Jan 13, 2009 at 12:56 pm #1233214
I'm going for my first snowshoeing trip of the year this weekend. The forecast for Friday indicates that the high will be 0*F and the low will be -12*F, so I thought I'd post my gear list. See if you guys think I can make any improvements.
I haven't posted weights. Most of my gear for winter is light, but not UL. I'm more concerned with warmth and safety. That said, I'm happy to lighten up if you see opportunities.
Here it is:
1. Base Layer: lightweight merino wool or synthetic
2. Insulating Mid Layer: Patagonia R1 Hoody or Powerstretch
3. Softshell: Patagonia Ascentionist
1. Baselayer: either lightweight merino wool or powerstretch tights (depending on the temperature)
2. Shell: Rab Bergen Pants (eVent )
3. Gaiters: OR Cascadia Gaiters
1. Keen Growlers
2. Liner sock
3. Thick wool socks
Head & Hands:
1. Smartwool Beanie
2. Powerstretch Liner Gloves
1. Patagonia DAS belay parka
2. Montbell Thermawrap pants
3. OR Latitude shell mitts
4. OR Nijaclava balaclava
5. Extra gloves
6. Extra socks
7. Extra hat
Other Items Worn & Carried
1. Komperdell C3 trekking poles with snow baskets
2. Atlas 1230 snowshoes
3. Petzl Vasak crampons
1. Cilogear 60L Worksack (or Granite Gear Vapor Day depending on volume)
2. Various drysacks and stuff sacks as needed
Water & Food
1. Standard hard-sided Nalgene in OR insulating sleeve
2. Soft 1.5L Nalgene in pack against my back
3. Snacks that don’t freeze
1. Aquamira water treatment tabs
6. First aid kit
8. Ski goggles
9. Fire starter
11. A.G. Russell Featherlite pocket knife
12. Cut down sit pad
I don't have a snow shovel, so there isn't one on the list. Maybe I should get one for this trip?
I do have an ice axe, but doubt that I'll need it for this trip.
I have the following clothes that I could add if needed:
– Wild Things hooded EP Jacket
– Patagonia Micro Puff Vest
– Montbell Thermawrap jacket
– ID Thru Hiker Hard shell
I've thought about carrying my WM Megalite incase of an emergency bivy. I don't have a bivy sack unfortunately. Do you think I should have one for this sort of thing?
Similarly, I don't have the Feathered Friends down booties, but I think they might be good to have for these trips.
So, what do you think?Jan 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm #1469878
It is going to be bitterly cold this week. It depends in part in how where you are going and how far and high you go (are you summitting?). Cellphone coverage (not on your list) can be really spotty and cannot be counted on there, so you need to get yourself out in an emergency. I think the clothes look fine (I would tend to go with the warmer layers like the powerstretch on the legs given the temps). I would want a serious hood (the Pat softshell may have this) if you go above treeline. I would worry a lot about my hands and feet, and I am not sure if the growlers will be warm enough (my winter boots by salomon are good down to -10 when snowshoeing, and you could be quite a bit colder then that). Bring handwarmers (and maybe toe warmers).
I would probably want something for an emergency bivy, so a space blanket bag or trash bag at minimum. The DAS parka is much warmer than what I carry, but I think if you had to bivy you would still want to be in something (even if you manage to climb into a tree well).Jan 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm #1469884
@beepLocale: Land of 11, 842 lakes
One additional thought concerning your snack food…
consider that food in your pack will almost certainly be frozen unless it is somehow insulated.
One solution to avoid this is to pack small, light snacks in a zip-lock bag that is then tucked into your long underwear with the top folded over the waistband. That will enable your body heat to keep things chewable and not crunchy. A variation on this theme is to use an inside pocket of an insulated parka, but you aren't likely to have on your heavy parka while actively snowshoeing. Additional variation on the same theme…store your food in a small waist pack worn with the pack carried at the front (warmer there!) and underneath your outer and mid-layers.
Oh, and store your Nalgene water bottle in the insulated carrier so that the threads are on the bottom. That way, if the liquid does begin to freeze, the ice will form at the base of the bottle instead of at the drinking end.Jan 13, 2009 at 4:56 pm #1469925
@maynard76Locale: New England
I dont see a stove to melt snow? But maybe there will still be running water in spots? Ive heard of people adding small amounts of snow to their water bottle -thus the snow can melt and your bottle will always be full (more or less) without having to melt snow.Jan 13, 2009 at 5:07 pm #1469927
@maynard76Locale: New England
Im also planning to do some solo winter hiking in the Whites this year. I have one of the Wildthings halfbags to pair with my Paty DAS parka for an emergency bivy. Im not sure how warm that would be -but ist better than nothing since I cant afford a real winter bag especially since I want to limit winter hiking mainly to day trips (just cant camp out starting at 4:00!).
The Wildthings halfbag comes up on Ebay all the time since Wildthings makes gear for the military. So you can get it for like 35-50 bucks usually as military surplus.Jan 14, 2009 at 6:31 am #1470061
@angelazLocale: New England
Little things I always bring in the winter – a bandanna attached to my jacket for my nose. A tiny squeeze tube of aquaphor healing ointment kept in a chest pocket – works really well for chapped lips, which I always seem to get in the cold, plus prevents patches of dry skin on my cheeks.
