THE ALASKA EXPERIENCE:

7 Packing Essentials for Your Summer Job in Alaska

Alaska is truly the last frontier of the American experience.  No other state provides such a wide variety of memorable activities. From camping to fishing to hunting, Alaska offers an exhilarating outdoor experience in all corners of its territory.

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  • If you’ve secured one of this year’s many exciting summer jobs in Alaska, your packing list is probably the last thing on your mind. Fear not, we’ve got you covered. Here are 7 items every person should pack to ensure incredible Alaskan outdoor experiences.

  • Reliable Sunscreen

    Summer in Alaska means more daylight to explore—some areas even experience 24 hours of daylight per day. But more daylight also means more sun exposure. Protect your skin with an all-purpose sunscreen with at least 30 SPF, though a higher SPF is a safer bet. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially after exercising or swimming.

    Expert Tip: Don’t wait until your skin starts to show signs of burning to use sunscreen. At that point, it’s already too late and you’re most likely experiencing sun damage.

  • Camera with Wide-Angle Lens

    If a good picture is worth a thousand words, your blurry camera phone snapshot of a soaring bald eagle is worth about twelve. To get the most out of your photos, use a wide-angle lens on a good DSLR camera. It allows you to take beautiful panoramic photos of Alaska’s stunning landscapes.

    Expert Tip: Generally, wide-angle lenses can distort straight lines, so they’re not recommended for urban photography, but are perfect for capturing gorgeous vistas.

  • Packable Journal

    You’re most likely to be traveling with a smartphone, laptop, or both. But consider going wireless with a journal and a trusty pen to capture your experiences. Set aside 15-minutes at the end of each day to recap the day’s activities and reflect. Plus, the act of journaling each day can help you stay present and make the most of your time in Alaska.

    Expert Tip: Wi-Fi and service will undoubtedly be spotty in some areas. A pen and paper will come in handy to record or provide directions and exchange information.

  • Insect Repellent Clothing

    Alaska is known for its legendary mosquito population. In fact, Alaska is home to an astonishing 35 different mosquito species, and those suckers are big. Therefore, investing in high-quality insect repellent clothing will go a long way to ensuring an itch-free stay in Alaska. Make sure to get some good long-sleeved shirts to cover vulnerable skin.

    Expert Tip: Spring for the shirts that do double-duty and have both insect repellent and UPF sun protection built-in.

  • Sunglasses and a Wide-brimmed Hat

    In Alaska, wearing sunglasses at night isn’t just for celebrities. That’s because the definition of “night” is difficult to pin down in some parts of Alaska, where 24-hour sunlight is a fact of life during the height of summer. Get yourself a good pair- you’ll get a lot of use out of them!

    Layer up and protect your eyes and face from the elements with a wide-brimmed hat that covers your entire face. A sun-blocking hat, coupled with your sunscreen and polarized sunglasses, will keep you feeling comfortable and ready to tackle anything.

    Expert tip: Make sure the lenses are polarized; they will help you see through the water.

  • Refillable Water Bottle

    Hydration is never something to ignore. Get the most out of your time in Alaska by staying properly hydrated. The recommended daily intake of H20 is two liters or eight eight-ounce glasses. Carry a reusable water bottle that is BPA free and holds at least 12-ounces.

    Expert Tip: Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to take a drink—start each day with a tall glass of water and keep your water bottle topped off throughout the day.

  • Hiking Boots

    Only true hiking rookies would ever hit an Alaskan trail without sturdy hiking boots. A majority of the state’s most stunning vistas are only accessible by foot, so if you plan on making the most of your summer experience, bring up a trusty pair.

    Expert Tip: Look for a pair with decent support to protect you from rolling your ankles. It’s also wise to invest in a waterproof pair.