Summertime in Alaska is a wonderful time – plenty of fun things to do and more than enough daylight to do them! Here are some important things you should be sure to do to prepare for summer adventures:
Get cheap outdoor gear. Attend local gear swaps, yard sales, and outdoor store discount days. Stock up on any summer gear you might need, and do it for cheap! Bring your own gear (in good shape) that you don’t use anymore and sell it at a gear swap. Check out UAA’s traditional Outdoor Gear Swap – it’s a community-wide event. In addition, if you are a student at UAA you can rent gear for good deals at the Student Union. If you don’t happen to be a student, you can find outdoor gear rentals at Alaska Pacific University, AK Outdoor Gear Rental, and outdoors stores like REI. Yard sales, garage sales, and neighborhood community sales are all great places to get cheap prices on outdoor gear. Some neighborhoods have traditional annual community-wide sales that are locally advertised.
Educate the whole family. Look at the classes offered by REI and other outdoor facilities, such as the Parks and Recreation Department. Sometimes these places will offer free classes motivated by promoting safer outdoor adventures. Read about and prepare for local hazards such as wildlife, difficult landscape, or adverse weather anywhere you decide to go, even if it feels like home. Talk to park rangers for current information about public parks.
Slip into summer. Does the idea of packing everybody and everything for an adventure just seem like… a lot of work? Take it easy, winter bear. Ease into the fun. Get ready for the big trips by taking a small, nearby trip to a lake, park, or campground to make sure you have all of your important gear ready to go. Go for an easy hike with the whole family, or plan a barbeque with some friends. Set up your campsite; test out your stove and your boots and your sleeping bag so that when you do adventure far from home, you’ll know you’ve got what you need.