Your Alaska vacation will be the adventure of a lifetime. When you are properly prepared you are free to fully enjoy all that this beautiful state has to offer. When packing for a trip to Alaska there are some essential items you will want to bring with you. Alaska has some of North America’s most extreme climates so you will need to be properly prepared withstand the elements.


It is suggested to get yourself a traveler’s wallet; it goes around your neck or waist to keep your belongings secure. In this wallet you want to pack your driver’s license and passport (if necessary) as well as roughly $500 cash in small denominations – no larger than $20.

Before you leave you should contact your bank(s) and credit card companies to let them know that you are traveling. Many banks will freeze credit and debit cards when they see activity on them that your provider deems suspicious. By notifying them of your travel plans you can prevent this travel annoyance from occurring.


Weather in Alaska can be extreme, even during the summer. Storms move into Alaska quickly, and you will want to be prepared with the correct clothing.


The golden rule for dressing in Alaska is layers. You will need clothes that work for temperatures that range from the 60’s all the way down to below zero, with a wind chill. Start your layers with long sleeve thermal shirts that will help trap your body heat. Over this under layer, you can add warm long sleeve shirts such as wool, wool blend, or cotton. Depending on the temperature and weather conditions you can always add a warm coat.

Add a top layer of a lightweight or heavy weight (depending on the weather) coat to keep you warm. You’ll also want to bring heavy weight pants rated for the extreme elements. To help keep your legs warm, add fleece-lined leggings, poly pro long underwear or thermals under your outer layer.


Protect you feet with wool or wool blend socks that come above the ankle along with several cotton pair are great for layering. You will also want sturdy, waterproof hiking boots to help you trek in the various terrains throughout the national parks and wilderness.


Other essential clothing items to include in your luggage include headwear such as beanies or warm hats. You will also want to bring sunglasses, gloves rated for temperatures below 30 degrees, and a scarf or neck gaiter.


You will also want to bring along your personal toiletries, just keep in mind that TSA regulations requires that all liquid items must be less than 3 ounces. So small sized products will serve you well, or you can purchase toiletries when you reach your destination.

Typical hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, shaving cream and razors are pretty standard. If you wear contacts, bring along your contact case, solution and an extra pair of contacts. If you wear glasses, you may want to bring along a small eyeglass repair kit and lens cleaners.

You may also want to pack cotton swabs, Q-tips, feminine products, sun block, and bug juice. Make sure you pack any prescription medications, allergy medicine, ibuprofen, aspirin, Dramamine, etc.


Now that you have the essentials you can check to see how much room you have in your bag for these goodies – although they are probably things that you won’t want to leave home without anyway.

You will definitely want to pack your camera to capture the memories of your Alaskan adventure. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries, charger, additional lenses, and media cards. It is also highly recommended that you bring a headlamp flashlight.

Your laptop and cell phone with chargers, are also essential items to bring along.

By packing smart you can ensure that you bring the essentials and that you don’t over pack. There are weight limits on luggage with most airlines, so try to stick to the essentials.  Pack smart, prepare for the weather, and enjoy the majesty of Alaska!

Adam Lackner - BrushBuck Wildlife Tour Guide
The backcountry is a place of enjoyment for this outdoorsman. Adam spent five years in the Marine Corps before heading for seasonal guiding positions in Alaska, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Mexico, and now Wyoming. “Being where the mountains are big keeps the complaints small!”