Winter Backpacking Tips

Anyone who appreciates the peace and beauty of a winter wonderland will enjoy backpacking or camping in the snow. If one is well prepared, there is nothing more enjoyable than romping around in the snow.

Here are a few tips on getting started.

What Kind Of Winter Accessories To Choose

  • Try to invest in a windproof model hat that is made from Gore WindStopper fabric.   Keep your head covered to prevent body heat escaping from the top of the head.
  • Carry extra mittens and gloves
  • Try to get waterproof model gaiters to avoid snow and water getting into the boots.
  • Many people forget about sunglasses, or now goggles. But the winter sun can glare off snow so glasses are required for protecting your eyes. You can get different tints for lenses to protect from wind and sun.

Clothing and Boots for Cold Weather

The basic rule when winter camping is to stay warm and dry. Clothing should be waterproof, well insulated and should dry quickly. You require adjusting layers to remain warm:

Your underwear forms the first base layer next to the skin. Try to wear merino wool or synthetic fabrics and avoid cotton. This prevents perspiration. Your clothes will dry quickly when you wear one lightweight layer and cover it with a thicker layer that is heavyweight.

The insulating layer forms the middle layer. This helps to retain the body heat. The ideal clothing when snow camping is shirts, pants and jackets made from micro fleece or expedition-weight fleece. You can also wear a jacket made from goose down.

A breathable layer of windproof or waterproof should constitute the outer layer.  The underarm and core vents should be able to expel moisture and heat for best results.

Tip: It is advisable to put a layer of clothing on you when you stop for a break. Your body will not cool too quickly.

Classic hiking boots will not be as effective as special mountaineering boots that will protect you from cold and water. In you intend to enjoy snowboarding or skiing, you will need to have a specific boots conformable to the bindings. Ensure you take all the necessary equipment with you to guarantee safe and joyful winter camping.  It is essential to wear two layers of socks made from synthetic fabric or merino wool. Keep the boot fit in mind when determining the thickness of the second layer. Always carry extras.

Planning a Backpacking Trip in winter

It is important to be warmly clothed with extra gear to protect from severe cold. The best way to go about this is to pre-plan carefully.

  • It is always advisable to go on these trips with friends who have travelled before and are familiar with the ropes
  • Make it a point to research when studying maps. Check out the availability of emergency and rescue services in the area you plan to camp.
  • Ask people around you for tips
  • Consider if the conditions are in your favor when you look at trail conditions and keep an eye on the weather forecast.
  • It is best to check the forecast and avoid avalanche areas. You should have had prior avalanche training if you plan to get on slopes that are more than 20°.
  • Make out a trip plan with details of your scheduled dates, number of your vehicle and contact number of other participants in the group
  • Conform to the goals and plans of the group
  • Pack all items that you think are important
  • You should have money on you in case any emergency crops up
  • Make sure to carry extra clothing and food to be prepared for anything unexpected.

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