Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: RVing in Canada and Alaska: Rain Gear
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DrewE

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Posted: 01/17/19 06:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just took a normal (fairly light) water-resistant coat, along the lines of a windbreaker, and an umbrella when I went. It was generally quite sufficient. It's not as though getting wet is the end of the world; you can always change into dry clothes when you get back.

Alaska is a big place, and the weather conditions vary a great deal across it. I think the most rain I encountered was actually (and very much atypically) around Deadhorse and along the Dalton Highway.

Late summer and early fall can start to get rather chilly in Alaska and the Yukon. A sweater and/or sweatshirt would be a good idea. I had to buy a sweater in Whitehorse, but fortunately found a nice comfortable one for a good price, so it turned out very well. In fact, it's now one of my favorite sweaters.





pigman1

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Posted: 01/17/19 08:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Where are you going in Alaska and what are you planning on doing? Fishing in Valdez or the pan handle in the summer in an open boat, you'll need some pretty substantial gear. A tour boat ride where you can get inside, not so much. If most of you trip is in the interior a light jacket, hat and boots will do fine. We fish Valdez in an open boat for hours so we carry GorTex parka's, pants and boots. Since we're right on the water and the water seldom gets much over 50, we also use gloves, sweat shirts and long underwear. Interior temps may be near 75-80 and sunshine.


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Trackrig

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Posted: 01/17/19 08:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're planning on being in Valdez in the late summer, take a full set of real rain gear and rubber boots. For the rest of the places, about anything will do.

Bill


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accsys

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Posted: 01/17/19 08:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A lot would also depend on where you are going and when. When we went up the inside passage from the end of May to mid-late June on the AMHS we had very few days without at least some rain. The inside passage is inside the Tongass National Forest which stretches from mid California up to Glacier Bay. It is also the largest temperate rain forest in the world. The weather is a lot like Oregon in the spring. We did fine with just a good, hooded rain-jacket, though we also brought pants but only used them once. Unlike just meandering through Alaska, you keep a very tight schedule on the ferry and can't wait an hour for the rain to letup when breaking camp.

Throughout the rest of the summer in the rest of Alaska we had occasional rain just like you would expect in the lower 48.


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Willow13

The Valley of the Sun

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Posted: 01/17/19 09:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We took Marmot Precip jackets and pants. They are light and easy to stow. Great to layer under if warmth is needed. Although it wasn't raining, we especially appreciated them on a glacier cruise from Seward. Enjoy - it's an incredible trip!

K_and_I

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Posted: 01/18/19 06:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Willow13 wrote:

We took Marmot Precip jackets and pants. They are light and easy to stow. Great to layer under if warmth is needed. Although it wasn't raining, we especially appreciated them on a glacier cruise from Seward. Enjoy - it's an incredible trip!


This is what I was thinking. I don't know if we'll go fishing (as someone else mentioned), but we may, and we probably will go on a glacier cruise.
Thanks to all who responded. Unless we decide to go fishing, the light weight breathable jackets we have should be enough.


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Moosehead05

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Posted: 01/18/19 07:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I brought light gear and when I was out salmon fishing in the rain I was wishing I had heavier stuff,bring good rubber coat,pants and boots

ppine

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Posted: 01/18/19 07:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I used to work in SE Alaska with 150 inches of rain a year.
Helly Hansens are the favorite. Or Filson tin cloth.
Check the Alaska Outdoors Forum for a discussion.
If you are in the field in SE, you are going to get wet. When the rain stops the brush is wet. There are plenty of streams to cross. You can wear waterproof gear and get wet from the inside, or breathable gear and get wet from the outside.
YOu can spend a lot of money and get fancy gear, but you are still going to get wet.
In SE, spring and early summer are less wet. Late summer and fall are really wet. The month of Oct in Ketchikan averages 30 inches. The mountains are even wetter.

PA12DRVR

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Posted: 01/18/19 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ppine wrote:

I used to work in SE Alaska with 150 inches of rain a year.
Helly Hansens are the favorite. Or Filson tin cloth.
Check the Alaska Outdoors Forum for a discussion.
If you are in the field in SE, you are going to get wet. When the rain stops the brush is wet. There are plenty of streams to cross. You can wear waterproof gear and get wet from the inside, or breathable gear and get wet from the outside.
YOu can spend a lot of money and get fancy gear, but you are still going to get wet.
In SE, spring and early summer are less wet. Late summer and fall are really wet. The month of Oct in Ketchikan averages 30 inches. The mountains are even wetter.


This x10.

It all does really depend on what one will be doing. If you're working (loading pipe, shoveling, cutting timber) you need Helly Hansen or equivalent...something stout enough to hold up to wear.
For just observing, almost anything will do....and there's a whole spectrum of stuff inbetween those two extremes.

My summer rain gear that gets used for hiking around Los Anchorage and other southcentral areas (but doesn't get used for dedicated fishing or high in the mountains) is a lightweight ("Russell Outdoors" IIRC) rubber coated nylon coat with big vents and North Face coated gore-tex "water resistant" pants. This setup covers almost any conditions in the average summer.

The trick more than anything is what you wear underneath: More often than not, in the summer, I leave the rain gear in the backpack until I stop or turn to go back. I wear polypro or merino base layer with a wool shirt and some variant of fleece pants....as noted above, one will just get wet and it's best to have clothing that will not lose it's efficiency when wet.

Probably not practical for visitors, but to the extent you can avoid cotton clothing (i.e. jeans) for outdoor excursions, it would be a good idea. On a tour boat where you can go back inside, it's no big deal. At mile 3 of a 6 mile hike, wet jeans (either from rain or perspiration) are no fun.


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Powder pig

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Posted: 01/19/19 09:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We always have an umbrella in the trailer for walking around in camp grounds and often I carry a small umbrella in my pack for short hikes. I prefer that to walking with a hood up on my light rain jacket. We also carry light rain paints when hiking but would never use them in campgrounds since we prefer being inside with the heat turned on if the weather is that bad[emoticon]

Umbrellas are useless in the wind but most of the time they are very handy.

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