Alaska is VERY casual, leave your heels and wingtips at home, unless you are meeting with the governor.
Bring for your vacation...
Clothing you can layer: Long underwear, a fleece, and a waterproof/breathable shell.
Comfortable shoes with good traction: Running shoes with good support are adequate for anything you'll do except hike steep hillsides (which you may not do). If you prefer something sturdier, lightweight hikers are great, and some are waterproof as well. Alaskan homes and inns are typically shoe-free, so bring on some shoes that are easy to slip on & off. (Pearson's Pond supplies both indoor slippers, and outdoor thongs for the hot tub)
Sun protection: Lightweight, brimmed hat (sun and rain); sunglasses and sunscreen.
Light winter cap/gloves/scarf: These really keep you warm if it gets unseasonably cold-or if you're feeling the effects of glacier-chilled wind-without adding a lot of weight.
Summer clothing: Unless you prefer last-minute local shopping, pack shorts and short sleeve shirts. Recent Alaskan summers have been hot and sunny
Formal vs. casual: Very casual dress is the way to go in Alaska. Some cruise-goers bring formal attire for onboard the ship, then break out the jeans on land. No one cares how you look, just dress down and be comfortable and you'll look like a local.
Mosquito repellent: The bugs generally aren't as bad as people fear, and they're really only a big consideration in June and July if you are in the interior. Generally in Southeast Alaska and Juneau, they are very light (Pearson's Pond has some on hand).. If you really want to protect yourself, there's nothing as effective as 100% DEET products. Mosquito head nets tend to be overkill unless you plan on doing a lot of hiking or tent camping in the arctic, as they obscure visibility and can get warm
Fishing license: You can order this ahead of time online, but it's easy to obtain from your air taxi, fishing guide, or most local grocery stores.
Small first aid kit: Most lodging properties and tour operators will have you covered, but it's convenient to have Band-Aids and ointment for minor emergencies.
Camera/ video camera: Capture your Alaska experiences on film and don't forget the extras: film, batteries, lenses, chargers, and memory cards.
NOTE: Pack film in your carry-on, rather than your checked luggage, as new airport screening equipment could ruin it. Pearson's Pond has a digital card reader as well as CD burner.
Backpack or tote bag (medium to large). Some available at Pearson's Pond.
Binoculars/spotting scope. Some available at Pearson's Pond
Zipper-top bags: Freezer-size zipper-top bags are great to keep clothing folded and toiletries isolated (in case of leaks). Separate baggies make it easier to repack in case your luggage is searched, and extra bags are handy for storing dirty or damp clothing.
Identification and/or passport (passport necessary to go into Whitehorse Yukon or to take the White Pass Railroad north out of Skagway.
Watch/ alarm clock: With so much daylight, it's easy to lose track of time.
(Pearson's Pond has blackout shades in all rooms, as well as alarm clocks)
Swimsuit: Your inn (including Pearson's Pond) may have hot tub, sauna, or pool facilities-or you may want to invigorate yourself with Alaska lake swimming (no kidding!). (Some suits available at Pearson's Pond for the hot
Contact information: Bring cards with your contact information to give to new friends and mailing labels & stamps for sending postcards. Keep ID on you when you are hiking. (Postcards available at Pearson's Pond)
What Should I Wear?
If you've done a little homework, you've probably seen or heard this advice a thousand times: dress in layers. From spring to early fall in Alaska, be prepared for temperatures in the 50 80 degree range, always with the possibility of a little rain and wind thrown in there. Your best bet is to dress in layers and bring a backpack‹you'll stay warm and dry when it's chilly or wet, and you can peel off layers and stow them as the weather changes. Pearson's Pond has laundry facilities, so pack light, bring only your most comfortable favorite clothes for the outdoors, leave your fancy stuff at home.
The inner layer is what we think of as long underwear, such as Capilene from Patagonia, or any other thin material that absorbs moisture from your skin.
On a hot day, you can also wear this alone instead of a cotton shirt‹it'll dry much more quickly. The only drawback is that some of these materials also absorb odor, so you might consider buying new stuff before coming up.
The middle insulating layer could be expedition-weight long underwear, a fleece jacket, or even a sweater. Synthetic materials usually have the edge over wool or cotton because of their lightness and warmth
The outer layer is the one you really need to get right. You want a shell that's waterproof and breathable to stay warm when it's windy and dry when it's rainy. Gore-Tex is probably the most popular material that fills this bill.
A jacket with a hood offers a convenient way to preserve heat.
Rain or shine, don't worry too much about the weather. Many day tours‹flightseeing, cruises, bus tours‹offer access to shelter. And while you may spend 2 3 hours outdoors hiking, fishing, or rafting, you can generally expect that your tour operator will provide any specialized gear you need.
Footwear: We advise against old-fashioned heavy hiking boots. They're heavy, stiff, and can cause blisters. Instead, get yourself a comfortable pair of lightweight hikers with good traction‹two pairs, actually, in case one gets wet. Some are made with Gore-Tex, so they're both waterproof and breathable.
Sun Protection: Bring a lightweight, brimmed hat for sun and rain, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Interestingly, the intensity of the sun in Alaska on a peak summer day is probably equivalent to a spring day in the Lower 48, because of the lower angle of the sun in the subarctic regions. But due to the long summer days, there are twice as many hours of daylight, so you definitely want to protect your skin.
Pearson's Pond has robes, slippers, hair dryers, quality imported bath amenities, alarm clocks, media library, digital card reader, laptop, cords, small gift area, postcards, bikes, day packs, iron/ironing board, laundry equipment, games, extra gloves, hats, scarves, jackets in standard sizes, and more amenities than you can imagine. So, pack light. a carry-on suitcase and a personal bag is really all you need for a week stay.
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