What’s in My Bag: Alaska

Unsure of what to take off the cruise ship? Wanna find out what I carried around with me when in port? Check out what’s in my bag: Alaska.

Packing for our Alaskan cruise was simple. I ensured that I had a variety of items with me: some were waterproof, others were water resistant, and some were just plain warm. Layers were the key for this trip (to see the full post click here).  After all the research and planning, I came to one realization: I didn’t know what to take off the ship when we were in port. How much would I need? How was I supposed to ensure my backpack was light enough for me to lug around all day? Well, I’m here to tell you what to take off the ship when in port.

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First thing’s first: you need a good backpack.

After doing some research, I ended up choosing the Fjallraven Kanken. Let’s be real for a second – I also chose this backpack because it would be cute in photos. There were various backpacks at stores like REI but I needed a backpack that would also look good in photos. Yeah, I’m that girl.

But I didn’t just choose the Kanken because it was cute. Others state that it’s comfortable, it has a little seat pad in the pocket (which is also a good place to put your laptop), and it’s spacious. I didn’t know what I would need to haul with me around the ports in Alaska, especially because we were hiking some days and kayaking others. We were visiting glaciers and needed something warm in the morning but would need to peel off layers in the afternoon.

I needed something that could hold all of that. The Fjallraven Kanken did not let me down.


This is a no brainer. We had to take our cruise identification card, plus all of our other, personal identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.) and means of payment. While everything on the cruise ship is free, things in the ports are definitely not. Oh, it’s such a dream: life on a cruise ship.


Even though Adam and I checked the weather each morning, we still packed a protective, water resistant/proof outer shell. Heck, weather can be unpredictable – and no one wants to be caught in a rainstorm.

I took this North Face jacket. It has a hood that rolls up and can be zipped inside the collar. However, I used the hood to contain the jacket and always rolled it up inside of it. (Should I show you all how I pack my heavy/bulky items sometime?)

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In each of the water bottle holders, I would carry bottles of water. It’s easy to get dehydrated while hiking in cooler weather. I hardly ever felt thirsty but knew that I needed to force myself to drink. Taking two bottle of water off the ship ensured that I drank them. I mean, I didn’t want to carry around that extra weight all day!


No I didn’t pack a first aid kit. I’m not that put together. Instead, I placed items like bandaids, pain medication, chapstick, and travel-sized sunscreen and insect repellant into a small ziplock bag that I kept at the bottom of the bag. It’s nice, knowing that we were prepared for headaches, blisters, and mosquitos while out.

I also ensured that I packed a granola bar and some gum too. Even though I chew on sugar free gum, popping a piece in my mouth gives me the illusion that I have more energy. When I got tired on the hikes I would pull out a piece of gum and drink some water.

Weird, I know. But we’ve all got some quirky habits, right?!

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Yes, Adam and I did pack our camera: a Canon 80D. I would often carry the camera with our favorite lens on it. He would carry our telephoto lens, the GoPro, and whatever other technological wonders he would fit inside his far heavier backpack.

Most often, the camera would start out in the backpack. Eventually, though, I would wear it around my neck or shoulders (or give it to Adam when I wanted some snaps taken of me). This was the heaviest thing in the bag but it was worth it.


Last, but definitely not least: your backpack needs space. In the mornings, it was quite cold. We had to wear our cruise ship parka off the ship most of the time and, if not, we had on some other form of outer layer. And it was never long before we took that layer off.

And we needed a place to put it. In almost all of these snaps, I have that giant, teal parka shoved inside the backpack (sometimes with the raincoat and the camera!) and you can’t even tell.

Ensuring that there’s enough space to store the things you don’t want in your hands (especially when you’re climbing things) is so, very important. I did not want to have to rely on Adam to take the camera each time we climbed something. (I’m the absolute worst person to hold things on hikes. I’m so clumsy and am so focused on feeling safe that I wouldn’t even notice if the camera was about to swing into some rock. Ouch!)

So please, when packing your backpack for your Alaskan cruise, please ensure that there’s enough space to put those things. That space was more valuable to me, at times, than the other things I put in my bag.

So, did you all like this what’s in my bag: Alaska edition? Should I post more like this? Oh, and would you watch a YouTube video on packing?

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