There are literally hundreds of “What to Pack When Traveling to Alaska” articles out there, and basically all of them list the same items – a camera, sun screen, layered clothing, binoculars… the list goes on. But there are several things that virtually always get left off the list, and these items are potential game changers that have the ability to transform your trip from a good one to a great one!
If you’re traveling to Alaska for a fishing vacation, you don’t want to leave these things behind:
Breathable Chest Waders – It’s not by mistake that this item comes first on the list. It’s exceptionally difficult to enjoy yourself when you’re wet & cold, and in Alaska you just never know what you’re going to get. Breathable chest waders are basically the world’s best rain pants, and give you a virtual guarantee that you’ll stay warm and dry no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. And I haven’t even mentioned the obvious perks of being able to wade comfortably and safely. Lodges often provide hip waders, but breathable chest waders will take your wading and comfort to the next level… I practically live in my chest waders all summer long, and I recommend that you do the same during your stay here in Alaska.
High Quality Thermos – Fishing trips in Alaska often start at first light, and in the Land of the Midnight Sun, “first light” can be insanely early! You’re likely going to want some nice warm highly caffeinated coffee to help keep you going throughout the entire day, and I don’t mean just 1 cup. A high-dollar thermos that will keep your coffee hot for several hours will keep a smile on your face all day long… a very wise investment indeed.
Really Good Rain Gear – Rain gear gets on just about every Alaska traveler’s list, but it’s just too important for me to leave off, and I’m going to stress the words “really good” here. When you head out for a day of fishing in Alaska you might get 80 degrees and sunny, but you might get 40 degrees and raining sideways. A cheap Walmart poncho isn’t going to do the job if you get the later, and you know what people say… there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. Pair a quality rain jacket with your breathable chest waders and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a warm & dry Alaska fishing vacation.
Sleep Mask – I think the reason for this item is pretty obvious, but it’s not something most people think to pack. Most Alaskan lodges are equipped with black out shades of some kind, but not all of them, and even black out shades can’t completely mask the reality that the sun is out at midnight! Your sleep mask will give you the illusion or darkness, and a little more sleep means a little more fun the next day.
Polarized Sunglasses – Sunglasses will make just about every list, but don’t forget to make them POLARIZED sunglasses! The advantages of polarized glasses are that they take the glare off of the water, and when you’re trying to spot fish to cast at in a shallow river, or net a fish at the end of your fishing partner’s line, it can mean the difference between catching and not catching. We prefer catching 🙂
Waterproof Cell Phone Case – Most lists will prompt you to bring a fancy camera, and I wouldn’t necessarily advise against that, but even professional photographers tend to take just as many or more photos with their cell phones than they do with their DSLR cameras. It makes a lot of sense that when out fishing on the water, the risk of a wet cell phone is extremely high, and one of the best ways to ruin your Alaska fishing vacation is to ruin your cell phone by getting it wet. Play it safe and bring along a waterproof case because you might be really glad you did.
You’ve dreamed your whole life of traveling to Alaska for a fishing vacation, so now that the time is here, don’t forget to include these items in your suitcase. Although you might not find these items on every packing list, you’ll be glad you packed them, and I promise that having them will allow you to enjoy your trip of a lifetime to the fullest.