Alaska is a BIG state and we drive almost everywhere. Our cars are both transport and storage for plenty of items we use on a regular basis. Technically, many Alaskans don’t have a ‘trunk’ of their car in which to keep these things, but if you notice a pickup truck with a storage bin in the back, we bet you’ll find some (or all) of these things inside!
1. A Snow Brush
Summer, winter, or breakup, the snow brush is a crucial instrument in ensuring Alaskans never get caught having to push the snow off with our gloves or feeble windshield wipers.
2. Spare Hiking Boots
While our best hiking boots have a place of honor in the garage or entryway closet back home, last season’s boots make a great back-up pair. Crusted in mud and slowly losing support, they are better than nothing when a last-minute “are you in?” hiking opportunity comes up.
3. A Bear Bell
Everyone from the Lower 48 is scratching their heads trying to figure out what the heck a ‘bear bell’ is, but we know it’s a necessity. This may be your only bear bell or just a spare you keep in case the mountains call and you can't fight the urge to head out for a hike; either way, having one handy is important for safety, so in the trunk it goes.
4. An Emergency Kit
A good auto emergency kit includes all the basics: tire patch kit, fire extinguisher, flares, and a neon triangle to set up if you break down on the Parks Highway (or any of the other remote roads we love to drive on).
5. Jumper Cables
If not included in your emergency kit, there’s probably a set of jumper cables tangled up in the trunk. Whether you need them for your own car or for a fellow Alaskan who needs a jump, these are vital to have out here.
6. A Blanket or Sleeping Bag
This blanket or sleeping bag has endless uses – spread it out in the grass to enjoy a picnic for a cold winter night when your car won’t start (in case you forget the jumper cables!)
7. Duct Tape
Ahh, duct tape: every Alaskan’s favorite adhesive. It can be used for anything from sealing a cut when gutting a salmon to reattach your bumper after you hit one too many potholes. No Alaskan will pass judgment if you have more than one roll within reach of the drivers seat.
8. A First Aid Kit
If you would rather not ‘repair’ yourself with duct tape, a first aid kit is a must-have. Keep this one under the driver seat instead of in the trunk.
9. Bug Spray
Somehow, the mosquitos seem to arrive earlier each spring and stay longer each autumn. Bug spray used to be a one-season necessity, but now it’s a permanent fixture to keep you from turning into a feast for the unofficial ‘state bird’ that will eat you alive when out hiking or enjoying the scenery.
10. Windshield Wiper Fluid
Who else agrees that there is nothing worse than having to dump your water bottle on your windshield to clean the mud off after a particularly messy adventure? Always keep a spare bottle in the back of the car – there’s no excuse when they sell it nearly everywhere for only a couple of bucks!
11. A Snow Shovel
Last, but never least, a snow shovel can be a vital instrumental of survival… for that one time you misjudge the iciness on the Muldoon exit ramp and end up in the ditch. Trust me on this one.
Alaskans are tough and we’re always prepared for whatever our great state throws our way. We face challenges everyday that would leave the rest of the nation quaking in their snow boots!