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Old 12-10-2010, 09:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What to Pack for Winter Day Hikes

Now that the snow is starting to fall here in New England, I'm doing more winter hiking exploring the backcountry possibilities. I'm a relative new comer when it comes to winter hiking, and I'm looking for ideas as to what to carry in case of an emergency. Especially in regards to an emergency shelter capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of winter. Is there something more advanced then the tarp or tube tent I use for normal day hikes? Ideally I would like a nice 4 season tent, but it's really not practical for day hikes. That's the biggest concern I have with my gear. Other than that I think I'm pretty good.

Day Hike Pack Includes (+/- depending on how long and where the hike is)

Extra Down Jacket
Extra Base Top/Bottoms
Extra Socks
Extra Gloves/Hat/Etc.
Extra Water
Extra Food
Knife
Multi-tool
Compass
Map
Fire Starter and Materials
First Aid Kit
Shovel
Cord
Flashlight/Headlamp
Sunglasses or Goggles
Space Blanket
Poncho
Plastic Bags
Wipes
Handwarmers
....and some sort of emergency shelter. This is where your help is needed.

Also my Gear:

Splitboard
Skins
Poles
Splitboard Crampons
Crampons
Helmet
Spare Parts
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ummm... if we're talking about day hikes, why are we talking about tents?

I don't know about you, but I'm not packing a tent for day hikes. Bring a space blanket or if you're talking about for splitboarding and there's enough snow to ride, learn how to make a snow shelter - better yet, do both.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linvillegorge View Post
Ummm... if we're talking about day hikes, why are we talking about tents?

I don't know about you, but I'm not packing a tent for day hikes. Bring a space blanket or if you're talking about for splitboarding and there's enough snow to ride, learn how to make a snow shelter - better yet, do both.
I don't plan on packing a tent either. Its not practical at all, that's why I'm looking curious if there are better options than my typical space blanket or tarp that I normally carry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
While it is good to be prepared, you also must be practical. Al the extra clothes you mention are going to be bulky and weigh you down. You really have to balance emergency preparedness with not killing yourself from packing too much. Even back packing for multi day, I do not bring all those extras clothes wise.
I don't always bring extra clothes, but for a long day hike I do. Just for laughs I threw my extra down layer, base layer, gloves, hat, and socks on the scale and they came in at 723 grams. At just over a pound and a half I'd rather be safe than sorry. Assuming I'm using my splitboard and poles and packing everything else my pack comes in at just over 16 pounds including 4 liters of water. I know I carry a lot, but it has all served me well and 16 pounds won't kill me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
On shelter...

For day hiking, shelter is only needed in an emergency. Fire (if you are below timberline) is really all you need to spend a night out in reasonable comfort. A lean to is super easy to build if you are in the trees. Simply place a lot of cut pine boughs down on the ground for a soft, dry bed and build the lean to with branches covered thickly with pine boughs. Build you fire right in front of your lean to and if it is really cold, build a wall behind the fire with cut branches and small logs to reflect heat back into your lean to.

When I was stationed at Eielson AFB outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, I went out cross country skiing with friends and we over nighted in a lean to in -35F weather. We were very comfortable in our lean to and with the fire going, we kept it almost 70 degrees in our shelter. In Arctic Survival training, all were given in our packs was a knife, matches, rope and MRE rations. The rest we had to figure out. We spent 3 nights out in the -30 to -40 weather without anything. In reality, you don`t need a ton of stuff.

In snow, a snow cave is going to be far warmer than any tent anyway...
I can handle that, but my only concern is high winds. I do a lot of hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where intense storms can come in very quick. I trust my skills in the mountains, but I would hate to become stuck in a storm and find myself digging about a forrest trying to build a lean to. How does the lean to perform in high winds?
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost_Rider_X View Post
I don't plan on packing a tent either. Its not practical at all, that's why I'm looking curious if there are better options than my typical space blanket or tarp that I normally carry.



