Trip Resources: Alaska Expedition

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Preparing for physical activity

Backpacking and mountaineering are strenuous activities and require proper fitness. However, you don’t have to be an elite athlete to succeed! We do ask that all of our students be able to jog two continuous miles at a 10-minute-per-mile pace in order to prepare for the cardiovascular challenge of hiking through hilly, forested areas.

Breaking in your hiking boots

We can’t emphasize this enough: Make sure you break in your boots! Wearing stiff, unworn hiking boots on a backpack leads to blisters, hotspots, and general discomfort. It’s a great idea to start wearing them, at least a few minutes each day, once you purchase them. Here’s what we recommend:

A month before your trip:

Wear your boots for a few minutes every day and walk around your house or neighborhood.

A few weeks before your trip:

Take several half-hour hikes in your boots. Play around with the different synthetic or wool socks that you purchased to see what feels best.

One week before your trip:

Take several hour-long hikes in your boots. If you have hilly terrain nearby, that’s a bonus!


Transportation to and from the adventure is the responsibility of the family. Our instructors will be eagerly awaiting each of our students’ arrivals at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. We try our best to meet every student as they walk off the plane. In the rare event we are unable to, we will call your child to guide him/her to a meeting place. Students call home as soon as they meet with our instructors and gather their baggage.

It’s likely your student will have a connection getting to Anchorage; has a helpful list of airports that offer direct flights to ANC.

*Please do not book flights until your child has been officially accepted and enrolled on the Alaska Expedition trip.


The weather in Alaska can change in an instant. It may be clear and sunny one moment, and snowing or raining the next. At high altitudes, sun reflecting off the snow can cause a sunburn. Our detailed and thorough packing list will help your student prepare for every possible scenario—from a bluebird day to 40 degrees and raining!

Packing List

Click here to download the Alaska Expedition packing list.