10 Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

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things to buy before moving to alaska

What are the things to buy before moving to Alaska?
Alaska, the last frontier, is the northernmost state of the USA. Here’s a fun fact- Alaska was once a part of Russia, but The USA purchased it later for a price of $7.2 million. A major part of it is in the Arctic circle.
Due to its geographical location, it is freezing on the outer side and warmer on the interior side. It has days and nights for 6 months each, making winters dark and summers very bright. Due to its low-density population, Alaska has many peaceful places to visit. It’s quite a paradise for an introvert.
This place has a raw appeal with its nascent charms. There is wilderness which calls your heart, and then there are mountains you would like to climb, rivers where you would like to go rafting, and glaciers you would like to coo. The idyllic beauty of the 49th State of the US pulls your heart, as you will like to stay here permanently.

The Complete Guide on Moving to Alaska

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Photo by Hari Nandakumar on Unsplash. Copyright 2018

Why moving to Alaska is an excellent decision? What are the things to buy before moving to Alaska? How many summer outfits should I pack? This article will satisfy all your queries!

Why moving to Alaska is a great decision?

Wow, good job, you made an incredible decision! Moving to Alaska is the new black. Nowadays, many people are not only traveling to but are also considering living in Alaska because of the manifold reasons, including-
  • Breath-taking beauty it holds,
  • Adventurous lifestyle,
  • Northern lights,
  • Good air quality,
  • No state income tax,
  • and of course, free money! You must have heard Alaska residents get a Permanent Fund Dividend which is around $1,100.
  • Fiber Optic Internet is available and you can work from home like you are still in your office.
  • No state sales tax
  • Access to forest and ocean to table food
  • Covid safety as free vaccines are provided for everyone
It must be exhilarating to move to Alaska. Before moving to Alaska, you need to do the tiring but significant task of shopping. So, are you ready to pack your bags?

Don’t forget these 10 Things to Buy Before Moving to Alaska

1. Heavy winter coats – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

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Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash. Copyright 2017

It’s going to be really, really cold out there. Winter temperatures in Alaska range from 0°F to -30°F (-18°C to -35°C) and Summer temperatures range from 40°F to 60°F (4°C – 15°C). You have to dress up for comfort and weather.
You have to always wear a synthetic or wool base layer that just fits into your body. There is no question of wearing cotton. Several layers of clothing are the best options if you want to trap the heat in your body. People here most commonly wear long underwear bottom or fleece pants.
Buy huge furry coats to look like an Alaskan and, of course, to save yourself from the harsh climate. The coats are one of the most important things to buy before moving to Alaska. You can buy yourself a fleece jacket.
However what generally happens here is that people do not end up shivering in with chattering teethes, but in some cases with layers of clothing they feel warm and start perspiring. Heavy winter coats are a good buy so buy them cautiously.

2. Eye Mask – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

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Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash. Copyright 2018

In Summers, the Sun will be out for most of the time. You will only get a few hours of darkness. Buy an eye mask to get quality sleep for longer. You can also buy dark-colored curtains. They will help in shutting out the natural light.
There is always the Alaska bear mask that is comfortably designed and apt to fit into your face. The fabric is soft and does not create much pressure on your eyelashes as it slides below instead of getting caught. People actually like it a lot.

3. Hiking Kit – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

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Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash. Copyright 2017

There are many hiking trails in Alaska, including, Kenai River trail, Winner Creek, Mount Baldy, and many more. Is it worth living in Alaska if you don’t explore it through adventuresome excursions? The packing list is here. Get yourself hiking pants, bag pack, compass, trekking poles, and good boots and a water bottle to enjoy the adventure!
Alaska is a beautiful getaway if you are going for a backpacking trip. These rugged terrains can be covered if you are wearing boots that are adaptable. High ankle waterproof boots with sticky rubber and plenty of support are the need of the hour.
Then longer hikes will expose you to the vagaries of Nature and so you can strain your ankle and fall into an icy river. All you need to do is carry your first aid kit and use it whenever you require it.

4. Mosquito repellents – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

The marshy lands, frequent precipitation, and temperature of Alaska create a suitable environment for breeding mosquitoes. The state bird of Alaska is the ‘willow ptarmigan,’ but as a joke, mosquitoes are called the state bird of Alaska! Buy mosquito repellents, preferable DEET (although not eco-friendly), and repellent bands to avoid irritation.
Alaska trekkers and residents recommends to apply DEET directly to cover areas like neck, hair, face and hands. You also need to spray your clothes vigorously with it.
Mosquitos in the Alaska region can give you itchy and irritated skin and its likely that you will not be suffering from severe illnesses. Precautions must be taken before you start working.

