Winter Packing Checklist for Excessive Alaska Temperatures

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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 afraid of Alaska within the winter; particularly the inside the place the temperatures dip beneath 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 after 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 may beat the scary Alaska chilly by merely being ready with this winter packing checklist.

alaska packing list

Within the 10 days I traveled round Fairbanks, there have been just a few instances the place I used to be really chilly…the type of chilly the place it was exhausting to disregard. And sure, I did spend nearly all of my time doing outside actions – as a result of it’s Alaska and also you are supposed to be outdoors in Alaska having adventures! More often than not it was merely about ensuring you had the fitting gear on so that you just weren’t too chilly, or too sizzling.

Earlier than I took off for Alaska I did get just a few new objects 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 checklist if in case you have an identical winter journey.

Winter Gear Necessities to Pack for Alaska

This isn’t a guidelines of every little thing it is advisable to convey. It’s an inventory of important winter gear that you just’ll need to convey along with the entire regular stuff you’d pack. I’m fairly certain I don’t need to 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 all the time 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 plenty 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 manage with packing cubes and maintain 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 which means in “residing out of a suitcase” with the Gear Warrior™ Wheeled Duffel 95L. Organized and totally off street succesful, how far you journey ought to by no means be restricted by the baggage 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 all the way 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 exploit mine to prepare my various kinds of garments, identical to I might a dresser; one has t-shits, one has pants, one has sweaters. You get the concept – it’s packing bliss. I exploit 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 photograph 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} supplies lightning quick high entry, with twin facet entry through two weatherproof UltraZips.Inside, 3 configurable FlexFold dividers maintain 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 quite a lot of inner slip pockets for small objects. 100% recycled 400D weatherproof shell retains every little thing protected.

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As well as, I all the time had my Peak Design Sling with me for the various instances after 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 so forth. You may simply alter 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 photograph gear. The Sling’s padded cross-body strap contains a quick-adjuster you can loosen when accessing gear and tighten when actively climbing, biking, or strolling.

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Chilly Climate Clothes Necessities – Layering

For any type of chilly climate journey, layers are key on any winter packing checklist.

  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 need to 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

Retaining your pores and skin (base layer) heat and dry is the essential objective 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 would possibly need to use a brief sleeve shirt as a substitute in your base layer. I usually use an previous operating shirt artificial if I need 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 cozy, however they’ve cute designs. Designed in Boulder, CO. For ladies, by girls.

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Winter Center Layer

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

I exploit 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 instances after I’m snow shoeing I put on my Marmot Hybrid jacket as my high layer as a result of snowshoeing will maintain you heat basically…so that you usually don’t want a high layer! A few of my different midlayer favorites are my favourite Jack Wolfskin down pullover, or different half zips – I’ve quite a lot of them!

Jack Wolfskin Womens 365 Flash Overhead Jacket

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

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03/06/2022 07:02 am GMT

Girls’s Variant Hybrid Jacket

This can be a nice light-weight climbing 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 nice new line of heated clothes…that’s proper that is clothes that runs on batteries! Because of advances in conductive thread heating know-how – we will now have quite a lot of heated clothes! I’ve been testing merchandise out from Gobi Warmth just lately and I need to say – they’re nice! Battery life is round 10 hours and you’ve got numerous warmth settings. The objects are washable and the battery is well rechargeable at night time. This Gobi Warmth Sahara Jacket can be an incredible 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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03/06/2022 12:45 am GMT

Winter Outer Layer

That is your first protection in opposition to the chilly and may 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 – if you’re speaking about Fairbanks within the winter or Antarctica – you’ll need a parka. Parkas are heavy jackets that present excessive heat and likewise wind safety. Plus parkas usually even have a fairly substantial hood.

All hoods will not be the identical – that fur lined hood isn’t for trend – it has an necessary function! I really just like the hoods with fur as they maintain your face a lot hotter. Hoods with fur lower the quantity of warmth misplaced, thus retaining 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 retaining you heat, turns into a really environment friendly conductor of warmth away out of your face. I can completely geek out about these things…and should you’d prefer to study extra – then why not study from the consultants – the Inuit. Be taught why they’ve been utilizing fur trim for years!

The North Face Girls’s Down Parka

The North FaceWomen’s Bounce Down Parka supplies 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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03/06/2022 12:46 am GMT

In your backside half, you will have one thing that protects you from the wind for certain. After all, you may go in a standard 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 screen pants – they’re my favourite winter outside pants. They’re heavier than climbing pants and are good and stretchy so that they really feel snug 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 climbing 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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An important factor is ensuring you don’t overheat if you find yourself lively within the winter.

Wicking, respiration 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 one among 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 Retaining Your Palms and Ft Heat

Layers are additionally crucial in 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 seen 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 realized 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 after I began seeing the lapse in high quality. He was so uninterested in listening to complaints from individuals after he bought the model when his non-compete clause ran out he began the Point6 model. I’m joyful to report that on my inaugural journey with the Point6 model – I’ve fallen in love once more! And this sock is assured for all times!

