Alaska’s weather can change in an instant. While the summer weather is generally pretty comfortable it can still vary wildly from day to day. One part of the day you need jackets and rain gear and the next you’re wondering where your sunscreen is at. And that’s no exaggeration. Just look at the picture above. Both of those pictures are shot in the month of July during the Kenai River Late Sockeye run. This gentleman has short sleeves and even those are pulled up because it was so warm and the lady has full rain gear, coat, and gloves. Staying warm and dry is the key to a comfortable vacation and we’ve got some tips for you on what to bring and what you’ll need. One of the benefits of staying with us at the Kenai Riverside Resort is that should you forget something your only a few minutes away from several sporting goods stores including Sportsman’s Warehouse, Fred Meyers, Trustworthy Hardware, Sweeney’s, and Walmart. All those stores are stocked with plenty of fleece, gloves, hats, and more.
June & July Are Often Warm and Sunny
June and July are certainly the most temperate months and you can expect long days of sunshine and temperatures that could get as low as the high 50’s and as warm as the mid-’80s. Although, we’ll tell you that an 85 degree Alaska day feels pretty darn hot for some reason. With a 35-degree potential temperature swing, and possibly some rain it’s really important to plan on layers. Layers, layers, layers. Layers you can take off and layers you can put on.
It’s also important to consider the ranges of the different trips that you have planned. If you’re doing a salt-water excursion and would like to spend some of the transit time on the deck of the boat you can expect some water-splash and boats traveling at 25 mph across the water can be a little chilly. You’d be advised to bring waterproof gloves, a hat, layers for warmth, and a raincoat.
Pack Smart! Plan on Layers!
Pack smart! If you can get your gear into a carry-on on that mean on your return trip your checked baggage allowances can be used for frozen fish boxes.
So, while there is a lot of extremes to consider we’ve put together a list for you to review.
Layer 1: Thermal base or long underwear for both your upper torso and bottom (2 sets). Synthetic or merino wool is best.
Layer 2: Comfortable pants and an athletic top. Jeans can work if they are comfortable over your thermal base. Water-proof pants are even better. (2 sets)
Layer 3: A warm hoodie, warm jacket, and a raincoat jacket. You definitely need to plan on some rainy days. Plan on bringing at least 1 each.
General Clothing: Whatever clothing you’re most comfortable wearing when not adventuring will generally work during the summer. Jeans, T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and you’ll even see ladies wearing dresses at times. Alaska is a pretty casual dressed place – you won’t see too many people in shirts and ties anywhere.
Socks: Darn tough socks are our recommendation but at $25.00 they can be a bit pricey. Bring several pairs of socks. You’re going to want some pairs that are thin and some that are thicker. (4 pair)
Gloves: Waterproof gloves and fingerless gloves.
Hat: Might need a couple. Baseball caps work well for hot sunny days, stocking caps work well when it gets cold out.
Neck Gator: These things are indispensable. They keep your neck warm but can also be used as a face shield during high-speed travel on a boat
Shoes: Tennis shoes and hiking boots will work most of the time. Waterproof hiking boots are best. Something that provides some strength and can take a little abuse. Most of the time if you’re in the water you’ll be in chest wader or hip boots, but hiking boots work great for muddy banks and general walking around.
Bug Spray: Some years the mosquitos are worse than others. Usually depends upon how wet of a summer we’re having. Having bug spray is a good idea.
Sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses not only help with the glare but in some of our waters it will actually help you to see the fish your targeting below the surface. They work great for eye protection from flying hooks which happen as well.
Fishing License: You can get your fishing license just about anywhere once you’re in Alaska, but why wait? You can get your fishing license online directly from ADF&G and have it with you when you arrive. Giving you one less errand to take care of in Alaska. Also, if you plan on King Salmon fishing you’ll need a king salmon stamp. Licenses are available and valid for several different days of fishing so you can pick the number of days that best suits the amount of time you’ll be in Alaska.
Motion Sickness: If you’re planning a salt-water excursion consider bringing motion sickness medicine if you are prone. You don’t have anything to worry about when you are on the rivers – only the slat water excursions
Ear Plugs & Sleeping Mask: These are often kind of missed items. Most trips to Alaska mean overnights and shared rooms with buddies and family. Earplugs are great for snoring fishing buddies. With 20 hours of daylight a day you may also like to have a sleeping mask to help mask out some of the light. But if you’re like us, you can sleep when you get home, right now we’re here to fish!
Waders/Boots: These are a necessity and there’s really no getting around it. When you’re fishing with us we provide hip waders, rods, reels, tackle, and any bait & lures we may need. Unfortunately, these items are both a bit bulky and expensive. A local Soldotna business, Alaska Boat Rental, rents chest waders for $20.00 per day and rods for $20.00 per day. Waders/Boots can also be purchased for around $160.00 for a low end set that will get you through your vacation if you don’t want to travel with such bulky items.