Dressing and preparing for a hike in Alaska is a delicate balance, keep in mind that the weather ranges from 40°F to 60°F (4° – 15°C) on average in Alaska with winter temperatures being anywhere between 0°F / -18°C to -30°F / -35°C from November to March. Wearing the right layering system is crucial to staying safe and comfortable on the trail during the colder months. If you wear too many layers, you risk overheating and becoming a sweaty, uncomfortable mess. But if you don’t wear enough layers, you risk shivering, feeling cold, and in extreme cases, even developing hypothermia.

The key is to avoid sweating as much as possible while hiking in the winter. The best approach is to start a bit on the cool side and then add or remove layers as needed to maintain the perfect body temperature. Once you start moving, you’ll warm up, but as soon as you stop for a break, be ready to bundle up and add extra layers.

We’ve come up with a list of 30 gears you will need if you’re going to be hiking in the cold and freezing Alaska weather, browse through out list and snag the gears you find useful!

1. Men’s Waterproof Insulated Glove

Price: $29.99

Made with a waterproof and breathable membrane, these gloves keep hands dry even in wet conditions. The 100g 3M Thinsulate insulation offers warmth without bulk, making them ideal for camping, hiking, hunting, or even shoveling snow.

The gloves feature a reinforced palm and fingers for added durability and grip, while the adjustable wrist strap ensures a snug fit to seal out the elements. The pre-curved fingers allow for natural dexterity and flexibility, allowing you to easily handle tools or perform tasks requiring fine motor skills.

Men’s Heavyweight Force Liner Glove

Price: $27.34

Made with a heavyweight cotton and polyester blend, these gloves provide excellent insulation and warmth without sacrificing dexterity or flexibility.The gloves feature a reinforced palm and fingers for added durability and grip, making them ideal for tasks requiring fine motor skills.

The knit wrist cuff helps seal out wind and cold air, while the touchscreen-compatible fingertips allow you to use your smartphone without removing the gloves.

The only potential downside is that they may not be as warm as some insulated gloves, so they may not be suitable for extremely cold temperatures.

2. Hand Warmers

Price: $19.44

These single-use warmers use a safe, air-activated heating process to provide up to 10 hours of consistent, soothing warmth.

The warmers are made with a non-toxic, odorless iron powder mixture that reacts with oxygen in the air to generate heat.

They are thin, flexible, and easy to use – simply open the package, expose the warmer to air, and place it in your gloves, pockets, or anywhere you need extra warmth. Many users praise the long-lasting heat provided by Hot Hands, with some reporting they can stay warm for the full 10-hour duration.

The warmers also receive high marks for their portability and convenience – they are lightweight, compact, and don’t require any charging or preparation.

3. Flexi Chute Wool Neck Gaiter

Price: $34.89

The Icebreaker Merino Flexi Chute Gaiter Mask is a versatile and high-quality neck warmer perfect for outdoor adventures in cold weather. Made with 100% pure merino wool, this face cover is breathable, odor-resistant, and helps regulate body temperature.

The double-layer design features 200GM Jersey fabric for all-day comfort, ensuring it’s non-itchy, non-clammy, and lightweight. This incredibly versatile neck warmer can be used as a beanie, folded into a headband, or worn as a sun shade and winter mask.

4. Mens 100% Merino Wool Thermal Shirt Base Layer 

Price: $59.99

The fabric of this thermal shirt is soft, non-itchy, and comfortable against the skin, making it great for extended wear. The thermal shirt features a classic crew neck design and a slim, athletic fit that layers easily under other garments.

One of the standout features of this base layer is its ability to wick moisture away from the body, helping to keep you dry and comfortable during your outdoor activities. The wool naturally resists odors, allowing you to wear the shirt for multiple days without washing too!

Womens Fleece Thermal Shirt Base Layer

Price: $24.99

Here is the women’s option for you gals out there needing to stay warm out there.

Columbia lightweight jacket for winter

5. Heat Insulated Jacket

Price: $88.20

The jacket features a full-zip closure, allowing you to easily adjust your level of warmth as needed. The zipper closure is smooth and sturdy, ensuring a secure fit. For care, the manufacturer recommends hand washing this jacket to maintain its quality and performance.

One of the standout features of the Columbia Heat Insulated Jacket is its heat-trapping technology. The insulation is designed to capture and retain your body heat, keeping you warm and comfortable even in chilly conditions.

