Ok, so you have the packing list, but you want more info. Here’s the low down on clothing materials and how to pack like a pro.
Clothes come in tons of different materials. There is cotton, synthetic, naturals, and of course, blends. We recommend you avoid packing entirely with cotton items. Instead, we hope you’ll pack a variety that includes mostly synthetics, some wool, and sparse cotton. This is because cotton does not insulate when wet, it takes a long time to dry, and it doesn’t protect from the sun. Synthetic materials dry much more quickly, and you can buy synthetics that protect from the sun. These are really useful in Hawaii, as we’ll be in and out of the water and always under the sun. Wool is great for staying warm, even when it’s wet. This will be especially important in Alaska. There, we’re rafting, ice climbing, camping on a glacier, and hiking in places where the rain comes and goes. Staying warm, even when wet, is extremely important. What more, wool has the incredible attribute of not getting smelly very easily!
A layering system is the practice of wearing multiple layers of clothing (usually at least three) that provide protection from the sun, cold, rain, and wind. This is really useful for Alaska, where the weather changes abruptly. To start, you should wear a base layer that is comfortable against the skin and dries quickly. That means wool or synthetic! Layer two is an insulating layer like a fleece or light down jacket to keep you warm. You can add a second insulating layer if you’re still cold. The final layer should protect from rain and wind. A rain shell is ideal. Having these three layers either on your body or in your daypack means you’re ready to add/shed layers to adjust for weather and activity.
We ask that you bring only a daypack and 100-liter luggage bag. The daypack should be big enough to hold extra clothing layers, two water bottles, lunch, a camera (optional), and a small journal and pen/pencil. The Zeal drawstring bag is too small. Your school backpack is most likely the right size.
We have received questions regarding luggage. Wheels or no wheels? Pullout handle or not? Hard shell or soft? Duffel bag or something else? The most important attributes are size and durability; the rest is up to you. We move a lot, which means a delicate bag may break after so much jostling and use. Make sure the zippers are strong and there aren’t any tears in walls of the bag. As for size, please keep your bag 100 liters or less. We are renting vehicles of finite size. We need to fit all the people and bags. If someone brings extra bags or something larger than 100 liters, it’s going to be difficult or perhaps impossible to fit it all!
For questions about packing, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!