Due to Alaska’s unpredictable nature, the question “What to wear in Alaska” is always tricky. Some people experience completely sunny days during their trips and are in shorts and a T-shirt during the day.
Others, sadly, get the rain and chillier temperatures. Therefore, my biggest recommendation for what to pack for Alaska is to bring diverse clothes and be prepared for colder temperatures, even if you’re visiting in the summer.
Next, you’ll want to ensure you have the right gear for your planned activities. For example, if you’re planning on hiking or camping, you’ll want to bring waterproof hiking boots, a good backpack, and a tent and sleeping bag if camping. Likewise, you’ll want a fishing rod, reel, and a good set of flies if you plan to fish. (Though if you’re planning a guided fishing trip, you can leave that all at home.)
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What to wear in Alaska
Clothes to bring to Alaska
When visiting Alaska, you’re going to be there for a while. You will probably be traveling for more than six days and likely closer to 12 or more. This means you’ll want a larger suitcase to carry what you’ll wear in Alaska.
- Down jacket: A good down jacket keeps you warm when moving, even in freezing temperatures. Hopefully, your summer weather won’t cause you to be this cold, but it’s always nice to have, especially in the morning or night.
- Comfortable Hiking Pants: I am a massive fan of Prana, and they’re some of the most comfortable clothes on the market. Whether using it for hiking or walking the city, they’re my choice for what to wear in Alaska!
- Wool long sleeve: This is an excellent option for those who are hiking and want to stay warm, even when sweating. Wool is the best moisture-wicking material out there and dries fast, so you stay warm.
- Fleece: If you’re sitting by the fire or reading on the porch, having a great fleece will keep you cozy and warm. I recommend adding this to your ‘What to pack for Alaska’ list.
- Waterproof hiking boots: A must for hiking in Alaska. With melting snow, rivers, or tundra, most of the state feels wet! A good set of waterproof boots will make your trip way more enjoyable.
- Rain Jacket: Do you see a theme? It might be wet, and it is best to have a durable rain jacket to keep you dry no matter where you are.
- Rain Pants: The mission of Alaska is to adventure even if it’s wet outside. When it comes to what to wear in Alaska, you’ve got to have rain pants.
- Hiking poles: The terrain in Alaska can be rugged or wet, and having hiking poles will help you feel more sturdy as you walk.
What to Pack for an Alaska Trip
- Day pack for hiking or activities: I recommend a 25L-35L day pack. This will allow you to take longer day hikes and pack extra clothes, water, and food. Anything bigger may be a hassle to pack and carry.
- Binoculars: With wildlife teeming everywhere, having great binoculars will let you see the wild animals without getting too close. This is high on the list of what to pack for Alaska.
- Sunglasses: Being that far north, the sun is stronger, which means your eyes are more susceptible to the sunlight. Plus, the reflection can damage your eyes if you’re hiking on snow or a glacier.
- Wide-brimmed hat: Along the same lines as above, keeping the sun off you is key. This is undoubtedly one of the things to bring when considering what to wear in Alaska.
- Satellite Communications Device: A satellite communication device is crucial if you plan to do hikes further away from the general population. Plus, this can be a great help if you happen to run into an unhappy grizzly bear.
- Bear Spray: You can’t fly with these, so you’ll have to pick one up in Alaska. But this may be the most essential gear purchase when you hike in Alaska.
- A camera with a zoom lens: If you want to capture the moment, don’t forget your camera. Now, I don’t expect everyone to go out and spend $7,000 on a top-of-the-line camera. But spending $1,000 to have these moments to reflect on is worth it!
What to Wear in Alaska – Wrapping Up
In the end, when it comes to what to wear in Alaska, just make sure you have enough gear to keep you warm and dry. If you can manage those two things, you’ll be fine as you adventure or cruise your way around the most beautiful state in America.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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