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Gear List The Gear List forum is the place to post your actual backpacking gear list, and to read what others have in their packs. Don't forget to specify weight.


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  #1  
Old 11-06-2006, 12:55 AM
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James481 James481 is offline
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Deep Winter Clothing - How's this look for a newbie?

Hi all. I'm planning on doing my first winter backpack this january, so I'm trying to nail down my clothing for the trip. Expected conditions are 1 or 2 nights, with days spent hiking through rough terrain covered with 6 - 18 inches of snow, temperatures probably right around freezing, with nights standing or sitting in camp (fire possible, but not definite) at temps of 5 - 0 (plus wind chill). So, without further ado, see how my planned clothes look to you...

While Hiking:
Base:
Capalene 2 long sleeve (maybe a 3?)
Cap 2 Long Johns
Smartwool liners and hiking socks
Microfleece glove liners

Mid (If needed):
MontBell UL Thermawrap vest

Outer:
TNF Wool Beanie
Marmot Precip or Ion (Depending on weather)
REI Ultralight hardshell pants
OR Crocs Gaiters
TNF Lifty 400 Boots

In Camp Add:
MontBell Alpine down jacket
REI Expedition weight long johns
OR balaclava

I still need to decide what sort of mittens to get, but other than that, I'm thinking I should be pretty darn warm, with a pretty minimal pack weight. Also, the down jacket will probably be used to boost the rating of my Marmot Pinnacle 15deg (w/ silk liner) bag. So, am I leaving anything out? Taking too much? Thanks for your help!
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2006, 07:53 AM
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krazib krazib is offline
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IMO, in the winter you can never take too much. I like down booties(rubber-type sole) and down mittens for camp, esp. for the morning. It takes too long to warm up. I didn't see sleeping pads on your list. Don't forget, you'll need 2 pads under your bag. I have used a thin closed form with my Big Agnes insulated and been fine down to zero. I love winter camping, no bugs, no snakes, no bears have a great time.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2006, 08:39 AM
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hoosierdaddy hoosierdaddy is offline
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Location: Western Washington
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I teach winter travel techniques to the Mountaineers. I've found that everyone has a different level of comfort in the winter, just as in the summer, so one person's gear list may be not enough or WAY too much for another. That said, below is a gear list that I give to my students for their first overnight to get an idea of what I bring depending on conditions. Gear can be removed, or gear can be added depending on the weather or terrain.

First: The 10+ essentials

Clothing:
Balaclava and a thin power stretch skull hat
Rain jacket & full-zip rain pants
Waterproof mitts & liner
Insulation clothing layer (Down jacket & down pants)
Wind shirt
Long sleeve wicking T-shirt
Wicking under shorts
Long underwear (Mid weight)
Nylon hiking pants
VBL shirt
1 pair Smartwool socks / liner socks (Bring extra pr too)
Waterproof hiking boots with Insolator sole inserts
Gaiters
Down booties (Or equivalent extra heavy socks for sleeping)

Kitchen:
2 liter Titanium pot (snow melting)
Lexan or Ti spoon
MSR Simmerlite stove & fuel in bottle
Plastic cup
Dehydrated food / Gorp / Snickers / Powdered drink mix / Bullion / Tea / Irish Crème! (just in case of snow-snake bite you understand.)
2 Nalgene containers
Homemade (U-Can) tea-candle soup can snow melter

Gear:
5500ci. backpack
Ski goggles
Sunglasses / side shields
Sunscreen / lip balm
Snowshoes
Hiking poles with ski baskets
Ice Axe
Snow shovel / snow claw
Bamboo trail markers
Headlamp
Compass / altimeter watch
Emergency kit
First-Aid kit
Map
Water bladder with insulation tube
Sit pad (for standing around on, in camp also!)
GPS
Camera

Sleeping:
4-season tent / snow stakes /guylines
Appropriatly rated sleeping bag / silk liner
Reflective heavy weight emergency blanket
Two sleeping pads (closed and open cell)
Camp towel
Cyalume light sticks
Pee bottle
Chemical heat packs
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2006, 04:33 PM
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3Pinner 3Pinner is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Virginny
Posts: 185
Nice list Hoosierdaddy!

I camp & ski tour in winter, and one thing I have found for me (and I chill easily) I will dress as lightly as conditions will allow while hiking/skiing. My motive is to keep my base layers as dry as possible.
I wear a lightweight (microweight merino wool) base while moving, and save my midweight for camp. the light weight stuff dries much faster if I do work up a sweat. I also tend to wear very breathable torso layers. The Termalwrap UL is a great substitute for fleece, but in my limited experience with it so far, it is not very breathable, and I've religated it to campwear.

