What to Bring

 

What Dr. Sarah’s Alaska Tours Provides:

  • Approximately 2-3 hour walk on the Matanuska Glacier
  • Micro-spikes to wear on your shoes to assist with gripping the ice 
  • Glacier (Ice) Helmet
  • Walking Sticks

     

    Summer and Fall Tour Checklist – things you should bring:

    • Backpack: to carry your things.  This does not need to be a large mountaineering backpack, rather any normal size backpack will be fine.
    • Long Pants: wear a good pair of pants (not cotton).  Any good pair of hiking pants or synthetic pants will be fine. Cotton has almost no thermal value when wet.
    • Good Footwear: wear a good pair shoes that provide ankle support.  You may not be permitted on the tour if you arrive in unacceptable shoes.  You need good footing on the ice and as we walk over the moraine to the glacier (the moraine is the debris covered area in front of the glacier that includes small rocks and sediment).
    • Rain Gear or Jacket Shell:  rain gear is good to keep in your backpack just in case we encounter a small rain event.  At a minimum, bring a light shell jacket in case it rains or gets a bit windy and you want to put on something that will block the wind. For the purpose of this glacier hike, the most expensive shells / rain jacket will work just as well as an inexpensive jacket, so don't feel compelled to buy something very pricey just for this tour.
    • Fleece Jacket:  bring a light fleece jacket to wear in case the temperatures are cool.  Heavy winter pants and jackets (like down, etc) are not required for summer tours. You will likely put the fleece on for part of the tour, then take it off as weather changes and you feel warm.
    • Warm Layers:  for the summer, I suggest wearing a comfortable short sleeve shirt (or light long-sleeve hiking shirt) when you arrive and having a nice thermal shirt in your backpack that you can easily put on if needed.
    • Socks:  wear good synthetic or wool socks.  Cotton is a poor choice to wear because it has low thermal value when wet.  We do not plan to get wet, but this is a glacier so there is always the possibility of wet feet. SmartWool and the Darn Tough brands are well respected.
    • Water:  bring a bottle of water, any snacks, etc you desire
    • Sunscreen:  bring a good sunscreen SPF 30 or 50, and plan to reapply as needed.  I also personally bring SPF 15 lip balm but this is not required. For sunscreen, I tend to use ThinkSport because it has fewer harsh chemicals that most on the market, but you can wear anything you like. 
    • Sunglasses:  you will absolutely want sun-glasses in the summer. However, you don’t need anything expensive - even a cheap pair of sunglasses from the grocery store will help protect your eyes from the bright sun reflected off the ice and prevent you from squinting
    • Camera:  a camera is recommended and people take wonderful photos with their smartphones so you don't need anything fancy (we have cell reception out here)
    • Hats:   A fleece hat with no decorations on top is highly recommended in case it gets cool outside (the hat must fit under your helmet so cannot have decorations on top such as pom-poms).  During sunny months, a hat with a visor is recommended but not required to shield your face from bright sun. Cold breezes can blow intermittently on the glacier so it's nice to have options in our backpacks.
    • Walking Poles:  if you are unsteady on your feet, consider bringing a walking pole.  You can bring any kind of walking pole. Sporting goods stores sell them locally in Anchorage, Palmer, and Wasilla and you can buy them online.  We also have a supply on hand if you want to borrow one.