Introduction To Our Alaska Road Trip Gear:
One of our goals to prepare you is to share our Alaska road trip gear that we use. Here you will find our recommendations for particular gear. We’ve used this equipment, or at least the styles and brands recommended, in our kit for many years. Gear that lasts a long time and provides exceptional value is right up our alley. We learned a long time ago to buy one and cry once, so these are usually not the cheapest of options, but the best options for the money.
Cooking your own food is one of the best ways to save money on an Alaska road trip and a good stove is an essential piece of Alaska road trip gear. There’s a lot of options here. At least for us, getting some good camp cooking in on these journeys is important to us, so we tend towards the “bigger is better” concept. We generally would recommend a propane based Coleman camp stove here with both a grill and a pot burner. The brand isn’t particularly important, but Coleman does make some very nice stoves that have lasted us well over a couple decades of heavy use. While a backpacking style stove might work here (or work better for you), having the flexibility to get a couple things going at once, as well as the flexibility to use a pan is well worth it. If you’re nomadic camping, we wouldn’t advise a very large stove, if only because it will become cumbersome to set up and tear down frequently. We also cook on the fire a fair bit, but since you could face fire bans or restrictions, it’s best not to plan exclusively around such things.
Buy a Coleman Stove Here.
Camp Dining Set:
For years, we defaulted to the common paper plates and an old set of silverware that had long since been replaced. One of the problems with using paper plates is for any kind of lengthy trip, you’ll need a LOT of them! We still use the old silverware, but we did upgrade our camp dining ware and have been enamored ever since. We settled on the GSI brand Cascadian set as a relatively inexpensive, yet indestructible, set for our essential Alaska road trip gear. We have used other GSI gear in our backpacking setups, as they make really nice lightweight gear, but this dining set is better suited for the car camper. Although these are plastic, they have worked well for our needs and the costs of high quality enamel based kits are a bit too expensive for our tastes.
Your tent is the most important piece of your Alaska road trip gear. We have a number of tents, but our favorites of the bunch tend are REI tents. They make a number of models, but we feel that the REI brand provides more value than most other tents out there. We purchased our 3-man tent we use for most road trips on a spring clearance sale for around $140 and have spent so many nights in it that it probably cost pennies per night. From the overall design to storage options to the waterproofing and tent footprint options, few other manufacturers provide the value proposition that these tents provide. There’s a lot of other brands out there worth their salt, though, so don’t overlook a good value if you find one. Be sure to shop the sales, post camping season sales are the best, but you can often find good deals in early spring or the occasional holiday weekend as well.
Remember to size your tent appropriately. Generally, we recommend having a rating of one more person than what you actually have in the tent for better comfort overall. So, if there’s two of you on the trip, a three man tent is the best bet.
Hands down, the winner here is the Thermarest Luxury Map series mattresses for Alaska road trip gear. We’ve used ours extensively, in different conditions and can highly recommend them for comfort, ease of transport and overall build quality. Our feeling here is that these mattresses are more comfortable than many hotel beds when used correctly and they make the camping experience purely divine. If there’s one piece of gear that we feel is the most important for nomadic camping like discussed on this site, this is it! There are many alternatives out there, so keep your options open, but this is our recommendation for the best value and comfort.
Duffel bags of various sizes are the way to go for storing your Alaska road trip gear. The “onsey-twosey” (or lack of storage) approach ends up with significant disorganization, makes you more prone to losing/forgetting gear and overall takes more space than many other methods. They fit rather nicely into most vehicles and can organize your gear into different uses quite easily…and overall, if you shop right, they aren’t that expensive for a decent quality bag. We recommend getting something made of a relatively heavy denier fabric and waterproofing them with Nikwax waterproofing treatments if desired. We use duffels for almost everything, we have bags for our tent gear, sleeping gear, vehicle gear, food/drink, clothing and just about everything that goes along with us. We recommend several different sizes to fit your gear and separating gear out into logical segments so you only need to remove them to get what you need at a given time.
We have used many different brands of duffel bags, but the Northstar brand meets the quality, functionality and price expectations for us quite well. They come in many different sizes, which makes it very helpful for organizing different gear.
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