I don't always bring extra clothes, but for a long day hike I do. Just for laughs I threw my extra down layer, base layer, gloves, hat, and socks on the scale and they came in at 723 grams. At just over a pound and a half I'd rather be safe than sorry. Assuming I'm using my splitboard and poles and packing everything else my pack comes in at just over 16 pounds including 4 liters of water. I know I carry a lot, but it has all served me well and 16 pounds won't kill me.



I can handle that, but my only concern is high winds. I do a lot of hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where intense storms can come in very quick. I trust my skills in the mountains, but I would hate to become stuck in a storm and find myself digging about a forrest trying to build a lean to. How does the lean to perform in high winds?
If your only concern is high winds then I suggest you utilize your shovel and dig a snow shelter! Warm and very wind proof.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the "ten essentials:" matches and lighter, extra food, water, first aid, extra warm clothes, map and compass, multi-tool, light, raingear or tarp, sunglasses and sunscreen.

this is the list found in a lot of avalanche educational stuff. but even this seems like a lot to me. when i go out, i look at where i am going and think about the possibilities of getting stuck and go from there. think about having to get rescued. would it mean a few hours or a few days? i mean you don't need rain gear or a tarp if there is no chance of snow or rain, and you don't need a headlamp or a fire starter to duck the ropes for a lap. i try to go as light as possible so i can ride and hike with less which means your day can last longer and you get to ride more. usually in my day pack i have probe, shovel, water, sunglasses/goggles, board tool, knife, small first aid kit, trail mix (and possibly a sandwich), gps, map/compass, snow science kit, hiking hat/helmet, a few pieces of extra hardware, an extra fleece layer (i usually just have on my shell), camera, parachord. this would be a day hike only and i always keep more gear in the car for a possible overnight stay (usually parked at the end of sketchy fire roads) including a sleeping bag and more food/water. i would certainly advise against carrying a tent on a day hike, but a sleeping bag in the car isnt a bad idea. just evaluate your route. if you are new to the area then go with someone who knows it better so you will have a better idea. also learning to build a snow shelter is always a good idea. i have spent quite a few very comfortable nights in snow shelters that were built in the middle of nasty storms.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Forget about any kind of water filter, they freeze and are useless. Iodine tabs.........way lighter. Back on topic.......bivy bag, sounds like what you are looking for.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Build an igloo.

Grand Shelters ICEBOX - Igloo, winter camping tool

Maybe I looked over it but are you beeping?
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo maestro View Post
Forget about any kind of water filter, they freeze and are useless. Iodine tabs.........way lighter. Back on topic.......bivy bag, sounds like what you are looking for.
Fuck iodine. That shit is gross. Go with a Steripen instead.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What Ive been carrying inside my pack on my day trips this season

- Shell Jacket
- Goggles
- Shovel, Probe
- Snack
- Compass, First Aid Kit, Emergency Blanket
- Gloves
- Hat
- Whistle
-Screwdriver
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Snowolf, you say you carry the following list:

- Shell Jacket
- Goggles
- Shovel, Probe
- Snack
- Compass, First Aid Kit, Emergency Blanket
- Gloves
- Hat
- Whistle
-Screwdriver

Cliff Bars
tinder box
topo map
cell phone
Avy transciever
personal locator beacon
survival knife
rope
hand gun

but earlier said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowolf
Seriously, for just day hiking or day splitting, you really do not need to pack all that crap.....
I don't see where I am packing "crap." Although you don't mention it, I'm sure you carry water. What do you recommend I cut out?

Extra Down Jacket
Extra Base Top/Bottoms
Extra Socks
Extra Gloves/Hat/Etc.
Extra Water
Extra Food
Knife
Multi-tool
Compass
Map
Fire Starter and Materials
First Aid Kit
Shovel
Cord
Flashlight/Headlamp
Sunglasses or Goggles
Space Blanket
Poncho
Plastic Bags
Wipes
Handwarmers
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