Packing in a Carry On: Alaska

August 2020

Packing in a Carry On: Alaska

This super last minute, one week Alaska adventure came with an interesting new packing challenge- how to fit all the new COVID safety items. While we did not have a weight requirement in our carry on bag (domestic US airlines do not have a weight limit in the carry on bag), our previous road trips during the pandemic had the car stuffed with “what if” products. Flying really strips this luxury away. In addition, it is normal to experience all seasons and weather conditions when visiting Alaska – best advice is to layer up.

Since we were traveling to focus on outdoor activities, I referred back to our Packing in a Carry On: New Zealand post as a frame work for packing. I also created a separate post on the COVID Items for your Carry On Bag you want to have while traveling.

One item we made sure to bring with us was a pair of binoculars! I wanted something compact that would not add weight to our bags. We settled on these and they have worked great. These are small and only weight 0.65 pounds. On a trip like this, it was very handy to have a pair of binoculars for wildlife.

Full packing list

The bag: EBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible

Packing cubes size small, medium and large

Small Packing Cube: Toiletry Bag

Quart Bag for 3 Ounce Liquids

  • Tooth paste
  • Travel size body lotion
  • Travel size conditioner
  • Travel size face wash
  • Face moisturizer in repurposed container
  • Steroids/Aquaphor (for my terribly dry skin)
  • Insect repellent (mosquito are no joke in Alaska – going with a lotion is easier than a spray!)
  • Not shown: Hand sanitizer (2 oz and packed an additional 8 oz bottle in a separate bag)

Medium Packing Cube: Small Clothing Items

Large Packing Cube: Clothes

Front Compartment

Side pocket: Rain cover for backpack

Camera and Tech Bag

Large Compartment

  • Medium and large packing cubes
  • Camera bag
  • Canvas bag (for food shopping!)
  • Sleeping bag liner for the beds
  • Stormtech jacket
  • Hat and gloves

Back Compartment

  • Chromebook
  • Folder with travel documents and itinerary

Sling Bag

Canvas Bag – Personal Item

Read all about the COVID bag of essentials – COVID Items to Pack in your Carry On Bag.

What I wore on plane

Weigh in for everything was at 22 pounds! Having the extra COVID bag was essential as there was no way it was all going to fit into the backpack. Clothing packing was on point – we did laundry half way through the trip so this worked our perfectly. Did not need as much of the camera items as I packed – primarily used the phone for all the footage and that plus the tripod was all I really needed. It was good to have the hard drive to back up photos along the way since I know I was pushing my phone storage towards the end of the trip. Surprisingly, I did not need the spare charging bank mostly because we had phone chargers in the car that we constantly used. Overall, very happy with how this last minute packing job resulted!

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