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Dave Gordon
(diplodocus) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Winter Clothing List for Ontario, Canada Backpacking on 11/11/2010 09:23:17 MST Print View

Hi All,

I'm going to be doing some winter trips this year for the first time (Going with some much more experienced friends).

Trips would be 3-4 days, often on snowshoes.

Expected Temps (Rough guess based on stats for the area):
Evening Lows: -10C to -20C (15F to -4F)
Afternoon Highs: 5C to -10C (41F to 15F)

While there's some potential for it to get above freezing in the afternoon (esp. in December), I think it's more typical for it to stay below freezing. Also, they're forecasting a very cold winter.

PDF Clothing list is in my profile. It's heavy, but I'd like to err on the side of being warm while I gain winter experience.

P.S. I received some good advice already on my choice of jackets/etc in This Thread, including some interesting temperature calculations from Richard.

Edited by diplodocus on 11/11/2010 12:15:17 MST.

Jeremy Osburn
(earn_my_turns)

Locale: New England
Re: Winter Clothing List for Ontario, Canada Backpacking on 11/11/2010 13:15:56 MST Print View

This is how I am going to layer for similar trips and temps:

your base layer seems the right weight
mid layer day I would use the cap 3 zip because you can control the temperature with the zipper
Hard or soft shell on the outside. If you are going to get in deep snow at near freezing or above freezing temps then go with the hard, or nasty storms go with the hard shell. If clear weather and below freezing is always going to happen use the soft shell it is warmer and breathes best.

At night you should carry the insulation layer for additional warmth.

Thats all I would bring, if you wanted one more layer for safety bring the primaloft jacket most warmth for its weight.


Legs, I would only wear the base and soft shell during the day, snowshoeing is alot of work my legs stay nice and warm with only two layers on.

At night add the mid layer for more warmth, if you start to get cold eat something, and then get in your sleeping bag becuase it is bed time. If your sleeping bag is rated low enough then you should be fine without an extra insulation layer.

Head seems good, as long as your parka has a good hood on it you should be fine.

Hands, you might be able to get away with only one pair of liner gloves, but at 3.1 oz total it doesn't hurt to be on the safe side and bring both.

Your feet seem fine.

The one thing you should consider is VBL, I am going to start using it this winter. I will have VBL gloves (latex surgicals) and socks (MYOG silnylon) during the day and a sleeping bag liner at night. From what research I have done hands and feet seem the most important during the day. I can't really speak that inteligent on it becuase I have never used VBL so I will just leave it at that.

Edited by earn_my_turns on 11/11/2010 13:17:56 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
a bit much on 11/11/2010 14:03:00 MST Print View

i think you have too much on the top ...

you would overheat on the move while wearing yr midlayers and yr softshell ... chances are some of that will go in the pack

if you can experience these temps before you go out ... dial yr clothing system on a day hike or even on a city walk while carrying yr full pack weight

i dont think youll need insulated pants with long johns, fleece and softshell at those temps

Dave Gordon
(diplodocus) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Less fleece on 11/11/2010 14:19:44 MST Print View

Thanks guys for the opinions.

I think I'll drop the upper-body fleece since I shouldn't need it to stay warm. However I'm going to keep the primaloft jacket + the main down parka, since it seems I'll need both to be comfortable at low activity at the temps expected, according to the thread I linked in the original post.

Eric, I agree I won't be wearing many of those upper-body layers while moving, probably just the Cap 2 and the softshell... maybe the Cap 3 as well if it is quite cold. I'm probably mistaken in labelling some of them as Mid Layers. Hopefully you're right about not needing any additional insulated pants, but I'll definitely experiment before any trips to see (My fleece pants and softshell pants are both quite thin).

Jeremy, I'm curious to try some VBL stuff one day, but I have a feeling I won't find it comfortable - I hate feeling clammy or damp and I think it might bother me. But who knows until I try. I'll probably save it for later trips though since I shouldn't need any VBL to stay warm on this trip (My feet and hands have plenty of insulation and my sleeping bag will be rated to more than cold enough).

Jeremy Osburn
(earn_my_turns)

Locale: New England
VBL on 11/11/2010 20:57:08 MST Print View

I feel the same way about it. Thats why I am starting out very small. My very basic understanding is that it doesn't necessarily add warmth as much as it keeps your insulation, specifically down, dry. It limits perspiration and keeps it from condensing in the down.

My system (that I will be testing for the first time this winter) is:

On my hands I will be trying latex gloves first then synthetic insulation mittens on top. I also will take a pair of liner gloves for cooking, bathroom breaks (the longer ones)...

On my feet it will be liner socks either silk or synthetic I haven't decided as I have never used them before, then VBL silnylon socks that I am going to make, then wool socks, boot liners and finally boots.

In the sleeping bag at night i will use a WM hot sack.

I am very anxious about feeling clammy as well, but everything I have read is making sense that my down insulation won't last for a week long trip without a layer that keeps my perspiration out of it.

The list in my profile breaks down the layers I will be wearing in order and the extra clothes that will be in my pack for a similar trip to the one that you mentioned.

Edited by earn_my_turns on 11/11/2010 20:58:44 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
clammy on 11/12/2010 11:42:24 MST Print View

the clammy feeling is overated ... as chances are for youll be a bit damp anyways from exertion

even if you dont use it, if yr in really cold temps i recommend bring food handling gloves and 2 bags or stuff sacks the fit over yr feet ... and either a garbage bag big enough or an amk heat sheet bivy at 4 oz

that way IF you find yrself very cold you can use a VB ....