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Keeping warm in Alaska


chachi

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I am planning my first cruise to Alaska for July 2009. Will I need to bring a winter coat? I've heard that it can be cold on the deck at night. I am planning on going ice trekking/climbing in Juneau. If anyone has done this excursion, did you wear a coat? I really don't have a lot of room in my luggage for something that big. Considering that I will be leaving 80-90 degree weather, I definately won't be able to wear it on the plane! Thanks for any help you can give.

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Eight years ago for my honeymoon we went to Alaska. It was pretty cold on the ship, but it was 80s and 90s off the ship. I was in my shorts and a t-shirt on a glacier throughout the cruise.

 

You should pack many layers and bring a coat. Pack for winter and summer. It isn't an easy pack, but it is an amazing cruise.

 

BTW, my wife and I had 4 days in Vancouver and a weeks cruise. However when we got off the ship we promised ourselves that we would go back on our 10th anniversary and take a cruisetour. In April or May when the 2010 Alaska trips open up, we will be booking!!!!!! Hopefully the rates will be good next year also.

 

Enjoy your trip!

Neil

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My priority for a jacket would be a rain proof, wind proof, breathable jacket which can be a light item for your suit case. When reading these boards you will find that rain can be a bigger problem than the cold in July.

 

I would then think about layers. Maybe start with a long sleeve t-shirt and layer from there. If you feel the cold would be a problem for you I would take a pair of the light weight long underwear to wear under you clothes. Also will not take much room. Also do not forget a hat and gloves as the glacier areas can be the coldest part of your trip.

 

One tip that I have found helpful is to buy the waterproof spray for your shoes. Nothing worse than having wet shoes on. We actually have waterproof shoes but the spray should help if the shoes are an item you don't want to purchase.

 

Happy Cruising!:)

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Thank you for all of your responses. I hate the cold, but for some reason I want to do this tour. I live in Michigan with very cold winters and I hardly leave the house in the winter. I am really worried about being cold and miserable, yet I sill want to go.

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We have been to Alaska 6 times and for this year we broke down and bought Under Armour Cold Gear for our trip. It is lightweight and easy to pack. You can never be certain with the weather in Alaska. As we approached the glacier on our cruise, I noticed that the ship brought out their hooded sweatshirts and fleece coats. They did a booming business. It was COLD standing on the deck watching that marvelous Hubbard Glacier getting closer and closer. Last year it was unseasonably cool. We left Tennessee and it was 94 degrees. When we got to Hoonah for our week stay, it was 51 and stayed in the low 50s for the high all week. So a long story to say this, make sure you take warm layers.

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We have been to Alaska 6 times and for this year we broke down and bought Under Armour Cold Gear for our trip. It is lightweight and easy to pack. You can never be certain with the weather in Alaska. As we approached the glacier on our cruise, I noticed that the ship brought out their hooded sweatshirts and fleece coats. They did a booming business. It was COLD standing on the deck watching that marvelous Hubbard Glacier getting closer and closer. Last year it was unseasonably cool. We left Tennessee and it was 94 degrees. When we got to Hoonah for our week stay, it was 51 and stayed in the low 50s for the high all week. So a long story to say this, make sure you take warm layers.

 

 

hahaha I live in Washington State...w are going to Alaska on Princess in May....50 degrees is practically t-shirt weather here :)

 

well, after the winter has had its death grip on us, 50 is gonna feel very very nice indeed.

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I am planning my first cruise to Alaska for July 2009. Will I need to bring a winter coat? I've heard that it can be cold on the deck at night. I am planning on going ice trekking/climbing in Juneau. If anyone has done this excursion, did you wear a coat? I really don't have a lot of room in my luggage for something that big. Considering that I will be leaving 80-90 degree weather, I definately won't be able to wear it on the plane! Thanks for any help you can give.

 

Hi - may I suggest purchasing locally? The gift shops in Anchorage have GREAT prices on Fleece vests and jacket. Sure, they say 'Alaska' or have something along the lines, but the prices are great. So - if you need it 'buy' it, don't pack it. :-).

 

PS: my dh and I have matching jackets with zip-out fleece. Not that I wanted matching jackets but he was so sincere and it just touched my heart that he wanted to dressed the same side x side. (OH MY GOSH was my thoughts, but it was important to him.). :-)

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hahaha I live in Washington State...w are going to Alaska on Princess in May....50 degrees is practically t-shirt weather here :)

 

well, after the winter has had its death grip on us, 50 is gonna feel very very nice indeed.

 

i spent last week in mesa, az (woo-hoo, foreclosure capital of the us) where the high was mid 60's. sitting in the sun on main street eating my torta w/a canilope aqua fresca talking w/ a local about the great weather. he was freezing. he also said i was "loco in la cabeza" what ever that means............

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Thank you for all of your responses. I hate the cold, but for some reason I want to do this tour. I live in Michigan with very cold winters and I hardly leave the house in the winter. I am really worried about being cold and miserable, yet I sill want to go.

 

ditto. I think I'm ready though. I live in the South and 60 is the lowest I'm willing to go when it comes to being outside all day. I'm ALWAYS cold but I think I've purchased the right gear. I have silk top and bottom for my base, windproof/waterproof pants, a fleece top, and a 3-in-1 windproof / waterproof jacket that is interchangeable. I'm still considering gloves and hat but I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb.

