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Christmas Presents

Warrenton, Virginia
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289 posts
13 reviews
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Christmas Presents

So we've got most of our lodging reservations made, tours requested, car rented... just waiting on our travel agent to book the airfare for our Alaska trip July 21, 2009 to August 2, 2009. My mother and I are so excited!

I happen to know (because she had me pick it out) that she's buying me a new camera for Christmas. She's not a photographer or anything like that, so what I want to do for her this Christmas is make her a large Alaska-themed basket, full of stuff to use on the trip.

Things like a pair of waterproof pants, a small tube of bug spray, mosquito net, a gift certificate to GlacierBrewhouse (as an example) etc...

So my question for you is: what is the one thing you had on your trip that served you especially well and that you were really happy you had?

Thanks in advance!

LME

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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15,325 posts
27 reviews
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1. Re: Christmas Presents

You have some good examples already. You mentioned waterproof pants but a similar jacket is also good and sunscreen are other possibilities. Being from VA you probably have them already but a good hat and gloves are important too. As a photographer, I like the gloves that have a covering for the fingers that you can then open up so you can more easily take photos (hard to explain if you don't know what I am talking about!). But since she is not a photographer, it doesn't matter too much.

It really depends on what you are doing and where you are going. But I camp and hike inside Denali NP and I always bring a compass, an altimeter, a first aid kit, a whistle, a mirror, and water purifying tablets. I am doubly sure of having this stuff after the incident last June with the two lost girls in Denali. If you don't plan to be hiking much, these things are not so essential.

John

Ashburn, Virginia
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299 posts
22 reviews
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2. Re: Christmas Presents

Are you going on a glacier cruise? I hear it gets pretty chilly by the ice. I'm planning on taking some of those handwarmer chemical packs because I also plan on staying out on the deck as long as possible. You can find them in the hunting/fishing section of Wal-Mart for not very much.

I also don't know how light it would be that time of year during the night. Does your mom have an eyemask?

Ashburn, Virginia
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299 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: Christmas Presents

And does she have binoculars? I will be fine looking through my zoom lens, but I need to get the hubby a set of binoculars so he can watch the wildlife too.

CT,RI
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47 posts
12 reviews
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4. Re: Christmas Presents

I would recommend a journal! I bought one at Target that is leather and had a magnetic clasp; I wrote in it every day while we were in Alaska this summer and it's my favorite souvenier!

There is also a great Kenai Wildlife Viewing Guide that I bought ahead of time and used a lot while we were there, if you are planning on going to Kenai.

I appreciated having the brochure-size, laminated, wildflower-birds- and animal guides. We kept them with us while we were there and checked off everything we saw.

I was very happy to have my scarf and a pair of gloves with me and we went in late June!

Have a WONDERFUL trip!!

~ Dawn

Des Moines, Iowa
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108 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Christmas Presents

As I was reading down through the posts, I kept thinking, "I know what I'm going to say!" and then the last poster already mentioned it - - a journal!! Maybe she could even use a couple - a small one to fit in her purse to jot things in as you're traveling, and then a bigger one to be a more permanent record when she really has time to sit down & write in it more carefully.

also - maybe a tube of chapstick?

snack packs of trail mix, etc. - but maybe that would get too old before next summer, so you could make little gift certificates for it - -

if she loves to read travel brochures & plan - you could get on some of the Alaska travel websites & request literature from them & you could have a whole selection of brochures, magazines, etc. for her to read ahead of time

Warrenton, Virginia
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289 posts
13 reviews
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6. Re: Christmas Presents

These ideas are great!

Thanks everyone.

LME

Charlottesville...
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317 posts
44 reviews
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7. Re: Christmas Presents

I second FTI's suggestion for the compass- we hike frequently and it has come in handy several times. My other suggestion is a collapsible walking stick that is very helpful on inclines and uneven surfaces. My husband swears by Smart wool socks that dry quickly. Have fun!

-Laura

haines, alaska
Destination Expert
for Haines
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7,040 posts
33 reviews
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8. Re: Christmas Presents

Instead of a basket, how about packing everything up in a sturdy day pack.....she could use that on the trip, as well....I always travel with one instead of a purse...

Perth, Australia
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28 posts
14 reviews
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9. Re: Christmas Presents

If you're going to be driving around, a copy of The Milepost would be a great addition to your gift basket (or backpack - great idea).

Bridgewater
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798 posts
8 reviews
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10. Re: Christmas Presents

Dramamine

Cottonelle Wet ones (Toilet paper)

Therma-Care Heat wraps

Cottonelle Wet ones

Binoculars

Cottonelle Wet ones