To Pack

You’ve spent hours planning your dream Alaskan vacation, but one more looming task awaits you:  the suitcase.  When the time comes to pack, the great unknown can leave you wondering what type of wardrobe you’ll need in our beloved 49th state.

You can check out Anchorage’s average monthly temperatures here, or just look at this cool graphic:


As you can see, our temps are milder than most folks realize.  We all have different internal thermostats, but here are some general suggestions for what clothing to bring:

1.  Think layers.  In the summer you will probably want short sleeves as a base layer, but keep a vest, cardigan, or sweatshirt handy as a second layer.  Throw in a fleece jacket for layer three, and rain gear just in case.

2.  A fleece jacket and waterproof outer layer are essential.

3.  Definitely bring comfortable walking and hiking shoes.

4.  Depending on your plans, it doesn’t hurt to throw in a stocking cap and gloves no matter when you are visiting.  It can get chilly year-round if you are planning to hike in the mountains or float any rivers.

5.  Unless you have special plans, you can leave the suits and ties at home.  Jeans are just fine for even our fanciest restaurants.

6.  If we are planning to float any rivers, bring any waterproof gear you might have (pants, rubber boots, etc.).  We do have some loaner gear depending on size.

Miscellaneous items to consider:

1.  If you visit in the summer you might have trouble sleeping with the constant daylight.  If you are concerned about this, consider bringing a sleep mask.

2.  Photography equipment is mandatory.  Alaska is a picture taking mecca!  Don’t forget your extra batteries, chargers, cords, lenses, and cables!

3.  If you have a preferred bug spray, either bring it or make sure you can buy it locally.  Remember, mosquitoes can often be mistaken for our state bird.  As a result, even the most homeopathic Alaskans embrace deet.

4.  If you plan to do some hiking, some sort of day pack or CamelBak will be invaluable.

5.  Water bottles – great for hikes and car treks alike.

6.  If you have special medications for car sickness, sea sickness, or any other medical needs then be sure to include them on your packing list.

7.  Sunglasses.  Just in case you hit the weather jackpot…

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