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Ticking Alaska off your bucket list… and that too in winter? We only hope Jack Frost to be the guiding star on your journey to one of the most frigid places on earth.
With a freezing subarctic ocean climate, Alaska can be a formidable destination, especially in ruthless winters.
But who are we to judge when it makes for some fascinating open grounds for intense and insane adventurous feats!
So, for the adrenaline-laced spirit in you, we’ve come up with the perfect guide for what exactly to wear in Alaska in Winter.
So, before ignoring your mum’s advice of taking that extra sweater with you on your trip to Alaska, check out the following guide to know better.
The timeless advice of putting on several layers like that of an onion holds true in this case. You may have dismissed that extra bit of wool over that favorite outfit you want to take instead. But, up there on The Last Frontier, we doubt the climate would take your impeccable fashion statement into consideration.
1. A Parka
So first thing’s first- when in Alaska, always wear your parka. Parkas are an excellent coat for the extreme cold. Alaskan climates run into extremes hot and cold temperatures. And the winter climate conditions can differ from one place to another.
One might not expect it, but you could experience an Alaskan winter “heat wave” with Fahrenheit temperatures going up into the 50s. And inversely, you could also experience bone-chilling temperatures that drop quickly below zero!
Gear up for the worst, always look at covering your head, ears, and neck to help you survive the onslaught of the extreme weather Alaska can throw at you. A parka with a good hood will help keep your neck covered and head but wearing a hat and neck gaiter is a good option to keep the elements at bay.
2. Temperature appropriate inners
An appropriate way to layer up your outfit for the Alaskan adventure is to determine what could work best in fluctuating temperatures. You could go for a light-weight to mid-weight wool (Merino wool is an excellent choice) or even a synthetic base layer to help keep your body insulated and to wick away moisture from your skin. A fleece or insulated jacket makes for an ideal mid layer.
Adjust your outfit according to the activity you will engage in and the outside temperature conditions.
Multiple layers of insulating fabric could be ideal for times that won’t involve any kind of activity that generates body-heat. With a rise in the temperature, you could go for fewer insulative layers or peel a couple if you felt that hot.
3. An adaptable outer layer
A Parka is perfectly suited for the Alaskan cold.
For chilly weather, you could opt for a pair of nice, warm fleece pants that would keep you warm from the waist down.
4. Longer underwear
Okay, hold on right there! We know that’s not sexy at all!
You do not have to bear with outdated, black-flapped underwear, instead, consider going for long silk ones! Yes, you heard us right! Because not only can silk keep you warm, it also washes well and easily, and whoever said it doesn’t feel sexy, huh? And silk can fit right into your palm so packing a good pair will not be the issue here!
Tip: Guys could opt for briefs or boxers containing reinforced materials that could block the wind.
5. Socks and hiking boots
Good boots for the Alaskan terrain are as important as any other gear or outfit for that weather. Invest in the strongest pair of hiking boots as these will save your time and effort otherwise wasted in packing a separate shoe wardrobe. Always go for water-resistant shoes as these will keep your socks dry.
Opt for warm, moisture-wicking socks but avoid cotton ones as these will absorb moisture and sweat, chilling your body out. These could also give you hypothermia. So try a material blend, synthetics or wool. If it's chilly or you feel the cold in your feet easily, then consider wearing a second pair of larger socks over your first ones for that extra layer of insulation/
6. Mittens and gloves
Yeah, leather gloves can look like just the thing you need to feel like a spirited ranger of the wild, but probably for milder winters. When in Alaska, pack a pair of heavy-duty mitts or gloves before you go out to face that brutal, freezing cold.
7. Snow pants
Snow pants are a great option, and although it might be one of those cover-all types, it could efficiently protect you while snowmobiling. Get a good pair of insulated pants made of water-resistant fabric. These are great for snowshoeing, skiing or for hiking on a glacier.
Now, what you’ve got to know and understand is that snow-blindness is a real thing that could happen if you stay out there for too long. This is because the Alaskan sun stays tilted at a much lower angle than usual in the winters.
This could speed up the damaging effects of the sun’s UVB rays that can burn the cornea without you even realizing it until after several hours.
That’s when your vision blurs. If treated immediately, vision can return within 18 hours, but do you really want to take that risk? Go get winter shades right away!
The winter sun may not feel that hot, but it’s closer to the earth and can cause immense sun damage to your skin. In fact, all that sunlight reflected from the snow is actually more intense than what you expect the summer sun to be. Always remember to carry your sunscreen and slather it generously before you embark on your Alaskan trip
Conclusion - What to Wear in Alaska in Winter
So this was all about what to wear in Alaska in winter. We hope you liked our endeavor as much as we loved putting it together for you.
Till next time!