Perhaps you could bring a heavy duty trash bag for use with the sleeping bag? Not a breathable solution at all, but it would keep water off the bag in an emergency situation – and it's cheap! I've liked the option of having a vest in cold weather lately, also a windshirt. Both are light weight options that work when I get too cold shedding a jacket. I love my thermawrap jacket but in temps above 0 I overheat in it while moving. I do always bring it as back- up though.
A thermos full of something hot is always great.
Only other thing I could add is that I'm all about having really toasty, well insulated mittens. I haven't been using hand warmers so I rely pretty heavily on my mittens to keep me warm. It would not be fun if they didn't work. Also – the powerstretch tights are fantastic.Jan 15, 2009 at 12:04 pm #1470400
Thanks for the thoughtful responses everyone. There was some good stuff in all of them.
I'll have my cell phone, but I don't expect coverage on or near the summits. There never is in the Dacks. I'll be hiking with a group though, so that should help mitigate the danger of emergency situations that require getting out off the mountain.
I hope my Growlers will be warm enough. We'll see I guess. I'd hate to have to bail out on a hike because of my boots though.
I'll sort something out to serve as an emergency bivy.
My soft shell has a nice hood, yes.
Points for ingenuity. But I don't see myself walking around with snacks in my underwear. ;) I'll keep 'em in my soft shell's pocket.
I won't be carrying a stove. Someone in the group will though. And I'll be carrying all the water I'll need for the day.
Neat trick putting th snow inthe watter bottle though. I think I'll try that out.
And great idea regarding the Wild Things half-bag.
I'll be taking most all the little things you mentioned. just didn't list them. I might even splurge and carry a thermos.
Do you hike in a puffy vest? I've been thinking about getting a Patagonia R2 vest to add to the mix as I don't want to crush and ruin my Micro Puff vest by wearing it with a pack on.
Thanks again!Feb 2, 2009 at 1:41 pm #1474817
@angelazLocale: New England
Dave – Just saw your last question now as I'm stuck at work browsing gear lists. Sorry I missed it earlier!
Yes, I wear my puffy vest with a pack… but only rarely when it's really, really cold. But I'm kind of rough on my gear, so crushing it was never really a concern for me. It has held up fine so far! (patagonia down vest)
Hope you've had some good snowshoeing opportunities.Feb 2, 2009 at 2:48 pm #1474836
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> I hope my Growlers will be warm enough.
If they are big enough and don't restrict the blood flow, and you keep your legs war, they will be OK.
> emergency bivy
Two large trash bags
> I won't be carrying a stove. Someone in the group will though.
A stove is ALWAYS a good idea.
[Edit]: When travelling with a group there is always the chance that the guy carrying the stove might have to pull out, leaving you with no source of heat.
> Neat trick putting th snow inthe watter bottle though. I think I'll try that out.
ONLY if you can warm the bottle. You will need more fluids – the air is very dry.
While you are moving at a reasonable speed and provided you do have a good wind-proof layer, you should not need a lot of warmth layer. But be set to put warmth on as soon as you stop, regardless.
CheersFeb 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm #1474854
I just did an overnight snowshoe trip in northern PA, and I just wore trail runners. I probably won't wear boots on the trail again. It was around 10 degrees F and my feet, though wet, stayed very warm with wool socks, which I changed once we got in camp.
Just putting it out there.Feb 19, 2009 at 5:53 pm #1479175
@caretakerLocale: Jupiter, Florida
I did quite a bit in the Adirondacks back in college in the 90's. Lots of ice climbing and weekend peak bagging in the high peaks in full winter conditions.
Typical list for a snowshoe day hike in winter temps from 30 on down to below zero.
Action Suit –
Midweight zip patagonia top
Expedition weight zip patagonia top
Fleece hat in pocket or on head depending on the sweating
Midweight poly bottoms
plastic double boots with full insulated overgaiters
Ski poles and snowshoes
light fleece gloves
When I stopped I put on a down jacket and my hat
We didn't stop for long
Inside the pack would also be
goretex jacket and
full side zip goretex pants
cheap ski gloves
If it was windy and we were heading above tree line I also included one of those neoprene face masks. Everything but the down jacket would put on before we broke tree line in the wind.
Two nalgenes of hot water inside insulated covers.
Food that would not freeze solid – no candy bars etc. They wouldn't really even thaw when you put them inside your pants or shirt.
Headlamp that worked in cold weather
No Sleeping bag
Alpine type ice climbing – like the trapdike – was done with a different action suit because climbing and belays involved slower movement
simple fleece pants
Cheap no feature nylon wind pants
same boots and gaiters
mid weight zip top
tight fitting stretch fleece hoody top with pit zips
nylon anorak windbreaker – sierra designs
poly balaclava under helmet – hat in pocket or on when helmet was off
ski poles and snowshoes plus crampons
ice tools/rack/rope/helmet/harness etc.
no goretex but other layers same as above
Also, for climbing and the suffering involved I usually would pack a 1 liter thermos of hot tea and no nalgenes or other liquid. I would add snow to the thermos to get more liquid and the hot drink was good for morale.
Looking back the goretex was always a waste because it didn't breathe enough and froze solid. Wind suit was better. The down jacket was pretty dangerous because putting it on at rests just filled it with moisture and it would loose loft all day and start to freeze up and get heavy by dark. Synthetic would have been much better.
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