- Jan 24, 2018 at 4:52 am #3514073
I’m trying to get some feedback on my winter gear list. I’m reasonably experienced in 3 season backpacking, but still a novice at winter camping. Think Pacific Northwest. Lows in the 20s, maybe as low as 0 F. This doesn’t include my clothes worn. I think I have that mostly figured out.
I’m thinking about adding some down pants. Maybe taking a second set of hiking pants in case mine get wet, likely by falling into a creek (this has happened). I’m also thinking about switching to a Kovea Spider since the little pocket rocket knockoff doesn’t heat that well since it doesn’t have a windscreen.Jan 26, 2018 at 10:03 pm #3514688
Edward John MBPL Member
So add in 15 grams for a foil windscreen plus a few grams for a base plate?
0F is borderline wet-cold and my conservative nature says synthetic insulation for the legs but not my AoO so no experience at allJan 26, 2018 at 11:40 pm #3514709
I have a baseplate but forgot to add it in the list. I think I need a windscreen but it won’t work for an upright canister stove due to the danger of the canister overheating. Thus, considering the Kovea Spider or another inverted remote stove.Jan 27, 2018 at 3:00 am #3514739
Mike BBPL Member
What is the purpose of the trip and how long will you be out?
I am going to assume you have the proper shoes, pants, base layer for the legs. I would have another pair of heavy wool socks and a couple of bread bags to protect those socks if you soak the ones you are wearing. Are you going to be somewhere where an ice axe / avalanche probe is needed or required? Asking because you have microspikes and not crampons / snowshoes / ski’s listed.
I use a liquid stove in the winter but there have been plenty of discussions on here about upright canister stoves in the winter and how to use them properly and safely in the winter. Basically make sure the canister does not get to hot to touch and watch the outside air temperatures and the boiling points of the propane+butane liquids inside the canister to make sure you get good flames all the way through the canister. Search for “Moulder Strip” and you will find a ton of information on using an upright canister stove in the winter.
Have funJan 27, 2018 at 3:25 am #3514740
What are the daytime temps? (will you really need rain gear). If you do need the rain gear, then you can always use your rain pants as a second pair of hiking pants if the first get drenched, so no need for a second pair of hiking pants.
Don’t overdress – that can be easy to do in the winter. Try to hike cool, not warm. I run warm, and find myself wearing very little during the hike (often just a thin wool baselayer with nothing else over it, unless it’s windy, then perhaps a windshirt over it). Remember, you’re probably carrying heavier gear because of the weather, and a heavier pack will make you work a bit harder.
I know plenty of people use down pants in winter, but I’ve never found them that useful, perhaps because I’m a hike-all-day guy. Since it gets dark so early in winter, by the time I’ve got my shelter up and my belly full, I’m climbing into my bag (with a book).
I’m a big fan of 40 Below stuff – specifically their neoprene water bottle boots (they also sell the Hunersdorf bottles, which I like for winter) and their Light Energy TR overboots (you can’t hike ‘on’ them, you need to be wearing snowshoes or crampons or microspikes when you hike in them). I did a pretty cold trip in Michigan’s UP wearing the overboots and my feet never got cold (even at rest) or overheated, FWIW.
And bring some matches, I’ve had bic lighters fail in the cold.
If you’re camping on deep(ish) snow, you don’t really need the stakes, just use sticks as deadman anchors. And make sure you have something to keep your center pole from just sinking into the snow.
No groundsheet of any type, or did I miss that? You don’t want to roll over during the night and have your bag in contact with the snow – it’ll be wet in that spot by morning. But I’m a rock and roller sleeper, so if you never move it might not be a problem for you.
You only list an overview map, is that detailed enough for navigation?Jan 28, 2018 at 11:24 pm #3515165
Most trips would be overnight. Once I have that down, I may try 2 or 3 nights. Probably not any longer than that.
I didn’t include the weight of snowshoes since I’d typically be wearing them. Probably wouldn’t need crampons. Ice axe is useful on steeper but not icy slopes.
The Bob Moulder technique looks interesting. I’m not entirely confident that I wouldn’t blow myself up.
Daytime temps are variable. Maybe as low a 10 degrees, as high as 40. I will need rain gear. It’s often raining near the trailhead but snowing just a little above. Also, we can get some pretty wet snow up here.
General hiking clothing include my ExOfficio boxer briefs, sometimes long underwear if it’s really frigid. Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants over that. Capilene 2 shirt on top with a quarter zip fleece on top if it’s colder. I have various gloving systems, still trying to dial that in.
I bring waterproof matches and vaseline soaked cotton balls. They’re buried in the first aid kit.
I’ve tried sleeping with no groundsheet twice. It seemed to work. A groundsheet just seems like it would be good place for a puddle of water to accumulate. I generally don’t roll off the sleeping pad. My CCF pad is reasonably wide.
I take a zoomed in map. Just didn’t list it.Feb 11, 2019 at 2:36 am #3577851
David HosmerBPL Member
I wonder about the wet conditions, down sleeping bag, and no groundsheet. It seems to me like a heavy risk to be taking but I often find parts of me have abandoned the sleeping pad by the morning.Feb 11, 2019 at 4:45 am #3577867
I experimented with a Tyvek groundsheet last trip. I really liked it. It really helps keep things dry. I will now suffer the weight penalty.Feb 11, 2019 at 6:57 am #3577878
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
While liquid-fueled stoves are one solution in winter, if you already have the Pocket Rocket, and your’e doing 2-3 night trips, I’d stick with the canister stove. The learning curve on liquid-fueled stoves is as much as learning to use a canister stove at cooler temps. A Moulder Strip can’t blow up your stove – you’d never use it when the weather is above freezing.
I didn’t seem a ground cloth of any sort. In summer, one’s pad (or your two) suffice, but in winter, some polycro sheeting (sold in the hardware aisle as window-sealing kits) is very light and far tougher than I first thought it would be. It doesn’t last forever, but it does for dozens of nights.
Bring a back-up Bic lighter (remember to remove the child-safety bit first so it’s easier to use with cold hands) or a ferro-rod.
In summer, I just bring a Victorinox Classic, but in winter, I’d step up to a small Mora knife or a small folding pull saw. If you need a warm up fire, cutting a bunch of dead branches from low on conifers is the quick way to do it.
The snow shovel is a fairly heavy one. You don’t need a snow shovel to go snow camping. Until you do. Then it can safe your life – every tent has a maximum wind speed while a snow cave doesn’t. And constructing a bench, table, etc in camp makes everything more comfortable.
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