The Ultimate Alaska Packing List: 14 Must-Haves and What Not to Pack

Planning a trip to Alaska for the first time but can’t figure out what to pack? Well, fear not because we have prepared the perfect Alaska Packing list for you!

You should know that the weather in Alaska is unpredictable. You’ll be sweating one minute and the next you’d be searching for something warm. Therefore, you should pack accordingly to face the unpredictable weather in Alaska.

There’s so much to do in Alaska, so make sure to decide what you’ll be doing in Alaska during your trip to pack the necessary gear for it. You can do hiking, wildlife viewing, kayaking, hunting, and even fishing.

Let’s not wait for any further and move on to the Alaska Packing List.

14 must-have items for your Alaska trip:

Can’t decide what to pack for your Alaska trip? This list of 14 items that are a must-have for a trip to Alaska will help you out. Read more to find out.

1. Waterproof Backpack:

A waterproof backpack is a must to have during your trip to Alaska because you might be cruising or getting involved in a number of water-based activities such as kayaking, fishing and many more. The waterproof backpack will ensure none of your valuables get wet and protect your belongings from water damage. It might even rain while you’re enjoying the outdoors in Alaska, so a waterproof backpack is crucial for your trip.

2. Fleece Jacket:

For clothing essentials to bring on your trip to Alaska, a fleece jacket is a must. It doesn’t get damp or absorb water, so it won’t make you uncomfortable while you’re enjoying water-based activities or if it rains. You can use it in Summer and it can also be worn as a mid-layer during the colder season.

3. Waterproof Jacket:

Layers are important when it comes to dressing in Alaska. Whether you’re hiking, fishing, or doing any activity in the outdoors you would need medium weight water and windproof jacket for comfort. It can be worn over a fleece jacket for extra protection.

4. Down Coat:

Alaska’s weather is pretty unpredictable and even in the summer, it can get cold in the evenings because Alaska is pretty close to the Arctic Circle. The absence of sun due to higher elevation reduces the temperature. Therefore, you need to pack a mid-weight jacket that you can wear when it gets chilly. You can wear it alone or over your other layers of clothing according to your comfort.

5. Wool T-shirt:

Wool t-shirts are breathable and dry quickly because of which they are perfect for wearing when you’re traveling or having fun outdoors. When packing for Alaska, make sure to pack a wool t-shirt. It is perfect for the summer and can also be worn as a base layer in the winter.

6. Hiking Pants:

Hiking is the most popular activity to do in Alaska and for hiking, you would need a good pair of hiking pants that will ensure comfort while hiking on Alaska’s trails. They are more comfortable to wear than jeans as they are lightweight, quick-drying made with nylon-spandex blends which makes them perfect for wearing when spending time in Alaska outdoors.

7. Rain Pants:

A good pair of rain pants will keep you dry and warm in Alaska if it rains or when you’re spending time outdoors doing physical activities. It rains quite often in Alaska even when the forecast says otherwise.

Alaska Packing List:Water Backpack

8. Water Backpack:

Hydration is essential especially when so many physical activities are involved. For that you would need a water backpack for day hikes in Alaska. Keeping yourself hydrated will ensure you don’t miss the unforgettable scenery and experience hiking on the trials of Alaska.

9. Life Straw:

You might run out of the water on your trail and will not be able to find drinkable water. Therefore you absolutely need a Life Straw which has a built-in filtration process so you can drink water from the river or stream while on your hike.

10. Hiking Shoes:

Hiking shoes are a must when traveling to Alaska as you would need comfortable shoes, arch support, and lightweight shoes that dry quickly when trailing in Alaska. They are the ultimate go-to footwear when traveling to Alaska.

11. Hiking Gear:

Hiking gear will come in handy when you are outdoors in Alaska walking on the trails. A good quality pair of hiking poles will give you stable footing while walking or hiking along the forest, trails, or glaciers in Alaska.

12. Portable Charger:

For your communication devices, it is necessary that you keep a portable charger in case you run out of battery. It is necessary that you have your mobile phone on you at all times when traveling so you can call for help in case of any emergency.

13. Small First Aid Kit:

As you would be doing a lot of physical activities in Alaska, there are chances that you might injure yourself. Therefore, it is necessary that you pack a small first aid kit for your trip to Alaska so you can patch up your injuries quickly. This will save you time and will enable you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

14. Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is of absolute importance when traveling to Alaska or in fact anywhere in the world. It is an affordable way to get out of paying for mishaps and emergencies if they happen along the way. Medical emergencies, theft, lost luggage, canceled reservation, damage and urgent flights back home can all be covered through opting for good quality travel insurance.

Other essential items you might need in Alaska:

These are other necessary essentials that might come in handy during your trip to Alaska:



Wool socks

After Bite

Swim Suit Aloe Vera
Lip balm Hand sanitizer

Protein bars


Base layer top Base layer pants

Rain jacket


Yaktrax cleats

Beanie Gloves



Headphones Waterproof phone case
Dry sack Survival blanket



Flashlight Headlamp
Quick-dry towel Travel pillow


Card games

Pen/Journal Packing cubes
Toiletry bag Contact Information

Identification and/or passport

Sun Protection

Light Winter Cap Scarf
Fishing License Watch

the best time to travel to Alaska

What’s the best time to travel to Alaska?

Alaska is a beautiful travel destination and therefore there are a lot of variables to consider when you should plan your trip. The following 3 we have selected will help you make the decision:

1) The Price:

Price is undeniably the most important factor when planning any trip. During vacation time and high season, the prices are high and the attractions are crowded. So, it’s probably not the best time of the year to plan your trip to Alaska.

2) The Weather:

Secondly, you need to consider the weather. The time of the year you plan to go should take into account the weather of Alaska which will determine the activities you do.

3) Family and Friends:

The third factor you need to consider is, of course, your family and friends. They would need to arrange time off work to go on an Alaskan cruise so consider them in your planning process to avoid any delays or conflicts.

Tips to pack for Alaska:

Apart from all the must-haves and the essential items required for your trip, the following tips will help you out in packing for Alaska:

1. Do not pack excessive gear:

Don’t pack a lot of gear as it will weigh you down when you travel. Pack light and only take the stuff you will absolutely need on your trip. Pack according to the weather and the duration of your trip.

2. Do not pack a lot of clothes:

Overpacking clothes is what we do most often when traveling. So, make sure you do not pack a lot of clothes for your trip. Just pack the essential clothing you will need and leave the fancy clothes at home.

3. Do not pack valuables:

When traveling, don’t pack your valuables as they may get lost, damaged or worse, stolen on the road. Leave your expensive valuables at home where they are safe.

4. Do not buy gear you can rent:

Before buying gear for your trip to Alaska, make sure to check for rentals. You can get the perfect gear for your trip on rent without spending excessive cash on them and using them only once in a while.

5. Plan activities beforehand:

Before packing for Alaska, it is essential to plan what activities you’ll actually be doing when you get there. This will ensure you pack the right gear to enjoy your favorite activities and don’t miss out on the fun in Alaska.


Alaska is a wonderful traveling destination for adventure lovers. Packing for your trip is the most crucial part in order to have fun on your trip and make it an unforgettable one. We hope this article helped you plan your perfect trip to Alaska.

Leave us a comment to let us know how your trip went and what other items you think are necessary to pack for a trip to Alaska.

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