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Winter Packing Checklist for Excessive Alaska Temperatures


I went to Fairbanks Alaska within the coronary heart of winter and lived to inform the story.

Okay, so possibly it’s not fairly that dramatic, however the truth is most individuals are petrified of Alaska within the winter; particularly the inside the place the temperatures dip under 0 most nights and it’s important to plug in your automobile (Yup, that’s actually a factor).

Throughout my 10 days in Fairbanks the coldest it dropped to was -25 F and that occurred to be one of many nights once we have been out aurora chasing – brrrrr. Throughout our time within the inside we additionally had about 20 inches of snow in whole! So we actually needed to be ready for something!

Nonetheless, you’ll be able to beat the scary Alaska chilly by merely being ready with this winter packing record.

alaska packing list

Within the 10 days I traveled round Fairbanks, there have been only some occasions the place I used to be actually chilly…the sort of chilly the place it was onerous to disregard. And sure, I did spend the vast majority of my time doing outside actions – as a result of it’s Alaska and also you are supposed to be exterior in Alaska having adventures! More often than not it was merely about ensuring you had the appropriate gear on so that you simply weren’t too chilly, or too sizzling.

Earlier than I took off for Alaska I did get just a few new gadgets to check out to see if they might survive the Alaska chilly. Some have been nice, and a few not so nice.

Right here’s what I took with me and what I recommend you place in your winter packing record in case you have an identical winter journey.

Winter Gear Necessities to Pack for Alaska

This isn’t a guidelines of all the pieces it’s essential to convey. It’s a listing of important winter gear that you simply’ll need to convey along with all the regular stuff you’d pack. I’m fairly certain I don’t must remind you to convey underwear, shirts, denims, and toiletries!

Suitcases and Packing Equipment for Winter Climates

It has to start out with the car – the suitcase. Winter gear is inevitably bulkier and I at all times discover that I’ve to make use of my greatest suitcase for winter packing. For this journey I rolled out and tried a model new suitcase from my favourite model, Eagle Creek.

I used the Expanse Flatbed 32 which was excellent for carrying loads of winter gear. Sadly, they don’t make this bag anymore, however this Gear Warrior 90L appears to be their present closest equal.

I don’t like or want many bells and whistles in a bag; bells and whistles simply add weight and take up area. I simply need a massive open compartment I can set up with packing cubes and preserve issues gentle. I used to be even in a position to match my tripod on this monster bag on wheels!

Gear Warrior™ Wheeled Duffel 95L / 30″ | EagleCreek United States

Discover new that means in “residing out of a suitcase” with the Gear Warrior™ Wheeled Duffel 95L. Organized and absolutely off highway succesful, how far you journey ought to by no means be restricted by the bags you select. This duffel is constructed rugged for off-the-beaten-path adventures

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And the Eagle Creek love didn’t cease there. I used Eagle Creek compression sacks and packing cubes to assist handle my suitcase group and area even additional. Compression sacks are important for winter gear. I used to be in a position to put my cumbersome NorthFace Parka (which is completely important in Alaska) and my ski pants in compression baggage and get them right down to small, dense little bricks that simply slot in my suitcase!

Journey Important

Eagle Creek Packing Organizers

Packing organizers are the important thing to packing happiness – they flip your bag into a bit of furnishings. I take advantage of mine to arrange my several types of garments, identical to I’d a dresser; one has t-shits, one has pants, one has sweaters. You get the concept – it’s packing bliss. I take advantage of and love Eagle Creek packing options.

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I additionally introduced alongside my nice pictures backpack by Peak Design. The On a regular basis Backpack from Peak is a good multi-use picture backpack that may be organized in SO MANY alternative ways. Plus – even after placing my digicam, lenses, and laptop computer in it – there’s loads of room for further layers for the chilly climate. Plus – it’s weatherproof – let it snow and know that your gear is protected!

Peak Design On a regular basis Backpack

The On a regular basis Backpack is constructed round entry, group, growth, and safety. Distinctive MagLatch {hardware} gives lightning quick prime entry, with twin aspect entry by way of two weatherproof UltraZips.Inside, 3 configurable FlexFold dividers preserve gear organized, protected, and never bunched on the backside of your bag. Devoted sleeves for as much as 15” laptop computer, pill, or paperwork, plus a wide range of inner slip pockets for small gadgets. 100% recycled 400D weatherproof shell retains all the pieces protected.