The material is also water-resistant, providing a degree of protection against light rain or snow.

Osprey Lightweight backpack for hiking alaska

6. Osprey Talon 22L Hiking Backpack with Hipbelt

Price: $119.95

This pack is made with high-quality materials that are built to last. The nylon used is tough and durable, plus it’s recycled and approved by bluesign®, so it’s eco-friendly too. It’s got a DWR coating that helps keep it water-resistant without any chemicals.

One of the coolest things about this pack is how comfortable it is to carry, even when it’s loaded up. The backpanel is breathable and contours to your body, so it moves with you as you hike. The harness and hipbelt wrap around you continuously, keeping everything secure and stable. And the seams are designed to stretch with your body, so you can move naturally without the pack feeling restrictive. The foam padding on the back is die-cut to be extra breathable too so you stay cool and comfortable even on long days out on the trail. Overall great option for hikers.

7. 100% Merino Wool Heavyweight 400g Thermal Pants for Men

Price: $89.99

Crafted with 100% superfine 18.5-micron merino wool, these thermal leggings provide an exceptional level of warmth without any itchiness or irritation.

The 400g/m2 fabric is the brand’s thickest and warmest base layer yet, making it ideal for activities in cold to freezing temperatures.

For added convenience, the thermal pants are machine-washable and safe to tumble dry on low heat. With a UPF rating of 50+, these base layer bottoms offer excellent protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

The brand also stands behind their product, offering a 30-day hassle-free return policy and a 90-day limited warranty.

merino wool base layer for alaska

100% Merino Wool Base Layer Thermal Pants for Women

Price: $59.99

The same as above and for the gals going out for hiking, camping or any outdoorsy activity in the cold.

hiking boots for alaska

8. Scarpa GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Boots for Hiking

Price: $378.95

One of the standout features is the full rubber rand, which provides maximum protection for the boot without compromising its overall performance. This feature helps shield the boot from abrasions, impacts, and other hazards on trail in the cold.

The inclusion of GORE-TEX Performance Comfort lining is another impressive aspect of these boots as the waterproof and breathable membrane keeps your feet dry, even in wet weather conditions without worrying about soggy socks.

The sock-fit construction, with a one-piece tongue mated to the ankle collar, creates a seamless, comfortable fit that helps reduce hot spots and bulk.

hiking boots for alaska

Danner Mountain 600 Waterproof Boots with Durable Suede Upper

Price: $189.95

One of the standout features of these boots is the 100% waterproof Danner Dry barrier technology. This innovative system allows moisture to escape from the interior while also preventing water from seeping in, making sure that your feet remain dry and comfortable throughout your adventure. The durable suede uppers are built to withstand the rigors of the trail, ensuring the longevity of the boots.

Also to be mentioned is it’s “Ortholite triple-density polyurethane footbed” which offers maximum support and cushioning, while the open-cell construction improves heat dissipation and air circulation.

Underfoot, the SPE midsole made from rubberized EVA provides exceptional cushioning, rebound, and support, reducing fatigue. The Vibram Fuga outsole, featuring self-adapting lugs and a specially-formulated Megagrip compound, delivers really good grip based on reviews for both wet and dry surfaces.

winter hiking crampon and cleat

9. Ice Cleat Traction System

Price: $81.00

These are the trail crampons you need for hiking, its a solid choice for hiking on packed snow or ice. One of the features I like is the over-the-shoe Velcro strap, which helps the fit feel very secure. I keep them in my car and throw them in my packs on all my hikes during the winter and never regret having them with me, try seeing if it’s something you might need on one of your alaskan adventures. (NB: These are not as beefy as mountaineering crampons, but they do have larger teeth than other hiking-level traction devices.)

10. -25° All Season Sleeping Bag

Price: $179.99

This sleeping bag is a “heavy-duty” oversized rectangle bag. The Redwood series use Techloft Insulation which consists of multi-hole staple-length micro-denier fibers that have a siliconized finish for maximum insulation, loft, and compactness. The TechLoft insulation keeps you warm and toasty on those colder nights when you’d prefer to have more “wiggle room” than you get with your mummy bag. It uses 2-layer offset construction to eliminate cold spots.

For transporting, the manufacturer has included 3 webbing straps with quick-release buckles that keep your “rolled-up bag” secure.

11. Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles

Price: $53.97

The Foxelli Carbon Fiber Trekking Poles are made from 100% carbon fiber, which means they’re super lightweight – just 7.6 ounces each! But they’re built to last and can handle even the most challenging hikes and backpacking trips. One of the best things about these poles is how easy they are to adjust. The quick-release technology makes it a breeze to lock them in place, so you can get the perfect fit no matter if you’re a tall hiker or a shorter one.

They extend from 24 inches all the way up to 55 inches, so they’ll work for just about anyone. And let’s talk about comfort. The natural cork handles feel great in your hands and they’re designed to wick away sweat, so your palms stay dry even on those long, grueling climbs.

But the Foxelli poles aren’t just comfortable, they’re also super versatile. They come with all sorts of handy accessories, like thermoplastic rubber tips and tungsten carbide tips, so you can tackle any terrain – whether it’s mud, snow, or rocky trails. A good option for those needing that extra support.

12. Snow Leg Gaiters

Price: $19.99

These gaiters use a combination of TASLON, which is a lightweight and breathable material, and 1000D Nylon on the lower legs. This reinforced construction helps protect against abrasions, tears, and damage from thorns, rocks, and other hazards you might encounter on the trail.

You can really put these gaiters through their paces without worrying about them falling apart. And the water resistance is no joke either. The TASLON fabric has been treated with a TPU water repellent coating, so water just beads and rolls right off.

They have a waterproof rating of over 8,000mm, which is seriously impressive. And the 1000D Nylon lower portion has a 3,000mm waterproof rating, so your legs will stay dry even in wet conditions.

13. 4 Pack Moisture Control Crew Socks

Price: $15.38

Pretty self-explanatory here but these are a good deal for some high-quality merino wool socks for the cold weather, get one of these and throw it into your backpack as an extra.

14. Whey Protein Recover Bars

Price: $20.89

Just like any other protein bar, this one is formulated to provide a steady release of energy from a combination of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. This can help maintain energy levels and prevent the energy crashes that can occur with sugary snacks, consider switching to some protein-rich energy sources for your hikes! Stay healthy out there.

Coast Hiking Headlamp

15. Coast XPH30R 1200 Lumen Dual Power Headlamp

Price: $46.79

Let’s start with the beam focusing optic – it uses Coast’s patented technology to seamlessly switch between short and long-range viewing without any annoying halos or hot spots.

And the “turbo mode” is one of their key features – 1200 lumens of light for those critical situations when you really need to see what’s going on.

Another cool feature is the magnetic, detachable headlamp design. The body easily pops off the strap and mounting bracket, so you can use it as a handy little handheld flashlight with a built-in magnetic base.

16. 100 pcs First Aid Kit

Price: $19.95

Because you need one, carry one of these ALWAYS in your backpack, don’t think too much of it. It’s a lightweight & compact (7.5″ x 5.2″ x 1.5″) kit for on-the-go, you can definitely fit this travel size kit for hiking in your pocket or backpack without weighing yourself down, be safe out there, rule #1.

17. Victorinox 32 Function Swiss Made Pocket Knife

Price: $173.00

Having a good pocket knife or multi-tool on hand can be super handy when you’re out hiking. I mean, you never know when you might need to cut something, tighten a screw, or even open a bottle of post-hike refreshment, right?

The great thing about this one is that it’s so versatile, you’ve got your standard blade for cutting rope, opening packages, trimming gear, and all sorts of other tasks. But then you’ve also got all these other cool tools – scissors, screwdrivers, a bottle opener, tweezers, a toothpick, and more. It’s like having a whole toolbox in your pocket! The price is on the steeper side but it also works as a conversation piece or a collection item too.

18. Unisex 100% Merino Wool Ridge Cuff Beanie

Price: $22.99

Merino wool is naturally odor resistant, which is a huge plus for a beanie that you’ll be wearing close to your head. You can wear it multiple times between washes without worrying about funky smells.

The ridge cuff design of this beanie provides a snug, secure fit that stays in place even during active use while also being incredibly soft and itch-free, even against sensitive skin, get one if you’re looking for both style and functionality, pretty cheap too considering its merino wool.

19. lightweight satellite communicator

Price: $409.99

As someone who loves hiking, camping, and exploring remote areas, having a reliable satellite communicator like this is a total game-changer.

Being able to send and receive two-way messages, even in areas with no cell coverage, is such a valuable capability. It gives you that peace of mind knowing you can stay connected with loved ones back home and let them know you’re safe (or call for help if needed).

