Originally Posted by You
I have been looking around but am more confused than when I started---some say hiking shoes-- some say walking tennis shoes
Some say a fleece jacket--others say rain parka--others windbreaker
Of those of you who have been to Alaska, what is a good buy without spending a fortune on shoes or jackets? HELP PLEASE!?
It really depends upon what you plan to do and where you plan to go in Alaska, but the bottom line is that you need to be prepared for a wide variety of weather conditions.
With regard to shoes:
>> In the towns and other tourist spots, normal shoes or sneakers that you wear at home are quite satisfactory.
>> If you plan to go out into the bush, hiking boots are a must.
>> If you plan to take a helicopter excursion that includes landing and walking around on a glacier, you'll need to bring appropriate boots if the excursion operator does not provide them.
>> And, of course, you will need dress shoes for eveningwear aboard ship.
With regard to coats:
>> In the ports of call, layers are the best option. A sweater or sweatshirt, a waterproof spring/fall jacket (nylon or whatever), and a rain hat will give you flexibility to handle whatever weather you will encounter. Ketchikan is one of the wettest cities in North America, with about 250 rainy days per year IIRC, so your odds of not
encountering rain there are pretty slim.
>> If you are going to any glacier areas, including glacier viewing from the ship, you will need a heavy jacket, hat, and winter gloves or mittens. Remember that glaciers are ice and their "calving" provides a steady supply of ice intot he bays around them so the bays are full of ice water at 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C. The air temperature above the glaciers and above those bays is not much warmer -- typically upper 30's F or lower single digits C.
And in Skagway, Anchorage, and Fairbanks, you probably will be walking around in your shirtsleeves basking in beautiful sunny weather with daytime temperatures in the upper 70's to lower 80's F or upper 20's C.
Alaska is a fantastic destination. Have a great cruise!