Oct 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm #1295473
As it will be my first autumn & winter backpacking since moving to the US I would like to know what insulated clothing and sleeping kit folk would pack for the below trips.
I have an idea myself what I would use but would like to hear what other folk have to say first.
1. Nordhouse Dunes, Michigan mid November (overnighter)
2. Superior Trail, Ontario, early December. (2 nights)
3. Adirondack High Peaks, New York, early February (3 nights)
StephenOct 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm #1923976
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
We'll see what forecast looks like as it gets closer, but I'd guess it'll be daytime temps in the 30-50 degree range and nights in the 20s to 30s. I'll be wearing synthetic pants, merino baselayer top, light R1 fleece if needed. In the pack, down sweater and maybe insulated pants. 30 degree quilt.
Should be a fun trip!Oct 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm #1923978
It will indeed be a fun trip, what you mention is much similar to what I would use back in the Uk and Ireland at that time of year.
StephenOct 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm #1924024
For the high peaks area, I usually use the Lake Placid weather and subtract about 5F.
Here is the chart: http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USNY0778
Note that it can get MUCH colder late january,early febuary: in the -20F territory at night. Often it doesn't get much above 10F for a week or two.Oct 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm #1924032
What gear would you be packing?Oct 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm #1924034
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
I'd also suggest a Google search for "ADK Winter School", and then downloading a copy of the student handbook and equipment checklists — these will give you a good idea of what to take to the High Peaks region…Oct 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm #1924039
I have that book, I am interested what the Bpl folk would pack.
Cheers,Oct 24, 2012 at 7:11 am #1924096
Yeah, go with Johns stuff. I gave up winter hiking shortly after I found out I had diabetes. I thought my feet were damaged from freezing, nope… Anyway, the school has good recommendations, though not the lightest…in winter, weight is a distant second place to function, though. I believe they recommend a -20 bag, white gas stove and 4 season tent, minimally. LOTS of extra cloths…days can make the snow "rain" on you with 4-6" wet snow balls.
It is really nice in the winter…you WILL enjoy it.Oct 24, 2012 at 8:55 am #1924117
That trip in the Adk is actually to attend the Winter School.Oct 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm #1924225
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
I attended the school in 1981. I still remember the weather. Very cold (below 0 F at night), followed by a warmup, then misty drizzle, then very cold (well below 0 F at night).Oct 30, 2012 at 11:34 am #1925381
I do the majority of my hiking in the Adirondacks and love it up there in the winter. Fewer people, fewer bugs, and trails that usually require rock hopping are leveled out with the snow. Tons of fun. My buddy and I went up there last year for two nights during one of the -20F (-29C) weekends. It was not something that either of us was seeking out, but I felt good with what I had.
Bag: Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF 0 Degree (overstuffed)
Pads: Thermarest RidgeRest Sleeping Pad and BMW Torsolite
Head: Outdoor Research Wind Pro Balaclava
Hands: Outdoor Research Meteor Mitt Liners
Feet: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks
Legs: Patagonia Capilene 3 Midweight Bottom
Torso1: Patagonia Capilene 3 Midweight Zip Neck
Torso2: Outdoor Research Transcendent Sweater (draped this over me inside my bag like a blanket)
Tent: SMD Lunar Duo
I was somewhat surprised at how comfortably I slept. The only times I felt cold were when a body part would migrate off my pad and hit the ground. I now have a Downmat UL7 and I know that will help keep me warm this upcoming season.
In my humble opinion, the items required for the winter mountaineering course are somewhat overkill for the area. However, I hope to attend the school someday if only to learn how to properly use said gear.
I hope this helps and I agree with James…you'll have a great time!Oct 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm #1925399
I am really looking forward to it :-)
I have a Downmat 7 UL myself and love it, it will definioey be coming on the trp, they insist on a full length foam pad as a backup also, I wil bring a cut down Ridgerest Soloite with me. I agree some of the items maybe a bit of an overkill but I am lucky enough to have very lightweight and decent winter kit.
How did the Lunar Duo handle snow fall?
StephenOct 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm #1925493
We didn't get any snow on that trip. The only other time I took the Lunar Duo up in the winter we got just a light dusting. The snow slid off nicely but collected at the base of the tent compressing the space within minimally. However, since the Duo is cavernous for one person, it didn't really affect me much. I don't think that it could handle a true snow load, but it wasn't designed to do so either so I can't hold that against it!Oct 31, 2012 at 3:52 am #1925550
Here is another interesting link to a good ADK winter day hiking list…Oct 31, 2012 at 5:08 am #1925556
Do you have a winter tent also?
Will check that out.Oct 31, 2012 at 5:43 am #1925559
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Steve…..Have you thought of using a pulk for your extended trips….great light weight piece of equipment/easy to make for winter snow travel that extends safety and comfort as it lightens ones pack.
Many articles on the BPL site.Oct 31, 2012 at 5:44 am #1925560
conditions in the Adirondacks change frequently, and deteriorate quickly. I would say that the first list in the link I sent is pretty complete, and accounts for just about any conditions.
More importantly is an important law (tried to find the link but couldn't) that says if there is more than eight inches of snow on the ground (which is likely in February) you MUST wear snowshoes or skis. They do enforce this, so be prepared. You can rent them nearby if need be.Oct 31, 2012 at 5:50 am #1925561
Another updated site showing weather and snow amounts in the High Peaks..
http://www.jackrabbittrail.org/conditions.htmlOct 31, 2012 at 6:12 am #1925566
Its good to know about the Snow shoes.
I have never given pulks much thought, can they be used on steep ground?
StephenOct 31, 2012 at 7:19 am #1925576
I do not have a dedicated winter tent. Because the regulations in the ADKs do not allow for camping at high elevation, most of the places I've camped have been pretty sheltered. I haven't felt the need for a tent that can withstand really heavy snowload or high winds. In addition, I've found that we've quite often ended up near a lean-to in the winter and I've thought it odd that I've set up a tent when there's a perfectly good 4 season shelter literally yards away.
Also, for what it's worth here's the reg on the snowshoes/skis…
§190.13, f, 3, vii Wilderness Areas in the Adirondack Park
http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/13942.html#13945Oct 31, 2012 at 7:40 am #1925579
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Steve….Depending on the steepness, snow quality/type and pulk design are variable that play into this issue. If you place a "runner/keel" on the bottom of the pulk this helps side slipping. How you have attached the pulk to your body or pack is another.Oct 31, 2012 at 7:44 am #1925580
Thanks Ken, the keel is the same principle as with sailing.
StephenOct 31, 2012 at 7:47 am #1925581
That makes sense using the Shelter,Oct 31, 2012 at 8:00 am #1925582
Generally, in the first few miles from Heart Lake to Marcy Dam, pulks are OK. Down to the flowed lands they work. Depending on the exact trail your route takes you, they are often usefull for yoyos. For any loops including a peak, though, they are generally more trouble than they are worth. Trails are often twisty and can be steeper than a pulk can easily be pulled…or held back. Some are well over 45 degrees and are more like rock climbing than hiking trails. Check with local guides, but I cannot recommend them for general hiking in the High Peaks… Of corse there are always ways these hiking aids can work, depending on weather and your choice of trails…Oct 31, 2012 at 9:17 am #1925599
+1 on the comment from James.
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