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The essential Alaska packing list

Unless you want to spend all your time enjoying the comforts of the Maggie Sea, plan to bring quality outdoor clothing that is appropriate for your Alaska adventure—including good rain gear.

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Recommended gear

You'll need to bring quality outdoor clothing and gear that is appropriate for your Alaska adventure—especially rain gear. While some of the items in this gear list are suggestions, many are essential for your comfort and safety.

Your clothing should fit into two medium-sized (75-liter) duffel bags. We especially like Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bags, The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bags, and Simms Essential Gear Bags. They are very rugged, look nice, and travel well.

You should also bring a small daypack with sufficient capacity to hold your camera, binoculars, a water bottle, rain gear, plus a couple of personal items.

The quantity and combination of clothes you bring are up to you. Just be sure you have enough warm clothes. Dress in layers for maximum flexibility. You should be able to wear every type of layer you bring simultaneously! And it never hurts to get an extra layer you don't think you'll need.

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

Head, Hands, Feet

  • Baseball Cap. To help keep the sun out of your eyes.
  • Gloves. Lightweight gloves with rubber grippers work well for paddling.
  • Hiking Shoes. You'll appreciate a pair of sturdy hiking shoes.
  • Rubber Boots. We'll provide a pair of sturdy rubber boots for your use and wear.
  • Wool Socks. The warmth, cushion, and absorbency of merino wool socks (or a wool/silk/polypropylene blend) are essential.
  • There is nothing worse than wet feet. Bring several pairs of socks—and change your socks each day.


  • Long Underwear. It should be merino wool or synthetic.
  • Merino WoolSweater or Fleece Jacket. This is your primary insulation layer. If you tend to get cold, you should bring additional layers.
  • Pants. Look for synthetic blends that are durable and quick-drying. Cotton soaks up water and becomes cold and uncomfortable.
  • Shirts. Look for synthetic blends that are durable and quick-drying. Cotton soaks up water and becomes cold and uncomfortable.
  • Shorts. For sunny days!
  • T-Shirts. Short-sleeved or long-sleeved cotton shirts.
  • Warm Jacket. This is your primary outer layer. Look for water-repellent coatings.
  • Warm Pants.This is your primary outer layer.
  • Stocking Hat. It should be merino wool or synthetic and cover your ears (not a baseball cap).
  • Rain Jacket.You'll need a packable GoreTex rain jacket. Thin, coated-nylon rain gear does not work well in Alaska.
  • Rain Pants. Bring a good pair of packable GoreTex rain pants.


The equipment you choose to bring is up to you. Just be sure to bring your favorite camera, spare batteries for the equipment you bring, appropriate charging cables, and your phone.

  • A great pair of binoculars allows you to experience nature closer than ever before. Look for binoculars that are 7x42 or 8x42 (a good magnification and a wide field of view) that also offer excellent low-light capability.
  • Bring your Canon, Nikon, or Sony DSLR camera, a telephoto lens, a wide-angle lens, plus lots of memory cards and spare batteries. You can also rent everything you need (with full-coverage insurance) from LensRentals.com. We suggest adding a Canon 100-400mm Telephoto Zoom or a Nikon 80-400mm Telephoto Zoom to your camera bag.
  • iPhone. The iPhone is a powerful tool. With a great camera and excellent video capture of newer iPhones, anyone can create high-quality photos and video.
  • We occasionally have cellphone coverage during our trip.
Anchor White © John Schnell Photography. The Maggie Sea Custom Alaska Charters Juneau 907-321-7077
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