Late Season / Winter Backpacking Gear List

Perry

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So I've never done a winter weather trip. What does everyone's clothing and gear list look like? Basically what is different than that for the warm season?

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Nick

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Basically everything you normally bring but you need to amp up the thermal protection of your clothing and sleep system. You also need to have more water proofing, depending on the situation. It will depend on who you are and the specific conditions, but here are some things:

4 season pad
0˚ sleeping bag
thermals
snow pants
waterproof shell
gloves
Layers to go between your waterproof outer layers and your thermals. What goes here is highly personal based on how you handle the conditions.

Other things to consider:
Your water will freeze if given the opportunity
Isobutane does not work well in freezing conditions. White gas is better.
Hand warmers can be nice
Boiling water and putting into a metal bottle with a sock on it can warm up a sleeping bag a lot

I'm sure others will have other things. I do not like backpacking in lots of snow, but it can be pretty enjoyable in the desert in the winter even when it's getting down toward zero.
 

trasmuson3

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Dec 8, 2014
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I am heading up to Naturalist Basin today for the weekend if the snow permits, or else we will be going from crystal lake trailhead. Essentials for me are rain/waterproof and a down coat to stay warm. I am also packing a mini fleece sleeping back as a liner for my sleeping back for extra warmth. I am no expert in this and this is my first trip in such weather so take my gear list with a grain of salt.
 

Perry

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I am heading up to Naturalist Basin today for the weekend if the snow permits, or else we will be going from crystal lake trailhead. Essentials for me are rain/waterproof and a down coat to stay warm. I am also packing a mini fleece sleeping back as a liner for my sleeping back for extra warmth. I am no expert in this and this is my first trip in such weather so take my gear list with a grain of salt.
Let us know how it works out.

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Jackson

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I take most of the usual stuff with a few additions.

Waterproof boots instead of trail runners
Heavier socks
Heavier down jacket
Extra layer to go under the jacket
Heavier gloves

I don't use much of that while I'm moving though, unless it's really cold. But I tend to get warm really quickly.

If you're going out with definite ice and snow, some form of traction device for your boots is very nice to have. Kahtoola Microspikes seem to be the favorite. I have them and really like them.
 

Yvonne

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I've not done winter backpacking, but do quite a bit of winter camping in snow and in temperatures down to 5F. I also like to have insulated boots for hikes and place hand and foot warmers in my sleeping bag along with a hot nalgene bottle.
Try to pitch your tent on snow, it insulates way better than snow free ground.
Other than that I agree what Nick already had mentioned.
 

Udink

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A warm beanie hat is what makes all the difference for me when winter camping. Of course, I bring my 0-degree bag and extra warm jammies, but the hat seals the deal.
 

Nick

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This might go down a little differently for backpacking, but a bottle of @Ezra and a big ass pile of wood become a necessity when it gets really cold. And maybe when it's not.

12/31/15 - The night I set my sleeping bag on fire while I was in it.
IMG_9982.jpg
 

Perry

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This might go down a little differently for backpacking, but a bottle of @Ezra and a big ass pile of wood become a necessity when it gets really cold. And maybe when it's not.

12/31/15 - The night I set my sleeping bag on fire while I was in it.
View attachment 48642
Holy cow! I'm guessing you got out unscathed?

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Nick

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Holy cow! I'm guessing you got out unscathed?

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Yep. But my 5˚ down bag is down for the count. The trip:

http://backcountrypost.com/threads/ringing-in-2016-at-alstrom-point.5417/

As I went to bed in the back of the truck that night, I remembered that I brought my new Little Buddy heater. I had picked it up for boat camping but thought I'd throw it in just in case I wanted to warm up in the morning or something. Anyway, I turned it on and hopped into bed and let it warm me up a bit. I meant to immediately turn it off, but I passed out instead. I woke up the next morning to goose feathers drifting around and a giant hole melted through my 5˚ down bag. Let that be a lesson folks... no sleeping next to a buddy heater! Thank goodness for flame resistant fabrics!
 

Deleted User

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Thermals for at night
Pad with a 4.7 or higher R-Value
20- 0 degree rated bag w/ liner
Down Jacket
Dry Socks
Rain Pants
Gaiters
Waterproof Jacket
Beanie
Big Fires
Rye Whiskey, lots of it!
 
Last edited:

pstm13

Auribus Teneo Lupum
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I kind went overboard but anyway...
My list:
-Thicker Gore Tex shell and pants
-Down jacket rather than vest
-Heavier insulated GTX boots
-White Gas stove like my MSR XKG EX that is more flame thrower than stove (canister stoves kinda suck in the cold)
-balaclava
-Gaiters maybe if deep snow
-Dryloft shelled down sleeping bag EN rated at 0 degree and my 45 degree down bag as liner if needed. I sleep like a baby well below 0. I also have older down bags that can go to -40 if needed. I froze my ass off one year and promised it would never happen again.
-Battery charger because your phone will be dead in the morning
-Extra foam pad for insulation or you will freeze regardless of your bag
-My 85L pack for all the extra crap
-Hand warmers
-wool hat
-OR Gore Tex gloves and inner gloves
-Bivy and/or tent depending on my mood.If there is slushy melting snow then I may take both depending on what bag I'm taking
-Extra water bottle to pre warm my bag
-extra disposable bottle to piss in because Getting out of your tent really sucks in the winter especially at or below 0.
-put your water in the pot before you go to bed so you can just fire up the stove and put it on. It will be hard to poor out of a water bottle if frozen
 

Perry

Formerly Cuberant
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Aug 8, 2016
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I kind went overboard but anyway...
My list:
-Thicker Gore Tex shell and pants
-Down jacket rather than vest
-Heavier insulated GTX boots
-White Gas stove like my MSR XKG EX that is more flame thrower than stove (canister stoves kinda suck in the cold)
-balaclava
-Gaiters maybe if deep snow
-Dryloft shelled down sleeping bag EN rated at 0 degree and my 45 degree down bag as liner if needed. I sleep like a baby well below 0. I also have older down bags that can go to -40 if needed. I froze my ass off one year and promised it would never happen again.
-Battery charger because your phone will be dead in the morning
-Extra foam pad for insulation or you will freeze regardless of your bag
-My 85L pack for all the extra crap
-Hand warmers
-wool hat
-OR Gore Tex gloves and inner gloves
-Bivy and/or tent depending on my mood.If there is slushy melting snow then I may take both depending on what bag I'm taking
-Extra water bottle to pre warm my bag
-extra disposable bottle to piss in because Getting out of your tent really sucks in the winter especially at or below 0.
-put your water in the pot before you go to bed so you can just fire up the stove and put it on. It will be hard to poor out of a water bottle if frozen
Wow! That is quite a list :)

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pstm13

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Wow! That is quite a list :)

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I almost deleted it but figured I spent all the time typing it from my phone so I may as well post it.

I should have just said to take a warm bag and cloths, an extra sleeping pad, and a white gas stove.
 
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