When we started packing for Alaska, my biggest concern was whether or not I’d be warm, dry, wind proof, you name it. I wanted to be prepared for almost any potential weather element that could be thrown my way. I even almost packed my snowboarding pants. Thankfully Will talked me down from that ledge. So that you don’t encounter the same stress that I did, I’ve put together a packing list for our 9 day trip to Alaska that was split between Seward (down south) and Denali (further north from Anchorage) and everywhere in between.
We did a lot of hiking and with the midnight sun, we were out pretty late. All the restaurants were pretty casual, so most of the time we actually went in the clothes we had been wearing all day. Going to dinner in hiking clothes would normally make me cringe a little bit, but Alaska is known as the Last Frontier for a reason, so when in Rome right? With that being said, I’ve edited the list; clothing leans a little more to the active wear.
While packing for Alaska, the most important tip is layer, layer, layer. Often, I’d wear a workout tank top, with a dry-fit long sleeve and then my Patagonia down vest, with a fleece. I hate being cold, so I always err’ed on the warm side. The weather can be quite unpredictable, as we experienced sunny days where it was shorts weather, and rainy and windy days where I was thankful for my fleece/rain jacket combo and my rubber water pants (despite how unflattering they are). Because rain is so common especially down by Seward, it’s better to be prepared then pass up on some awesome opportunities because you didn’t have the right clothing.
Anyways, without further adieu…
Alaska Packing List
- Waterproof jacket – I love my North Face, it is a 2-in-1 with a fleece jacket on the inside that can be removed easily.
- Rubber water pants – sounds silly but, so necessary, nobody wants soaking wet hiking pants if you are kayaking and/or camping. I got these and they worked perfectly (and looked a little better than the online picture).
- Hiking pants – I love mine from Marmot, Prana’s pants are also comfortable and flattering.
- 4 pairs of wool socks for hiking
- 2 pairs of long underwear – if you are camping, these are a must.
- 3 long sleeve moisture wicking tops
- 5 dry fit workout tank tops
- 3 casual tops – for those days when you are just exploring a town or you want to get dressed for dinner.
- 2 pairs of jeans
- Underwear – I’m sure you can figure out how much you need to bring.
- Hiking Boots – Lowa are my hiking boots of choice they are water resistant, comfortable and grippy.
- Casual sneakers – for walking around town.
- Beenie and sun hat
- Gloves – running gloves are perfect.
- Bathing Suit – in case your hotel has a jacuzzi or spa.
- Warm PJs
You’ll notice that the articles of clothing don’t add up to 9 days. However, every hotel we stayed at had washer and dryer facilities. We ended up doing a load of wash half way through our trip.
- Eye cover – if you camping in the summer time.
- Headlamp – if you are not camping in the summer time.
- Small backpack for hiking – Our go-to is the Osprey Tempest 30 (also a good idea to get a rain cover for it).
- Bug spray – there are lots of mosquitos in the summer.
- Bear spray – learn how to use it in advance.
- Dramamine/Motion-sickness meds – if you are going out in the ocean on a day cruise.
- Camera gear
That’s about everything that I packed for one checked bag. The list can be adjusted based on the length of your stay. Also, this is a good list to use if you are visiting to a country like Norway or Iceland. Although, safe to say you can leave the bear spray at home for those countries!