The Fool Proof Packing Guide For Adventures in Alaska

Will you be visiting Alaska in 2019 either on a cruise or a self-guided adventure?  I recently did, and boy it was a difficult task in deciding what to pack.  I had no idea what the Alaskan meaning of “cold” was, which left in a dilemma as to what to pack.   I googled and googled and googled and all I could find was “layers”.   The definition of “layers” wasn’t exactly clear, so I brought a lot of everything with me.  Half of which I never wore.  It was at that time that I  decided that I would be making a fool-proof packing guide for adventures in Alaska, detailing what the adventurous person should be packing.  That was six months ago.  So better late than never.

The weather in Alaska can be very unpredictable.  The best times to visit are the summer months, which are June, July and August.  These are also the most expensive months.  If you want to go for cheaper, then I recommend going on the fringe months of May and September, which is what I did.  I have to warn you though, these months are also the rainy season in Alaska.

A waterfall we had to climb on our hike up to the Mendenhall Glacier

When people think of Alaska, they tend to think of snow and frigid temperatures.  This is not typically the case in the Summer months.  Having said that, it is still best that you dress in “layers”.  Meaning a base layer, sweater or sweatshirt, jacket, and pants.  Luckily when I was in Alaska in May, the temperatures were high 70’s, which is extremely rare.  The temperature in May is on average 65 degrees.


packing for Alaskan cruise
Base and Mid Layer

At the end of the blog, I will provide a very specific list of what to pack, but I found the most important article of clothing was my jacket.  I didn’t bring my winter parka, but I did bring a light waterproof windbreaker.  Given that I was on a cruise ship, I found this piece of clothing to be invaluable.

Climb up to the Mendenhall Glacier

The other valuable article of clothing was my gore tex gloves.  I carried them with me constantly.  They kept my hands warm and dry while sitting on the balcony of my ship.  They were also invaluable when I was hiking one of the many trails.  The trails can be slippery, steep and not to mention cold as you rise in elevation.  Regular gloves I’m sure would be fine, but I found the gore tex helped immensely to protect my hands from the moisture and mud when climbing the hills.

Last but not least, if you are any type of outdoor person, I strongly recommend in investing in a good pair of hiking boots, if you haven’t already.  Make sure that they are water proof/resistant, as the trails are wet, muddy and very slippery.  They will also keep your feet warmer if you are doing any type of sightseeing on the glaciers or out on the water.  Many people recommended that I bring rain boots.

packing for Alaska - outer layer
Outer Layer



I am so glad that I didn’t listen and brought my hiking boots instead.   I do not recommend rain boots if you will be doing any type of activity while visiting Alaska.


Alaskan Packing Made Easy









If you are an adventurer and would like a copy of your very own Alaskan Packing Made Easy list, visit my contact page and shoot me an email.


Love Kelly xoxo


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