Maybe it’s your first time camping or the beginning of family camping trips and you want to be prepared for the Alaskan wilderness. It is hard to enjoy many parts of Alaska without an overnight, but it is easier than it may seem! Whether at a campground or a more remote location, it is nice to get out and camp. Below is a list of the essentials for camping in Alaska during summertime.

Waterproof Tent

Alaska’s weather is always changing, so it is important to have a high-quality tent that can sustain rain, wind, and more. Getting a lightweight tent that packs easily also makes storage and set up simpler. The MSR Zoic 4 Tent is a high quality 4 person tent that is suitable for camping, backpacking, and weighs only 6 lbs. If you are looking for something less expensive, the Coleman Dark Room Skydome 4 person tent is great for long Alaskan sunlight because it blocks 90% of sunlight.

MSR - Zoic 4 Tent: 4-Person 3-Season - Red

High-Quality Sleeping Bags

When it’s chilly out, you’ll want nothing more than to be cozied up in a warm sleeping bag. My favorite sleeping bag is Wiggy’s Ultima Thule Mummy bag with the over bag. It has an inner and outer layer(if you get the over bag). It has kept me warm in the late fall and is rated to -60 when both bags are together.

Sleeping Pad

After a long day of adventures, a comfortable sleeping pad is a necessity. Depending on your camping location, you will want different styles of sleeping pads. For example, if you’re in a campground the 4-inch thick REI Camp Dreamer is luxurious and perfect. If you’re backpacking, a smaller and more lightweight option such as the Therm-a-rest NeoAir XLite would feel great after a long day of hiking.

Therm-a-Rest - NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad - Lemon Curry

Fire Starter

It is always nice to sit next to a fire and roast some s’mores at the end of a long day outdoors, but that’s not the only reason you should have a fire starter kit. Fires help keep you warm in emergency situations, can be used to boil water, cook, and keep mosquitoes away! The Light My Fire Firelighting Kit will help you feel prepared for any fire-making situation.

Product image for Kit contents (Rusty Orange)

Toilet Paper

Peeing in the woods, especially if you’re female can be quite the task. Finding a halfway decent spot to pop a squat is the easy part, making sure the mosquitoes don’t eat your booty is the worst! Coleman’s Camper’s Toilet Paper is biodegradable so you’ll have one less thing to worry about when out in the wilderness.

First Aid Kit

Whether it be a scratch or a twisted ankle, being prepared with medical supplies is very important when in the Alaskan backcountry. VSSL First Aid kit is built for the extreme, it’s not cheap, but it most definitely could save your life. The waterproof kit holds 45 first aid essentials and contains a light and compass. If it’s out of your price range, make your own using this checklist from REI:

VSSL First Aid - Waterproof LED Flashlight


Hangry children (or adults)? No thanks! Make sure to pack more than enough food for your camping trip. It helps to have a rough meal plan written out along with plenty of snacks. Heather’s Choice is an Alaskan brand that makes some delicious freeze-dried meals. They are allergen safe and all you need to add is water. Support local and satisfy your appetite with Heather’s Choice! Fresh fruit or vegetables also make healthy snacks that will be appreciated while hiking.

Bug Repellent

Mosquitoes are everywhere in Alaska, especially if you go north of Anchorage. I highly recommend bringing bug spray, head nets, and Thermacells. Thermacells somehow work amazingly and it is worth investing in a couple of them.

MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller


I love Jetboils because they are so simple to use and heat water up in minutes. They are also compact, which makes them great for backpacking or road trips! The Flash Cooking system is only $109 and boils water in 100 seconds.

Flash Cooking System - Wilderness

Water Filter

Having clean water is essential, and modern water filters are packable and easy to use. I personally love the Platypus Gravity Works, where unfiltered water goes on the dirty side and it drips into the clean side using gravity and the filtration system. Lifestraw is a smaller filter option that can filter up to 1000 gallons of water. For only 20 dollars it could save you from dehydration.

Platypus GravityWorks 2.0L Filter System | MEC
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Tia Kelliher is a Freelance Content Creator for Live Breathe Alaska. She is a yoga instructor who is currently at UAA in hopes of becoming a pilot. She enjoys spending time outdoors with friends, fishing, hiking, kayaking, skiing, playing hockey, and traveling. On her weekends you can find her driving hundreds of miles to go fly fishing. Tia is a born and raised Alaskan who is grateful to live in the community of Eagle River. She hopes for health and happiness in Alaska and loves the opportunity to bring new friends outdoors or to a yoga class!


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