Camping in Alaska is a little bit different from camping in the rest of the world. You wonder why? No, it’s not because it’s cold – actually it isn’t during the summer season. There are other things you should have in mind when you go on a camping trip in Alaska. For example you should not take your tooth paste with you into your tent. Wonder why?

Well, here are my five tips for a camping trip in Alaska:

 1. Take an axe with you

No, not to defend you from a bear or a wolf. Many campsites provide firewood, but you will have to chop it on your own. Especially when the wood is still a bit moist you will need lots of kindling to get the fire started! If you can’t handle the big axe, just take the small one like me – it works and it’s fun!

The campsite at 11pm!
The campsite at 11pm!

2. Bring an eye mask

Are you a light sleeper? Well, let me tell you that end of June the sun will never go down! Yes, it scrapes the horizon for a few hours, but it’s still dusk (or dawn?).  As your tent won’t have any curtains where you can hide from the sun light you will have to get used to fall asleep while the sun might still shine right in your face at 11 pm!

3. Going to the bathroom…

Yes, I have to admit: my last year of camping I did wait most of the times until it was dark. So I did not have to make the long walk to the bathrooms of a campsite or walk for too far in the wilderness. I just could pee a few meters away behind a bush as it was pitch dark anyway. Forget about this in Alaska: the sun hardly ever hits the horizon. So walk all the way to the bathroom or further away in the bushes. The good thing is: It is light all night, so you will see a bear if he come too close to the spot you chose.

My first black bear – luckily seen when I was driving in Atka!

 4. Mosquitos

Yes, it is true. Mosquitos and Alaska belong together. But so far, it hasn’t been too bad. If you don’t leave your tent open you will have a peaceful sleep and gleeful lie in your tent while watching the mosquitos desperately flying around the tent not getting in. And we do have two big cook and eating tents with netting, so even this won’t be a problem.  And if you really see one of these little suckers flying towards you, just hit it with the mozzie racket and electrocute it!

A fun “toy” to get rid of nasty bugs!

5. No toothpaste in your tent!

And last but not least: Bears seem to love the sweet smell of tooth paste.  So tooth paste and any other food including nuts or chocolate bars are a no go in your tent. You will have to leave all of the above in our overland vehicle Atka.  As much as we love seeing bears during our hikes and scenic drives we don’t want them to get too close to our campsite. We will need a good night sleep to be prepared for our next adventures the following days!