What do I pack?!?

Monday, June 17, 2024 3:00 PM

What do I pack?!?

Do you know that feeling when you’re two weeks out from your big trip to Juneau, Alaska and you realize you don’t know what to pack? Take a breath – we have you covered!

First things first: remember where you’re going and do a little research on the website, where you’ll find lots of local information and ideas on what to bring along. Here are some favorite pieces of advice from your friends at Travel Juneau.

Southeast Alaska has a very different climate from Alaska’s interior. Think of Seattle or Vancouver, then go a little north – we’re in a temperate rainforest, surrounded by mountains and huge trees. Our oceanfront location keeps us cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than our cousins to the north. During the spring/summer months, we average over 20 days a month of measurable precipitation; while climate change is impacting that and making us a little drier, we always dress for rain and are happily surprised at sunshine.

Invest in a pair of nylon hiking pants. Your jeans are sure comfy for dry days, but here in the Tongass National Forest, where we get more days of rain than sunshine, those jeans may get wet, heavy and cold in a hurry. Nylon pants dry quickly and will keep you plenty warm on most days.

Layers, layers, layers. These are key to keeping your cool or warming up to your surroundings. Nylon or polypropylene base layers (even a cotton T-shirt) topped with a light or medium-weight fleece zip-up will ensure that you’re comfortable. Temperatures can swing widely in just a few minutes, so being able to add or shed layers is important.

No need for an umbrella – locals just pop up their hoods. Because rainy days can also be a little windy, bring a waterproof or water-resistant jacket that has a hood and pockets. It’s an essential layer, and believe us, we won’t care if your hair is messy when you take it down. An alternative is a “Seattle Sombrero,” available at outfitters here in Juneau.

Leave the strappy sandals and flip-flops in your suitcase. They will make you miserable in the rain or out on a trail. Instead, bring your sturdiest sneakers or better yet, a pair of waterproof/water-resistant hiking boots or trekkers for your outdoor adventures. If you have an excursion planned that may take you into really wet terrain, your host may have a pair of our famous XtraTufs for you to use. Your socks and toes will thank you.

Bring your sunscreen and maybe a sleep mask. With more than 18 hours of sunlight in the summer, your skin will get blasted on sunny days especially if you’re on the water.  If you’re sensitive to light when you sleep, a sleep mask will help you get a better rest by blocking light – there’s enough light to read outside at 1AM during Summer Solstice!

As always, the Travel Juneau team is here to answer your questions or concerns. Happy packing!