The Ultimate Alaska Packing List (Including Camera Gear)Alaska is like no where else in the world, so you need an Alaska packing list to start your trip off strong. Here's everything you need including camera gear.
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Are you ready for the most fantastic experience of your life? Do you love photography, nature, and adventure?
Alaska is a wild frontier that attracts more than 1.8 million visitors each summer. Cruise ships are a popular way to see the state, but custom adventure tours offer an up-close and personal view of wildlife.
If you're planning on going to Alaska, this article's for you. We'll help you plan the perfect Alaska packing list and help you get started on finding a wildlife tour.
Layer, Layer, Layer!
Every vacation packing list must include light, warm layers. Summertime in Alaska can be surprisingly warm, peaking in the mid-70s or even getting up to 80 degrees. You'll need to bring shorts, t-shirts, and a bathing suit. You might have the chance to take an invigorating swim out in nature, so don't forget to pack summertime basics. In addition to light clothing, you'll want to bring long-sleeved shirts and pants. If you're going to Alaska in the summertime, you can skip the -30-degree parka. You should definitely bring a medium-heavy coat to wear at night, though.
If you're planning on going on a wilderness adventure, make sure that you bring quick-drying layers. You can find them in hiking and fishing catalogs. It's important to make sure that you stay healthy, even if you're sloshing through the mud. Finally, pack some lightweight thermal underwear. You'll be able to stay warm, even if you're spending hours in one spot watching the bears.
Shoes and Boots
When you're going on an Alaska vacation, it's important to pack several types of shoes. You should pack waterproof hiking boots for walking and hiking, but you should also include sandals for your hotel.
Rain boots are also a good choice because you never know if you're going to be splashing through puddles. If you've got a tour company lined up, check with them about the kinds of shoes you'll need.
In addition to hiking boots and rain boots, try to bring one pair of walking shoes. You may need to walk from your hotel to your cruise pick-up zone.
If you can find a pair of walking shoes that is also good for hiking, just bring one pair.
If you're going to waterproof your shoes, try to do it at least one week in advance of your trip. That way, you can put on a few coats of waterproofing and let them dry in between. Another pro tip is to break in your hiking boots a few months before your trip. You don't want to end up with blisters on the first day of your vacation.
At the very top of your Alaska cruise packing list should be camera equipment. Before you invest in a camera, talk to your cruise company about the kinds of sightseeing you'll be doing. Will you get up close or will you primarily be shooting from the deck of a ship? If you're just going to be taking landscape shots from a distance, you can stick with a low-aperture lens with a focal length up to 100mm. Make sure you invest in a tripod to get those action shots without blurring them. If you're going to be shooting pictures of wildlife from a closer vantage point, try to get a teleconverter lens. It'll help you get those candid shots, even from your cruise ship's observation deck.
In addition to the basics, make sure that you bring enough media cards and batteries. You should have a camera backpack or bag that will allow you to be mobile, and a remote picture release. If you can, try to bring your laptop along. You can leave it at the hotel, but it'll let you download your pictures every day. Finally, remember to bring some camera lens cleaning solution and rags.
When you're making your packing list for your Alaska cruise, make sure that you're bringing charging cables for your laptop and phone.
Bring your binoculars, but pack them in your carry-on luggage to make sure they don't get broken.
If you can, try to get a small first aid kit. Your tour company will have medical supplies on hand, but it's always nice to have a few band-aids handy. If you take medication, make sure that you've brought enough for your entire trip. In fact, it's a good idea to bring a few extra days' worth, just in case of an unexpected delay. Make sure you pack some insect repellent but try to get one that's hand pumped rather than an aerosol container. You can bring aerosol cans on flights, but they have to be smaller than 3.4 ounces.
As you start packing, give your tour company a call to see what they recommend. They might want you to include a raincoat, a winter hat, and a pair of gloves. Ask them if they have laundry service on the cruise ship. If they don't, just pack extra clothing and socks.
Get a Head Start on Your Alaska Packing List
You can start buying clothing for your Alaska packing list a few months before your trip. If you're ordering from catalogs, make sure you leave enough time for the packages to arrive. It's a good idea to start packing your luggage a few days in advance of your trip. You don't want to rush the packing process because that's how most people forget essential items. To save space, try packing phone cords and other small items into your shoes. Put them in a plastic bag and tuck them inside. Always put the shoes in their own plastic bags so that they won't ruin the rest of your clothing on the way home. We offer custom tours to people who love photography and nature. Our ship is safety-rated to Coast Guard standards, and we can take you on an immersive trip into the heart of bear country.
Check out our website and send us an email for more information. We're looking forward to meeting you and going on a true adventure with you.