Packing For Alaska: Her List Part 1

It’s the dilemma that plagues every woman before every trip she takes….coming to Alaska is no different even if you have an entire RV to fill.  It took years to figure out how to pack for RV trips in Alaska, without my husband commenting on my prowess for testing the limits of our closet clothes bar.

Take our most recent hunting trip, as an example.  It was the end of August, which meant it was hot in Anchorage, but raining on the drive up and snowing while we were out hunting off of the Denali Highway.  How do you chose what to hang up in that 2 x 4 foot space you have in the hall closet and the two drawers (if you’re lucky) you have for everything else?  Here’s my secret, there are other places in the RV to sneak in those critical articles of clothing. I hope you enjoy this series in which I’ve outlined the various components of packing for Alaska!

Sunrise while dipnetting the Copper River
Sunrise while dipnetting the Copper River

Where does it all go?

  • My side of the closet is about 2 feet wide, it’s actually quite generous compared to some RV closets I’ve seen.
    • My secret is to use height as well as width.
      • We have baskets in the bottom of the closet, one for me, Ben, the dogs (make sure you pick baskets that won’t snag your clothes).  You’ll find my hunting pants, a blow dryer, my makeup and jewelry bags, a picnic blanket, an umbrella and a handful of other little doodads in my basket.
    • The key to having enough room for hang up items is to plan!
      • When I make my selections, I consider how long it will be before I get to wash clothes again. Generally, I’m packing for 7-10 days between laundry opportunities.
      • Clothing choices in Alaska are all about layers, so I hang up five or six tank top type camisoles on one hanger.  I also take 5-7 t-shirts (so I have choices) and three sweatshirts (you can wear one for 2 days which covers your needs for a week).
      • I like to take one simple dress in case we find a nice place to eat out and I feel like dressing up after a shower.
      • Lastly, I take a couple of lightweight cardigans to wear over my t-shirts or tank tops and this dramatically expands my clothing options.
    • My drawers are pretty simple, One for delicates and one for socks.  For delicates, I have two thoughts:
      • First, pack extra bras, because you won’t find a Bloomingdales within a few hundred miles to replace them.
      • Secondly, pack enough panties for two pairs a day, especially if you plan on spending a great deal of time outdoors, as it seems like you always end up with wet clothes here.
      • In terms of socks, I usually take:
        • Lightweight socks to wear around in the RV.
        • Merino wool socks to wear on hikes and regular days (your feet don’t sweat, but they keep you warm).
        • A pair of Ben’s thick wool hunting socks that I love to sleep in on cold nights.
    • The cupboard on my side of the bed, is about a 1 x 3 foot space.  I keep not only clothes but all of my crafting and personal items here.  It has taken me several years to figure out how to take full advantage of this space.
      • Finally, last year, I found:
        • A set of clear storage boxes with lids.
        • small foldable cloth laundry basket that fits well on top of the two boxes stacked in the cupboard.
          • I put whatever crafting supplies I chose to bring in one box; my nightgowns, a couple of pretty scarves and thermals in another.
          • In my foldable laundry basket, you’ll find two pairs of jeans, three pairs of yoga pants, a pair of shorts, a pair of capris and a pair of pajama pants.
Making the most of my bedside cupboard space


  • Finally, I am the queen of hanging up hooks.  I have two hooks in the bedroom, one for a housecoat, one for clothes that need to hang up and dry.  We have four hooks by the front door for everyone’s jackets, one in the bathroom for my hair towel, one in the shower for the bath sponge, one in the….well you get the idea.  😉

This should get you started with the basics…to see Part 2, click here.



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