The Ultimate Alaska Packing List For Summer (2024)

Alaska Packing List

Our Alaska packing list covers all the essentials you will need to pack – including men’s and women’s clothing, adventure gear and more!

Alaska Packing List

I put this packing list together for our eight-day trip to Southeast Alaska on an Un-Cruise Adventure.

While traveling in Alaska, it’s important to layer, layer and layer some more; the weather can be unpredictable. On our trip, we experienced days where it rained constantly, freezing cold conditions near Dawes Glacier, and sunny windless days, followed by chilly nights.

It’s better to bring a few extra items in case some of your clothes get wet. There was no laundry service on our boat and Southeast Alaska (where we were traveling) is a rainforest, so it takes forever for clothing to air dry.

Packing guide for your next trip to Alaska or any cold weather destination!

Below, I have included our Alaska packing tips, essential items to bring and a detailed women’s and men’s packing list for summer travel in Alaska.

Base Layers: When braving the Alaskan climate, base layers made of synthetic materials or a merino wool/synthetic blend are a must. These moisture-wicking pieces of clothing will keep you warm and dry, acting as the foundation of your attire for various outdoor activities.

Rain Pants: An essential addition to your rain gear arsenal, full-zip rain pants provide protection from the inevitable rainy days.

Outer Layer: Your outer layer is your shield against the unpredictable Alaskan weather. A waterproof jacket is a must, offering a barrier against constant rain and unexpected showers, ensuring you stay comfortable and dry.

Warm Hat: In the brisk Alaskan air, a warm hat is a non-negotiable item for your packing list. A beanie or a fleece-lined hat ensures you stay cozy during chilly nights and wind-whipped days.

Outdoor Adventures: From kayaking along pristine coastlines to hiking in Denali National Park, your packing list should cater to various outdoor adventures. A quick-dry hoodie for kayaking and a fleece jacket for colder conditions ensure you’re ready for anything.

Swimsuit: Don’t forget to pack swim trunks and a bikini for the hot tub, polar plunge, or SUP (our cruise line had these!). 

Sun Protection: If you’re visiting during the summer, include items like short sleeve shirts for warmer days, sunglasses, and a sun hat for sunnier, windless days.

Day Pack: For excursions or spontaneous hikes, a day pack is indispensable. Ensure it’s the perfect size for your needs. I personally love this one!

Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated during outdoor activities is crucial. Pack a BPA free reusable water bottle to minimize environmental impact and keep yourself refreshed on the go.

Waterproof Boots: With XTRATUF neoprene waterproof boots, you’re ready for both wet landings, boat tours and water activities. Explore the stunning coastal waters with confidence, knowing your footwear will not fail you.

Seasickness Medication: Whether you’re taking an Alaskan cruise or exploring via an expedition-style adventure, having the right gear is crucial. If you are going on a cruise ship and you tend to get seasick, don’t forget your meds! Our tour company provided complimentary seasickness meds, but we had our own just in case.

While our eight-day adventure focused on the breathtaking landscapes and outdoor activities, Alaska is also renowned for its spectacular display of the Northern Lights. If your trip aligns with the right time of year, pack accordingly with extra warm gear for being outdoors at night. The best time to view the Northern Lights will be during the winter months.

Women’s Packing List for Alaska

  • Rain Boots (These were invaluable on our trip as we often had a wet landing from the skiff to the shore.)
  • Waterproof Hiking Boots
  • Waterproof Pants –  Full-Zip Rain Pant
  • Beenie
  • Long-Sleeved Fleece
  • Gloves
  • Bikini (Don’t forget this if you want to take part in the polar plunge, snorkeling or hot tubbing!)
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Quick Dry Hoodie for Kayaking
  • Long Underwear — Long Sleeve Top and Moisture Wicking Bottoms
  • 1 Skirt (In case it gets warm enough during the day!)
  • 5 Long-Sleeved Shirts
  • 6 Short-Sleeved Shirts
  • 3 Pairs of Pants
  • 9 Pairs of Underwear and Wool Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun Hat
  • Scarf
  • Warm Pajamas
  • Pair of Shoes to Wear Around the Boat (I brought these)
Alaska Packing List