And the interactive SOS function is a real lifesaver if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation. I also really like how the inReach Mini can sync up with your smartphone and other Garmin devices.

The digital compass is a nice touch too – always good to have that extra navigation aid, especially if your phone loses signal. And the battery life?! lasting up to 14 days in 10-minute tracking mode, its perfect for longer backcountry adventures where you might not have easy access to power sources.

20. 2000 LED Lumens Mid-Size Tactical Flashlight

Price: $24.99

Constructed from military-grade aluminum, the S2000 is virtually indestructible, making it perfect for outdoor adventures and emergency preparedness. It is water-resistant and can withstand a 10-foot drop.

Despite its impressive power and ruggedness, the S2000 is surprisingly compact too, measuring just 7.5 x 1.3 x 1.3 inches. This makes it easy to carry in your daypack, backpack or survival bag too.

21.  Ultralight Winter Goose Down Booties

Price: $25.99

First off, the fabric and lining are made from 20D 400T nylon, which is super skin-friendly, soft, and water-resistant meaning that your feet are gonna stay comfy and dry, no matter what. And get this – the filler is 90% white goose down with 700 fluffiness! No gross long hairs or impurities, just pure, soft, lightweight goodness. Your feet will feel like they’re wrapped in a cloud.

One of my favorite features is the drawstring at the top too. It helps keep those pesky cold winds from blowing right into your socks and chilling your toes. Genius! This is for those of you who want that extra comfiness out in the wild.

22. Extra Thick Sherpa Fleece Blanket

Price: $49.95

85 inches long and 55 inches wide!! meaning that you and your loved one can snuggle up together without feeling cramped. And it’s not just big, it’s also super thick and luxurious. We’re talking 300gsm of premium sherpa fleece! That’s the thickest on the market, so you know it’s going to keep you toasty warm even in the most extreme conditions.

But here’s the best part – it’s completely waterproof and windproof! No more worrying about getting soaked or chilled to the bone. This blanket uses ultrasonic quilting technology to stitch the layers together without leaving any holes, so not a drop of water is getting through. It’s perfect for camping and hiking in the cold or just outright freezing.

23. Emergency Rain Poncho with Mylar Blanket

Price: $19.99

Safety is definitely a priority when hiking other than getting the best views so be sure to also have things like this also in your backpack, a poncho+mylar blanket. First off, it’s made with durable, NASA-engineered mylar that’s 2x thicker than your average emergency blanket. That means it’s not going to rip or tear easily, which is crucial when you’re dealing with the elements.

And the fact that it can retain 90% of your body heat is a game-changer – key for staying warm and safe in cold weather. But what really sets this poncho apart is the hybrid design. Instead of just having a flimsy emergency blanket that you have to clutch around you, this thing functions as both a poncho and a thermal blanket. So you get the mobility and coverage of a poncho, with the heat-trapping benefits of a mylar blanket.

The roomy size means you can even fit your backpack underneath, keeping all your essential gear dry and protected. For $20 I think that you’d be glad you just got it and dropped it into your backpack.

24. Emergency Survival Fire Starter

Price: $14.99

Whether you’re a hardcore survivalist, an avid camper, or a hiker in cold climates, this stuff is a must-have. The coolest thing about it is how weather-resistant it is. I’m talking sleet, rain, wind, snow, you name it – this putty will burn right through it all.

And get this, it works in a crazy wide range of temperatures too, from freezing cold to scorching hot.

But the real magic happens when you try to light it – just take a little quarter-sized dab and stick it right onto your logs, tinder, or whatever you’re using to start the fire. It will keep burning for up to 15 minutes! That’s way longer than most other fire starters out there, might come in handy if you’re going to cook a meal where you’re hiking and it’s cold.

25. 15-45 ℉ Mummy Sleeping Bag

Price: $45.99

This baby is big enough to fit an adult who’s 6’1″ to 6’6″ tall, with a shoulder girth of 63″, a hip girth of 50.3″, and a foot girth of 33″. That’s plenty of room to move around and stretch out without feeling cramped. And when you’re ready to pack it up, it folds down to a compact size that’s easy to carry in its included carrying bag, weighing in at just 1.62kg or 3.6lbs.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff – the warmth factor. This sleeping bag uses some seriously innovative heat retention technology, along with a quilted construction and an insulated footbox, to keep you toasty warm in temperatures ranging from 50°F to 68°F or more. And if it gets really chilly, it can handle temps down to 32°F or below.

