Alaska

The Best Things I Packed for Alaska

We’re back from Alaska and I have to say, it was a trip of a lifetime. Truly one of the best vacations I’ve ever gone on for so many reasons. I was pretty anxious about the trip because I didn’t know what to expect but we had more fun than I ever could have imagined. And Alaska is stunning. I have more detailed posts on the way– just need to sort through all the incredible photos first! (In the meantime, you can see my recent Instas.)
I thought I’d start with something that’s kind of relevant for the upcoming summer season…. what to pack for a trip like this. One of my biggest unknowns going into the trip was what to pack! Based on the emails/comments/tweets I’ve received it seems like a lot of people have trips coming up for Alaska or want to go and I thought I’d answer some of the questions I had before my trip when it comes to packing.
I was pretty surprised that I packed pretty well for the trip. I think I wore 95% of what I packed at least once, which rarely happens!
The best things I packed for the trip:
1. Patagonia Nano Puff | This was the biggest purchase that I was most on the fence about. I felt weird buying a puffer jacket in May and I also felt weird spending $200 on something that I might not wear for months in the future. Wrong and wrong. This was hands down the best thing I brought for the trip. It’s super lightweight and still super warm. (But also not too warm, magically!) We were traveling between places and some cities were chillier than others and even day by day temperatures changed dramatically. I wore the nano puff at some point every day (if not all day), even if it was 70 degrees.
I’m so glad I bought this and I’ll know I’ll pull it out for some chillier on-the-water vacations this summer and definitely the falls/winters to come. I actually want to get a few more colors I love it so much.
2. Hunter Rainboots | I almost didn’t bring these and I’m SO glad I did. They were my go-to choice of shoes, and Julia’s too. I wish I had brought two pairs. I feel like every trip I go on, I rave about how much I love the travel packable Hunter boots. They are just too perfect for traveling and that is especially true for Alaska. We even got complimented by our fishing guide on being just like the girls in Alaska because they wear their boots with everything, even dresses. 
We drove a lot and would pull off on the side of the road to take in the views. We never knew what the ground would be like and the boots were great for water, mud, dirt, and even climbing some hills. It was so nice to not worry about getting shoes dirty or wet, we were just good to go. 
3. Hiking Backpack | I hated this backpack when I got it. Garrett encouraged me to get it and I was just not a fan. (I wanted to get a “cute” backpack.) Wow, this backpack ended up being my best friend basically throughout the trip. I never took it off. It fit everything and was incredibly comfortable throughout the entire trip. If you need a daypack for hiking this summer, this is your bag. I got the blue/grey but it also comes in a pretty magenta. 
4. Striped shirts | Striped shirts are simply the best for travel, I’ve determined, no matter where you’re going. They’re great for layering and can add a little extra pop to an otherwise simple outfit. LL Bean, Saint James, J. Crew, and J. Crew Factory have some of my favorite options. And I firmly believe you can never have too many striped shirts.
5. Field Jacket (c/o) | If I wasn’t wearing my puff jacket, I was wearing this field jacket. Julia and I showed up at the airport wearing nearly identical outfits– including the jacket. It was great for layering over some of my warmer sweaters if it was chilly or just a t-shirt if it was warmer. I wore it mostly with my jeans, but I actually think it’d be cute to dress down a pretty white dress this summer.
6. Denim shorts | I mostly wore jeans and expected the trip to be generally chilly, but we had some genuinely warm afternoons! I wish I had brought more shorts, and these denim shorts turned into my go-to. 
7. Mosquito spray | Self explanatory. The mosquitos are no joke. We were pretty lucky that we were just arriving at the beginning of the season and they weren’t too bad. The ones that we did see were massive. Basically flying horses. I only got bit one time and without the spray and I’m sure we would have been eaten alive.
8. French braids | This is not so much what I packed, but what I didn’t. I left my blowdryer, straightener, and curling iron behind. I was constantly braiding my hair, but it was the best option while traveling in Alaska. No need for pretty hair and I had a lot of hat days because of the cold. French braids, fishtail braids, side braids, pigtail braids. I had them all throughout the trip.


xoxo
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28 Comments

Annie

I loved following all four of your guys' photos on Instagram this past week! Thanks so much for this post – I think I might actually take some of this to heart for my upcoming study abroad adventure to Edinburgh. I look forward to more Alaska posts filled with all the beautiful photos of the scenery 🙂

Annie N Belle

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Brienne Peers

I am so happy you enjoyed Alaska! I cannot wait for the opportunity to go back again! I loved following your Instagram pictures and Snapchcats throughout your trip!

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Rowan M

I cannot wait to see more pictures from your trip! I am definitely adding Alaska to my travel bucket list! Thanks Carly.

xox, Rowan sincerelyrowan.blogspot.com

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Tariro

Love that jacket! My team got custom Patagonia Better Sweater 1/4 zips and I can't put it down, its so nice and fluffy. Your Alaska pictures are so pretty, definitely makes me wanna travel!

Peppermint + Ivy

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Susan

I've been twice and you're pretty spot on with your items. Layering is the key. The closer or more you are on the water, the more you're going to need layers and I mean 3-4. Insulated Gloves are also a necessity on the water as are scarves.
can't wait to read more about your trip!!

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Fairy Princess Jord

I loved following your snaps and instas of yor Alaska trip. It seems like you had such a fun time and you looked completely adorable while doing it (no surprise there). I also love striped shirts and believe there is no such thing as too many!

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Rachel

Hi Carly! Looks like a really fun trip! I wonder if you might be able to post where Julia's jacket is from? It is really cute but I can't quite make out the brand label. Thanks! 🙂

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Brittany Conner

Love this post! Thank you for sharing. I'm trying to pack for our Alaskan cruise next month and I'm struggling. I'm a southern girl and will be 24 weeks pregnant so this is more difficult to pack for than I thought. Can you tell me what red patagonia jacket your friend is wearing? And the jacket/pullover you have on in the demin shorts picture? Thank you!!

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Chelsey

I know you posted this forever ago, but I am planning a trip to Alaska and was wondering what cameras you took with you? Worth packing a full size or just go with a good point and shoot?

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brie

who makes the yellow jacket you have on? what is the style name of the red patagonia julia wore? heading to alaska in june and definitely need better all weather jackets!

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