Dec 12, 2011 at 11:45 am #1282946
In about 10 days I'm going to visit Femundsmarka National Park in Norway to spend some good time snowshoeing there. The trip is planned for 11 days, maybe without resupply. Depending on weather forecasts and statistics – the usual temperature may be -10/-30 C.
Could you review my gearlist and suggest any ideas for improvement?Dec 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm #1811312
Andy FBPL Member
Sounds like a fun trip! I plan to see the same temperatures this winter, and I'm working on selecting my gear also.
Do you mean the temps will be between -10 C daytime and -30 C at night?
Here are a few ideas for discussion:
– Might need better face and nose protection, like a face mask and ski goggles?
– Might want to bring chemical hand/toe warmers as a backup.
– Thin window insulating plastic film or polycro for the floor would be lighter, but less livable because it would need anchored down and be slippery.
– Consider using a vapor barrier in your sleeping bag. It improves warmth and keeps your down bag from collecting moisture, making it heavy and not work as well.
– I've been seriously considering those same boots. Have you had them out in the cold yet? They seem to be very heavy, but that's worth it if they keep your feet very warm. My current footwear for colder temps is a mukluk-style boot with felt liner, EVA insole, two pairs of thick socks and a turkey-size oven bag as a vapor barrier. All of this is inside a Tingley rubber overboot. Not counting socks, these are 45 oz (1276g) per pair. I think I'd be warm in these when active down to -40 F/C. The disadvantages are that they can be punctured (soft rubber), and my heel slips up and down in them easily. I'm debating about these versus the Keens and versus Steger mukluks.Dec 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm #1811321
-10/-30 C can be both day & night. Year ago on the 25th of December it was -38C (almost -40F) in Røros (http://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Sør-Trøndelag/Røros/Røros/statistics.html) which is still a bit lower than the nearby hills. At the moment, the initial forecast is around -10/-15 C.
Nose protection – got a piece of fleece with Pertex sewn on it – gonna add this to balaclava to cover the nose. I also have some raccoon dog fur – the idea was to use it with MEC Uplink Pullover.
Chemical warmers – haven't used, but I was considering bringing them with me.
VB – 100% agreed. I crossed out from the list jacket (OR Helium) and pants (OR Foray) – if the weather forecast will predict -20C and lower for most of the days I'll certainly take them with me.
Boots – the only model which fit my big foot (14 UK, 49 EUR) ;) Maybe Baffin would be ok (but much heavier).
Unfortunately, most of the stuff I had to buy in the US without trying it beforehand (not available in Poland). Haven't tried them here because the winter out here is delayed about 1,5 months (no snow, temps. do not fall below 0 degrees). I just had few random walks with those Keens – seem comfortable. The snow in the mountains appeared just two or three days ago. Pictures from the middle of November (https://picasaweb.google.com/rzez.immi/ZachodnieTatry) – usually there are at least 1-2 meters of snow.
Thanks for comments!Dec 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm #1811342
This is a small thing, but since you haven't bought it yet, I'll give you my thoughts. Instead of the Micra, I'd recommend the PS4 or the Style. The Style is lighter at less than an ounce, but I find my PS4 is incredibly handy. I literally use it every day, not just backpacking. I have the Micra and like it, but the design has been surpassed in my opinion by the PS4. The pliers on the PS4 are usable as tweezers, plus you get the scissors and screwdrivers. The Style has the PS4 beat by weight though hands down, at the cost of no pliers. PS4 weighs 2.1 ounces.
I'm a big Leatherman fan; I have the original Leatherman (which still sees regular use around the house and garage) the Micra, the P4 (discontinued), and the PS4. I think I have another I'm forgetting. Plus my girlfriend keeps her PS4 on her keys.
JeffDec 12, 2011 at 10:24 pm #1811508
Andy FBPL Member
Nice pictures! It looks like it'll be quite a fun trip, especially in deep snow.Dec 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm #1811513
Jeff – thanks for info – gonna change for Squirt PS4 (I also considered it – the pilers seem to be the greatest advantage).
On the daily basis (but not during the trips) I use Wave – it is very handy etc. but so heavy…Dec 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm #1811525
Velimir KemecBPL Member
Check out Gerber Vise multitool similar to PS4 but much cheaper!
Cheers.Dec 13, 2011 at 8:37 am #1811604
This page from the Norwegian Trekking Association on Femundsmarka indicates that there has been very little snow so far this season, only 20 centimeters, not enough for skiing or snowshoeing. Hopefully that will change in time for your trip.
The huts are closed as this is considered the off season even for winter trekking. The reason is the limited day light, only about four hours in mid December.
March or April might be a better time for a nordic winter trek as you would have much more snow and 12-14 hours of daylight.Dec 13, 2011 at 11:53 am #1811674
Thanks for additional information. I check every few hours long-term weather forecast on yr.no and monitor senorge.no. Hope that the situation will change a bit within those remaining 10 days.
As for the closed huts I have already checked the information from ut.no. However, I will bring my DNT key just for safety reasons. I would like much more to visit the area during the season for the reasons you mentioned, but only around New Years Eve the office where I work is closed so everyone is obliged to take some holiday :)
I guess that if the conditions on the spot will not be favorable (meaning: enough snow for snowshoeing and winter camping) we will probably shift to some other place – Forollhogna or Rondane being the closest and certainly with better snow conditions.
Thanks!Dec 13, 2011 at 2:57 pm #1811759
Sounds like you've got it covered.
If you ever have an opportunity go to the north of Norway, Finland or Sweden in the summer. The sun never sets and the light is truly magical.Dec 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm #1811763
Yes. The northern parts are truly amazing in July!
I have already hiked from Abisko via Tarfala, Stora Sjöfallet, Sarek to Padjelanta and Rago in summer. The midnight sun (and good weather) made the trip much more enjoyable. Winter however wasn't that good because of the snow storms in the beginning of march 2011, so I only enjoyed the stretch from Abisko to Nikkaluokta. Hope to visit those places once again, especially in full winter.
Could you recommend any areas near Mehamn or generally on Finnmarksvidda? Maybe you have visited Halti in winter?Dec 13, 2011 at 3:11 pm #1811765
Velimir – ok, I'll check it. Thanks for info.Dec 14, 2011 at 8:44 am #1811998
Sorry not familiar with those areas.Jan 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm #1821785
Photos can be found at: https://picasaweb.google.com/rzez.immi/Femundsmarka – I'll try to write some report/background in coming days ;)Jan 9, 2012 at 4:23 am #1822012
Trevor WilsonBPL Member
@trevor83Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Marcel – stunning images of the Norwegian winter landscape. Thanks for posting them.Jan 9, 2012 at 8:09 am #1822086
John WestBPL Member
@skyzoLocale: Borah Gear
Terrific photos, looks beautiful. I really want to visit Norway somedayJan 9, 2012 at 11:44 am #1822198
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