Dressing for the Weather on Your Alaska Vacation

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

From spring to fall, temperatures in Alaska usually range from 50 to 70 degrees with possibility of light rain showers. So packing the right clothing for your Alaskan adventure goes without saying. We recommend dressing in layers because of the freezing weather. Below is a checklist ofall the necessary articles of clothing you should pack before you head to Alaska:

Inner Layers

The inner layers include all types of basic wear like long underwear, undershirts, etc. Choose under clothing made from thin, moisture-absorbent fabrics. You’re bound to layer several shirts—plus a thermal jacket—so make sure you pack a lot of undershirts! You can also buy extra packs of long underwear and undershirts at local sporting goods stores.

The Middle Thermal Layers

Alaska is known for its bitter winter months. As the state transitions from fall to winter, it’s mighty important that you pack a lot of thermal layers to protect yourself from the harsh winds. The middle thermal layers include garments made to keep the cold out and the warmth in.

Fleece jackets, thermal jackets, and expedition-weight long underwear are just some of the many kinds of middle thermal layers you have to pack on your Alaskan vacation. Ideally, you want to choose middle thermal layers made from synthetic materials over wool or cotton. Synthetic materials are lighter and able to keep the warmth in more effectively.


If you want to dress appropriately for your Alaskan vacation, you need to get your outerwear right. Think of your outerwear as a protective, breathable shell that will help you stay warm in the bitterest of cold and dry when it’s rainy. Outerwear is usually made from thin, waterproof materials. Although some outerwear is water resistant, they only delay the inevitable so make sure you choose 100% waterproof outerwear.

Depending on the kind of activities you’ll do in Alaska, such as kayaking or hiking, you might want to pick up several pairs of nylon pants.That way, your bottom will dry up faster if you get rained on or splashed with water. Again, you might want to choose outerwear made from synthetic fabrics over those made from cotton or wool because synthetic fabrics dry faster and mostly wrinkle-proof — saving you more space in your luggage for other essential things.

Essential Accessories

Even in the middle of summer, Alaska can get pretty chilly so it’s equally important to pack essential accessories to go with your ensemble. For instance, packing a couple of woolen gloves is great, especially if you are planning to spend most of your time outdoors.

You will also need to pack comfortable shoes that can insulate heat, especially if you plan to do a lot of walking during your break. Fancy boots are nice but for heavy-duty protection, we recommend choosing waterproof work boots made from super tough leathers. For hikers, choose lightweight hiking boots with great traction. Always bring extra shoes just in case one pair gets wet!

Our final tip is to not pack brand new shoes unless they’re already broken in. You do not want to deal with painful blisters early in your Alaskan vacation!