Some of you beautiful people followed along with my Alaska trip via Instagram. (Thank you for all the lovely comments!) For those who didn’t, I just got back from 10 days in Southeast Alaska on The Alaskan Dream, a 40-person catamaran cruise ship. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I highly recommend visiting Southwest AK if you get the opportunity.
Many of you asked me how I packed for this trip, since it wasn’t a typical vacation. Because we’d be living on a boat and doing more outdoorsy stuff than usual (hiking, kayaking, and other water-related activities), I couldn’t pack my “normal clothes.” So my usual fashion-centric ensembles would have to be rethought. I also wanted to fit everything into one mid-sized duffel bag (I’m practicing light packing for another big trip we’re taking next year).
Because weather in Alaska during the summer season can range from 50-90 degrees, I had to think about layering, flexibility, and complimentary pieces. Besides the wide range of temperature fluctuation, it rains almost every day in Southeast AK (it’s technically a rainforest!), so I had to consider waterproof/weatherproof gear. I focused on packing neutrals with the occasional statement piece that could easily be layered over other pieces. I also needed everything to be flexible—pants had to work with multiple tops, jackets, and accessories, and vice versa. In the end, I won the unofficial award for lightest luggage, which is a major feat for this notorious over-packer.
The following is everything that I packed (excluding undies/socks/toiletries):
Every pair of pants I packed were roomy enough to be layered over my thermals if the temperature dropped. They’re also mostly neutrals and would work with every top I packed.
- thrifted camo pants (last seen here)
- REI waterproof hiking pants
- Trouve windowpane slacks
- vintage Liberty overalls
Save for the graphic button down, each top I packed was a neutral and could layer seamlessly with one another. The top three worked as base layers, while the last four could be layered over if I needed more warmth.
- long sleeve mini-stripe base layer
- Uniqlo heat tech
- thrifted baseball tee
- vintage graphic tee
- plaid button down
- mid-weight striped long sleeve
- statement graphic button down
I packed outerwear in the same red shade (and chose a patterned sweater that also included red) so I could layer them easily without worrying about inharmonious clashing colors.
- REI waterproof/windproof shell
- graphic sweater coat (not the same as mine, but close)
- Patagonia insulated down jacket
I streamlined the accessories I brought because I knew we’d be fairly active the entire trip. Jewelry and purses wouldn’t be necessary. Instead of necklaces, I packed two bandanas whose colors worked with the top/pant combos. Hats and bandanas are an easy way to add color and pattern to an otherwise neutral outfit. I had to be pretty practical when it came to shoes. I bought these Teva hiking shoes specifically for this trip and they did not disappoint. IF I could do it again, I would not pack the stacked heel boots. I only ended up wearing them once, and probably didn’t need to bring them.
- Topo baseball cap
- Carhartt knit hat
- New York Hat Co. printed baseball cap
- RayBan Gatsby
- red bandana
- shibori bandana
- Teva waterproof hiking shoes
- stacked heel lace-up boots
- Converse high tops
I didn’t take photos of every outfit (Sorry! I was busy watching whales and eating freshly caught salmon🤷♀️), but here are a few of the outfits I was able to put together over the 10 days we were gone.
What are YOUR packing secrets? Please share them with me in the comments!