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JGB

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Request for info....

I would imagine any outdoor Alaska excursion during a rainy day would be quite uncomfortable but I would like to get the perspective of someone who has actually experienced this...

thanks JGB

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We had beautiful weather the entire week on our Alaska cruise last week but that was not the case on our two previous cruises. We dressed in layers with the outermost being a rain jacket with hood and waterproof shoes. That was more than sufficient for the excursions we took but we were not doing long distance hiking. We were on and off of transportation (boats, planes, trains, vans). When we encountered rain it was often fleeting and not downpours. One day (disembarkation in Whittier to Anchorage) the rain was heavy at the Conservation Center and I added a poncho (to cover some of my legs). I'm glad I did - the wildlife wasn't bothered by the rain and we had a wonderful visit.

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we tend to take a few of the $1 bin 'one-use disposable' plastic p:cool:nchos...

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Rain, (or "Liquid Sunshine" as they call it in Ketchikan) is common, and the excursion operators expect that you will know this and take it into account. Most excursions operate rain or shine, although anything that involves flying can be an exception, especially when fog is part of the equation. We bought and brought along lightweight rain pants by Red Ledge to slip over our clothing if needed. Turns out that we had unbelievable weather, with near record highs and no rain. But the rain pants took up no space in our luggage. And there are no shortage of gift shops that will sell you an Alaska themed rain jacket/windbreaker!

 

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You never know. Just be prepared. I was in Juneau one time. Got off the tender at the dock and commented to the dock worker, Having a little rain today, it was pouring. He said no, this is just a sprinkle......

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Request for info....

I would imagine any outdoor Alaska excursion during a rainy day would be quite uncomfortable but I would like to get the perspective of someone who has actually experienced this...

thanks JGB

 

What is the old saying...there is no bad weather only inappropriate clothing ....

 

May 2018....RT Seattle...We had rain a little slippy on one trail...that's why I brought hiking boots...

 

 

It rained of & on during our Juneau excursion...Float plane & Taku lodge....still enjoyable time...

 

Aug 1998...ANCH to VAN rained almost... non stop... had appropriate clothing....overall just didn't enjoy the experience.

 

But in 2018 even with the rain...I now understand why people return again and again...people, ships and excursion operators are far more prepared for inclement weather.

 

Enjoy...

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Request for info....

I would imagine any outdoor Alaska excursion during a rainy day would be quite uncomfortable but I would like to get the perspective of someone who has actually experienced this...

thanks JGB

There are things you can book when you get there and see what the weather will be. We have been on 20 Alaska cruises, done many things in ALL kinds of weather, be ready for anything but does nOT mean you have to pack big boots & heavy jackets. Bring a small day back pack for stripping down or adding layers, a hat is good as well as a poncho or rain jacket is best. Too much to tell in this short answer

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There are very few activities that are stopped by rain in Alaska. One of our most memorable trips included a float plane trip to Katmai, 40 degree weather and light rain in a meadow for 3 hours.....with 3 bears. It was incredible! Embrace the weather and bring the appropriate gear. You will be glad you did.

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In the day when you carried video cameras, one day it rained so hard it shorted out the camera which was under my rain jacket. But we saw more bears than any other excursion. They were runnIng along the stream bed chasing salmon in Juneau. Don’t worry and, as others have said, take a rain suit.

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Getting around in AK can be very comfortable no matter the amount of liquid sunshine if you are prepared. Depending on how hard the liquid sunshine is falling, anything from a poncho to rain suit will make your time more enjoyable and do not forget the foot wear that needs to be water resistant. Last cruise to AK in August 2017, we had no rain and during the glacier viewing, many including myself had on shorts and a tshirt. I certainly have been to Ketchikan which is in a rain forest and receives 200+ inches of rain when it did rain one time quite hard for maybe 20 minutes or so. Luckily I was near a pub and enjoyed a nice brew. In AK you never know and temperature/rain can come at anytime so dress in layers. For possibility of rain I have a light weight rain parka, rain pants that fit over my pants and hiking boots that are waterproof. In town I have hiking shoes that I treated to make them water resistant. You can buy the liquid at any recreational store such as REI and apply it to your shoes.

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Keep in mind, that rain in Alaska, for the most part, is similar to the Pacific Northwest in that there may be constant off and on showers that aren't very intense. "Rain" has a relative meaning..ive read thag some Pacific NW native american tribes have up to 40 words for different types of rain.

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On my first cruise to Alaska it rained every day, it was still amazing, and I told myself I had to go back to see the tops of the mountains that had been shrouded. I've been back countless times since and each trip continues to amazes me. Rain gear is essential and can range from $1 poncho to $1k+, state of the art, breathable membrane stuff. The $1 poncho is essentially a thin trash bag with a hood and sleeves, it will keep the water off you, but you will be sticky. OK to get you between covered places, or to throw on for a 5min shower, not very comfortable for extended periods. The next step up would be the $20 raincoats in the souvenir shops. They don't breathe, but should be fine for an hour or so. If you want to be comfortable for hours an investment in breathable stuff is a required. For many years Gortex was the standard and is still excellent, but like other tech stuff, it has been surpassed by advanced fabrics with corresponding advanced priced tags. I have had Gortex stuff (jacket/poncho/pants/shoes) for many years and it continues to serve me well.

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We’ve been twice ... once with rain, once without. LOVED it both times. As others have said ... be prepared with layers. Hat, Short sleeve t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, fleece vest, fleece jacket and a decent, lightweight rain-shell. That combination will allow you to have what you need for any situation. As a serious hiker, I’d recommend not going with the trash bag/plastic poncho route. You’ll have a good rain-shell for a long time .. and most of them have a hood for your head that rolls up into the collar (also great for Alaska rain). If you think it might rain, just tie it around your waist. You can spend a little or a lot on one. Just head to any sporting goods store and check them out. My DW purchased her first before the Alaska cruise and has used it many times since. She’s happy she has it!

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Southeast Alaska is a temperate rain forest. Simply go prepared. Layers are great as other have suggested, along with water proof footwear. We invested in ultra lightweight rainsuits, specifically Dri Ducks, and they have served us well over the years.

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