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With this Alaska packing list you are going to be set for all the adventures you are going to have. Packing for Alaska for an epic summer vacation doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow this Alaska packing list guide for everything you need to bring with you on your trip.
First, I’m going to tell you the secret to staying comfortable on your trip – Layers! The weather in Alaska can change quickly, sometimes multiple times in a day, so it’s important to layer up. In this Alaska packing list, I’ve got you covered in the layer department!
In the summer, Alaska’s temperature can vary from 50°F to highs in the mid-60s to mid-70s F. You might even visit during a heatwave like I did and end up with weather in the 80s. With such a swing in the temperature you can see just how important layers are to keep from freezing or overheating. In addition to your basic, standard packing like items (I shouldn’t need to tell you to pack underwear), here are the items that you will want to make sure that you add to your Alaska packing list.
A warm coat will make all the difference in your comfort when you are in a cold climate. If you are visiting Southeast Alaska in the Tongass National Forest expect that you will have some rainy days. Having a light rain jacket that you can toss over your mid-layer, a sweater, or a puffy jacket will be incredibly helpful. You’ll want to find one that packs down small so you can toss it in your bag.
Mid-Layers and Sweaters
You’ll want to bring a few sweaters, long sleeve shirts, and sweatshirts with you. I like to pack a selection of items with different warmth levels so that I can layer my clothing according to whatever the weather may bring that day.
Hiking Shoes and Socks
You will most likely want to be exploring the beautiful Alaskan outdoors and there’s not better way to do that then going for a hike. My absolute favorite hiking boots are from Merrell. And because you don’t want to be sidelined by blisters, make sure that you remember to pack proper hiking socks.
Going hand-in-hand with your hiking boots and socks, the next item on your list will be active clothing. I like the active leggings from Athleta as well as their active shorts. They are comfortable, stylish, and dry quickly. This will come in handy if you get caught in the rain or if you plan on doing any water activities like kayaking. I recommend packing at least one pair of shorts just in case the weather warms up on your trip, I was grateful that I packed mine!
Remember that heat escapes from your head! Toss a couple of warm hats in your bag especially if you are going to be doing any boat tours. Even when it’s a warm day in town, when you are out on a windy boat or doing a glacier tour, you will be happy to have a hat. I was also grateful for my gloves which kept my hands toasty while I was taking photos of Alaskan wildlife.
Walking Around Shoes
When you are in Alaska, you are going to be doing quite a bit of walking around. Having not just comfortable, but also stylish ones are key. I love the Adidas Superstar sneakers because they are comfortable enough to walk miles in and they go with everything. I’ve worn them with jeans, with dresses, with leggings – they are great travel shoes. Another pair of shoes that always finds its way into my bag are my Thursday boots. I now have 4 pairs of Thursday boots and they are fantastic to travel with, comfortable, stylish, and super durable. My last piece of advice on shoes is to make sure you are rotating what you are wearing on your trip, this helps to avoid any blisters. These are some of my favorite travel shoes.
You’ll want to pack a good pair of jeans for your trip to Alaska. Not only will these be great for sightseeing tours but also for exploring cities. I have been loving these pairs from American Eagle!
I know what you are thinking but yes, do pack a dress! You will thank me later when you have something nice to wear to dinner or when the temps warm up. I almost didn’t pack one and then at the last minute as I was leaving for the airport to get on my plane to Alaska, I shoved it in my bag. So happy that I had at least one dress with me!
Chances are you are going to be out and about while you in Alaska, going on tours, hiking, or just walking around. You are going to need a daypack to carry items like your camera, sunscreen, light jacket, wallet… you get the picture. Make sure you have a daypack that will leave you hands free but also able to carry more than just your phone.
You are going to be in the sun a lot when you are in Alaska during the summer. Make sure you don’t forget to pack sunglasses! These are going to save your eyes when you are looking out over the water for whales, while you are walking on a glacier, or when it’s 10pm and the sun STILL hasn’t set.
Along with your sunglasses, I highly recommend bringing an eye mask. The sun does not quit in Alaska and trying to get to bed while it’s still up at 10pm and sleep in when it’s rising at 3am is tough. Protect your beauty rest, and bring an eye mask to Alaska.
Camera and Video Gear
Finally, you are going to be seeing some incredible, once-in-a-lifetime things while you are in Alaska. You need to pack your camera gear to capture it all! This is the camera I travel with and some of the gear I took with me on my trip and I’m so happy that I had it with me to photograph the wildlife and beautiful Alaskan scenery.
With this Alaska packing list you are sure to have a great summer trip!