5. A four-wheeler – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

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Photo by Maksym Tymchyk on Unsplash. Copyright 2021

Markets are not at a walkable distance, and the roads are not walker-friendly. There are many places that you can reach only by driving. Buy a four-wheeler. If it’s a truck, SUV, or ATV, it’s even better.
Make sure you empty the fuel before sending your car to ship, as most moving companies do not allow it. Also, you have to hone your driving skills in the hilly areas to avoid severe circumstances.
Off-road vehicles can now be driven on road as the laws governing vehicles have changed in Alaska. Now four-wheelers, snow machines, and all-terrain vehicles can be driven at a speed of 45km /hour or less.
You should know the official rule that anybody riding on the road needs to be registered, licensed, and insured in the state. The vehicles should also have mufflers, brakes, and working lights.

6. A Bear Spray – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

Do you know how many bears are there in Alaska? 30,000. They may come across your path a few times. Make sure you have a bear spray to tackle any attack. It’s advisable to learn a few safety tricks as well.
You can escape uninjured in Alaska if you use a bear spray in close-range encounters. This has happened in ninety-eight percent of cases over the last twenty years. No bear spray has ever killed a bear so a bear spray also helps in bear conservation.

7. Duct Tape – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

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Photo by Sticker Mule on Unsplash. Copyright 2021

Wasilla, the sixth-largest city in Alaska, was named the Duct Tape Capital of the World. 5,469 residents of Wasilla purchased more than 325 miles of duct tape in 2002 to lead the nation, according to Duck(R) brand duct tape. Alaskans obsess over duct tapes. Any problem? One solution! Duct Tape! It’s quite useful as well. Anything broken can be fixed with duct tape.
Duct tape is a cultural symbol in a country that mixes miles of untamed wilderness with bizarre humor and kitsch.

8. Ice Scraper – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

There will be a lot of ice! An ice scraper would be a savior in such circumstances. Buy it to avoid future panic attacks.
Shops in Alaska always sell the right kind of ice scrapper that fits your budget and need. You may be the kind of customer who prefer form to function but there is always the right kind of ice scrapper to fit your balance.

9. Fishing License – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

Unlike most of the states, Alaska has water all around it. In the north, it has the Arctic Ocean. To the South, it has the Pacific ocean and the Gulf of Alaska. To the west, there is the Bering Sea. Hence, there is great potential for fishing. It is a major commercial activity in Alaska. Some people fish to earn extra money. You can order an online fishing license.
Resident seniors, resident disabled veterans are offered special licenses that accommodate the special needs of our disabled anglers and hunters. There are free and low cost licenses, to exemptions from a set of regulations that allow access to only a certain level to authorizing somebody else to fish or harvest on the person’s behalf.

10. Essential clothing items – Things To Buy Before Moving to Alaska

The best tip to survive the winters of Alaska is to wear layers of clothes. Take with you-

  • A couple of pairs of wool socks,
  • A warm hat,
  • gloves, mittens,
  • thermal underwear,
  • woolen scarf,
  • warm trousers,
  • sweaters,
  • and so on to save yourself from the climate. Do not forget boots. In a frigid climate, rainy weather, and sturdy treks, boots will be your best friends in Alaska.
Before moving to Alaska, there are many other things to buy but don’t spend all your money on it. Remember, Alaska is one of the most expensive states in The United States of America.
The cost of living is high in Alaska in comparison to even the larger cities of the U.S.A. Education, healthcare, grocery items, transportation, etc., are quite costly. Read about the real cost of living in Alaska.
So, with all these things, you also need a lot of money to survive in the 49th state of the U.S.A!
Packing is not only about what to keep but also about what to discard. Sadly, you cannot have so many things to buy before moving to Alaska because moving costs to Alaska are not cheap due to its remote location.

Here are the things you probably don’t need in Alaska

1. So many lovely outfits

No one worries much about fashion here so that you can be one of them too. Additionally, the temperature will not allow you to wear some outfits most of the time. But if you are a fashion enthusiast and nothing can stop you from wearing good clothes, pack a few of your dresses and abandon the rest.

2. A trailer

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Photo by Caleb Ruiter on Unsplash. Copyright 2021

If you have planned to live a nomad lifestyle in a trailer in Anchorage, I am sorry you have to cancel that plan. It is illegal for a person to drive and live in a trailer in Anchorage.

3. Slingshots

Even if you love them so much, you have to leave them behind as Haines banned slingshots.

4. Summer Outfits

Do not leave all your summer outfits, though. There will be summers. But you need to pack bulky layers for winters, leaving lesser space for your summer outfits.

