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How to Dress: Cold Weather

October – March

Remember to always check the weather before you go outside in Alaska! Our favorite weather website is

Our famous “How to Dress” video! 

Thousands of views on You Tube!

Pro Tips

Be ready for jumping. Our dogs are friendly, but they are also highly-conditioned, ultra-active athletes, and they don’t know words like “sit, stay or down.” Expect lots of hugs, kisses and jumping.

Avoid wearing things that dangle -sweatshirt strings, backpack straps, long hair and scarves all attract extra doggy attention. Tuck these away so the dogs don’t grab them.

Mind your fur – Fur hats, fur-lined hoods and fur mittens all attract extra attention. The dogs have an instinctual interest in chewing on anything that looks like fur.

Avoid wearing eye glasses – Glasses and goggles will get fogged up and then ice over in the cold weather. Wear contacts if possible.

Choose waterproof mascara – Ladies, we know you want to look good in your photos. Unfortunately the cold weather can create watery eyes and lashes. Choose waterproof mascara/eye liner.

1. Base Layers

Warm socks – Just one pair, folks! Some people think that adding extra layers of socks will keep their feet extra warm. Not usually true! Often when you layer your socks, you scrunch your toes tightly together, which makes your feet tight in your boots. Tight feet and toes = cold feet and toes. One pair of thick, warm socks only, please. If you think you will be cold, use a sticky heat pack in your boot, not extra socks.

Long underwear / leggings – It’s important to layer up beneath your snow pants. We use leggings/tights/long underwear as our base layer.

Long-sleeved shirt – Choose a tight-fitting but comfortable long-sleeve shirt with a high neckline.

2. Mid Layers

Sweatpants – Sweatpants or pajama pants are warm, comfortable and flexible — an ideal fit for underneath your snow pants. We do NOT recommend blue jeans. Blue jeans get very stiff when cold, and provide almost no insulation.

Sweatshirt – Choose a warm, heavy, pullover, hooded sweatshirt.

Neck Gator / Turtle Fur / Balaclava – This is an essential piece of outdoor winter wear. These are tight-fitting, super warm face/neck protectors, usually made of fleece. Don’t wear a scarf! Scarves are pretty, but not very useful. They tend to droop and create air gaps around your neck and face. Also, the dogs LOVE to pull on anything that hangs down off your body. Scarves can easily get damaged by an excited dog.

Warm winter hat – You might be surprised how much cold air can come in through an open knit hat on a dog sled. Wear a hat that is very tightly-knit. Most mushers also wear hoods for extra warmth.

3. Outer Layers

Snowpants – REAL snowpants, that are warm. Not wind pants.

Warm winter boots – Remember that leather and rubber conduct the cold, so avoid boots that use a lot of these materials. Boots lined with felt or fur are good. Make sure your boots are not too tight over your socks. A little loose is WAY better than a little tight. If you have extra room in your boot, put a heat pack inside. If you don’t have warm winter boots, a hiking boot is ok. We have an “overshoe” we can put over your hiking boot.

Base layer jacket – This jacket will go directly over your sweater or sweatshirt. Fleece or down is best. Something with a hood is ideal.

Outer layer jacket – This coat should fit over your base layer jacket. Ideally, this should be made of a durable fabric (down is not a good choice for working with sled dogs) Again, something with a hood is best.

Tight-fitting gloves – A nice pair of these gloves can cost between $20 and $40, but they are well worth they money. They keep your hands covered, but also provide dexterity — allowing you to use your camera, dig in your pockets and hook up dogs.

Warm, durable mittens – That’s right: you’ll want both gloves and mittens! Gloves are nice because they have finger slots and allow for more dexterity (as stated above), but mittens are typically MUCH warmer than gloves, and better for wearing during the sled ride. IMPORTANT NOTE: don’t plan to wear your tight gloves underneath your larger mittens, for the same reason you shouldn’t be wearing two pairs of socks. When it comes to hands and feet, tight layers = tight fit = cold fit!

4. Other Items

Camera with extra batteries – The cold air will zap your batteries very quickly. Be prepared to keep your camera or phone tucked INSIDE of your jacket (not in an outside pocket) when not in use.

Goggles – Most of the time we don’t use goggles, but they can be nice if it’s actively snowing, or there is fresh snow blowing around on the trail.

Sunglasses – These are essential for everyone during the ultra bright months of late February, March and April.

These photos were crowd-sourced from our Facebook followers in October, 2018, and represent several years of winter/spring tours. Thanks for sharing everybody!