stuff you would usually take to a trip, also bring:

    Insect Repellent
    Toilet paper (travel size)
    Toilet seat covers (travel size)
    Hand sanitizer

    Photo Equipment: A camera with at least 10x optical (not digital) zoom
    Camera charger
    Extra batteries & memory cards
    Netbook or laptop to back up digital photos nightly

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Bear bell for hiking in bear territory
    8×40 waterproof binoculars
    Defog sponge

    Miscellaneous: TourSaver coupon book – saved us $400 and I resold it for $80 when I got home!

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • ZIMETMUS's Profile Photo

    Summer wear for Southeast Alaska

    by ZIMETMUS Written Aug 1, 2010

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It rains - a lot. Bring light weight rainwear that you can carry with you for showers ( which will happen). While in summer the weather is mild - you'll want layers to be able to adjust for cooler days. Waterproof shoes/boots would be a good idea or something like Teva sandals if you don't mind your feet getting wet ( and the streams are a bit cold)

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Cruise
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo

    What to bring

    by RickinDutch Updated Jun 24, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: With airlines charging more for checked bags and overhead bins filling up, I find myself packing lighter and lighter. A few minutes spent washing clothes at night is a decent trade off to the relief from dragging too much stuff with you. http://www.onebag.com has become a favorite web site of mine as I figure out how to lighten my load.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: After living in Alaska for over 30 years, I've learned to expect any kind of weather any time of the year. Rain, sun, wind, calm. Summer tempuratures range from 45F to 75F on the coast.
    Last night it was 39 here in Kodiak and raining (unusally cold) and today at noon it is almost 60 and sunny. You just never know.
    So layering up is the best way to dress. That way you can peel off and back on as things change and yet stay as you are without overheating for much longer.
    -Water and wind proof outer layer (Gortex?).
    -A vest of some sort. (Down in winter and fleece in summer) .
    -Avoid white clothes - everyone will know you're a tourist (especially the bears :) and you'll just get dirty.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bug spray - such as Deep Woods Off.

    Photo Equipment: With all the wildlife to be spotted in Alaska, a zoom is key. If you can get an optical zoom in the 10X range you'll have a chance at a decent shot.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you aren't bringing your own camping gear, there are many places in Anchorage to get cheap gear (a relative term - I know). Walmart, Costco, etc. Sears has some decent sales these days. A favorite of mine is REI on the corner of Spenard & Northern Lights.

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  • Mugsy13's Profile Photo

    Think layers!

    by Mugsy13 Updated Aug 12, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: We took carry-on only for our 10-day trip and couldn't have been happier! We also had smaller backpacks to use as daypacks. Great to carry your jacket/extra shirt, etc.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The weather varied from mid-40's to mid-80's during our late June visit, sometimes during the same day, depending on location. It is a very good idea to pack layers of clothing and carry a jacket/rain jacket wherever you go. We took goretex rain jackets that doubled as regular jackets. Think tees or tanks, regular shirt (short- or long-sleeved) and a jacket to be sure you are comfortable no matter what the weather. Anytime you are near glaciers or ice fields, the temperature will drop. Also in Homer, along the coast, the wind made the air feel much cooler.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Definitely bring mosquito repellant! Mosquitos were everywhere, with maybe the exception of the coast. We were lucky and didn't get many bites.

    Photo Equipment: A good point-and-shoot camera is a must. Unless you are a professional and know your camera very well, you will miss a lot of wildlife shots. The aminals move quickly and will be out of sight before you have your camera ready. One lady on our Denali tour didn't get a good shot of anything because she didn't know her camera. Bring twice the memory/film and 4x the batteries you need if you like to take pictures! Everywhere you go is scenic.

    Miscellaneous: A good set of binoculars is essential. We were able to watch grizzlies romp and play about a quarter-mile away, spot hikers on top of a ridge, watch fox kits playing, golden eagles diving for a catch.... you get the picture....more up close and personal with binoculars.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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  • bumpychick's Profile Photo

    On a cruise

    by bumpychick Written Jun 28, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Take as many bags as the airline will allow! Crise ship cabins usually have room under the bed and in the closet to store quite big cases. You will also need a suitcase rather than a holdall to carry your formal wear.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: There will usually be 2 formal nights on a 7 night cruise, and most people where cocktail dresses or suits. You will also find that people dress for dinner each night. No shorts allowed in the dining room. You will also need suitable clothes for going ashore, depending on the activities /tours you have chosen.

