The number one request we receive is our Adventure Packing List for the summertime gear a guest will need on their Alaska Horseback Adventure.
The biggie, when packing for your Alaska Adventure, your Wilderness Horseback Trip, is remembering it is Alaska. (seriously, no sarcasm)
Adventure Packing List
The weather can be hot, cold, wet and windy.
The most important gear I pack, no matter what time of the year it is, is the gear that will keep me warm and dry.
Quite simply, the biggest danger, the most deadly thing in Alaska that everyone must understand, is hypothermia.
Hypothermia will kill you.
Hypothermia is a condition that occurs when your body’s core temperature begins to drop below the temperature needed to function properly.
Shivering, hypertension (blood pressure rises), mild confusion, muscle lack of coordination, movements are slower and more difficult, pale face, lips, ears, fingers and toes may be blue, disoriented, confused, and combative attitude are all signs and symptoms of hypothermia.
Riding in the intense (you have to feel it to believe it) Alaska sun, or as you climb, you heat up, riding along and turn a corner or reach the peak, the wind picks up.
The Wrangell St. Elias National Park has the largest conglomerations of glaciers anywhere.
Glaciers cover 25% of the Park, approximately 5,000 square miles.
The wind coming off of the glaciers and the waters pouring out of the ice is cold. Deep down, to the bone, inside the bone…COLD.
I use different gear on my horse than when I am off my horse.
For instance, riding I wear leather chaps and have my long rider tied behind my saddle. Both are great for protection from branches ripping holes in your clothes as you are riding through the Alders and spruce and keeping you dry.
They are not the best choice for walking, stalking and climbing, however. My light-weight, rolled up, slip-over-and-on rain gear is in my back pack for when we decide to hike or climb.
As we climb, to walk that ridge or to take a closer look at those Dall Sheep, or riding across the tundra, the wind coming off all that ice can (and does) cut straight through to the bone.
I’ve ridden into wind that can make it damn hard to even breathe.
So, my favorite gear to go into Alaska’s wilderness with?
Wind Shear, shirts, sweaters, jackets and even pants can make all the difference in being comfortable (and safe) instead of cold, miserable and hypothermic.
Under Armour’s Cold Gear base layers, lots and lots of wool socks, my wool-wind proof pull over sweater, quiet, easy to pull on and over rain gear (great for wind-proof warmth too!), my awesome super-warm sleeping bag (Cabela’s Alaskan Guide Model -40* and, once again, no matter what time of the year it is!), stocking caps, gaters (to protect my pants and my boots!) and good boots.
Remember, most if not all of what you’ll need, you can find it at:
Adventure Packing List☐ Sleeping bag / comfort range to -20* below zero ☐ Sleeping pad 1” to 2” thick, inflatable (cots are not provided) ☐ Rain jacket and pants ☐ Riding boots (your choice) ☐ Camp shoes or slippers ☐ Heavy jacket ☐ Light jacket ☐ 10 pair wool socks ☐ 4 pair pants ☐ 3 long sleeve shirts ☐ 2 sets of long underwear ☐ Brimmed hat / Western or baseball ☐ Wool sock hat ☐ Rain Gear ☐ Pocket knife (safety first!) ☐ Digital Camera and charger (or 35 mm camera and film) ☐ Flash light with extra batteries ☐ Headlight with extra batteries ☐ Chapstick, Bug-dope, sunglasses ☐ 2 pair gloves ☐ Personal toilet articles ☐ * Small backpack (for your lunch, emergency supply) ☐ Strapping tape (handy to repack your boxes to mail) ☐ 100’ nylon rope (optional) ☐ Binoculars (optional-if you would like!) ☐ Chaps (optional-but a definite plus for you!)
☐ Your own saddle (Completely optional-certainly permitted)
Your *small backpack* is the one you wear.
It doesn’t get left in your tent or on your horse, it is the one that has the bare essentials in it. The one that we all carry, that could save your life.
Most often, it is the one you keep your lunch in and maybe an extra sweatshirt or a light jacket, but under the easy is the essentials that we discussed in Your Outdoors Checklist.
I always have my camera pack with me, so I use this as my small backpack. Inside, I always find comfort in knowing that I have what I need.
Adventure Packing List (Small backpack)☐ Spare batteries, camera gps ☐ Lens cleaning cloths ☐ Wind proof lighter ☐ Matches ☐ Fire-starter (this makes life much happier if everything gets wet- cotton balls with Vaseline) ☐ Protein bars/snacks ☐ Water bottle ☐ Wind/rain jacket ☐ Small First Aid Kit/eye drops ☐ Small tarp ☐ Hat and gloves (ziplocked) ☐ Headlight and flashlight ☐ Medications? (if you need them, you must have an emergency supply here) ☐ Bug Dope/hand warmers (What season is it? I ALWAYS keep the hand warmers, not the dope!) ☐ Pocket knife ☐ Spot (personal locator)
Remember, the name of the game is Stay Safe. Fire, food, water and first aid.
Here are a couple other posts that will help you understand what kind of gear you will need and why:
Book YOUR Summer Adventure! ~ Rain or Shine!
(We’ll keep our fingers crossed for the shine!)