Packing for a Winter Trip To Fairbanks, Alaska

by Janis on February 8, 2017

temperature in Fairbanks, AlaskaI’m flying tonight on a last-minute trip to Fairbanks, Alaska. The temperature is expected to be as cold as negative 33 degrees F.

Brr! That’s scary cold.

What to wear/pack for -33 degrees below zero temperatures in Fairbanks?

First, as always, I start with my bags. I want to be strictly carry-on for these flights, so I borrow Mr. Jones’ suitcase.

It’s a Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On Expandable Upright suitcase that he has used weekly since 2013.

This carry-on bag was spendy, but it has stood the “Travelin Jones” frequent travel test. At 22 inches, it fits in the overhead, and it expands if your belongings “grow” during your travels. Most of all, we appreciate its sturdy handle that securely holds my heavy backpack as I dash through airports for connecting flights. We haven’t had to test the “Simple as that® lifetime warranty” that comes with Briggs & Riley bags yet in 3.5 years of regular use.

Speaking of back-packs, this is my regular travel carry-on “personal” item that fits under my seat:

It is an Eddie Bauer Unisex-Adult Voyager II 30 Pack, Black

With a roomy 30 liter capacity, this pack has a padded back with trolley-handle sleeve for sliding onto my roller bag. It also has a special padded slot where I keep my laptop and iPad, for easy pull out if I’m traveling somewhere without TSA pre-check. Inside this spacious bag there is plenty of room for my work files, pile of magazines to read, medicine bag, snacks, quart-sized “liquids” bag, and a small purse. For this trip to Fairbanks, I’ve also crammed in gloves, a heavy scarf, a stocking cap and an extra pair of thick socks.

Now, what to pack and/or wear on the flights to and from Fairbanks, Alaska?

A warm coat. This one was rated to temperature of 20 below zero, if you are active.

I bought it – the Eddie Bauer Women’s Slope Side Down Parka

I will wear the parka on my flights. If I get warm, it will make a good pillow or blanket for the flights.

Staying warm is all about layers.


My first layer will always be one of these Cuddl Duds Women’s Softwear Stretch Long Sleeve Top

And under my jeans or pants
Cuddl Duds Women’s Softwear Stretch Legging

What about my feet? I will be wearing a sweater dress in Fairbanks.

Luckily, I have these boots.

The Stuart Weitzman Gorki Waterproof Rain Boots are waterproof and have good non-slip soles.

With a pair of tights, they look good and keep my feet and legs warm.

I have two pair of these SPANX Reversible Tight-End Tights.  Each pair is reversible with two different colors. One pair is black/grey and the other pair is black or chocolate brown. They are like having two different pairs of tights in one, so you can always find the best match for your outfit.  Plus, they are warm.

For the flights which are 9.5 – 12 hours of total flying time each way between Kansas City and Fairbanks, I will wear my these socks to avoid getting swollen feet.

These Compression Socks (1 Pair) 20-30mmHg Graduated – Best For Running, Athletic Sports, Crossfit, Flight Travel (Men & Women) – Suits Nurses, Maternity Pregnancy, Shin Splints – Below Knee High Socks. are comfortable for hiking, and other athletic pursuits. While they take a little longer to put on, these socks wear like any other sport sock. Wear them on your next long flight, and you won’t have to worry about your shoes being too tight from swollen feet.

On the plane I will wear these comfortable shoes

These Clarks Women’s Haley Fashion Sneakers slip on and off easily, are comfortable for long walks, and offer good traction.

I’m nervous about the extreme cold temperatures. My friend James (who lives in Anchorage) had a few tips of other items to bring, to combat the cold air and low humidity in Fairbanks in the winter.

Cold air holds less moisture than warm air, and the result of being outside in very cold, very dry air is dry eyes, dry skin, chapped lips and a dry nose (some people get nosebleeds.)

To combat this dry air, I put these items in my quart-size toiletry/make-up bag:

A tiny bottle of Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops,.33 fl oz Bottle

and this

to soothe dry lips Vaseline Lip Therapy, Travel Size .35 Oz

and my favorite moisturizing cream

Eucerin Skin Calming Daily Moisturizing Creme, 1 Ounce (Pack of 36)
I bought a pack of 36 1-oz tubes over 2 years ago, but and I never travel without one of the tubes in my carry-on liquids bag. You can buy a single 1-oz. tube also.

I’m nervous about the cold, but I’m ready.

Have you visited Fairbanks, Alaska, or anywhere that is this cold?

What packing advice do you have to add?

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I did some quick background research on Fairbanks. Check out

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