Winter gear list
This is the winter gear list used this year for Cabin Hopping and the Frozen Fifty. It is extremely long & comprehensive, and would be overkill for your ordinary average winter day hike, but you as the leader should be aware of exactly what constitutes appropriate gear for winter backpacking. Here it is for your reference, and for your ease of copying and pasting items from the actual list, with detailed, beginner friendly descriptions of almost anything you might be asking your trippees to bring on your trip.
Welcome to Cabinhopping/Frozen Fifty 2009
Welcome to Cabinhopping/The Frozen Fifty 2009! Gear on this trip is crucial, and the list is long, but donâ€™t despair, youâ€™ve got six enthusiastic leaders to answer your every question and help you get what you need (without breaking the budget). Since we know you are going to fall in love with winter hiking, do note that all of these things will be useful in your future expeditions, many of them will even be useful just for that epic trek through a blizzard to class this winter.
We recommend bringing a set of clothes for hiking, and a set of clothes for sleeping. The hiking clothes will likely get wet during the day and you are going to want a stash of dry layers to change into as soon as we reach a cabin.
Gear can be obtained in many ways: borrowing (try blitzing out to chubbers@mac, your friends/family at home, whoever), purchasing: there are an EMS & LL Bean in West Leb accessible by Advance Transit, thrift stores: the Listen Center in White River Junction would be a great place to find some non-cotton layers for cheap, especially wool sweaters, Farmway in Bradford VT is an awesome, huge outdoors store with a big selection & good sales, and rental from Dartmouth Outdoor Rentals (DOR).
Rental from DOR is FREE, however, we need to give Mike numbers soon. We are planning to rent gaiters, hiking poles, crampons, and snowshoes for everyone from DOR, but if you have your own, they are probably better quality, so bring those and let us know.* We can also rent a limited number of extra fleeces & other cold weather clothing, 0 degree rated sleeping bags, and foam sleeping pads, so let us know if you need those!*
Cotton is the worst enemy of winter hiking. Do NOT under any circumstances bring ANY cotton whatsoever on this trip. When cotton gets wet, it stays wet & cold & makes you cold. If you donâ€™t believe me try jumping in the Connecticut in your jeans, then hanging out outside for an hour (please donâ€™t !).
NOTHING ON THIS LIST IS OPTIONAL. With the exception of those things listed under optional , you dummy. But seriously, every single piece of gear listed is absolutely necessary to ensure you have a safe, cozy Cabin Hopping experience.
Please blitz if you have any questions or concerns, need help obtaining gear, or want to chat about how much husky puppies would improve the quality of this trip & how to trick the DOC into buying them for us.
Clothes for hiking
- Comfortable, waterproof, broken-in hiking boots that come up to your ankle
- Hiking socks
- 2 pairs
- Not cottonâ€”wool, polypropylene, etc. Some people like to wear a thin pair of socks beneath their thick ones to stop blisters & insulate.
- Underwear and sports-bra
- 2 Pairs
- Not cottonâ€”no, seriously.
- Running tights/long underwear
- Depending on the weather, youâ€™ll probably spend most of your time hiking in running tights/smartwool leggings/long underwear/whatever you call those tight athleticy spandex things, and just use your pants for when its really wet/cold/windy.
- My smartwool ones are my single favorite piece of gear. Worth the investment.
- If you canâ€™t figure out what Iâ€™m talking about, blitz me.
- Pants to hike in
- to layer over tights when it gets cold/windy/wet. E.g. wind pants, rain pants if you have them
- most people find that snowpants are a little too hot to hike in
- Shirt Layers
- at least one short sleeve, at least one long-sleeved shirt (polypro/underarmor type)
- PLUS a fleece or wool sweater
- Waterproof, Windproof outer layer
- Some sort of jacket/coat that is waterproof.
- This can be a lined waterproof shell
- It is also fine to bring a waterproof rain jacket as long as youâ€™ve got plenty of room to layer underneath & at least one cozy fleece jacket
- Warm Hat
- fleece or lined wool work well
- 2 Pairs of Gloves or Mittens
- In case one pair gets wet
- Liners are great! But they donâ€™t count as a pair by themselves.
- Mittens are warmer than gloves. If youâ€™ve got poor circulation, consider bringing some awesome wind-proof water resistant thick, insulated hardcore mittens plus glove liners, plus your other extra pair of gloves/mittens.
- Scarf or Neck-Warmer or Balaclava
- Very important if itâ€™s windy
Clothing for Sleeping
- Cozy Sleeping Socks
- do not be afraid to layer!
- Long underwear
- Not cotton
- Warm pants
- fleece pants and such
- More Non-Cotton Shirt Layers
- That you arenâ€™t using for hiking. This can include an extra dry sweater/fleece.
- Change of underwear & sports bra
- Warm Hat
- Bring a separate hat for sleeping
- Down Booties/Flippy-Floppies/Sandals
- to keep your feet off the cold cabin floor
- Headlamp or Flashlight or Infra-red Goggles
- We will start some days before the sun rises, and a headlamp is most convenient
- Spare Batteries for above (even if itâ€™s an LED lightâ€¦ batts drain faster when itâ€™s colder)
- Trekking Poles (available from DOR)
- Wide-mouth Water bottles
- these should be 2 1-liter wide mouth Nalgenes, no exceptions
- small mouth bottles/camelpacks freeze and are useless, hydration is important!
- WINTER sleeping bag (rated to 0 degrees F or colder)
- Very important. Limited # available from DOR, chubbers is also a good resource for this
- Ground Pad x 2
- Foam pad or the like -- can be obtained from DOR
- They keep snow out of your boots. Can be obtained from DOR.
- Ski goggles or sunglasses
- for looking cool and also protecting your eyes
- toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
- Plastic bags
- A garbage bag on the inside of your backpack is crucial for keeping your gear dry. Raid your dorm. Smaller ones, like from Topside or the Co-op, can also be handy.
- A Backpack
- to hold all of the above, should be large, comfortable & fit you!
- Extra space
- for food, stove, etc.
- Mug, bowl, spoon, knife, fork or spork
- Lanyard for your water bottle
- You want a Nalgene easily accessible for drinking, but not on the outside of your packâ€”it will freeze!
- My favorite method of doing this is to attach the bottle to a lanyard that I can then put around my neck, so that the water bottle hangs underneath my coat.
- Another option is to stuff it down your coat and cinch your hip belt so that it stays
- Camera (lithium ion batteries work best, the more expensive â€œplatinumâ€ kind)
- Pocketknife or leatherman
- Compression Bag
- So that your sleeping bag/ sleeping clothing take up less space