Is it Cold in Alaska?

Is it cold in Alaska? Seems like a simple question. But wait.

What I really want to know is, will it be cold where we’re going, when we’re going? A friend from our community group said that it was cold in August, as did my sister-in-law. Another relative told us that it wasn’t cold at all when they went, all shorts and T-shirts. The official state visitor’s page lists average daily highs of about 65 to 70 in the places we’ll be, with average lows of 45. That’s about the same as spring in San Jose. The tour’s packing guide suggests heavy clothes for cold weather, but it also suggests light clothes. They also suggested 2 pair of dress shoes. Sounded like cowards who didn’t want to make a statement. I told people I was just going to wear the same jacket that I wear in California, and one told me no, I needed much heavier clothes

I have decided to assume that it will not be bitterly cold. I like to travel light, and hate overpacking with a passion. Which brings me to my second point. Without any cold gear, all I would need for this 12-day trip could fit in my day pack. As it is, I’m going to need a carry-on bag in addition to my personal item. The carry-on will also hold dress clothes, the other bane of my existence. There is ONE (1) formal meal on the ship, and for that, I am forced to bring a suit, tie, dress shirt, dress slacks, and dress shoes. Those take up the lion’s share of the carry-on suitcase, and will be useless for the rest of the trip.

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On the left are the clothes I will wear onto the plane. In the day pack will be my essential items – medications, reading glasses, casual clothes, tech like my laptop and camera. (Underwear not shown, but hey, who wants to see that anyway?) The suitcase to the right will hold my dress clothes, a pair of gloves, a snow cap, a sun hat, and other items that I probably won’t need.