I'll actually be testing a winter system that is new to me this season, and as soon as I can get some milage with it, I'll report back.
Hoosierdaddy - I'd be interested in you opinoin of it after I post a report.

My previous list from the skin out, layers added depending on conditions:
Torso
light weight and or midweight base layer,
Wool or microfleece shirt
Fleece sweater
Puffy hooded parka - used to be down.
Hardshell rain parka and pants - I pretty much wear these continuously to protect from wind and snow.

Legs
microweight or midweight base
Ibex softshell wool lined pants
Add insulated pants in camp

Feet
wool socks
insulated boots
insulated booties in camp

Head:
Thin balaklava
Windproof fleece beanie

Hands:
I have a circulation problem and have to watch my hands carefully
Windproof fleece gloves (2 pair)
Glove shells (wear while skiing)
Pile mittens and shells (for camp)
At least one pair of gloves is kept dry at all times.
If its gonna be a bone chilling trip, I'll throw in my downhill ski gloves. Don't even remember who makes them, but my hands have never been cold in them.

I reserve a pair of heavyweight wool socks exclusively for slacking in camp and sleeping. Insulated booties would go over those.
For some reason, putting on a dry pair of socks as soon as I set up camp just helps the whole warming process after a days slog in the snow.
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2006, 11:38 PM
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big_load big_load is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,825
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosierdaddy
I've found that everyone has a different level of comfort in the winter, just as in the summer, so one person's gear list may be not enough or WAY too much for another.

That certainly bears repeating. The comfort variation between people in winter amazes me. Exertion, hydration, and caloric intake play a big part, but after a couple years of trying to equalize those factors, I can no longer deny that Mrs. big_load needs dramatically more insulation than I do under almost any circumstance. Consequently, our cold-weather packing lists look like they're for different trips.
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  #6  
Old 11-07-2006, 04:17 PM
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James481 James481 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazib
IMO, in the winter you can never take too much. I like down booties(rubber-type sole) and down mittens for camp, esp. for the morning. It takes too long to warm up. I didn't see sleeping pads on your list. Don't forget, you'll need 2 pads under your bag. I have used a thin closed form with my Big Agnes insulated and been fine down to zero. I love winter camping, no bugs, no snakes, no bears have a great time.

I may have to look into some down booties for camp wear if I have the $$ before my trip. I will be taking a Pacific Outdoor Max-Thermo inflatable (for comfort), along with Pacific Outdoor SL-MTN 4 season closed cell pad (for warmth, sitting on in camp, etc...). Hopefully it should be fun...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosierdaddy
I teach winter travel techniques to the Mountaineers. I've found that everyone has a different level of comfort in the winter, just as in the summer, so one person's gear list may be not enough or WAY too much for another. That said, below is a gear list that I give to my students for their first overnight to get an idea of what I bring depending on conditions. Gear can be removed, or gear can be added depending on the weather or terrain.

I would say that on average I'm a pretty "warm" person, and I am going to a pretty mild winter climate (5-0 + wind chill is probably absolute worst case scenario). With that in mind, can I ask about a few of your choices?

Quote:
Insulation clothing layer (Down jacket & down pants)
Nylon hiking pants
VBL shirt

My planned gear includes just midweight long underwear, expedition weight long underwear (for in camp), light hardshell pants (which I'll be hiking in), and tall gaiters, without nylon hiking pants or down insulated pants. Do you think I'll be warm enough on my legs?

Quote:

Homemade (U-Can) tea-candle soup can snow melter

Hmm, I tried a google search on this but came up empty, do you have any links to somewhere that describes the construction and operation of one of these?

Quote:
Sit pad (for standing around on, in camp also!)
Pee bottle

Both very good ideas that I overlooked. What's the best thing to use for a sit-pad? Should I just get some cheap blue foam padding and cut a part out, or does someone make something better? Also, what works best as a pee bottle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Pinner
Nice list Hoosierdaddy!

I camp & ski tour in winter, and one thing I have found for me (and I chill easily) I will dress as lightly as conditions will allow while hiking/skiing. My motive is to keep my base layers as dry as possible.
I wear a lightweight (microweight merino wool) base while moving, and save my midweight for camp. the light weight stuff dries much faster if I do work up a sweat. I also tend to wear very breathable torso layers. The Termalwrap UL is a great substitute for fleece, but in my limited experience with it so far, it is not very breathable, and I've religated it to campwear.

