What clothes to wear in Alaska in September

What-to-wear-in-Alaska-in-September
What to pack for a trip to Alaska?

The largest and most sparsely populated U.S. state, Alaska is known for its diverse and dramatic terrain of vast open landscapes, verdant mountains and forests that teem with wildlife and myriad charming small towns. Alaska is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering a range of exciting outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing, kayaking and mountaineering, as well as wildlife viewing, fishing and canoeing.

Weather in Alaska in September

Alaska’s travel season generally runs between May and September when the weather ranges from cool and rainy in the Inside Passage, to mild and sunny in the Interior and the Anchorage area. Late August sees weather patterns change, bringing clouds, frequent rainstorms, and cooler weather. This change in weather signals the flora to change and they break out into vivid colors – the birches of the boreal forest become bright yellow and the tundra changes to a dark red – that make for beautiful natural scenes. The weather remains pleasant until mid-September before becoming colder and wetter. Many of the tourist attractions tend to close down in mid-September to prepare for the winter, which can be brutal.

What clothes to wear in Alaska in September?

While the skies might be clear with occasional rain in September, temperatures can be inclement, so it’s best to wear layers so you can change with the weather, adding and subtracting layers as you need to. Packing depends on the type of activity you are going to be doing, ranging from outdoor activities to cruising and you want to be sure to pack correctly for maximum comfort.

Women-

  • Good walking shoes – take a pair of hiking boots and sneakers to wear during the day;
  • Convertible pants – long pants or trousers that convert to shorts, which can be interchanged according to the weather;
  • Lightweight jacket for wind and rain during the day;
  • Heavyweight jacket for outdoor activities such as hiking or skiing;
  • Thermal underwear / long-johns – long underwear to wear underneath clothes as layers;
  • Raincoat / Rain jacket / Poncho
  • Formal pants suit or dresses for evening wear
  • Formal shoes for evening wear
  • Scarves / Pashminas, which can double up as scarves during the day
  • Warm knit cap / Beanie / Hoodie (any type of warm hat)

Expert tip! If you don’t want to carry a bulky rain jacket when hiking, pack a foldable rain poncho, which is lightweight and small and will protect you from the rain if needed. 

Men-

  • Lightweight jacket for wind and rain during the day;
  • Heavyweight jacket for outdoor activities such as hiking or skiing;
  • Thermal underwear / long-johns – long underwear to wear underneath clothes as layers;
  • Raincoat / Rain jacket / Poncho
  • Convertible pants – long pants or trousers that convert to shorts, which can be interchanged according to the weather;
  • Formal suit for evening wear
  • Formal shoes for evening wear
  • Scarves and warm knit cap / Beanie / Hoodie (any type of warm hat)
  • Good walking shoes – take a pair of hiking boots and sneakers to wear during the day;

Expert tip! Avoid white clothes – everyone will know you’re a tourist and you’ll just get dirty.

Miscellaneous- 

  • Toiletries and medical supplies – it is always a good idea to take what you know, so pack a medical kit with local medical supplies before you go.

Expert Tip! It is a good idea to get a broad spectrum anti-biotic from your doctor for emergencies. Rather have medicines you know than have to use a new type of medicine and risk it not working.

  • Sunscreen, insect repellent, hand lotion (Alaska is dry), and hand sanitizer or hand wipes;
  • Photo Equipment – a camera with a good optical (not digital) zoom (at least x 10), camera charger, extra batteries and memory cards, and a netbook or laptop to back up digital photos every night;
  • Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear – don’t forget a “Bear bell” if you are planning on hiking in bear territory, and 8×40 waterproof binoculars.

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