View Full Version : Newbie-winter gear?

09-28-2005, 22:39
i'm pretty new to hiking, only done some minor hiking around the lake here because there isnt anywhere else to hike and i dont have a car

but my bro and i are planning a hike in december on the AT(he's a marine and will hopefully get 18 days of leave in early december..we are taking 10 of that to hike about 150 miles of the AT)

any tips on what gear we will need?
i have the basics like pack, tent, sleeping bag, and clothes on my list

but can anyone recommend some other stuff that is essential? i dont want to forget anything

and whats a good stove to have?

09-29-2005, 08:48

Down the left side of the page, gear lists for all sorts of stuff. Have fun planning (and buying!)

09-29-2005, 09:58
For winter trips, I would get one of the new MSR XGK stoves. If you want something less burly and you're not planning to travel internationally, the MSR Whisperlite is golden for cold weather activities. If you're going to be in places where the temps will be freezing, but no worse, then a Snowpeak Gigapower cannister stove is an excellent model.

09-29-2005, 11:44
There are lots of good gear lists on the web. I keep links to some of them at:

The one item I would stress for wintertime is a good, warm pad. Your body weight will crush the insulation under your sleeping bag making it inefficent as keeping your warm, so bring a pad.

Keep in mind that little weights add up, so cut out anything you don't need. I used to think I needed to gut out the hiking part of a backpacking trip so I could get to good destination (few people really enjoy carrying 60lb packs). These days I am almost always carrying between 10-30lbs and it makes a huge difference. I actually enjoy the hiking part. There is a really nice book called Lighten Up! by Don Landigin which does a good job walking through what you should take and how each of the items and basic techniques works together as a system.

On the stove front: there are lots of choices. The traditional white gas stoves are effective, but they also require a fair bit of care and feeding, they are rather heavy, and expensive. If you want to use liquid fuel in the US, rather than getting the traditional whisperlite, I would suggest getting the simmerlite which is nearly 1/2 the weight and can simmer. Even the simmerlite ends up being something like 12oz without fuel. If the temps are normally going to be above 0F, I would think about a canister stove cause they are pretty light and easy to use. Isobutane needs to be 11 F to vaporize (propane in the mix works down to -45F) and while you run you stove you are losing pressure so the canister gets colder. So if you expect the temp below 30 F just warm up the canister under your coat or in your sleeping bag for a bit and you won't have problems. Another option so long as you don't need to melt snow for water is a alchohol stove. Alchohol isn't as energy packed as whitegas, but a Stove+fuel bottle can weight as little as 1oz and can be made from parts you have around the house. For more comments on stoves http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/gear/misc.html#stoves

09-29-2005, 18:11
For a stove I can recommend MSR's simmerlite. My wife and I use ours summer, winter, spring and fall. Also, don't forget to use a pad under your sleeping bag. Not only does it give you a soft place to lay down, but it also acts as insulation from the cold ground.

Wolf - 23000
10-11-2005, 16:20

Iíve backpacked now over 8,000 miles in the winter. My last winter trip was in January doing the state of Maine. I personal love winter backpacking but before suggesting anything, were are you planning on hiking? Hiking in the New England states is a lot different compare to the Mid-Atlantic or the south. Also hiking in December is during hunting season in many states, so consider wearing bright orange colors. If you see a deer, make a LOT of noise. Normal I donít advocate disturbing the wild-life like this but you never know what Rambo want-a-be is out there taken aim.


10-14-2005, 08:22
thanx for all the advise

we are planning on hiking in the south, starting at springer mountain..not sure where we will end up as of yet

we basically have all of our stuff, sleeping bag, back packs, boots, pants, jackets, shirts, coats, stove, etc. just need sleeping pads and food and small stuff like flash lights, matches, etc. etc.

will definately wear some bright orange clothes:o

10-14-2005, 11:49
Bring a few extra pairs of socks. There's nothing worse in winter than putting on frozen, stiff socks in the morning.

10-14-2005, 12:03
"There's nothing worse in winter than putting on frozen, stiff socks in the morning."

I disagree. Wearing wet or damp socks to bed is worse. I have a pair of fleece socks reserved to sleep in. Warm dry feet are essential for a good night's sleep.

10-14-2005, 13:44
yea socks are another thing we have to buy, i'll buy those locally, the rest of the stuff we got offline.....

10-14-2005, 14:20
Don't forget hats and gloves.

10-14-2005, 14:48
already got those, 3 layers of glvoes and a beanie =D

10-14-2005, 15:06
here's what I have so far....feel free to tell me what else I need;)

back pack(5600 ci)
sleeping bag 0 degrees
pair of liner gloves
pair of light fleece gloves
pair of mittens(waterproof outside wicking inside)
pair of nylon pants
3 poly shirts(2 long, 1 short sleeve)
3n1 jacket, has fleece inside that can be zipped off for regular wind breaker
wind breaker pants
winter boots(-45 degrees perhaps a bit too much but they dont make my feet sweat too bad in 70 degree weather so they are good:D)
beanie(100% wool)
down pullover
pullover wind breaker
camp stove
2 man tent

10-14-2005, 15:25
10 of that to hike about 150 miles of the AT

The days are getting shorter all the time, so you'll want to factor that into your schedule. 15 MPD is harder now than it is in the summer.

Along those lines you might want to consider head lamps, and perhaps even couple candles if you are going to stay in shelters.

Cold can be uncomfortable, but wet and cold is many times worse. One way to help make sure things stay dry is to have a bunch of garbage bags-- one to put the wet tent in, one for your dry camp clothes, etc. etc. They weigh nothing.

And how about rain gear?

Because of early darkness, you might even consider a book or some other form of entertainment. To each his own.

Wolf - 23000
10-14-2005, 16:06
I would suggest getting a vapor barrier to go inside your sleeping bag. It rains/snow a good amount in the south during the winter months. After hiking all day long in the rain, it will help prevent your sleeping from getting all wet.

Jackiebolen is dead wrong about "There's nothing worse in winter than putting on frozen, stiff socks in the morning." Iíve walked though half frozen moving streams while it was below 0, had my boots freeze with my feet inside (ice had formed complete over my boots), but a frozen sleeping bag tops all!!!