What should you bring?
Itʼs imperative that you come prepared for both intense periods of sunshine and for cold rainy days. Prince William Sound has a warm and wet coastal climate typical of temperate rain forests but has extreme local variability due to ice fields, high mountains, and its proximity to the Gulf of Alaska just to name a few. For example, even on a sunny day, it can be 10 degrees cooler paddling amongst the icebergs at Columbia Glacier than it is in Valdez, 30 miles away. Summer temperatures range between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit but can occasionally drop to the mid 30ʼs at night or exceed 70 degrees on sunny days. Fortunately, sea kayaking can be enjoyable rain or shine, as long as you are prepared. In PWS and throughout Alaska you ought to follow standard layering techniques so you are ready for a cool day to turn warm and sunny or vice versa.
It is crucial that you bring at least 2 sets of warm clothes on any extended trip. We strongly recommend the use of synthetic clothing such as polypropylene, fleece/pile or nylon, which breathes, insulates when wet, and dries quickly. Cotton layers are nice for around town but do not hold up to the demands of the backcountry.
Your clothing ought to include:
Rain gear Waterproof jacket and pants. We can provide heavy-duty rain gear but you’ll find that (Goretex, Dryvent, Outdry) rain gear will prove useful beyond your kayaking day and well worth the investment.
Rubber boots High top/shin height, often referred to as the Alaskan sneaker (or wellies by our friends across the pond). If you don’t have them we can provide a pair.
Shoes A comfortable pair of shoes to be worn around camp.
Base layers/long underwear This layer wicks moisture away from your skin, keeping you warm and dry. Pack both a top and bottom layer.
Fleece jacket or mid/heavy weight insulation layer.
Fleece/synthetic pants NO JEANS
Socks of wool, synthetic or neoprene material.
Gloves Wool, synthetic or neoprene material. Neoprene is especially good in rainy conditions. We can provide “pogies”, neoprene mittens that attach to the paddle.
Beanie/winter hat especially important for our glacier trips.
Baseball cap/sun hat Keeps the sun our of your eyes but also great in the rain to hold the hood off your face.
Second set A full second set of clothing and extras depending on trip length.
Re-usable water bottle Please don’t purchase single-use bottles. We have great water from the tap and it’s free!
Hand sanitizer and personal toiletry items including medications
Insect repellent and/ mosquito head net
Book or deck of cards
We provide dry bags to pack your gear and have plenty of them so please bring extra layers. We cannot stress enough that cotton, which includes blue jeans, is inappropriate for paddling. It holds water and will keep you cold.
Additional items to include:
- Fishing gear- If you would like to fish please understand that we are not a guided fishing business. Many of our guides fish and will be able to assist you but we are not able to provide any fishing gear. Equipment and licenses can be rented or purchased in Valdez, next door at Fish Central or other sports outfitters.
- A healthy attitude, ready for adventure, relaxation and fun
Items we provide:
- Rubber boots
- Rain gear
- Kayaking equipment (kayak, PFD, paddle, sprayskirt, pogies, drybags)
- Group base area, a tarped 10’x10’ screen tent with table and stools
- Meals from lunch day one to lunch last day
- 3-Season tent with ground tarp
- Therma-rest inflatable sleeping pad
- 20 degree sleeping bag
- An experience of a lifetime
We donʼt paddle in dry suits but if you have one and are comfortable wearing it, bring it along.
If you have any questions or would like more specific information about any of the packing list items please donʼt hesitate to call us at 907-835-2814. Happy packing!