Camping in Alaska

The camping options you have at your finger tips span far and wide in Alaska. Maybe you want to go full force into the raw elements and cowboy camp under the stars and out in the open. On the other hand, you might need a break to relax into the creature comforts and recharge on your trip with showers and warm beds. Whether you enjoy the simplicity of tent life or are looking for a little outdoor luxury there is something to facilitate you connecting with your natural surroundings while you travel through the last frontier.

Wilderness Camping

Camping in the wilderness means that you will be in the remote backcountry of Alaska. Sometimes you wont see another soul for days at a time. This gives you peace and privacy but also means that you will need to be more self reliant for the things you need and carry everything out yourself, typically strapped to your back. Leave No Trace practice is highly encouraged to give respect to fragile ecosystems and keep areas pristine.

Splitting gear among a group is a technique to help spread responsibility of shared items. When in the wilderness it is best to keep things as light as possible in your pack. In addition to group gear personal items are kept to a minimum of what is necessary. Sometimes a ‘luxury item’ is thrown into the mix such as more comfortable shoes to slip into when you arrive at camp.

The weather can be harsh and quickly changing so the appropriate gear is a must. Persevering through the uncomfortable is part of this picture as the terrain can be difficult and the bugs can be aggressive at times. In addition, the backcountry has no toilets or accommodations so be prepared to handle your own waste.

Yet the days end with unparalleled views of the last frontier that few get to enjoy. These are experiences that you cannot get from the roadsides or frequented trails. This is a very intimate encounter with the natural features of Alaska. Strenuous travel consistently leads to priceless views. Not to mention that walking through fields of wildflowers and eating wild berries against pristine backdrops is enough to perk you up after a tough travel.

You might find yourself crawling into a lightweight tent at the end of the night to enjoy a sleeping pad or your might be diving fully into the experience and sleeping in just your sleeping bag out under the stars. Many resting situations are dependent on the environment you are traveling and the variables that come with them.

In all cases food should be stored away form camp and in a secure location. Sometimes kept away at a length of distance in a container, other times hoisted high into a tree on a line. Furthermore, in whatever the landscape, it is important to keep food away from where you are resting for the night. We do not want to habituate animals with easy food finds for our safety and the animals.

Seaside Camping

Coastal areas of Alaska are teeming with wildlife and adorned with awe-inspiring land and seascapes. Taking a multi-day excursion through the fjords, bays, and sounds can be a dream trip. Take the day by paddle, boat, or plane and by night find a variety of options for a good nights rest and to explore the shore sides.

Since the vessels that enter the waterways typically have a storage cabin of some sort it is easier to carry more items and make your coastal encounter quite comfortable. With more storage you have the ability to carry bigger stoves and  bulkier shelters. Meal times then have the opportunity to be more gourmet and piping hot. Tents can also be a bit bulkier and create more durable coverage from the changing elements.

Sea polished stones on the beaches make for great rock skipping endeavors. In the right conditions these beaches are great for a bonfire by the ocean side. Some areas you may be camping by soft grasses and wildflowers while others may  have you nestled back into a wooded setting.

Many of the state marine parks have primitive amenities such as boarded walkways that careen through moss-covered coniferous forests. These lead to tent platforms and sometimes if you are lucky, an outhouse. Some of these sites even have bear boxes for food storage. These state lands at times require permits and lead to encounter other groups already occupying areas.

The weather is often cold and dreary in the coastal areas. These areas are rainforest ecosystems and at certain times of the year can be home to giant bug hatches. Be sure to bring bug head nets. More undeveloped beaches give you space and privacy generally. You are more responsible for putting your food away securely and finding suitable areas for your shelter. Being diligent about the tides is quite important. You don’t want to carry boats over hundreds of yards at low tide. High tide can leave you scrambling to better tie boats or move your whole camp set-up.

These water logged experiences can make keeping gear and yourself dry challenging. Water proof bags and bomb proof systems are paramount to having a successful trip. These camping experiences come with grand views of glaciers, mountains, and an abundance of wildlife. Trips can also come with chilly temperature, consistently overcast and rainy conditions, and being wet a majority of the time. It can be bone chilling but the reward of up close interactions with wildlife and connection with the outdoors is hard to beat.

Luxury Camping

The name says it all. In the outdoors there is a big difference between camping under a tarp and camping in a nice cozy canvas tent with all the amenities you need to relax comfortably. Many luxury camp settings are central to a variety of outdoor recreation activities. Be able to enjoy expansive views of mountain ranges, wildlife sightings, and quick access to ATV rides and glacier climbing.

Luxury camping gives you your own personal canvas tent with plush beds and robes to relax into. From your porch you may even spot a moose or catch the alpenglow on the mountain sides. Many accommodations come with outdoor showers so as to douse yourself in warm water. It can be very inviting to wash away the sweat and dirt of the day. At Alpenglow Luxury Camping you can even dip into a solar-powered, hand-crafted, cedar wood hot tub to let your muscles unravel and relax.

Luxury means homemade, gourmet, meals at the end of the day. These feasts are enjoyed in crafted dining areas with a polished-rustic ambiance. Additionally, meals end with scrumptious desserts and no dishes for yourself to fret over. The cold beer from a freshly tapped keg is a plus too.

This experience comes with the comforts of warmth and the small things we enjoy at home. Your warm bed will call to you as the evenings close from fireside story telling. Nothing to put up or break down here, just time and space to appreciate the grandiose of Alaska.