5. Anything that you can buy later in Alaska.

You don’t have to buy so many things before moving to Alaska. Alaska has a good market to meet all your requirements. Although it is high-priced, it will still be cheaper than the moving cost.

What to eat in Alaska?

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Photo by Shekina Yeo on Unsplash. Copyright 2018

The major concern of some you must be the food. There are some arctic places infamous for their food. Is Alaska one of them too?
No, Alaska has many mouth-watering dishes like-
  • Grilled salmon- Try savoring grilled salmon bake at the Pioneer Park in Fairbanks which has pulled crowds with its authentic food and outdoor setting.
  • King crab-  Tracy’s King Crab comes with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce, a bucket has a killer claw, and half of a King crab.
  • Eskimo ice cream- At Anchorage handcrafted ice-creams show that this state is indeed rich in producing Diary products.
  • Reindeer sausage- Alaskan reindeer is now an iconic dish and is best served in the breakfast with pork or mincemeat.
  • fish and chips- Fish and chips are not purely Alaskan but the way they serve it makes it a premier Alaskan menu. The fish served is rockfish and halibut.
  • Oysters- Oysters are harvested from the cold and pristine water and they have sweet, plump meat that foodies will enjoy.
  • fresh vegetables berry –  Alaska is known for its seafood but come the month of August and the landscape turns red and pink, wild berries are found everywhere. 12 Types of berries in Alaska you should try 
  •  Beer- Alaskan breweries produce quality crafted beverages and it at the same time encourages brewing or rather manufacturing local beer in the area. 

Is there any food item you need to pack with you?

Almost everything is available. Even if you are vegan, restaurants have enough vegan options for you. So, in the things to buy before moving to Alaska list, food items do not have much importance.
Alaska comes to your home with its fair share of mouthwatering food.  There are king-sized crabs and locally grown vegetables, restaurants provide a combination of sumptuous treats. The Alaska restaurants also serve traditional dishes like Akutaq and game meat, and locals also supplement it. Then there are also some signature dishes from Northern latitudes.
If you want to take something with you, make sure it’s solid and packed in a zip-lock or a tight container to avoid the mess. 
So, finally, you are almost done with your shopping. Congratulations!

Alaskan Wildlife Programs

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Photo by Joris Beugels on Unsplash. Copyright 2019

Alaska offers amazing wildlife viewing perspectives. Wild bears, eagles, moose, whales swarm the Alaskan forests. Along the coast, there are migratory birds, sea lions, humpback whales, which will be a feast for your tired eyes. Moose and bald eagles are found on the outskirts of the Chilkoot River.

The Glacier Bay dazzles with its snow-capped peaks and then there is the otter, the sea lion, mountain goats and bears. People who visit here cannot help appreciating the teeming wildlife of the region. The temperate rainforests, glacial terrains, and exotic wildlife make the place worth visiting.

More Things to Buy Before Moving To Alaska

  • It’s advisable to talk to a moving company in advance and learn about the cost of moving. This will help you manage your funds.
  • The best time to move to Alaska is in Summer (June to August, July is the hottest month). If possible, you should move in the Summer season. The temperature is warmer, and contrary to winters, summers have abundant sunlight.
  • Learn basic safety tricks. Owing to the adventurous life in Alaska, there are a few dangers. One of them is wildlife encounters, especially bear attacks.
  • Have a job waiting for you. The unemployment rate in Alaska is 6.2%, which is the highest in the nation. Agriculture is seasonal, and there is not much work availability in manufacturing. To survive in this costly state, you need a job. If you are moving to Alaska without a job, make sure you have enough money for expenses of at least 3-4 months.
  • Have you decided where you are going to live? Talk to a real estate agency. Real estate prices are lower than in other states.
  • Try visiting Alaska in different seasons before moving. It will help you assess the weather in Alaska and realize your comfort with the weather.
  • Before traveling to Alaska you must be exactly sure about the time when you should visit Alaska. Winters here are cold and long, and the time of fall might simply be better for arriving here. However, spring and summer are the ideal time of the year. The landscape blooms with flowers and foliage.

There are great opportunities for sightseeing and you can take help from an expert guide. Besides that, a helicopter tour is highly recommended to catch glimpses of this wild country.

That’s it. If you feel exhausted from a long week of planning and packing, do not worry. Alaska has many coffee stalls around the streets to help you fight your fatigue!
I hope this blog post on ‘things to buy before moving to Alaska‘ helped you make your workload a little lesser. Is there something else you would like to add? Do share in the comments section.

The Best 5 Places To Move In The US
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Hi! I am Gaurvi. I love to read, write, learn, observe, and explore!

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