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As well as, I at all times had my Peak Design Sling with me for the various occasions once I didn’t need to carry my bigger backpack and solely wished to take my digicam and lens – plus just a few necessities like batteries, cash, and many others. You’ll be able to simply regulate the strap to be any size and even use it as a fanny pack! I mainly use the Sling as an unassuming purse and a digicam bag. I really like each of those Peak baggage and take them on each journey!

Peak Design Sling Digicam Bag

The proper companion for minimalist, on-the-go carry of on a regular basis or picture gear. The Sling’s padded cross-body strap contains a quick-adjuster you could loosen when accessing gear and tighten when actively mountaineering, biking, or strolling.

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Chilly Climate Clothes Necessities – Layering

For any sort of chilly climate journey, layers are key on any winter packing record.

  1. Base layer (underwear layer): wicks sweat off your pores and skin
  2. Center layer (insulating layer): retains physique warmth to guard you from the chilly
  3. Outer layer (shell layer): shields you from wind and rain

You don’t must put on all three layers on a regular basis – however you higher convey all of them with you so that you could be ready for something.

Winter packing list

Winter Base Layer

Maintaining your pores and skin (base layer) heat and dry is the fundamental purpose when dressing for excessive winter journey. For this journey I took Krimson & Klover lengthy underwear for my base layers. Their job is to maintain the sweat off of my pores and skin – and they’re superior at their job! Krimson Klover is a Boulder Colorado firm specializing in girls’s outside clothes. Their merchandise come from a ski background, however they work for any winter exercise!

If it’s not extraordinarily chilly – you may need to use a brief sleeve shirt as an alternative on your base layer. I usually use an outdated operating shirt artificial if I would like one thing brief sleeve.

  1. Krimson Klover Ava Legging Black

  2. Krimson Klover Ava Legging Black

    Krimson Klover has my favourite base layers! Not solely are they heat and comfy, however they’ve cute designs. Designed in Boulder, CO. For ladies, by girls.

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Winter Center Layer

Center layers could be a wide range of issues so long as they enable you lure the warmth but are breathable; fleece, down, artificial. The flipside of breathability, although, is that wind blows proper by way of, which may steal heat. That’s why it’s essential to have an outer layer with you should you’re going with a fleece center layer.

I take advantage of my Marmot Hybrid jacket as a center layer usually. I like that I can unzip it simply and let air in if I get sizzling – and it’s only a good sturdy product. Many occasions once I’m snow shoeing I put on my Marmot Hybrid jacket as my prime layer as a result of snowshoeing will preserve you heat basically…so that you usually don’t want a prime layer! A few of my different midlayer favorites are my favourite Jack Wolfskin down pullover, or different half zips – I’ve a wide range of them!

Jack Wolfskin Womens 365 Flash Overhead Jacket

An incredible light-weight, breathable winter jacket tremendous for lively winter adventures like snowshoeing.

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01/13/2022 05:02 am GMT

Girls’s Variant Hybrid Jacket

It is a nice light-weight mountaineering jacket. It is also good for snowshoeing should you overheat simply, and it is nice for winter layering

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One other different is the good new line of heated clothes…that’s proper that is clothes that runs on batteries! Because of advances in conductive thread heating expertise – we will now have a wide range of heated clothes! I’ve been testing merchandise out from Gobi Warmth just lately and I have to say – they’re nice! Battery life is round 10 hours and you’ve got varied warmth settings. The gadgets are washable and the battery is well rechargeable at night time. This Gobi Warmth Sahara Jacket could be an awesome mid layer for Alaska!

Sahara Girls’s Heated Jacket

Nice for a layer underneath your favourite winter coat.

From Gobi Warmth – 10 hrs of Warmth | 3 Warmth Zones | with Battery & Charger | Machine Washable | All Day Heat

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01/13/2022 12:16 am GMT

Winter Outer Layer

That is your first protection towards the chilly and might take many types relying on simply how chilly it’s. If it’s not excessive chilly – possibly you simply want a one thing that breaks the wind, or a lighter weight puffy jacket. Nonetheless – in case you are speaking about Fairbanks within the winter or Antarctica – you’ll need a parka. Parkas are heavy jackets that present excessive heat and in addition wind safety. Plus parkas usually even have a fairly substantial hood.

All hoods aren’t the identical – that fur lined hood isn’t for style – it has an essential goal! I really just like the hoods with fur as they preserve your face a lot hotter. Hoods with fur lower the quantity of warmth misplaced, thus conserving your face and also you hotter. Plus – when sporting a fur hood every time you exhale, the moisture in your breath types ice on the fur. And since ice is a greater conductor of warmth than air, your fur trim, removed from conserving you heat, turns into a really environment friendly conductor of warmth away out of your face. I can completely geek out about these items…and should you’d prefer to be taught extra – then why not be taught from the specialists – the Inuit. Study why they’ve been utilizing fur trim for years!

