I am Eddie, and the biggest passion of my life is hiking. Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the most beautiful treasures in our country, located in Alaska. The sights there are incredible and breathtaking. I’ll never forget the first time I experienced its beauty. It was amazing, and I want more people to experience it, which is why I am writing up a list of things to take to Kenai Fjords on a trekking adventure. The park is so beautiful that it deserves more than one day of hiking, which is why I definitely recommend trekking!
Kenai Fjords Backpacking List For The Summer Season
I always like to start planning my packing heavily relying on the importance of each item on the list. What do I mean? It’s easy. The items up top are the ones without which you wouldn’t even dare to go hiking, trekking, mountaineering, or some other big outing of your choice. Such items include things like food, water, medicine, and so on. At the bottom, you can find the less important stuff. It doesn’t mean that you don’t need the items from the end of the list, however. On the contrary! It’s simply that you need them for your survival.
Additionally, I have a hard case of organizational skills, which is why I like to group everything up. Nonetheless, let’s not get wrapped up in the formalities but rather let’s get down to the list, starting with absolute necessities.
What to Pack for the Kenai Fjords: Adventure Essentials
- High-capacity and light backpack
- Tent / Winter sleeping bag
- Hiking Boots + Heavy socks
- Compact first aid kit
- Map of Kanai Fjords
- Water and sustenance
- Cash and credit cards
- Trekking poles / Hiking Staff
Yep, the first one is a backpack. Why? Well, unless you are paying someone to carry all your belongings (the provision and warm clothes) going someplace like Kanoi Fjords with a heavy backpack is nothing less than suicide. I highly recommend not picking just any backpack for trekking but rather focusing on making the best compromise between lightness and capacity. Something made from nylon fabric would perfectly suit this situation because nylon is highly durable as well as light. Make sure that places, which will be put under a lot of pressure due to the packed clothes, are reinforced. You definitely don’t want don’t want to have problems with your backpack, as it will be disastrous. Another thing to be aware of is the ergonomic back panel padding. Why? I’m guessing that you don’t want a backpack for a single trip, which is why it would be smart to invest in a high-quality backpack to eliminate any possibility of chronic back problems in the future. Supplementary straps are a nice addition but not of the essence.
When it comes to resting during your trekking you have two options: a tent or a sleeping bag. If you’re going alone, then a sleeping bag is a very smart decision, but it has to be specifically designed for winter. Alaska is not sweet and sunny California. Well, it may be very sunny, but also very cold. Even in the summer, the average temperature during the day is 60°F. So, you didn’t misread, you’ll need a winter sleeping bag due to the typical temperatures. When deciding upon a sleeping bag, always look at the temperature rating and choose appropriately. The weather in Alaska is quite demanding, so an improper sleeping bag can result in you being sick (or even something worse). If you’re not a fan of the sleeping bag or you’re hiking/trekking with someone else, then a tent will fit your trip to Alaska just fine.
Regarding the tent, make sure it is lightweight. I remember buying one randomly for a couple-day trekking session. Well, it was quite heavy and my back hurt for a couple of weeks after the activity.
Another vital part – hiking boots and appropriate socks. Kenai Fjords requires strong and insulated boots. This national park is vast and even a short hike takes a toll on your feet and back. Look for almost non-bendable boots with ergonomic soles, that do not let the heat escape. This is vital, as cold feet will immediately result in a dangerous fever. Of course, such boots can cause severe damage to the bare skin, which is why I highly recommend buying heavy, wool socks to boot, because they will protect your feet from numerous grazes as well as help in keeping your feet warm.
I believe this is quite self-evident. We, as humans, get sick constantly with and without reason and taking medicine with you (especially on a trekking outing) is common sense. If you have never planned a trip, here’s what the drugs you take: pain relief, medicine for healing cuts/scrapes, athlete’s foot, allergic reactions, stomach/bowel problems, and soothing burns.
