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Thread: Winter Hiking

  1. #1
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    Default Winter Hiking

    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.

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    I found this list on EMS site the other night for their snowshow outing to Lonesome Lake Hut. 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?)
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    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.

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    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.
    Bill
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHRIS View Post
    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.
    Steve
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
    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.
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    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.
    Last edited by CHRIS; 12-01-2008 at 02:31 PM.

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    Thanks Steve and BlueDog I am going to be doing some shorter excursions once I get out there. Hopefully in a couple of weeks. 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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHRIS View Post
    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.
    Bill
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    EasternLight

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    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 . Above treeline the cairns are usually built for winter conditions are stay in view (if you aren't in a whiteout) .

    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...
    Mark

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