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Winter Skills Gear List
Dressing for Comfort in the Winter Mountains

Some general principles for staying warm include:


         Boots- Insulated double boots with removable liners preferred. Type will depend on mode of oversnow travel. Double ski boots (alpine mountaineering or telemark), snowmobile, or Sorel type work well.

         Wicking underwear- polypro, treated polyester, other synthetic, etc. Top and bottom

         Socks- The most important factor is a good fit with the boots that will be used. A good combo is a polypro, nylon or silk liner, then a heavier wool/synthetic blend boot sock. Have at least one spare set.

         Fleece tights and/or pants, or wool pants.

         Fleece vest and/or jacket

         Shell jacket and pants- Waterproof/breathable such as Goretex or similar. Waterproof/ non-breathable ok if well ventilated.


         Synthetic batting (Polarguard, Quallofil, etc.) or down jacket, with hood preferred.

         Glove liners- polypro, fleece or similar.

         Heavier insulating gloves or mittens- wool, fleece or similar.

         Shell gloves or mittens- waterproof.

         Insulated booties- down or polarguard

         Hats- Knit and/or fleece. Balaclava or facemask of some sort for the nasty cold stuff.

         Neck gaiter

         Ski goggles



         Sleeping bag rated to +5F or colder. Synthetic batting or down.

         Bivy sack to protect down sleeping bag from moisture in snow shelter.

         Self-inflating pad such as Thermarest, or a closed cell foam pad.

         Tarp- 8x10 for roof on snow trench

         Space blanket or similar sized ground cloth.

Kitchen (Nutrition & Hydration)

         Liquid fuel stove, such as Coleman Peak I or MSR. Avoid alcohol burner or butane stoves (reduced heat output in cold weather).

         Stove base such as MSR Trillium or similar. (Can be homemade w/ plywood.)

         Cooking pot large enough to melt snow in. 2-3 liters minimum, with lid and pot grip.

         Insulated mug with lid. (Travel mugs work well.)

         Eating bowl with lid. (Tupperware or similar)

         Eating utensils, preferably not metal. Lexan works well.

         1-liter water bottle with insulated cover. Clean wool sock works well.

         0.5-1 liter metal insulated bottle. (Thermos)


         Candle or candle lantern

         Sunscreen and lip balm- Minimum SPF30

         Handwarmer packets

         Headlamp or flashlight w/extra batteries

         Personal first aid kit

         Personal hygiene items

         Butane lighter


Snow Travel & Safety

         Nordic or alpine mountaineering (randonee) skis OR

         Snowshoes- Metal framed, with decking preferred.

         Climbing skins for skis.

         Snowshoe crampons (depending on terrain).

         Ski poles- adjustable length preferred.

         Snow shovel

         Avalanche beacon



Dog Items- Only a partial list

         Closed cell foam sleeping mat

         Fleece coat depending on breed and acclimatization to cold temperatures. (Indoor vs. outdoor sleeper)

         Fleece booties (refer to above)

         Fabric food/water dish

         Cable or webbing tie out

         Double daily rations of dog food

         Low sodium broth to encourage drinking in cold weather

         Tracking/travel harness for extra control when on the ski lift