Hi @Wai! Congrats on taking the leap to backpacking and planning your first extended trip! As you look to transition from hut-to-hut treks or base camping, the primary pieces of gear that you may want to look to invest in first are your shelter and your backpack. You may need a backpack equipped for heavier weight and that fits more comfortably on your body. Ultralight packs trade some "extras" to ensure the pack weight is as low as possible, so think about what creature comforts are important to you. For example, I realized on my first backpacking trip that I drink a LOT of water, so having an exterior pocket for easy access to a water bottle became a non-negotiable item on my ultralight pack. Here are a few lightweight pack options for extended trips:
- Hyperlight Mountain Gear 4400 Southwest Pack
- Granite Gear Crown2 60 Pack
- Oprey Levity 60 (Men's Version) or Lumina 60 (Women's Version)
We always recommend doing a pack fit first (especially important when you're wearing your pack for a week or more!). This Expert Advice Article on Backpack Fit can help walk you through the steps an REI Specialist would take to fit you for the right size.
Before you decide on your shelter/tent, it would definitely be worth considering if you will primarily be backpacking solo or if you want a shelter that you can share (also allowing you to split the weight). Another important consideration is whether you are investing in the ideal shelter for your adventure in Alaska, or if you would like something that has more versatility for different climates?
I did eventually upgrade my sleep system to a lighter weight option after a few backpacking trips, but you may want to experiment a bit with what works for you in various weather conditions before switching up your gear for sleep.
I hope that is helpful - enjoy planning that Alaska adventure!