Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
First Time Snowshoeing---Clothing Help
Display Avatars Sort By:
Eric De Paoli
(EricD) - F

Locale: EricD
First Time Snowshoeing---Clothing Help on 12/29/2009 16:07:10 MST Print View

Hello everyone,

Near the end of january I will be going on a snowshoeing trip for 1 or 2 nights out. I've been skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, etc, but this is my first time winter camping, and I'm having a bit of trouble on what clothing to choose, and what clothing I will need. In addition, what layering system would be best to use while actually snowshoeing, and while just sitting around camp cooking/sleeping. Also, if I were to buy gear, the only retailer near me is MEC, as much as I would like to buy form REI or Moosejaw, its not available to me.

The temps should be no lower than -12 (celcius), although windchill might be a minor factor, though extremely rare.

Sorry if this description is a bit brief, this is my first time doing this as I said, and I don't know how to go about choosing gear, etc. If there is anything else you need to know in order to help me, feel free to ask.


-Eric D.

Edited by EricD on 12/29/2009 16:07:53 MST.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Snowshoe trip clothing on 12/29/2009 17:22:32 MST Print View

Questions first.

What are the expected daytime temps?
Do you need extra clothing to keep you warm sleeping?
Will your group be hanging out in the evening much?
What works for you on day-trips in these temperatures?

Here's what I've usually done, but not really with an eye on weight. In the Sierra daytime is usually 15F to 35F, nights are usually around 10F but can drop to -10F.

For daytime temps of around 15F to 30F or -10C to -1C:
-Footwear is usually uninsulated light hiker boots with thick wool socks for insulation, plus gaiters.
-For the legs I like a somewhat heavy base layer (approaching 100 wt. fleece) with side-zip wind pants so I can vent. This is about right for -10C but can be hot at freezing unless I'm venting the pants. I usually carry thin base layers too.
-Torso I go with a light base layer and a wind shell for temps around freezing. Below that temp I first add a fleece vest, then a 100 wt. fleece shirt.
-For headwear I go with a hood, fleece balaclava, and often a neoprene face mask and goggles for high winds and snow.

Around camp I add a light puffy jacket- though I would like a good hooded parka. Sometimes I add 200 wt fleece pants but they're rather bulky. I usually get in my sleeping bag for dinner and socializing.

Eric De Paoli
(EricD) - F

Locale: EricD
Clothing on 12/29/2009 17:57:12 MST Print View

Daytime temps are going to be around 23-41F (-5 to 5)

My sleeping bag is rated to about 10 degrees F (-12 Celcius)

My group hasn't yet done this, so I don't know if we'll all just retire to our tents as soon as we eat dinner, or if we'll hang out.

For dayhikes in the past I wore some lightweight fleece pants and my ski-pants for bottoms. On top I wore a synthetic shirt, light merino wool pullover or long synthetic shirt, and then a rainshell on top of that. Footwear will be snowboots + some light wool socks if in snow, or light hiking shoes and thin wool socks if just hiking. It seems to work alright, but I always feel like theres a better way to do it. I want to minimize sweating throughout the day while im hiking so that I don't become cold at night.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
breath on 12/29/2009 18:01:38 MST Print View

Snowshoeing can be hard work. I imagine you'll sweat more than you think. As such, my winter layers (snowshoeing, or more often skiing) put a premium on breathability. Sweat is inevitable, I try to make it as easy as possible to let it evaporate.

For instance, today I hiked and skied a peak north of town. 5000' of vertical up, the same back down. Trailbreaking, etc, etc. Temps were in the high single digits (F) to high teens. Mild wind. I wore..

Patagonia Wool 2 t-shirt
Ibex Indie wool hoody
Houdini jacket

Capilene 2 knickers
Midweight stretch nylon pants
lightweight knee-high wool socks
Seal Skinz socks (as a vapor barrier)

Plastic tele boots

OR Omni gloves

Often I was skinning with just the wool layers, the sleeves pulled up, and hood off. Even at 7000'.

I brought an extra hat, extra thick mitts, and a big fat puffy coat. For a backpacking trip in similar conditions, I'd add a burlier shell than the Houdini, extra liner gloves, and extra socks.

Edited by DaveC on 12/29/2009 18:02:50 MST.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: First Time Snowshoeing---Clothing Help on 12/29/2009 20:01:03 MST Print View

One thing that took me a long time to realize is you don't need so many different layers.

You need layers to cover all active levels/temps, then a big warm puffy layer for camp use.