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  • bumpychick's Profile Photo

    Touring around - How Cold?

    by bumpychick Written Jun 28, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The weather in Alaska during the summer months really isn't that cold, so it's not really necessary to take your thermals unless you intend to walk on a glacier for an extended period of time. Wet weather gear will be more useful. The dress code in most restaurants and hotels appears to be casual.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: There are lots of mosquitos, bring the repellant.

    Photo Equipment: You will require telephoto lenses for shooting wildlife and a wide angle lense for pictures of the glaciers and other amazing scenery.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel

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  • MyHollyDay's Profile Photo

    Mosquito Repellent

    by MyHollyDay Updated May 19, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You get eaten alive without mosquito repellent. The mosquitos come in herds. We could not even open the car door without have a few dozens following us into the car anywhere outside of Anchorage or away from the ocean. The good thing is, if you forgot to bring it, repellents are readily available in most shops in Alaska, and come in a variety of selections.

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  • pancho

    by photojunkie Written May 16, 2007

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I would highly recommend bringing a light weight pancho or rain jacket.

    Photo Equipment: For those of you using film. I would recommend bringing lots more then you think you are going to need. Those of you using digital format cameras should buy a couple of extra gigs then you normally use on vacation.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • PA2AKgirl's Profile Photo

    Lots of stuff...

    by PA2AKgirl Updated Oct 2, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Layers. It doesn't matter what time of year. It will still be rainy and cool at night in the summer.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Some of the hotels in the smaller towns do not provide shampoo or anything, really. It's probably best just to bring castille soap (the all in one to wash dishes, yourself, hair, to clean etc) if you're camping. It's easier and environmentally friendly. All medical supplies should come with you, too.

    Photo Equipment: Everything you have. Don't bet there will be a place to transfer pictures to a cd or to get them developed unless you'll be in a city.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Waterproof everything and bring duplicates. If it's not frozen, it's probably going to be muddy. (at least in South Central and the Southeast). Mosquito repellant. The bugs are terrible from late spring until the first frost. Bear Canisters.

    Miscellaneous: A good topo map or the USGS quadrangles. A laptop computer is a good idea, too. If you can't get WiFi access (a lot of the more visited places have WiFi everywhere), at least you can dump your digital photos.

    prepare yourself for anything and everything here

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  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Pack For All Seasons!

    by AKtravelers Written May 7, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Even if you are traveling to Alaska in the summer as we did, you'll want to have clothes for all seasons -- it can snow in Denali and reach 90F/38C in Fairbanks all in the same week. The main thing we appreciated were waterproof outdoor clothes, since it rained often.

    Miscellaneous: Definitely bring miosquito repellent!

    You enjoy the rainbows more when you're dry
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • meginoregon's Profile Photo

    Things you might not think to take to Alaska

    by meginoregon Written Aug 27, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: We returned a few weeks ago from a trip to Alaska, in July 2005. We flew up, rented a car and drove 1300 miles, from Anchorage to Denali, then down to Homer.

    Here are some things you might want to take on a trip to Alaska:

    Small bottle of hand sanitizer (like Purell). Most of the rest stops along Alaska roads have outhouses, and few have running water. Especially true on the Denali bus trip. Antiseptic hand-wipes would serve the same purpose.

    Small-to-medium sized collapsible, soft-sided cooler. You can take this in your luggage, folded up, then use it to keep drinks cold in the car, to transport perishable foods from one hotel to the next, and on the Denali bus trip (8 hour trip is too long for sandwiches to be out of a cooler).


    Sunglasses and sunscreen (it never got dark when we were there in July). You won't need a flashlight!

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • maryellen50's Profile Photo

    Layering is the Solution

    by maryellen50 Written May 28, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: I used a large wheeled duffle bag.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: 2 pairs of fleece tops, 2 pairs of fleece bottoms, REI waterproof/breathable pants, waterproof slip on shoes, woven cap, woven gloves.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Seasickness medications, melatonin, vitamins, the usual things I can't live without

    Photo Equipment: Sony CyberShot 150 7.2MP with Sony Underwater Housing

    Kayaking in Ketchikan

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