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CHRIS
12-01-2008, 12:30 PM
Does anybody know of a place that I could get a list for what I should have in my pack etc. for winter hiking? I am in the process of getting snow shoes and microspikes. I have a really warm snow boarding jacket and ski pants that I assume will be good enough to hike with. I also have to get some good base layers. Any help onto where I can find a list or recommendations on what gear to have would be appreciated. This is my first attempt @ winter hiking. Thanks in advance.

BlueDog
12-01-2008, 12:50 PM
I found this list on EMS site the other night for their snowshow outing to Lonesome Lake Hut (http://www.emstrek.com/lonesomelake.html). Seems like a pretty good place to start.


Bags
Daypack with rain cover (2,000-3,000cu in)
Waterproof compression sack (to keep cloths dry)

Body
Insulated jacket (waterproof)
Insulated pants (waterproof)
Fleece pullover
Fleece pants
Long underwear
3 long sleeved shirts (Techwick or other wicking material)

Hands
Glove liners
Insulated gloves
Hand warmers

Feet
Winter hiking boots (Gore-Tex)
Gaiters (optional)
3 pairs of socks (synthetic or wool blend)

Head
Hat (wool or fleece)
Sunglasses
Balaclava

Other Equipment
Hydration system (camelback & bladder or 2 one liter water bottles)
Headlamp or flashlight
Bandana
Camera
Sleeping bag (32 degree or lower)
Toiletries (including baby wipes, ear plugs, toothbrush/paste, deodorant, etc?)
Plastic garbage bag and zip lock bag
Book, playing cards, iPod, evening entertainment
Trekking poles (provided upon request)
Snowshoes (provided upon request)

Food & Drink
Water, hydration mix, gels, energy bars
Lunch & snacks (sandwich, trail mix, fruit, etc?)

CHRIS
12-01-2008, 01:16 PM
Wow thanks BlueDog that was fast. It looks like I have almost everything. People I know laugh at me because I like to be a little over prepared. Just one other question for those who have done winter hiking. Is it hard to follow the trail as far as seeing the carians or blazes? I do have my compass and my Garmin but just a little nervous.
Thanks again BlueDog.

Bill O
12-01-2008, 01:28 PM
Really warm jacket sounds like it's really heavy. I favor a sturdy shell, down coat and/or a fleece. Gives me many more options.

Steve M
12-01-2008, 01:56 PM
Wow thanks BlueDog that was fast. It looks like I have almost everything. People I know laugh at me because I like to be a little over prepared. Just one other question for those who have done winter hiking. Is it hard to follow the trail as far as seeing the carians or blazes? I do have my compass and my Garmin but just a little nervous.
Thanks again BlueDog.

Not that I am an expert, since I have no winter above treeline experience, but I would think that starting off with small excursions above treeline would be wise. Maybe a trip up Crawford path to the Mizpah Springs hut then venture above treeline on Pierce would be a good start. It is not too far from the hut to treeline. That is what I would do anyways.

BlueDog
12-01-2008, 02:02 PM
Not that I am an expert, since I have no winter above treeline experience, but I would think that starting off with small excursions above treeline would be wise. Maybe a trip up Crawford path to the Mizpah Springs hut then venture above treeline on Pierce would be a good start. It is not too far from the hut to treeline. That is what I would do anyways.


Same here. I've done my hikes in the Whites during July and September and been very fortunate to have incredible weather every time. I'm really itching to get up there during the snow and the EMS guided trip seems like a good way to get my feet wet... or should I say snowy? Plus with this trip, they provide the snowshoes, which I can't justify buying right now as we hardly get enough snow down here to get any use out of them.

CHRIS
12-01-2008, 02:17 PM
Thanks Bill the jacket I have has a zip out fleece liner that can be worn by itself or just the outer and together its not that heavy. Thanks for your reply I value all replies.

CHRIS
12-01-2008, 02:29 PM
Thanks Steve and BlueDog I am going to be doing some shorter excursions once I get out there. Hopefully in a couple of weeks:D. I will take a look at Crawford Path to the hut when I get home. I am looking at trying to get up north every other or every third weekend so I don't mind spending the money on a good pair of snow shoes.

Bill O
12-01-2008, 02:44 PM
Thanks Bill the jacket I have has a zip out fleece liner that can be worn by itself or just the outer and together its not that heavy. Thanks for your reply I value all replies.

That's a good start, you can at least layer it as needed. It should be adequate for awhile. If you start to get out a lot you will appreciate something lighter. I still have a sturdy, warm jacket I use for the ski areas and much lighter equipment for hiking.

This is also where a down coat comes in handy. Very warm, yet light and compressible (just don't store it like that for long periods). I highly recommend the LL Bean down coat the observers wear. One of the best deals out there, last time I checked it was like $99. I'm still wearing my MWO down jacket.

mtruman
12-01-2008, 02:51 PM
There are lots of good options for winter hiking on the "popular trails" where the route finding is easy because the trails are well broken and packed. Blazes (below treeline) can be tough once the snow gets deep since they are sometimes below the snow level :eek:. Above treeline the cairns are usually built for winter conditions are stay in view (if you aren't in a whiteout) :eek::eek:.

As to gear, the biggest thing for me (other than the obvious list of safety items) is good layering. A couple of base layers, fleeces and waterproof shell are way better than one warm top layer (which will quickly be too warm).

At any rate, winter hiking in the Whites is awesome! We just got into it for the first time a couple of winters ago and immediately fell in love with it. Hoping to get more opportunity this year...

KD Talbot
12-01-2008, 04:15 PM
You want to be cold when you start out. Add layers if you need them. If you start out too warm and don't remove layers soon enough they'll be all sweaty and then you have wet clothes. Your body temp will drop fast when you stop. Always have layers to add when you stop. That's when the warm parka comes in.

Seriously, I have hiked in winter in a tank top and been plenty warm. depends on the conditions of course. Managing your body heat is one of the most important things you need to do. Even polypro wicking clothing will take too long to dry when you're standing around cold. I usually bring at least another dry shirt to change into at the summit.

I learned this one the hard way: always bring dry socks, a small towel and some plastic bags. If your boots get wet you can dry your feet, change into the socks, then pull the plastic bags over them and put your feet back in the wet boots where they should stay dry for a good while. Hopefully long enough to get out of the woods. You can buy plastic vapor barriers at different outfitters or just use bread bags like your mom did when you were little. :)

KDT

Charlie
12-01-2008, 06:26 PM
I learned this one the hard way: always bring dry socks, a small towel and some plastic bags. If your boots get wet you can dry your feet, change into the socks, then pull the plastic bags over them and put your feet back in the wet boots where they should stay dry for a good while.
KDT

its funny you say this about dry socks a friend of mine has a outdoor school that is CDS Outdoor School http://www.cdsoutdoor.org/index.htm
CDS is Clean Dry Socks :D:D