Welcome to this Ultimate Packing List Alaska Guide – here you will find what to pack, in a very organized and easy way to plan and prepare for your trip.
The most important thing when planning your Alaska Itinerary and packing is to think about keeping warm and being comfortable.
Alaska is the land of extreme weather that can change very fast and it is unpredictable – so the rule of the 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.
What will really define better your packing list for Alaska is the season that you are traveling. While in the summer you may wear a t-shirt, sunglasses, and sunblock, during winter months you will have to wear lots of layers, including isolation clothes.
You will also love:
- What You Should Consider Before Packing for Alaska
- Packing list for Alaska | BACKPACKS
- Packing list for Alaska | WOMEN
- Packing list for Alaska | MEN
- Packing list for Alaska | TOILETRIES & SAFETY
- Packing list for Alaska | ELECTRONICS & PHOTOGRAPHY
- Packing list for Alaska | OUTDOOR ESSENTIALS
- BONUS: Packing List for Cruise to Alaska
- Packing List Alaska Conclusion
What You Should Consider Before Packing for Alaska
WEATHER | Seasons
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 hights 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.
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.
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 a tomb here: Consider if you really need to pack that extra pair of jeans or a third pair of boots. Go minimalist and I also recommend investing in lighter products. They may cost more, but they are of better quality and will last a long time.
PACKING METHOD| 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, my laptop an extra jacket, 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.
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.
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.
Packing list for Alaska | BACKPACKS
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.
BACKPACK | DAY HIKING
This is an ultralight backpack specially designed for minimalist hikers who are particular about light and smart packing. Made with breathable fabric and have 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.
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.
!! PACK SMART ALERT !! – Check here the top 15 Backpacks in the market on the market today + expert review
Packing list for Alaska | WOMEN
TOP & PANTS
JACKETS & SHOES
3 Tank tops (summer)
1 long sleeve shirt
1 pair of jeans
1 Merino pants
1 rain & windproof jacket
1 pair of hiking boots
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of flips-flops
!! PACK SMART ALERT !! – Check here the top 12 BEST HIKING LEGGINGS available on the market today + expert review
Packing list for Alaska | MEN
TOP & PANTS
JACKETS & SHOES
1 pair of jeans
1 Merino pants
1 pair of snow pants (winter)
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of flips-flops (summer)
!! PACK SMART ALERT !! – Check here the top 20 BEST OUTDOOR JACKETS on the market today + expert review
Packing list for Alaska | TOILETRIES & SAFETY
FIRST AID KIT
Facial mask (CDC recommends for Covid Pandemic)
Shampoo & Conditioner
Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
Razor | shaver
Packing list for Alaska | ELECTRONICS & PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTO & VIDEO
CHARGES & ENTERTAINMENT
Go Pro Hero 9
Packing list for Alaska | OUTDOOR ESSENTIALS
Swiss Army knife
BONUS: Packing List for Cruise to Alaska
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.
2 pairs of casual pants
3-5 formal blouses
1 lighter sweater
1 pair of casual shoes
3 pairs of casual pants
4-6 Down shirt
1-2 pair(s) casual shoes
Flip-flops or sandals
Baseball hat or sun hat
Travel Insurance for your trip
I never leave my home without travel insurance which is designed to help cover your expenses if something goes wrong on your trip. Things can go wrong, and you don’t want to get stuck paying tons of money if you get sick or have an accident without travel insurance.
World Nomads Travel Insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover their trip essentials. Especially if you are like me, travel insurance is ideal for adventurous travelers.
Travel smarter and safer – You can do your quick quote below and find out how little you can pay for the essential benefit of Travel Insurance for your next trip!
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/snowproof 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:
- Ultimate Alaska Itinerary
- Top things to do in Fairbanks
- Tops things to do in Valdez
- Exit Glacier Hike Ultimate Guide
- How to rent an RV for a Road Trip, First Timers Guide
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