Point6 Important Crew Sock

The comfy 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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03/06/2022 12:42 am GMT

In case you have a much bigger funds – then right here’s the last word winter sock! That battery operated heated know-how has made it’s option to socks too! I’ve been utilizing the Gobi Warmth heated socks and they’re great! No extra utilizing these foot heaters…now you simply have a rechargable battery – that’s about the identical measurement as a foot hotter! These socks have three settings – and truthfully if you’re climbing 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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03/06/2022 12:45 am GMT

Retaining my palms heat is all the time my greatest problem as a result of I so usually work with my digicam or telephone and want my fingers out touching issues!

I exploit 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 high it off – the thumb even can fold again if it is advisable to have extra dexterity. The Warmth Firm liners even have a pleasant little pocket on them the place you may 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 maintain 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 hassle 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 a substitute 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 after I used them to snowshoe they have been virtually sizzling! What I liked about them is the prime quality insole offering unimaginable help. The insole was even thermal. I’ve had sufficient foot and knee accidents to understand it’s crucial to have good footbed help. I wore these boots continuous in Alaska winter as a result of they have been as snug as my tennis sneakers. I used to be joyful 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 – snug! I exploit the common Bridger for summer season climbing too. O Match Thermal insoles present stability and help whereas lowering warmth loss to maintain your toes joyful!

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03/06/2022 11:32 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 and so they 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 winter hat when touring to Alaska within the winter. I’ve just a few totally different types I exploit. For on a regular basis stuff – I really like my Turtlefur hats. They usually have delicate fleece liners which are delicate and heat in opposition to your ears. And if I’m making ready for the deep freeze my go-to hat is all the time my bullky hat type Nepal with earflaps. If they’re ok for the himalayas, they’re ok for Alaska within the winter!

Nepal Hand Knit Ear Flaps Beanie

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

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03/06/2022 12:48 am GMT

My neck is all the time chilly – however if you find yourself doing lively winter actions – a shawl is simply too cumbersome. That’s the place neck gaiters are available! These fleece-lined neck gaiters are a Godsend to maintain you toasty heat. They’re delicate and can be utilized as a much less cumbersome option to maintain 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. When you find yourself coping with temperatures of -25 or days that don’t even go above 0, you then want one other degree of drugs.

Nonetheless – one good thing I’ve seen 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 particular person may not have the means to get all of this gear for only one journey. They usually need to be sure to are heat as a result of a heat particular person is a contented particular person. So remember to all the time ask if they supply gear earlier than you exit and purchase yours!

winter essentials to pack for alaska
Balaclavas take you to a different degree 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 respiration and heavy exercise.

You may 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 discuss 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 drag down and flip again up. Breathable and heat!

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03/06/2022 12:36 am GMT

Hand and Foot Heaters

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

Hand heaters and foot heaters are a necessary objects in excessive winter climate (nevertheless extra continuously they’re now being changed by battery-operated heaters). I might 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 retaining batteries (telephone and digicam) heat in chilly environments.

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

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 will not be made equally. The simplest and most cost-effective to get your palms on are the usual one-time use heaters. Open them up from their packaging, and so they keep heat for about 4 hours or so. However that’s it – you may’t reuse them.

I just lately got here throughout these type of reusable ones from Ignik which are price attempting. Every hotter supplies 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 p.c 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 supplies as much as 10 hours of warmth; reusable AirBarrier Pouch minimizes air permeability and may save unused hotter warmth for as much as 72 hours, for intermittent use
  • Heaters are 98 p.c biodegradable (contents could be composted after use); protected, snug warmth supplied by pure minerals and oxygen

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03/06/2022 12:48 am GMT

My different important merchandise for tremendous chilly climate and wind was a pair of goggles. I borrowed a buddy’s previous pair to see if I would really like them and I liked them. I’ll be getting my very own pair for future journeys! After I used the goggles together with the Magnamask, my face by no means received 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

After I go to Alaska within the winter, one among my essential targets is to {photograph} the Northern Lights. Nonetheless the coldest a part of any day is the midnight – and that’s if you find yourself out photographing aurora! I already advised you about my photograph backpack and sling that I exploit for just about any kind of journey, however listed below are the objects I particularly use to guard my photograph gear from the chilly and my palms!

I used LensCoat Lenscovers for my lenses. Manufactured from Neoprene, these progressive 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 really useful for chilly climate; nobody needs to seize onto a below-freezing tripod leg!

LensCoat LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers

LegCoat® Wraps are constituted of delicate 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 snug to deal with in sizzling or chilly circumstances.

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Nonetheless – I believe the most effective total safety from snow in your gear is the LensCoat Raincoat. This waterproof material simply covers your total digicam and lens setup however leaves the again open in an effort to get to the entire buttons, and so forth.

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 palms free when climbing and snowshoeing. I’ve additionally used it whereas horseback driving. It has saved my neck and again and it a safe, wholesome option to carry my digicam!

10% off coupon code for readers – OTTSWORLD

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Pictures in chilly climate can be exhausting as a result of it requires the usage of your palms…and everyone knows that palms are all the time the primary to get chilly within the winter! The most effective 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 may unzip the glove and use your fingers to make digicam modifications 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 maintain heat and cozy in your subsequent winter journey, and even your subsequent excessive winter journey. Don’t be afraid of winter, embrace it with the fitting gear!

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

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


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