I just got my Thermalwrap vest in the mail this afternoon, so I haven't formed any opinions of it yet (other than a very positive initial one). I'll probably be hiking in just my Capalene 2 base layer shirt and Marmot precip shell. I'll only put the vest into play if I'm still too cold while moving. Since I'll only be using it if I'm getting quite cold, I'm not worried too much about it's breathability, as I don't plan on sweating into it at all. Thanks for the heads up, though.

Last edited by James481 : 11-07-2006 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2006, 11:24 PM
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hoosierdaddy hoosierdaddy is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by James481
My planned gear includes just midweight long underwear, expedition weight long underwear (for in camp), light hardshell pants (which I'll be hiking in), and tall gaiters, without nylon hiking pants or down insulated pants. Do you think I'll be warm enough on my legs?
The trick to keeping warm while hiking in winter is doing just that...keep hiking, keep moving. As long as you're generating heat by moving, generally you'll be just fine. But as soon as you stop, layer up! Gotta be careful about getting too hot in winter though. The Inuit (Eskimo) have a "rule" in that one should only exert themselves in winter at about 60% of maximum in order to NOT sweat. In extremely cold conditions, sweating equals death! While snowshoeing on Mt. Rainier last year the temp was zero with a 25 MPH wind. My legs were covered by a pair of silk long johns, nylon zip-off leg type hiking pants, a lightweight pair of OR full-zip waterproof rain pants and OR Croc gaiters. No problems at all with the cold. I'd think you'd be fine!


Quote:
Hmm, I tried a google search on this but came up empty, do you have any links to somewhere that describes the construction and operation of one of these?
Look in the photos at the top of the main pages here for a photo of the U-Can survival stove that I made. I think there is also a thread somewhere around here that describes it. The design originated from a book by Montague Alford called "Winter Wise".


Quote:
What's the best thing to use for a sit-pad? Should I just get some cheap blue foam padding and cut a part out, or does someone make something better? Also, what works best as a pee bottle?
The best thing for a sit/stand pad is the el-cheapo blue foam. I use mine throughout the year and just make up a "new" one each year cause it gets torn up after awhile. Cut it just a little larger than the size of your butt. What works best for a pee bottle is something so different looking and feeling from your drinking bottle, that you will NEVER mix them up! I just use a cheap plastic, rectangular shaped 1 qt. bottle that I found at a mom & pop sporting goods store. Comes in REAL handy at 2:00 AM when it's below zero and blizzarding outside your tent!
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2006, 03:03 PM
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James481 James481 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosierdaddy
The trick to keeping warm while hiking in winter is doing just that...keep hiking, keep moving. As long as you're generating heat by moving, generally you'll be just fine. But as soon as you stop, layer up! Gotta be careful about getting too hot in winter though. The Inuit (Eskimo) have a "rule" in that one should only exert themselves in winter at about 60% of maximum in order to NOT sweat. In extremely cold conditions, sweating equals death! While snowshoeing on Mt. Rainier last year the temp was zero with a 25 MPH wind. My legs were covered by a pair of silk long johns, nylon zip-off leg type hiking pants, a lightweight pair of OR full-zip waterproof rain pants and OR Croc gaiters. No problems at all with the cold. I'd think you'd be fine!

Yeah, I'm not concerned at all about being warm while hiking, just while sitting in camp. If I get too cold, I can always climb into my bag, I suppose. Good tip about not sweating out your insulation, though.


Quote:
Look in the photos at the top of the main pages here for a photo of the U-Can survival stove that I made. I think there is also a thread somewhere around here that describes it. The design originated from a book by Montague Alford called "Winter Wise".

Ahh, I see. It seems that it's referred too as the "YuCan" stove (a few) other places on the web. I may have to build one and give it a try.


Quote:
The best thing for a sit/stand pad is the el-cheapo blue foam. I use mine throughout the year and just make up a "new" one each year cause it gets torn up after awhile. Cut it just a little larger than the size of your butt. What works best for a pee bottle is something so different looking and feeling from your drinking bottle, that you will NEVER mix them up! I just use a cheap plastic, rectangular shaped 1 qt. bottle that I found at a mom & pop sporting goods store. Comes in REAL handy at 2:00 AM when it's below zero and blizzarding outside your tent!

Yeah, I think I'll get a blue pad and get to cutting. I suppose I can cut some for a sit pad and then use the scraps to insulate the outside of the YuCan stove (seem like it would make it both more efficient and easier to handle when warm / hot). Also, a pee bottle does seem like a pretty good idea (unlike crawling out of my bivy in a blizzard to pee... brrrr... talk about shrinkage... ). Thanks for all your help on this!
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