Chilkoot Trail Gear List

Three hikers pose for the camera in rain gear while standing on a rocky area surrounded by snow and fog.
Having the right gear with you makes a huge difference in how well your hike goes.

NPS photo/B. Hayes

Important things you don't want to forget...
  • permit - permits are issued at the Trail Center in Skagway.
  • passport- hikers crossing the international border on the trail must carry their passport.
  • credit card- in case of emergency evacuation. Helicopter medical evacuations from the US side of the trail to Skagway will cost a minimum of $1977.
  • train ticket/exit plan- transportation off the trail must be arranged before you hike

In general you'll want
  • trail map- maps are available for purchase at Alaska Geographic and the museum bookstore in Skagway
  • first aid kit- NPS rangers and Parks Canada wardens along the trail have first aid gear, but it is safest to carry your own while you hike
  • toilet paper- toilet paper is not provided on either the US or Canada side (If baby wipes are more your style, the wipes must be compostable, not just biodegradable)
  • bug spray- bugs can be bad in marshy areas along the trail and at some campgrounds seasonally
  • rain gear- plan on rain during your hike. You'll want gear you can hike in and to keep things in your pack dry.
  • warm hat/toque and gloves- even on a warm day temperatures can drop at night or in windy conditions
  • sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen- be prepared even on overcast or cloudy day
  • clothing layers- bring clothing made of synthetic quick-dry material or wool. Remember, in the backcountry "cotton kills" by drying slowly and making hikers cold
  • trash bags- practice good Leave No Trace on the Chilkoot Trail and take water proof, sealable bags to hike out trash

For camping you'll need
  • headlamp/flashlight- handy in the warming shelters, good for late night trips to the outhouse
  • water treatment kit- water is easy to get at every campsite, but must be treated before drinking
  • lightweight tent- most campgrounds have wooden tent platform sites, some have ground sites.
  • sleeping bag
  • cooking stove, fuel, matches/lighter- warming shelters have wood burning stoves that are not to be used for cooking
  • personal hygiene kit (medications, toothbrush, toilet paper, etc)

When hiking it is good to have...
  • extra socks- wet feet may happen rain or shine with many stream crossings. Bring an extra set of quick-dry synthetic or wool socks (no cotton) to warm up wet feet.
  • backpack- if your pack does not have a waterproof exterior you may want to consider a way to keep the contents dry with bags or a pack cover
  • water bottle/hydration bladder- water is easy to find at campgrounds, but must be treated before drinking
  • layered clothing for a variety of conditions (e.g., snow, rain, wind)
  • sunglasses
  • trekking poles- recommended on the rocky sections of the US side of the trail

NOTE: Early season hiking may require additional equipment, e.g. Snow shoes, ice axe, avalanche transceiver. Avalanche and heavy snow on the trail can last well into June depending on the winter snow pack. Please check current trail conditions.

Bring the proper gear you will need to complete the trail. Please come prepared; though there are retailers in Skagway that carry the above items, selection may be limited. Skagway is your last opportunity to gear up, there are no stores in Dyea. Be sure to read the current trail report and inquire about bear activity on the trail.


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    Last updated: July 20, 2022

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