The North Face Girls’s Down Parka

The North FaceWomen’s Soar Down Parka gives winter safety from the highest of your head to your knees. This cold-weather coat options waterproof DryVent material and 550-fill down insulation. Not as soon as was I chilly in Alaska on this parka!

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01/13/2022 12:17 am GMT

In your backside half, you will have one thing that protects you from the wind for certain. In fact, you’ll be able to go in a conventional ski pant that’s insulated. Nonetheless, for me, I discover that they’re a bit too heat for issues like snowshoeing. I really like the Marmot display pants – they’re my favourite winter outside pants. They’re heavier than mountaineering pants and are good and stretchy so that they really feel comfy over your base layer. In addition they have excessive water repellent materials. I can watch as rain simply bounces off of them! Plus…they’ve a zippered telephone pocket!

A Private Favourite

Marmot Scree Pants

These make nice winter mountaineering pants. They’re heavier, with fleece pockets, stretchy, and nice for snowshoeing. I think about them midlayer pants providing excessive water repellent, stretchiness, softness, and packability – Yay! I’ve a number of pairs!

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Crucial factor is ensuring you don’t overheat if you end up lively within the winter.

Wicking, respiratory material is important, else you’ll find yourself very chilly in case your sweat is trapped subsequent to your pores and skin. That really occurred to me on certainly one of our hikes and I used to be depressing. I simply dressed too heat and ended up overheating, and I didn’t make that mistake once more!

Layers for Maintaining Your Fingers and Toes Heat

Layers are additionally crucial on your fingers and toes.

I used a skinny wicking base layer sock after which my Point6 merino wool socks.

Let me simply pause right here, I really like my Point6 wool socks – they made a believer in me and I’ll by no means return to the SmartWool model once more. I was a SmartWool sock advocate; nevertheless, over the previous couple of years, I observed that my Smartwool socks have been really getting holes in them. The standard had taken a nosedive.

Then I got here throughout Point6 model wool socks and discovered that the founding father of Point6 was really the unique founding father of SmartWool. Just a few years in the past he bought SmartWool and I’m guessing that’s once I began seeing the lapse in high quality. He was so bored with listening to complaints from individuals after he bought the model when his non-compete clause ran out he began the Point6 model. I’m completely satisfied to report that on my inaugural journey with the Point6 model – I’ve fallen in love yet again! And this sock is assured for all times!

Point6 Important Crew Sock

The comfortable merino wool cushioning subsequent to the pores and skin insulates the foot from sizzling spots. Now that includes 37.5 Know-how to maintain you dry within the workplace or on the mountain.

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01/13/2022 12:11 am GMT

When you have a much bigger finances – then right here’s the final word winter sock! That battery operated heated expertise has made it’s method to socks too! I’ve been utilizing the Gobi Warmth heated socks and they’re fantastic! No extra utilizing these foot heaters…now you simply have a rechargable battery – that’s about the identical dimension as a foot hotter! These socks have three settings – and actually in case you are mountaineering or snow shoeing – I like to recommend the low setting else it’s too sizzling!

Gobi Warmth – Heated Socks

12 hours of Warmth | Battery and Charger Included

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01/13/2022 12:16 am GMT

Maintaining my arms heat is at all times my greatest problem as a result of I so typically work with my digicam or telephone and wish my fingers out touching issues!

I take advantage of the Warmth Firm system; liner gloves and their shell. I really like the zipper entry on the shell/outer glove in order that I can simply get my fingers out to work with my digicam with out having to take off my complete mitten. Plus – the magnets to carry the unzipped gloves in place is ingenious! And…to prime it off – the thumb even can fold again if it’s essential to have extra dexterity. The Warmth Firm liners even have a pleasant little pocket on them the place you’ll be able to slide in hand heaters and they’re going to keep in place.

As soon as once more, should you’d prefer to make an funding in heat – Gobi Warmth makes battery operated heated glove liners! The battery is fairly small on these liners – however they preserve 3 totally different ranges of warmth for as much as 6 hours at a time – and they’re toasty! The liners are a bit cumbersome – however I doesn’t trouble me an excessive amount of due to the superior heat they supply!