The mummy-style hood with a drawstring helps trap that warm air inside and keep the cold air out, so you can stay snug as a bug all night long. A steal for the price you’re paying for something like this. Unless you want something more premium like the Sierra Designs Nitro Quilt, this will do it for you.

26. MSR Elixir 2-Person 3-season Tent

Price: $191.89

What’s special about this tent is it’s unique pole geometry – it maximizes the interior space, giving you a nice roomy 40 inches of headroom. So you can move around comfortably without feeling cramped.

The combination of mesh and solid fabric panels in the tent body also provides excellent ventilation, warmth, and privacy. Gotta love that versatility!

One of my favorite features is the freestanding system with the color-coded poles, clips, webbing, and vestibules. That makes for a fast and easy setup, which is clutch when you’re trying to get camp established before nightfall. Gear storage? this tent has some really thoughtful design touches, like the built-in gear lofts and the glow-in-the-dark zipper pulls. Those little details can make a big difference when you’re trying to get organized in the cold and dark.

27. Sea to Summit Extreme Cold-Weather Insulated Sleeping Pad

Price: $229.00

Can’t have a list of gears without having Sea to Summit on it. I know how important it is to have a comfortable, insulated sleeping setup, especially when the temperatures start to drop which this 4-inch air mattress is the perfect solution for. The single-layer Air Sprung Cell construction is great – it mimics the feel of a spring mattress, using those fully-insulated flexible loops to provide both warmth and comfort.

No more tossing and turning on a cold, hard surface! And the R-value of 6.2 is no joke. That high-loft fiberfill and reflective fabric really work hard to prevent heat loss and radiate that warmth back to you while you sleep. You’re gonna feel like you’re snuggling up in your own little cocoon.

The rectangular shape and regular size (72 x 25 x 4 inches) provide plenty of room to stretch out too, it packs down to a super compact 7.3 x 11 inches when not in use. At just 2.1 pounds, it’s not gonna weigh you down either, perfect for those UL junkies!

28. Beanie w/Visor & Earflaps

Price: $17.99

Alright, let’s talk about this cozy and practical winter beanie and scarf set! As someone who loves spending time outdoors, even when the temperatures start to drop, I can really appreciate the thoughtful features packed into this bundle. First off, the combination of 30% wool and 70% acrylic in the hat is a great blend – you get the natural warmth and breathability of wool, with the added stretch and durability of the synthetic fibers. And at just 4.2 ounces, it’s lightweight enough to toss in your pack without weighing you down.

The soft, stretchy fabric will keep your neck and chest protected from the elements, and the two pieces together create a really cohesive, put-together look, look stylish today will you!

29. Fleece Ponytail Hat with Drop Down Ear Warmer

Price: $19.98

This for you ladies (or guys) out there looking for something to keep you warm and stylish too, covers your ears and has space for your ponytail too!

30. Outdoor Research Men’s Helium Rain Pants

Price: $97.50

These pants are dialed in for maximum comfort and mobility. They’ve got an elastic waistband and gripper tape that provides a perfect, stay-put fit, even when you’re on the move. And the gusseted crotch allows for full range of motion, so you never feel restricted. The fabric is where these pants really shine though. Outdoor Research uses their innovative “Diamond Fuse” technology, which delivers lightweight, windproof, and waterproof protection.

Whether you’re hiking in a downpour or paddling through choppy waters, these pants will keep you dry and ready for action. And the bluesign approved Pertex Shield fabric is not only durable (it’s made of 100% nylon with 30D ripstop), but also eco-friendly. Overall great pants for men in more “wet” weather.


We’ll add that when preparing for your alaskan trip to make sure that you distribute the weight of your gears evenly. Avoid placing the heaviest items at the very top or bottom, as this can affect your balance and make the pack more cumbersome to carry.

Secondly, staying dry and layering is the key to being comfortable. You need to be able to peel off layers when moving and throw them back on when sitting. Look for warm, quick-dry materials such as fleece, polypropylene, poly/wool blends (smart wool, cool max) etc. NO COTTON! Cotton is not warm and tends to stay wet. You can learn more about what to pack and prepare with by visiting Appropriate Gear – Alaska (U.S. National Park Service) (, happy hiking!