Alaska Clothing & Packing List

What to Pack for Alaska  (4:28)

1. Clothing you can layer: Long underwear, a fleece, and a waterproof/breathable shell. Read What to Wear in Alaska.

2. Comfortable shoes with good traction: Running shoes with good support are adequate for anything you'll do except hike steep hillsides (which you may not do). If you prefer something sturdier, lightweight hikers are great, and some are waterproof as well. See: What to wear hiking in Alaska.

3. Sun protection: Lightweight, brimmed hat (sun and rain); sunglasses and sunscreen

4. Light winter cap/gloves/scarf: These really keep you warm if it gets unseasonably cold—or if you're feeling the effects of glacier-chilled wind—without adding a lot of weight.

5. Summer clothing: Unless you prefer last-minute local shopping, pack shorts and short sleeve shirts. Recent Alaskan summers have been warm and sunny. See: Alaska weather.

6. Formal vs. casual: Casual dress is the way to go in Alaska. Some cruise-goers bring formal attire for onboard the ship, then break out the jeans on land.

7. Eye mask. In the land of the midnight sun, we experience between 16 and 24 hours of daylight throughout the summer, and it can make falling asleep a challenge.

8. Mosquito repellent: The bugs generally aren't as bad as people fear, and they're really only a big consideration in June and July. If you really want to protect yourself, there's nothing as effective as DEET. 30-40% concentration should be sufficient. Mosquito head nets tend to be overkill unless you plan on doing a lot of hiking or tent camping, as they obscure visibility and can get warm. For more detailed repellent and clothing suggestions, read Mosquitoes in Alaska

9. Fishing license: You can order this ahead of time online, but it's easy to obtain from your air taxi, fishing guide, or most local groceries. See: Where to get your Alaska fishing license.

10. Small first aid kit: Most hotels and tour operators will have you covered, but it's convenient to have Band-Aids and ointment for minor emergencies

11. Camera / video camera: Capture your Alaska experiences, and don't forget the extras: batteries, lenses, chargers, and memory cards. Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau each have a good camera shop, but you're better off bringing everything you might need. See: Alaska photography.

12. Backpack or tote bag (medium to large)

13. Reusable water bottle: Fill it up after you pass through security at the airport and re-use it throughout your vacation. You'll also help the environment, especially if you're visiting a national park. More than 2.7 million visitors explore Alaska’s incredible national parks each year and they leave behind more than footprints. Choosing reusable bags, water bottles, and recycling are easy ways to reduce waste while you travel. Check out these sustainable travel tips from the Denali Zero-Landfill Project.

14. Binoculars/spotting scope

15. Zipper-top or reusable packing cubes: Freezer-size zipper-top bags are great to keep clothing folded and toiletries isolated (in case of leaks). Separate baggies make it easier to repack in case your luggage is searched, and extra bags are handy for storing dirty or damp clothing.

16. Identification and/or passport

17. Watch/alarm clock: With so much daylight, it's easy to lose track of time.

18. Swimsuit: Your hotel may have hot tub, sauna, or pool facilities—or you may want to invigorate yourself with Alaska lake swimming. No kidding--read about Bob's swim across Kachemak Bay.

19. Contact information: Bring cards with your contact information to give to new friends and mailing labels for sending postcards.

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