Is there a prettier sight than that of nature covered in snow and that scent of fresh cold winter air?
However much it sounds like a paradise, it could turn into a nightmare in the blink of the eye. You may think that you know everything about backpacking, but doing it in cold weather is a completely different matter as you need to be much more careful and better prepared.
Here are some essentials for spending days on end in cold weather.
First thing you need to get is a large backpack. It needs to be strong but light because you’ll have to hold it by your side at all times. It needs to be big enough to fit all your necessities and keep them safe and dry. That is why most of the hiking backpacks are made of nylon. The higher denier of the nylon the less chance of breakage and other kinds of damage.
Sleeping bags are a necessity, even if you plan on going for a shorter trip. The experts at MyOpenCountry.com have pointed out the importance of finding a sleeping bag that is light and well insulated at the same time. When choosing the right you should survey the conditions that you will be backpacking in and choose the bag that can withstand the temperature that is at least 10 degrees lower than the one you will be hiking in. One more important thing to remember is that you should never lie in it in wet clothes.
In addition to a sleeping bag, you should also invest in a sleeping pad. It will provide you with additional heat and stop coldness from the ground seeping into your sleeping bag. Most experts recommend the ones which are inflatable and insulated. Pads are not only useful at night, but you can also use them when sitting on the ground, like when you are cooking or only resting. It will provide you with some much needed comfort during the long hikes.
The most usual type of tent being sold to hikers is a 3-season tent, however it will not do you well in the extreme cold or during snow storms. That is why you should invest in a 4-season tent, which is made to be used especially for those conditions. They are usually made to be dome-like, which is easier for setting up. Preferably, if you are in ability, always go for bigger ones, as they offer you the option of putting your gear in it with you during snow storms.
There is a whole science of clothing yourself when going on a winter hike. Of course, it should go without saying that you should pack double of everything, as you will surely need to change out of your wet clothes at the first chance you get. The secret of being well and warmly clothed in this situation are the layers. You need to be able to slip out and slip in everything easily. Also, don’t forget to acquire special winter boots to keep your feet dry at all times.
The first-aid kit is essential whenever you go backpacking. Some of the items that should be found in your kit are bandages, ethyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, and more. The longer the hike, the more medical supplies you should bring. When preparing your kit, make sure to focus on the things that will help you in case of cold and with blisters. You could even consider taking a course on the use of your first-aid kit, so that you know what you need to use in which situation.
Food and Water
When hiking or even simply exercising in the cold weather your body is burning up more energy because it is trying to keep you warm. Also, with all the layers on you will sweat way more than you think and that is why bringing a lot of water with you is a must. When talking about food, we have to point out that it is the best if you bring the food that can be eaten on the go, as making an unplanned pause can cause your muscles to cool down, which will make continuing your hike difficult. Additionally, make sure that your food has great nutritional value.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you should remember bringing on your backpacking trip in cold weather. Forgetting any one of them could be a huge obstacle, so be extra careful when packing. They will keep you warm and full of energy, which are two most important things when you embark on this feat.