It can be a daunting task to pack for a trip, more so if you have never been to where you are going. We make sure each person we plan with is well equipped to enjoy their vacation.

While it is important to pack the usual travel trappings – identification, money and credit cards, a comfortable daypack, your phone, sunglasses, binoculars and camera – it is equally important to pack a collection of clothing that will keep you comfortable no matter where you travel around Alaska.

Summer Clothing

Temperatures from June through August range between 60 to 80°F (16 to 27°C); May and September are typically cooler, with temperatures ranging between 45 to 55°F (7 to 13°C). The general rule for Alaska is casual, comfortable clothing that can be worn in layers.

The first layer should be something thin and next to the skin (light weight, breathable and quick drying pants and long sleeve / T-shirts; long underwear; try to avoid cotton).

The second layer adds warmth and allows you the option of removing if it gets warmer (comfortable/durable jeans or khakis; wool/fleece sweater; fleece pants and vest/jacket to wear under rain gear).

The third layer should protect you against rain and wind if necessary (a good quality rain jacket and rain pants). For day cruises into Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords National Park, for example, we recommend an extra layer including a scarf, hat/baseball cap and gloves, as it can be chilly on the boats.

Comfortable walking shoes or water repellent hiking boots are also important; and a pair of fancy shoes if you want to hit the town in style.

What to pack for Alaska

Dress in Layers

  • Inside layer: Moisture-wicking fabrics against the skin, such as Capilene (also called polypropylene) or light wool.
  • Sunny days: Drip-dry style long sleeve shirt and zip-off pants. They dry fast if you get sweaty, offer sun protection and can work as an outer layer over your poly-pro in light-but-chilly wind.
  • Insulating layer: Expedition weight long underwear or light pile. For most summer hikes, you’ll only need a top. Great to put on at the summit or during lunch break.
  • Outside layer: breathable yet waterproof fabric such as Gore-tex
  • Rain forest: If hiking in areas like Prince William Sound or Southeast Alaska—with potential for unrelenting torrential downpours—consider carrying coated, waterproof rain gear as a back up.

Packing ChecklistWhat to pack for Alaska

  • Socks – take extras in case yours get wet
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Clothes to dress in layers- This key in Alaska is to dress in layers
  • Waterproof Shoes 
    • Hiking Boots
    • Rain Boots
    • Waterproof tennis shoes
  • Water-resistant clothing- Jacket, shirt, and pants
  • Long-Sleeved Fleece
  • Short-Sleeved Shirts
  • Long-Sleeved Shirts
  • Pairs of Pants
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun Hat
  • Scarf
  • Bug Spray – This is very important as the mosquitos can be really bad
  • Sunscreen
  • Small Backpack for Hiking
  • Binoculars
  • Toiletries
  • Camera

Insect Repellent

This listed twice because it’s important!

During early summer, the mosquitoes in Alaska can be quite thick in areas. We recommend bringing insect repellent with you. The varieties with higher percentage of DEET tend to be the most effective, but natural repellents with citronella are more gentle on your skin. Creams and pumps are generally more eco-friendly than aerosols.

Carry On-Bag

Make sure you carry on a bag with all important documents. You will also need any medications that you take. I suggest carrying at least two changes of clothes in your carry-on bag as well.

What to pack for Alaska

As you can see there are a few special items needed for packing for Alaska, but the main things is layers, layers, layers.

Our team would love to help you plan your adventure into the last great frontier. Fill out this form and we will get started!