  1. Warmth Firm Gloves – Heat Shell

  2. Heat Company Gloves - Warm Shell

    Mitten flap with magnetic closure; merely pull the flap again and use the liner as an alternative for optimum dexterity. Nice for winter pictures and winter sports activities.

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Winter Packing List for Extreme Cold Weather

Winter Boots for Outside Adventures

One of many different massive gear winners on my journey have been my Oboz insulated boots.

This boot was my first expertise with the Oboz model and I used to be impressed. The insulation positively saved me heat – and once I used them to snowshoe they have been virtually sizzling! What I cherished about them is the top quality insole offering unbelievable assist. The insole was even thermal. I’ve had sufficient foot and knee accidents to comprehend it’s crucial to have good footbed assist. I wore these boots continuous in Alaska winter as a result of they have been as comfy as my tennis sneakers. I used to be completely satisfied to be launched to the model, they made a believer out of me!

By the way in which – I now personal about 4 pairs of Oboz boots…that’s how a lot I really like this model!

Oboz Bridger 7″ Insulated B-Dry Mountaineering Boot

Sooo – comfy! I take advantage of the common Bridger for summer time mountaineering too. O Match Thermal insoles present stability and assist whereas decreasing warmth loss to maintain your toes completely satisfied!

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01/13/2022 10:47 am GMT

I additionally used some new Stabilicers, ice crampons that simply match onto any boot or shoe. These supplied some nice safety when strolling on icy sidewalks and lakes! I used them for ice fishing they usually have been excellent for ensuing I didn’t fall on my ass!

Winter Packing Checklist Hats and Neck Gaiters

A lot warmth escapes out of your head that it’s crucial to have an excellent winter hat when touring to Alaska within the winter. I’ve just a few totally different kinds I take advantage of. For on a regular basis stuff – I really like my Turtlefur hats. They usually have mushy fleece liners which can be mushy and heat towards your ears. And if I’m making ready for the deep freeze my go-to hat is at all times my bullky hat type Nepal with earflaps. If they’re adequate for the himalayas, they’re adequate for Alaska within the winter!

Nepal Hand Knit Ear Flaps Beanie

  • 100% Wool Hand Wash Solely
  • 100 % New Zealand Wool Fleece Lining. (Itch free)
  • ❤ Honest Commerce and handmade in Nepal. Hand knit one by one, not mass produced so there could also be minor variations in coloration and imperfections.

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01/13/2022 12:16 am GMT

My neck is at all times chilly – however if you end up doing lively winter actions – a shawl is simply too cumbersome. That’s the place neck gaiters are available in! These fleece-lined neck gaiters are a Godsend to maintain you toasty heat. They’re mushy and can be utilized as a much less cumbersome method to preserve your neck heat than a shawl. Plus they will double as a masks if want be.

Excessive Chilly Climate Gear Packing Checklist Add Ons

There’s cold-weather gear after which there’s excessive cold-weather gear. If you find yourself coping with temperatures of -25 or days that don’t even go above 0, then you definately want one other stage of drugs.

Nonetheless – one great point I’ve observed with winter tour corporations in locations like Alaska – they’re beginning to present the suitable excessive climate gear for you as a result of they perceive that the conventional individual won’t have the means to get all of this gear for only one journey. They usually need to ensure you are heat as a result of a heat individual is a cheerful individual. So you’ll want to at all times ask if they supply gear earlier than you exit and purchase yours!

winter essentials to pack for alaska
Balaclavas take you to a different stage of heat


My favourite excessive winter climate merchandise was my Seirus Magnemask Balaclava. This was greater than a balaclava as a result of it additionally had a full face masks (secured with magnets) with nice air flow for respiratory and heavy exercise.

You’ll be able to simply pull down the masks half and tuck it away should you don’t need to use it. This masks saved me fully toasty heat however I might nonetheless simply speak and breathe.

Seirus Magnemask Combo Clava

OMG – I really like this for actually chilly climate! The masks is secured by a magnet and it is easy to tug down and flip again up. Breathable and heat!

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01/13/2022 12:08 am GMT

Hand and Foot Heaters

And to convey one final stage of heat to my gear, I used hand and foot heaters religiously.

Hand heaters and foot heaters are a necessary gadgets in excessive winter climate (nevertheless extra ceaselessly they’re now being changed by battery-operated heaters). I’d merely throw a hand hotter pack within the gloves and my fingers have been by no means chilly! Plus, hand heaters are additionally important for conserving batteries (telephone and digicam) heat in chilly environments.

northern lights photography tips batteries
Hand heaters are your battery’s greatest buddies!