Even though you’ll meet GPS navigators and smartphones in the list below, having an actual map of the location you are in is never a bad idea. Your phone can fail you. Your navigator can fail you too.
Water and provision is obviously a necessity. Unless you want to play hunter-gatherer (in a place where animals and plants are federally protected!), then you have to pack some food. Here are some healthy foods that I usually take on a trekking journey: nuts, seeds, protein bars, dried fruit, jerky, dehydrated meals, powdered milk, instant oatmeal, tea, and fish in foil packets. As for the water, I always take a 2L refillable bottle of water.
Lastly, I highly suggest taking a single but bigger staff rather than two poles to Kanai. Why? The Kanai Fjords National Park is by no means a level landscape. A staff will offer more usability.
Electronics on Kenai Fjords Backpacking List
- Phone (Wi-Fi is available at the visitor center)
- Power bank
- GPS Device
I don’t think a mobile phone is even worth talking about because everybody is constantly carrying their phones everywhere with themselves as it is. What I would want to stress is having a GPS navigator. When going to Kanai Fjords do not expect to meet a lot of other people on your way. These are almost uninhibited grounds (not counting the wildlife). So, if you by some chance take a wrong turn and end up in some god-forsaken place? A friendly fellow traveler won’t help you, because he won’t be there to help you. GPS devices have saved enough lives to secure their place as a hiking/trekking list of items to take!
Of course, if you decide to take action and go trekking in Kanai Fjords, then definitely do not forget the power bank and the charging cables, because your phone will be dead in one day, and your navigator will most likely die in two.
What to Wear to Kenai Fjords
- Sports bra & Tank top (for women)
- Synthetic long sleeve
- Cotton/Flannel long sleeve
- Waterproof jacket
- Synthetic jacket/pullover sweatshirt
- Shorts & Pants
- Hat with brim or bill / Bandana or buff for sun protection
Preparing clothes for trekking/hiking to Kanai is not rocket science. All you have to do is pay close attention to the clothes’ weight, sweat-wicking abilities, and level of sun protection. The main idea when packing up is to take clothes, which are relatively warm, do not take up too much space, and which you can put onto yourself according to the weather.
- Skin moisturizer
- Sunblock or sunscreen lotion
- Face cleanser
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Glasses / Contact lenses
These are the most ubiquitous toiletries that you would take with yourself on any kind of trip. I would like to point out again the importance of protecting yourself from the sun. Don’t save money on your health and buy a sunblock with an SPF level of at least 50.
Small Changes in The Packing List for Kenai Fjords For The Winter
Due to the fact that that the hottest season at Kanai Fjords National Park feels like the coldest season in New York, the main difference will lie solely in the clothes we take for hiking/trekking. Additionally, the average temperature drops down to approximately 10 degrees, which is not that cold. This results in the winter being colder, yes, but much lighter than you would expect. So, other packing lists than that of the clothing will be pretty much unchanged.
The Clothing or The Winter
- Even warmer, insulated hiking boots
- Warm socks (+ sock liners)
- High gaiters
- Heavyweight fleece or wool hat
- Warm gloves
- A puffy, insulated, and hooded jacket that is waterproof
- Hardshell pants
- Fleece jacket
- Fleece pullover
- Fleece vest
- Long sleeve jersey
- Long underwear
As you can see for yourself the heat-preservation plays a much-much bigger role during the winter season: be ready to wear layers upon layers of clothes!
After All the Kenai Fjords Hiking Gear
We’ve looked at the various lists of what to bring to the Kenai Fjords. Hopefully, I’ve succeeded in sharing my experience in the form of advice. Both hiking and trekking are wondrous activities, which I wish were more popular. Through them, you can experience the full beauty of our incredible country.
Also, I should say that you can buy the parks pass. It will make your trip cheaper for you. The price is $80, for seniors it’s $20, and for 4th graders and people with permanent disabilities – free.
Now, I would love to hear some feedback from you! Did you like the article? Did I miss some vital pieces of advice? Please share in the comments below!