Men’s Packing List for Alaska

  • Hiking Boots
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Waterproof Pants
  • Sun Hat
  • Warm Pajamas
  • Beenie
  • Long Underwear
  • Swim Trunks
  • Sweatshirt
  • Gloves
  • XTRATUF Neoprene Waterproof Boots
  • 6 Short-Sleeved Shirts
  • 5 Long-Sleeved Shirts
  • 3 Pairs of Pants
  • Scarf
  • 9 Pairs of Underwear & Wool Socks
  • Sunglasses

Additional Items to Pack for Alaska

This list can be adjusted based on the length of your stay. Just keep in mind, cold weather gear will fill up your bag quickly. We split one check through suitcase between the two of us, and it weighed exactly fifty pounds.

Read more: The Perfect Road Trip Itinerary to Alaska’s Mat-Su Valley

8 Bucket List Experiences You Don’t Want to Miss in Alaska

See a Glacier – Limited Time Only!!

What To Expect On An Alaskan Cruise

Surrounded by Whales in Stephens Passage, Alaska

See What You’re Missing in Southeast Alaska


FAQs: What to Pack for Alaska

What is the weather like in Southeast Alaska in June, July and August?

June, July, and August are the warmest months in Alaska. Throughout June and July, temperatures to hover in the lower 60s °F, a trend that persists well into August.

Is Alaska warmer in July or August?

July is the hottest month of the year, with a daily average temperature around 67 °F (19.4 °C).

Should I pack jeans for a trip to Alaska?

For the most part, hiking pants (polyester/wool blends) are best for a trip to Alaska. Jeans are not recommended because when cotton gets wet, it is no longer warm.

What type of shoes should I pack for a trip to Alaska?

When planning a visit to Alaska during the summer, it is advisable to pack lighter footwear options in addition to boots. Since the weather can get warm, a pair of sandals, running shoes, or casual shoes alongside your boots is recommended.

Plan Your Trip

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Travel Insurance: We never travel without a travel insurance policy because it’s not worth the risk! We use and trust Visitors Coverage, which we’ve used for the past 10 years.

Let us book your trip! Looking for a Travel Advisor to help you plan your trip? Contact us here for more information!

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  1. Deborah A Brown says:

    I suggest if you are traveling through Alaska in the Summer that you remember to bring a Mosquito net! They are like big mouths in Alaska! The camera cover was a good thought. i always bring dry bags. The small bag for hiking is a must as you mentioned. Be sure there are side pockets for water bottles (should pack those as well). Need to bring some sort of hat, and your rain jacket needs a hood as was noted in your picture. I always bring some sort of scarf for my neck as well as gloves. I have waterproof hiking boots so I do not normally pack rain boots. I Always stick in a bathing suit, but since I am a Grandma no bikini”s for me!

  2. Jennifer Dombrowski says:

    Great tips for packing! These lists could also apply to a trip to Iceland, Norway, Finland, ect. So did you do the Polar Plunge? Can’t wait to read more about your Un-cruise adventure!

  3. Traveling Ted says:

    A headlamp is always high on my list. Great to have a list to make sure all the essentials are packed.

  4. Jonathan Look, Jr. says:

    Nice list but … POLAR PLUNGE? No thank you! (Hot tub would work though)

  5. TammyOnTheMove says:

    Ha ha, I assume you can wear a wetsuit over your bikini for the polar plunge? Otherwise that’s pretty hardcore! 🙂

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      No way! 🙂 It’s just a quick jump and then straight to the hot tub!

  6. hikebiketravel says:

    So you were brave enough to do the polar plunge! I’m heading off on another backpacking trip – this time along the shores of freezing cold Lake Superior and will try quick wash-ups so I’m not too stinky as I really can’t carry many clothes. I’ll be doing the 1 t-shirt & 1 long-sleeved shirt for 5 days.

  7. Wendy DeChambeau says:

    Just out of curiousity – WHERE did you have occasion to sport a bikini in SE Alaska? And don’t forget the two most important items: binoculars and a camera!