If you are planning that dream trip and wondering what you should pack for Alaska, you are in the right place! With this Ultimate Packing List for Alaska Guide, you will find what to pack, in a very organized and easy way to plan and prepare for your trip.
Alaska is the land of extreme weather that can change very fast and it is unpredictable – so the rule of thumb of what to pack for Alaska is Layers and Pack Smart! You will also find here PACKING SMART ALERTS, with a very detailed guide with expert reviews for the best items available in the market today.
In this article, you will find not only the packing list for Alaska but all the helpful tips you need to know for each season, the best packing methods for Alaska, plus a bonus section for packing for an Alaska Cruise. So let’s dive in!
- 6 Essential Tips Before You Pack for Alaska
- Alaska Packing List | PRINTABLE
- Alaska Packing List | FOR EACH SEASON
- Alaska Packing List | TOILETRIES & SAFETY
- Alaska Packing List | ELECTRONICS & PHOTOGRAPHY
- Packing List Alaska | OUTDOOR ESSENTIALS
- BONUS: Packing List for Alaska Cruise
- PACKING METHOD FOR ALASKA | Luggage vs Backpack
- Weather in Alaska
- Packing List Alaska Conclusion
6 Essential Tips Before You Pack for Alaska
#1 FREQUENCY: Consider how often you will do this activity and pack accordingly. If you are going to wear something only once, reconsider if you really need to carry it. For example, if you are planning to go on one hiking, you don’t need to carry all the hiking gear with you. You also have the option to rent warm clothes in Alaska. If you are going on a tour with a tour operator, most of the time they offer the gear, so check with them first.
#2 VOLUME: If you are not sure about the weather, don’t start packing to Alaska thinking I will bring this just in case. Again, pack smart is the rule of the tomb here: Consider if you really need to pack that extra pair of jeans or a third pair of boots.
#3 LAYERS, LAYERS & LAYERS: The weather in Alaska is unpredictable and quite temperamental. During my trip, I experienced snow and sunny and rainy days. Depending on where you go, especially when you visit glaciers, it can get really cold. On this Alaska packing list, you will find options of what to pack, to use as layers.
#4 GET COMFORTABLE: You are not going to need anything dressy, not even to go to nice restaurants, as you will find wearing a pair of jeans and a sweater.
#5 GET DIRTY: Consider that you will be doing a lot of outdoor activities during your Alaska itineraries, such as dog sledding, kayaking, and hiking at Denali. Alaska is the destination to explore outdoor adventures, so do not worry about staying clean during your fun trip. Consider bringing clothes that are easy to wash and dry.
#6 INVEST ON LIGHTER PRODUCTS: Go minimalist and I also recommend investing in lighter products. Sometimes they may cost more, but they are of better quality and will last a long time.
Here you can find professional reviews on the best items for your trip:
Alaska Packing List | PRINTABLE
Alaska Packing List | FOR EACH SEASON
Alaska Packing List Summer/ Spring
- 3 T-shirts | Tank Tops
- Long-sleeve long sleeves shirt
- 1 fleece jacket
- 1 pair of jeans
- 1 pair of hiking leggings
- 1 pair of quick-dry pants
- 1 down jacket
- 1 rain jacket
- Sport bra
- Cozy sweater
- Down vest
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Rain boots
- 1 pair of sneakers
- 1 pair of flips-flops or sport sandals
- Travel Towel
- Sleeping Mask
- Baseball hat or Sun hat
- 5 pairs of socks
- 1 bikini (for hot springs)
- 1 pair of polarized sunglasses
- Light gloves, buff and beanie
Alaska Packing List Winter/ Fall
- Long sleeve shirt
- Merino long sleeves
- Merino pants
- Fleece jacket
- Warm sweater
- Pair of jeans
- Warm hiking leggings
- Quick-dry pants
- Snow pants
- Warm Pajamas
- Hat & gloves
- 1 pair of hiking boots
- Rain Boots
- 1 pair of warm boots (winter)
- 1 pair of sneakers
- 5 pairs of merino socks
- Scarf or buff
- 1 down jacket
- 1 rain & windproof jacket
- 1 3-in-1 Tri-climate jacket
PACK SMART ALERT: Check here the top 12 BEST HIKING LEGGINGS available on the market today + expert review
Alaska Packing List | TOILETRIES & SAFETY
Packing List for Alaska | TOILETRIES
- Alcohol gel
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Lip balm
- Reef safe Sunscreen
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
- Razor | shaver
- Mosquito Repellent
- Feminine Hygiene
- Baby wipes
- Travel Towel
Packing List for Alaska | FIRST AID KIT & MEDICINES
- Bear Spray
- Gauze Pad
- Gauze pad
- Tiger Balm (for muscle pain)
- Survival blanket
- Prescriptions (keep the doc notes)
- Cold medicine
- Anti-acid tablets
- Diarrhea tablets
- Antihistamine tablets
- Motion sickness tablets (especially for boat activities)
- Anti-inflammatory cream
- Antiseptic cream
PACK SMART ALERT: Check here the top 20 BEST OUTDOOR JACKETS on the market today + expert review
Alaska Packing List | ELECTRONICS & PHOTOGRAPHY
Packing List for Alaska | PHOTO, VIDEO, CHARGES
Packing List Alaska | OUTDOOR ESSENTIALS
Packing List for Alaska | HIKING & OUTDOOR
BONUS: Packing List for Alaska Cruise
This is a BONUS section about what you should pack for a cruise to Alaska. The cruise packing list for Alaska differs from a road trip. Even if cruising in Alaska is still packed with outdoor adventure, at night on board the ship is designated casual night.
