Deciding what to pack for a fishing vacation to Alaska can be a challenge. The diversity of the weather you may encounter requires you to come prepared for anything. Below is a fairly comprehensive list of clothing items to pack; ensuring you’ll be well prepared for whatever Alaska has in store for you.
Dressing in layers in an Alaskan standard. You can always take it off, but can’t put it on if you don’t have it.
Long Underwear, top and bottoms! Cotton works fine but, polypropylene is the best. Wear this everyday, no matter what, you won’t regret it.
Over your long underwear wear something that will be warm, comfortable and durable. For pants, make sure they are loose fitting to accommodate your extra layer underneath. Fleece is tough to beat. It is very warm, comfortable, and it wicks away moisture. If you don’t have fleece pants, jeans work fine. Fishing can be a bit messy; so do not wear your best slacks.
For your upper half, pack plenty of warm shirts, hooded sweatshirts, lined flannels, fleece pull-overs, etc…A warm, long-sleeve shirt and a warm, hooded sweatshirt is a good combination.
A warm jacket is a must. I recommend a lined parka, like a hunting or ski jacket, preferably water resistant. This may not be necessary on many days, but when you do need it, you’ll be very happy to have it.
RAIN GEAR! Unlike other portions of the country where summer and sun go hand in hand, Alaska is different. In fact it is more likely to have clouds and rain than blue bird sun. They say if you don’t like the current weather in Alaska, wait ten minutes. This means rain gear is always a must and a good, well fitting pair of tops and bottoms will keep you dry and warm for the duration of your trip. Some prefer to wear their raingear, raining or not, just to break the wind and protect their clothing.
Heads, Eyes, Hands and Feet! Keeping your head warm is the key to a comfortable day, so make sure you have a hood on your sweatshirt and/or jacket, as well as your rain gear. A ball cap is also nice for shading your eyes from the sun. A quality pair of polarized sunglasses will be worth its weight in gold here in Alaska. The glare from the water, even on overcast days, is constant and damaging to your eyes. With glasses, your eyes will relax, stay warm and focus in on the sights! A warm pair of gloves is equally important. I recommend the fleece pairs with cut-off fingers for fishing. Any gloves you have should work fine. Finally, warm footwear is crucial! Insulated rubber knee boots are nice as they allow you to step into water without getting your feet wet. You will be in a dry boat, but you might want to get out on a shore break and waterproof boots are nice. A warm pair of hiking book with wool socks is more than adequate to keep your feet warm. Good luck with your packing and we’ll see you on the water, dry and warm!