The following packing list contains general recommendations for a trip to Katmai National Park in June through September. If you are currently booked on The Great Alaskan Grizzly Encounter with Nat Hab, please consult your pre-departure materials for the most comprehensive and up-to-date packing list for your trip. You will receive these pre-departure materials 60–90 days before your departure.
Simplify your packing—shop at Nat Hab’s online Gear Store for some key items recommended for your adventure. Look for this icon in the list below, then go to: https://www.nathab.com/gear-store to start shopping.
- Since the weather in Alaska can change by the hour, we recommend layering your clothing (i.e., wearing a T-shirt, fleece, and jacket) so that you can be comfortable throughout the day regardless of the temperature.
- Remember that during the adventure, rain is always a possibility, and proper rain gear is a must.
- Be sure to pack warm clothing, including hat, gloves, and rain gear in your carry-on bag when traveling by air.
The packing list below is based on seasonal norms and average high and low temperatures. Please alter your packing needs based on the most up-to-date weather forecast.
- Lightweight, breathable, waterproof rain gear
— You will need a rain jacket with a hood. Rain pants are recommended as well for your time in Kodiak. It is extremely important for your rain gear to be fully waterproof, not just water-repellent, as it can rain frequently and quite heavily in the areas we will be visiting. Waterproof shells that can be layered over fleece, should temperatures be chilly, are ideal. Flimsy, plastic rain gear is easily torn, rendering it useless for the remainder of the adventure, so we recommend you avoid these items when possible. Your rain gear may be your most useful pieces of clothing.
- Chest waders and boots (provided onboard the vessel)
— Chest waders are worn directly over your clothes (our guests often prefer a fitted pant underneath), and wading boots are worn over the neoprene bottom of the waders. When wearing chest waders, most people find they need a boot one size larger than their traditional size. You absolutely cannot participate in this adventure without chest waders!
- Sport sandals or other comfortable, rubber-soled or slip-on walking shoes
— For wearing on the boat. Tevas, Chacos, and Keens are great options. Tennis shoes are also fine.
- Light hiking shoes
— For our Kodiak or Homer exploration. Can be stored in Kodiak or Homer during our time on the boat.
— We suggest socks made of wool or synthetic material; cotton socks are not recommended for hikes.
- Warm hat and gloves
- Warm coat or fleece jacket
- Wool sweater or sweatshirt
— Silk or polypropylene thermal underwear
— Bring both tops and bottoms, as they are great for layering.
- Sun/rain hat, with brim and string so it won’t blow away.
- 3–4 pairs of long pants (or zip-off pants)
— Including one pair to be worn under waders
- 1 pair of shorts
— You may not need extra shorts if you are bringing zip-off pants.
- 2–4 long-sleeved shirts
- 2–3 short-sleeved T-shirts
- Warm sleepwear (nights can be chilly)
For discretionary gratuities (you may want to bring envelopes for discreet presentation)
— For personal spending (souvenirs, or food and beverages not included in your trip fee)
- Water-resistant daypack
— To carry gear during outings
— Expect your bag to get wet on the skiff, often wherever you set it down and in the event of rain, which is always a possibility.
- Water bottle (Water bottles will be provided by Nat Hab)
- Hairdryer (optional, not available onboard the boat)
— A good quality pair will enhance your wildlife-viewing experience, and you will get the most out of them if you practice using them at home and make a habit of having them with you regularly on the adventure. Waterproof binoculars work well but are not required.
- Waterproof gloves
— These are not required, but they can be very helpful to more easily operate camera equipment in damp or wet weather.
- Sunglasses (with UV filter)
- Prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Sleeping mask (it stays light quite late in Alaska!)
— Soap, shampoo and conditioner are provided at the Kodiak Inn and Land’s End Resort and aboard the Ursus.
- Tissue mini packs
- Insect repellent and anti-itch ointment
— Repellents containing DEET are the most effective against mosquitoes, but please be aware that DEET is a very strong ingredient that can damage plastics, clothing and equipment.
- Sunscreen and lip balm (at least SPF15)
- Small medical kit
— Bring only the basics, as there is an extensive medical kit on the boat.
- Battery-operated alarm clock or wristwatch
- Dry bags or reusable waterproof bags
— Bring several sizes. These are great for wet or dirty clothing and to protect camera equipment from the elements.
- Sewing kit
- Head nets will be provided to ward off mosquitoes and gnats.
Header Credit: Drew Hamilton