Since most of the cruises to Alaska take place between May to September, I recommend packing exactly the same as listed above for women or men for all the outdoor activities, plus a few extra items for the night onboard the ship.
Packing List for Alaska Cruise | WOMEN
- 2 pairs of casual pants
- 3-5 formal blouses
- 1 lighter sweater
- 1 pair of casual shoes
- 1-3 dresses
- Down Puffer Vest
- Bathing suit
- Flip-flops or sandals
- Baseball hat or sun hat
- Sunscreen & repellent
Packing List for Alaska Cruise | MEN
PACKING METHOD FOR ALASKA | Luggage vs Backpack
I travel both ways, and in Alaska, I mixed both. I took my favorite luggage with my clothes, shoes, and toiletries, and I carry my Osprey Backpack as a carry-on with my camera, video gear, laptop an extra jacket, a medication bag, and snacks.
They are both good ways to pack and the most important thing when comes to packing is organization. I recommend bringing a laundry bag to keep your dirty clothes separated.
Packing for Alaska | LUGGAGE
If you prefer to pack in luggage, the most effective way is rolling or packing on cubes. I love my packing cubes, as they save space in my luggage, and also, I can keep my items organized during my trip. I traveled to Alaska by RV and having the packing cubes inside the closets is very handy.
This is the luggage I have been using on my trips, and I am obsessed with it. This luggage maximizes my packing, with a mesh divider and cross straps in the main compartment with zipped modesty pockets. Plus it comes with side-mounted TSA locks and multi-directional spinner wheels making it very lightweight.
This luggage is a great option, especially if you are traveling to Alaska during wintertime when you need more space to pack bulky items. Very effective packing with multiple compartments and pockets to allow easy access and organization for your items. It comes with a 10-year warranty.
If you are looking for an awesome carry-on, I also have this one and I LOVE IT! It is ultralightweight, with maximizes my packing and you can just carry it as your carry-on. You can also find them n 22-inch and 26 inches sizes if you are looking for something with more space.
Packing for Alaska | BACKPACK
I love traveling with my Osprey Backpack, and if you are taking a backpack, I recommend rolling your clothes and using small packing cubes separated by categories (pants, tops, socks…), so you don’t need to empty the backpack every time when you are trying to reach to the items you need.
It doesn’t matter if you are traveling with luggage or a backpack, the fact is that you will need a day pack for Alaska! This is the backpack that I use and recommend because you can fit a lot, keep everything organized and it is super comfortable to carry around for hours.
This is an ultralight backpack specially designed for minimalist hikers who are particular about light and smart packing. Made with breathable fabric and enough pockets for proper pack organization. It is a great backpack for hiking because it is light and very comfortable to carry.
This is the backpack I have been using for many years now and they are amazing! I love the anti-gravity system and it really works wonders, plus it has ventilated suspended mesh back panel and adjustable torso length and straps to ensure carrying comfort.
!! PACK SMART ALERT !! – Check here the top 15 Backpacks in the market on the market today + expert review
Weather in Alaska
WINTER: November to March
During the winter months in Alaska, you can expect temperatures below 32F both – day and night time. For example, Southeast Alaska is extremely wet in winter, and while they definitely get snow, they don’t always have it all winter. In Fairbanks, temperatures way below zero are common from November through February or March.
Wintertime in Alaska is also very wet, especially in the southeast of Alaska, and predominantly cold in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Also, make sure to still bring light clothes since buildings are often super hot in Alaska in the winter!
The springtime in Alaska is very similar to the fall, averaging 40-50 F on the higher and 20-30 F on the lower. Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the surrounding areas can reach temperatures of 54 F with a lot of rainy days. Packing in layers during Springtime in Alaska is a must.
Summer in Alaska can be warm Temperatures in Alaska during the summer range from 60°F – 80°F. Nighttime and early mornings are cooler, from the 40s-50s. It can also be cold and rainy. Bugs and mosquitoes are a dominant feature of Alaska during summertime.
Another important thing to consider when packing for Alaska during summertime is that days are longer, ranging from 18 hours to the sun not setting at all above the Arctic Circle.
I visited Alaska between the end of September and the beginning of October, and actually, the fall is very short in Alaska. The temperatures start to drop pretty early, especially at the end of September
During the day highs in the 40-50 F and nighttime lows down to 30s -20s F or colder. September is still a much better time to visit Alaska since you can enjoy the foliages on the trees. It can snow further north in early September, especially if you are visiting Denali and Fairbanks or further North.
Packing List Alaska Conclusion
I hope you are all ready for your trip and that this packing list Alaska guide has helped you to plan your next adventure to one of the most fascinating places on the planet.
Don’t forget rule number one: Be comfortable! You will be doing a lot of outdoor exploration, hiking, boat tours, etc. Also, being warm and packing in layers is very important. Sturdy water/snow-proof boots are a must, as well s a warm jacket!
Here is some further information I think you might need to plan your trip to Alaska:
- Alaska Bucket List: 22 Amazing Experiences
- Ultimate Visitor Guide for Denali National Park
- Best Things to do in Denali National Park + 20 Best Hikes
- 10-Day Ultimate Road Trip Itinerary in Alaska
- Ultimate Guide on How to hike Exit Glacier
- Harding Icefield Trail in Alaska: The Complete Hiking Guide
- 30 Best Things to do in Seward
- 21 Best Things to do in Valdez
- 23 Best Things to do in Fairbanks
- 15 Best Things to do in Talkeetna
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