I used the foot heaters extra sparingly, primarily for aurora watching. Truly, it was extra like aurora ready. Standing and ready within the chilly meant my toes would get chilly even in my superior Oboz boots.

Nonetheless – all hand/foot heaters aren’t made equally. The best and least expensive to get your arms on are the usual one-time use heaters. Open them up from their packaging, they usually keep heat for about 4 hours or so. However that’s it – you’ll be able to’t reuse them.

I just lately got here throughout these kind of reusable ones from Ignik which can be value attempting. Every hotter gives as much as 10 hours of warmth; a reusable AirBarrier Pouch minimizes air permeability and it can save you unused hotter warmth for as much as 72 hours, for intermittent use! Plus – these heaters are 98 % biodegradable (contents could be composted after use).

Ignik 10-Hour Compostable Hand Heaters with Resealable AirBarrier Pouch

  • 4 pairs of air-activated, high-performance biodegradable hand heaters, in recyclable packaging, for extra warmth with much less waste
  • Every hotter gives as much as 10 hours of warmth; reusable AirBarrier Pouch minimizes air permeability and might save unused hotter warmth for as much as 72 hours, for intermittent use
  • Heaters are 98 % biodegradable (contents could be composted after use); protected, comfy warmth supplied by pure minerals and oxygen

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01/13/2022 12:16 am GMT

My different important merchandise for tremendous chilly climate and wind was a pair of goggles. I borrowed a pal’s outdated pair to see if I would love them and I cherished them. I’ll be getting my very own pair for future journeys! Once I used the goggles together with the Magnamask, my face by no means obtained chilly, and I didn’t have to fret about my glasses fogging up!

Winter Packing List for Extreme Cold Weather

Excessive Chilly Climate Gear for Photographers

Once I go to Alaska within the winter, certainly one of my fundamental objectives is to {photograph} the Northern Lights. Nonetheless the coldest a part of any day is the nighttime – and that’s if you end up out photographing aurora! I already advised you about my picture backpack and sling that I take advantage of for just about any kind of journey, however listed below are the gadgets I particularly use to guard my picture gear from the chilly and my arms!

I used LensCoat Lenscovers for my lenses. Manufactured from Neoprene, these modern lens covers shield the lenses from the chilly in addition to make them simpler to carry on to when it’s freezing! It’s also possible to get tripod leg covers that are beneficial for chilly climate; nobody needs to seize onto a below-freezing tripod leg!

LensCoat LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers

LegCoat® Wraps are produced from mushy neoprene are designed to wrap across the higher leg of your tripod and are simply affixed with a Velcro closure. The Wraps backing is designed to tightly grip to your tripod legs so they won’t slide. The covers act as a thermal barrier making the tripod extra comfy to deal with in sizzling or chilly situations.

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Nonetheless – I believe the perfect general safety from snow on your gear is the LensCoat Raincoat. This waterproof material simply covers your complete digicam and lens setup however leaves the again open in an effort to get to all the buttons, and many others.

LensCoat Raincoats aren’t only for Rain

I additionally suggest utilizing a Cotton Service harness to hold your gear in an effort to stay hands-free. That is excellent for snowshoeing or snowmobiling.

I do not depart residence with out it!

Cotton Service G3 Digicam Harness

I do not go on a visit with out this harness! It permits me to be arms free when mountaineering and snowshoeing. I’ve additionally used it whereas horseback using. It has saved my neck and again and it a safe, wholesome method to carry my digicam!

10% off coupon code for readers – OTTSWORLD

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Pictures in chilly climate can also be onerous as a result of it requires using your arms…and everyone knows that arms are at all times the primary to get chilly within the winter! The very best winter pictures gloves I’ve discovered are the Warmth Firm heat shell gloves that are made for photographers. You should use a heated liner if you need or pop in a hand hotter packet into them. However they’re nice as a result of you’ll be able to unzip the glove and use your fingers to make digicam adjustments after which simply zip them again up. They’ve magnets to carry the flap in place when unzipped AND, you also have a thumb flap too!

With this important chilly climate gear, you’ll preserve heat and comfy in your subsequent winter journey, and even your subsequent excessive winter journey. Don’t be afraid of winter, embrace it with the appropriate gear!

dog sledding alaska
Holding on as I’m going round a nook!

To see all of this stuff in the identical place, simply go to the Ottsworld Amazon retailer! You’ll discover these merchandise in addition to all the gear I like to recommend and use for journey.




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