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ditto. I think I'm ready though. I live in the South and 60 is the lowest I'm willing to go when it comes to being outside all day. I'm ALWAYS cold but I think I've purchased the right gear. I have silk top and bottom for my base, windproof/waterproof pants, a fleece top, and a 3-in-1 windproof / waterproof jacket that is interchangeable. I'm still considering gloves and hat but I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb.

 

 

Bring the hat & gloves. They don't take very much room in your suit case and you will not stick out like a sore thumb. There is a very good chance they will come in handy on excursions and glacier days.

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Bring the hat & gloves. .

 

I'm still considering gloves and hat but I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb.

 

Yes, take the hat and gloves and dress in layers. We're booked for a glacier trek in Juneau in September. This is what we've been told will be provided, and what to bring:

We (Above & Beyond) provide: certified guide, mountaineering gear, backpack, rain jacket and pants, hearty snack/bottled water, roundtrip transportation.

You bring: sturdy and comfortable hiking boots or shoes (no sneakers), short and long sleeved shirts, fleece pullover or warm sweater, comfortable hiking pants, warm hat that covers the ears, fleece gloves, sunglasses, sunscreen, and guide gratuities (optional).

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We have been to Alaska 6 times and for this year we broke down and bought Under Armour Cold Gear for our trip. It is lightweight and easy to pack.

 

Under Arnour is the best thing in cold weather gear to come along in a long time. It is worth its weight in gold.

 

I am a BSA leader. During the winter months our troop members are required to pack UA as part of their cold weather gear. Snow camping can be a great time if you are warm, but is a dangerous, miserable experience if you aren't dressed properly.

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You will find the "cold" to be totally different than the long winter cold of Michigan-for one thing, it will not be that cold, and you will be so facinated by what you are seeing and doing, you won't even notice. As others have said, layers are the key. Do not take a winter coat, but a rain proof fleece lined jacket could come in handy at times, such as in Glacier Bay. I got one from Lands' End that folds up very small but is quite warm, especially over a warm top such as fleece or sweat shirt.

In July, you will find a variety of temp, depending on where you are and the weather they are having that day.

Enjoy your trip.

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Thanks for all the advice. I should look to see if I can find any clearance items now. It is also a good idea to buy there. I would have thought it would be expensive. I am leaving on July 22nd. It was in the high 30s a couple of weeks ago and it was heaven. Everyone was outside in just a sweatshirt, no jackets. But once I get used to the hot weather, the cold will seem especially cold. Especially walking/climbing on ice. Even if it is not cold, seeing and hearing the ice will make me cold. I get goose bumps just watching other people chew ice!

I am having the hardest time planning this trip. Everything sounds so wonderful, I just don't know where to begin planning. I'll never be able to fit it all in.

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I have been to Alaska 3 times and always found my waterproof shoes very helpful. Also, wore my down vest almost all of the time and when necessary underneath my rainproof jacket from the brand Columbia. Have a jacket with a hood so you can quickly pull it over you. No time to usually fool with umbrellas. A scarf for around your neck is helpful also when standing outside sailing towards the glacier. It is very cold when standing out on the deck sailing towards the glaciers. But, it does get warmer once the ship stops for everyone to look at the glacier.

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We went on a cruise to Alaska at the end of July in 2007. It was over 100 degrees at home when we were packing. I really had to persuade my wife to bring a coat. She finally relented and packed a coat.:rolleyes: Oh yeah, she was so glad she did. If you want to enjoy your Alaska cruise, you need to bring some cold weather gear.

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I would NOT bring a big winter coat. They are too bulky, take up too much room in your luggage, and you might never need it. It is likely to be too warm a lot of the time.

 

As others have said, think LAYERS! You can get the same warmth of a big coat by wearing a few multi-purpose layers, and putting on/taking off as needed. Long sleeved shirts, fleece sweatshirts/vests, rain jackets. I suppose long underwear if you are going in the very early or late season, or are particularly sensitive to the cold. Some days you may need it all, and other days you might get away with just a rain jacket because it's a bit drizzly.

 

As much as I hate the cold, I really hate being too hot because I'm wearing too much winter gear. It's easier to take off a fleece sweatshirt and stuff it in your backpack than to take off a big bulky coat and have to carry it the rest of the day!

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You will find the "cold" to be totally different than the long winter cold of Michigan-for one thing, it will not be that cold, and you will be so facinated by what you are seeing and doing, you won't even notice. As others have said, layers are the key. Do not take a winter coat, but a rain proof fleece lined jacket could come in handy at times, such as in Glacier Bay. I got one from Lands' End that folds up very small but is quite warm, especially over a warm top such as fleece or sweat shirt.

In July, you will find a variety of temp, depending on where you are and the weather they are having that day.

Enjoy your trip.

 

Ladychar......could you tell me which jacket from Lands End you got?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't forget something for your ears! Ear muffs, an ear wrap or an ear band will keep your ears warm and toasty, especially in the wind. I have three I'll be bringing to share with my traveling companions, along with some "hot pockets" to keep in my pockets to warm up my hands.

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