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Alaskan Suites

What to wear in Alaska
by Michelle

OK....I was talking with Larry the other day and suggested to him that he think about adding a “What to Bring to Wear in AK ” page to his (advertising) and he asked me to help write one....and my response was ...”My gosh Larry!! You practically have to dress me or pack my pack or suitcase anywhere we go because you know I want comfort at all times on our outdoor adventures we do so enjoy together without toting along half my wardrobe! Adventures such as hiking, snowshoeing, boating/fishing, 'exploring' (that's the most fun) and....we try to do a salty-fresh-air beach walk daily. And even then I have to load up the back seat of the truck with all kinds of “what if the weather is __? when we get down there” clothing! Thank goodness he's as patient as Job and just smiles as he helps me pile it in or at other times hauls another packed-to-the-gills suitcase up many hotel steps with my much needed baggage (and we'll just leave that one right there.)

So...OK. For me to write a helpful (blurp) on what to expect to wear on your vacation in Alaska, I'm sure you already know it's a huge state with weather patterns that vary greatly from location to location. My mother always brought her huge down parka no matter summer or winter because, like me, she did not want to be uncomfortable (i.e. cold – so Larry, see where I got it from?). That's extreme but today most people that like to “play” outdoors are well aware of the best way to go - LAYERING: long underwear (and I don't mean those scratchy woolies! The silk-blend is wonderful!), tee shirts, sweat shirts and, my favorite, soft cuddly fleece jackets and a waterproof windbreaker, rain gear (pants that wick moisture - summer and winter - work well like neoprene or Gortex) and a roomy raincoat if you're the “I don't care what the weather is, I'm still going....!!” - all light and not too heavy to pack or wear. And you're ready to go.

Now I'm a blue jeans girl, all the way, but they get uncomfy and heavy when wet so I like to take a pair of light windproof rain pants to pull over top of my jeans if needed. Then there's the southern-most part of our body that does all the work of getting us to all those adventurous places we dreamed of in our plans for our trip to Alaska: The Feet and good shoes and good socks. Invest well (or be you'll be “defeeted”). It's worth every extra penny spent. Depending on your type of adventure you'll need a comfortable (preferably broke-in) water-proof hiking boot, comfy tennis shoes and rubber boots if you plan on exploring tidal pools or go out fishing (some outfits provide boots so you don't have to haul such a cumbersome piece in your packing space. They're not that expensive to buy here and I ended up with a garage full of rubber boots of various sizes people had left behind “for the next-maybe-Alaskan fishing trip”. There got to be so many I eventually sold them at a garage sale).

Lastly, “formal” wear, which is basically “having the appearance of being suitable for an occasion”... Well, you're in Alaska and unless you're traveling for a specific “formal event”, most restaurants in Alaska expect casual clothing. From my experiences, and depending on where you visit, the people you meet in 'social places' have been out on fishing boats or hiking/hunting and, with boots intact, are ready with a colorful story to share with you. I would have to say that the most fashionable footwear is the hiking boot no matter where you go.

So, my recommendation is, grab your favorite pair of blue jeans, tee shirt and you're ready to go out for a fun adventure filled with lots of modern-day good ol' Alaskan character. Hey, Life's too short. Be comfortable and ENJOY your visit!