Packing For Alaska: Her List Part 2

Early morning fishing on the boat.
Early morning fishing on the boat.

Staying Warm

  • Keep a bag under the bed with:
    • Fleece socks
    • Thermal tops and bottoms
    • Warm hats, gloves, scarves
    • Snow pants.
  • I carry this bag in the RV all summer and in our SUV in the winter.  You might think that seems excessive in the summer time, but you’d be surprised.  I spend a lot of time in fleece socks and thermals up here, year round.

  • You lose a lot of heat through your head and there is nothing more miserable than cold hands and feet, so pack those socks, gloves and hats.  It never hurts to have a couple of extra of each in case items get lost or you need to loan something to a friend.

  • Jackets are crucial to your comfort in Alaska.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, it can be cold and wet in these parts.  I NEVER leave home without:
      • a lightweight fleece jacket
      • a rain jacket
      • a warm jacket with a hood
    • With the exception of the interior where it gets really warm in the summer (think 90*), you could probably get away with wearing your light fleece nearly every day, especially in coastal regions.
    • It rains so frequently here, even if you happen to arrive in Alaska without a raincoat, it would be worth stopping at the nearest town to buy one.  Choose one in a size bigger than usual so you can layer under it.
    •  If you plan to be here in late Spring or early Fall, you probably would do well to bring a heavier jacket with a hood, the rest of the summer, a fleece, hat and layers will do just fine.

      The three jackets I take with me on every trip!
      The three jackets I take with me on every trip!
  • Footwear is probably the most important thing to consider when coming to Alaska.  You HAVE to have comfortable shoes that will keep your feet WARM and DRY.
    •  I recommend getting a pair of these affordable black rubber boots, I wear mine ALL the time, especially on boats and when it is raining cats and dogs, like it is today.
    • Secondly, I would recommend a good close toe sandel, like Keens.  You can get these wet, but you can also wear them with socks on cool days.  They are easy to clean, will protect your feet and I even use them when I go hiking instead of a traditional hiking shoe (not for multi-day hikes though, only if you’re heading out for a day hike).  If you plan on doing more extensive hiking, then bring a good hiking shoe and make sure you break them in before you get here.
    • Lastly a pair of flip flops are great for wandering around new towns and can also be warn with the simple dress you bring for special occasions and for those questionable shower stalls in your RV park.
  • If you plan on doing any specialty activities such as hunting, pack accordingly, but know that we do have a Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops in Anchorage now, if you forget anything.

Special considerations for Alaska

  • Toiletries
    • If you’re planning an extended stay, bring enough to get you to Alaska and know that once you are here, you can find most anything you need in Anchorage, Wasilla and Fairbanks.
    • Make sure when you are headed out into the less populated areas of the state that you bring plenty of your favorite items especially  tampons and face care products, as you won’t be able to find them for miles around.
  • Make sure you pack a small daypack.  You won’t want to lug your purse everywhere and you’ll want a place to store things on your walks and hikes.

Good luck, have fun and remember, it’s about the state of mind, not the clothes on your back, the makeup on your face or the hairspray you bring and won’t use.  The longer you are here, the less you worry about having every hair in place and every layer of makeup perfectly applied.  Save the blow dryer and the eyeliner for the special occasions and just enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

See Part 1 here.

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