When you mention camping in Alaska, people imagine different situations in their heads, and this is due to different perspectives about the camping itself. Some think of Alaska as a dark, icy place that takes courage to place your tent, while others don’t make a difference between camping in Alaska or any other place in the world.
Whatever type of camper you are, it is fair to admit that Alaska is one of the most severe places on the Earth, and if you are planning to go there, you need to be well prepared. And by that, I am not referring that you need to eat raw fish or to jump in the frozen lake, as these are things that Bear Grylls would do, not the typical camper.
However, my point is that you need to check your equipment before you start your journey. And before we start our journey, continue reading to learn what is the equipment you need.
Checking your equipment
Basically, your camping gear for camping in Alaska won’t be any different from the one you already possess. However, here are some tips that you might find useful.
Because of the humidity and chances of rain, it is preferred to take a thicker tent, which means you shouldn’t carry the one you use for the summer season, as those are made of lighter materials that may leak.
Your tent should be waterproof, as it is very important to stay dry in cold weather conditions.
Many campers often use 4-season tents, as this is better for your budget, you can go camping in different seasons with only one tent. Those tents are designed to last and can be used through the year, so in case you are using one of those, it would work for camping in Alaska as well.
This one is obvious – extreme conditions require a thicker bag, as you need to keep the warmth of your body. A good tent, in combination with a thick sleeping bag and a camping stove, will be just enough to spend a good time camping.
If you decide to camp in Alaska, you should really take your time and find a good quality sleeping bag. Finding the right tent is not less than this, but I would like to emphasize the importance of the sleeping bag as it is the last shield against the cold weather.
There are bags designed for specific temperatures, and my advice would be to go even over that limit. Let’s say that you are planning to camp, you check the weather forecast, and it says that the temperatures will be about 0 F. I would suggest finding a sleeping bag that is designed for temperatures at least 10-20 degrees below that.
Those kind of bags are very thick and not very compatible, but it is definitively something you need. You might not like the design, but it is the functionality you need to care about.
Be careful when picking your camp stove, as they vary in size and power, and not each model can be used in extreme weather conditions. For example, if you decide to go with a gasoline-powered camping stove, you need to be very careful as the gasoline may freeze due to the cold temperatures.
The solution is next – you should go with another power source, or stick to gasoline, but make sure you find a manufacturer that guarantees that it won’t freeze and that you will be able to use even in toughest weather conditions.
When it is freezing, the camping stove will be your only heating source, so check everything twice as you don’t want to end up shivering.
Solo Overnight in a Snow Storm. Winter Camping With Subscriber Gear.
Camping in Alaska winter
This is actually what camping in Alaska is all about. If it wasn’t for the snow and ice, I doubt that this camping destination would be so popular. But what is so good at that?
Everything is covered in snow and ice, and you can enjoy the untouched nature and the amazing landscapes. But this is easier said than done, as the temperatures are not in your favor. So, how can you deal with that?
You might expect a different answer, but the key to having a good time while camping is to predict and plan. Think of anything that could go wrong and make a plan for how to deal with it. This includes planning the camping, checking the weather, the route and making modifications to your camping vehicle (in case you are about to use one).
Of course, no one can guarantee that the weather won’t change or that your plan might change, but will proper plan you will reduce the risk to a minimum.
Do you need any special camping equipment?
As I mentioned above, there is nothing extra needed. Of course, you can’t use the same, light tent that you use in summer, but in case you have one that is designed for different weather conditions, that will do the job as well.
Same goes with the sleeping bag, although this is more important than the tent, so my suggestion would be to invest in a good quality sleeping bag.
If you doubt what type of camping stove to take, you might want to consider those that are powered on white gas, since they are very efficient and will do the job quite good.
What about clothing?
A logical answer would be enough clothes to keep you warm, and you will hear this many times.
Any tips on what to take with you aren’t necessary, as that is a decision you need to make on your own. The only advice you can get from camping gurus is to wear layers of clothes, as it would be much easier to put on extra clothes in case you are cold, and otherwise.
Additionally, you should never wear wet clothes, as that means high chances of getting sick.
Truck Camping in Sub-Freezing Weather 2.0
Fall camping in Alaska
If camping in winter is too extreme for you, a solution you might try is to camp in fall. However, notice that Alaska is cold in fall too, so if you decide to go in fall rather than in winter, that doesn’t make you less hardcore.
Many backpackers or RVers may consider trying it, and I am pretty sure that they will enjoy it. Remember to pack yourself all of the needed equipment, and make sure it is dry all the time (this is especially important for backpackers). Additionally, you should take a sleeping pad, as you will be elevated from the cold ground.
Camping in Alaska in August
If you prefer summer over winter, you might want to try camping in Alaska in August. However, August in Alaska is not the same as August in your neighborhood.
Alaska in August is known to be wet and snowy, so it basically depends when and where you are heading. Alaska is quite big, so your specific location might actually have nice weather conditions compared to the rest of Alaska.
Williwaw campground camping Alaska
If you haven’t made your decision yet, you need to consider this campground. Located in Girdwood, this campground is ideal for those who want to get to know Alaska better. If you have never seen glaciated valleys, this is an opportunity you should not miss.
From the basic facilities, you get a drinking water, toilet, picnic tables and parking for your vehicle. However, there is one huge downside – there is no electric hookup.
For mountain bikers, there are trails that are connected and will allow you to see several ponds. In case you don’t consider yourself a biker, you can still enjoy the landscape, as well as many characteristic animals like eagles, moose, but maybe even bears and wolves. Don’t forget about the salmon as well, as this fish is considered as an impressive attraction.
Whether you are just a regular camper, a biker or even a hiker, visiting this campground is something you have to do, as it is much different from the “regular” camping/hiking/biking.
In conclusion, camping in Alaska is something you definitively need to experience – amazing landscapes of the untouched nature, specific wildlife species, and many extraordinary activities. There is no other place in the world that will allow you to sense all of the above at once.
However, weather conditions in Alaska are also different and can easily ruin your joy. Of course, this is less likely to happen if you are well-prepared for it, using the right equipment and following the tips given in this article.
It doesn’t matter if you decide to go camping in Alaska in winter, fall, or summer, as each season has advantages, just make sure you plan and prepare for your trip.
What is your opinion on this? Have you ever went camping in Alaska? Or, if not, would you do that? Share your thoughts in the comments below.