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Backpacking Gates Of The Arctic National Park


Packing and planning are two of the most critical steps in any successful backpacking trip. In the Alaskan wilderness, it’s you against the elements—and this untamed land brings a wallop of turbulent weather and terrain. Never fear! Here’s our list of five ways to get the most out of your next adventure:

  1. Plan for dynamic weather and pack accordingly. In Alaska, through the rain, sun, wind, and snow, we live by the adage, “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and you’ll likely end up with some of both.” By double-checking Alaska weather conditions, you’ll be ready for anything. Already booked for your next adventure with us? See our logistics page for your specific trip and particular weather conditions, along with our recommended equipment list (like tips on layering up with the right clothing).
  2. Kick it into gear with the right shoes. While a pair of trail runners is okay for a day hike on an easy trail, investing in quality hiking boots for your Alaska adventure can make all the difference. Great-fitting boots are key to preventing injuries to your feet and give you ankle support for rocky and uneven terrain. Look for trail boots with waterproof, breathable liners like Gore-tex, and make sure your boots are broken in and comfortable. Pro tip: for the ultimate camp shoe setup, be sure to pack Crocs and pair them with the NRS Hydroskin Socks to keep your feet warm and dry. For even more recommendations, check out our gear list based on our 30 years of experience.
  3. Be aware of bears, moose, and bugs. Our expert guides are experienced in handling animal encounters, but a little common sense goes a long way. Keep a safe distance. We know moose are “cute,” but they’re not the easiest mammals to get along with—so, for your safety and ours, don’t take selfies with wildlife. Also, be aware of your surroundings and avoid all things itchy by packing bug spray, skipping the scented lotions, and bringing a mosquito head net.
  4. Get a good night’s rest. Sleeping well makes for a fantastic trip because you’re fully rested for the day’s adventure. We recommend a 25–30°F synthetic or down sleeping bag, a waterproof compression stuff sack, and a closed-cell foam pad or inflatable air mattress to make it extra comfortable. If you don’t have the gear, we’ve got you covered with our convenient rental options.
  5. Make some memories. Your trip of a lifetime is preserved by stories told through your lens. Most people bring their phones to capture photos and videos, so we recommend setting your phone on airplane mode and bringing a USB charger to get the most out of your battery life. We recommend the Goal Zero Flip 30 portable charger.

Bonus Pro Tip: Packing wisely means packing strategically. Remember that ounces make pounds—pounds you’ll be carrying. When you get here, you’ll be issued 15–18 pounds of gear (including tents, cooking equipment, and more) that’ll be added to your base pack. Only bring what you need AND what we require.

Follow these tips and our gear list and you’ll be adventure-ready when you arrive.



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