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Bag recommendations for travel to Alaska

Will be traveling to Anchorage by plane, then to Homer by smaller plane…then to Kodiak by ferry…and then to a small island by bush plane.  What kind of pack or bag would be best to use for layers, rubber boots and personal items for a two week stay?  

7 Replies

@Honeycreekgirl what island are you going to and when are you going? The answer to these questions will help people give more informed answers. The flights to Anchorage and Homer will not require anything out of the ordinary. On the Kennicott ferry you can carry your bags on or load them onto a baggage cart. One suggestion I have is that if the ferry goes overnight, head up to the solarium and get a lounge chair under the space heaters so that you can sleep comfortably. Depending on the size of the bush plane you might want two smaller bags rather than a single bag. It's nice for the pilot who will be arranging the bags to distribute weight and fit everything. 


Thank you, Patrick.  Going end of August!  Taking the midnight Tustumena ferry and have a outside cabin.  Going to Harvester Island from Kodiak by bush plane.  I do appreciate your suggestions a lot!  


@Honeycreekgirl sounds like a great trip! If your taking a bush plane and not a float plane you’re probably landing on kodiak and getting a skiff ride across the inlet? A drybag is probably overkill but a bag like the Patagonia black hole has a waterproof exterior (and can convert into a backpack) and might keep your clothing drier if you’re in an open skiff in rough water or if it rains alot while you’re in transit:

If you want something with wheels, osprey makes a great duffle that has wheels but can be carried as a backpack:

Depending on how much you plan to pack the 65/70L size might be too small. 

If you plan on being on the water a lot and don’t have a great rain jacket consider getting yourself a grundens pullover:

It will keep you completely dry and cut the wind. Hope this helps and have a great trip. I’m sure people would love for you to post photos on the forum once you’re returned. 


Thank you for all the great advice!  So helpful!  Yes, will post photos when I return!  Only 10 days away!

@PatrickB Agree a drybag is "probably" overkill, until someone drops a bag while transferring it! I'd put anything that is sensitive to moisture (medicines, soaps and toiletries that aren't prepackaged in moisture-proof packaging, any electronic devices, paper items) in a small drybag or, in the case of electronics, a Pelican-style waterproof box, just to be sure.

And don't forget to mark everything with your name! It just makes things easier if stuff gets separated somehow.

One thing that I find helpful in spotting luggage is to put several pieces of brightly-colored waterproof tape (I personally like the brand that quacks but pretty much any kind will do, as long as it's waterproof) in several locations on my bag(s). You're not looking for a black or dark blue bag in a pile of dark-colored bags (with maybe not a lot of light)... you're looking for a splash of hot-pink, fluorescent orange and lime green, or whatever. 

Thanks, Dave!  All great ideas!  I was going to take a roll of duct tape…on the inside of my bag but what a great idea!  Appreciate the response!  


@DaveBaldwin Completely agree on small dry bags for important things! On float plane trips where there is an increased chance of bags going in the water, I like to pack with these sealline bags (rei has an nrs version), but not everyone needs/wants one:

@Honeycreekgirl if you think you’d get some later use from a bag like this I’d definitely recommend it. Even with this type of bag, its still a good idea to get a few small dry bags or gallon zip locks inside with important things.