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Your Winter "TEN ESSENTIALS" List?
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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Your Winter "TEN ESSENTIALS" List? on 12/05/2011 13:17:06 MST Print View

Please list your "Winter 10 Essentials" that go with you on every winter outing, whether day trips or overnighters. (Day Trip items can be substituted for heavier items on overnight trips.)

I'll list my Winter 10 Essentials here after others have had their shot at it. I think we will come out with very similar lists. It's the specific equipment I'm interested in, speaking as a Gear Geek. REGIONAL differences are bound to appear.

Suggested categories:

CLOTHING> vest AND synthetic insulated jacket, mitten shells & extra pile glove liners (WPB parka always goes & usually worn)

FOOD. (& COOKING?)> Soups, jerky, instant oatmeal W/ powdered milk in it (Stove is CC Tri Ti Sidewinder W/ Inferno woodburner option & matching 3 cup pot)

SHELTER> silnylon 8"X7' tarp & 50' cord, large CCF sit pad (covers entire inside back of pack)

FIRST AID> standard kit plus sub-normal thermometer For use on others!

FIRE STARTING/MAINTAINING> Firesteel stick & magnesium block, hurricane matches, Zippo lighter, tinder (Always, 3 types of fire starters)

SIGNALING> 2 sea kayaking pull chain aerial flares, bright, 4 LED regulated circuit headlamp & ex. batteries, SPOT or other PLRB if possible to afford

OVER-(DEEP)SNOW FOOTWEAR (SNOWSHOES, SKIS)> whatever the present situation (or forecast) calls for

Perhaps this thread will help new winter travellers as well.

Edited by Danepacker on 12/16/2011 19:24:29 MST.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Your Winter "TEN ESSENTIALS" List? on 12/05/2011 13:20:38 MST Print View

My 'ten essentials' list is really no different than my three season list with a couple of exceptions.

1. Shovel.

2. Butane lighter instead of mini-bic

3. Space blanket (this is brought anytime night temps are low enough to cause problems)

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Your Winter "TEN ESSENTIALS" List? on 12/06/2011 18:44:27 MST Print View


Edited by asdzxc57 on 01/29/2012 12:57:46 MST.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Re: Re: Your Winter "TEN ESSENTIALS" List? on 12/07/2011 11:28:53 MST Print View

It's been my experience that once you get below say 25 to 30 degrees (F) the bic's have a very hard time lighting even when you keep them warm. Once it gets below say 10 to 15 degrees (F) it seems like the bic's simply won't light. Now I'm not sure how much altitude effects this so keep in mind I'm sitting at around a measly 1,500 ft above sea level.

In addition bic's perform very poor in winter winds as such I like to use a pressurized butane lighter. You still have keep the butane lighter warm (I wear mine around my neck) but it lights easily and isn't affected by wind.

Of course you could simply forgo the lighter all together and go with some wind proof matches in the winter but I'm bit of a plan for the worst so I take both. ;)

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Your Winter "TEN ESSENTIALS" List? on 12/08/2011 15:40:39 MST Print View


Edited by asdzxc57 on 01/29/2012 12:56:32 MST.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Butane? on 12/08/2011 15:50:31 MST Print View

Bic lighters are butane lighters, aren't they? If not what do they burn?

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Butane? on 12/09/2011 07:15:17 MST Print View

Sorry, pressurized butane lighter.

Windproof lighters use the same fuel (butane) as standard lighters, and therefore develop the same vapour pressure. The difference is that windproof lighters mix the fuel with air, and may also pass the butane/air mixture through a catalytic coil.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Bump on 12/11/2011 16:05:38 MST Print View

See my additions to original post.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Your Winter "TEN ESSENTIALS" List on 12/11/2011 16:18:19 MST Print View

For dayhikes, stove, small pot, soup mix, tea. Otherwise, the same as I would take in spring/fall with the addition of a couple more layers. In other words, enough to keep myself dry and relatively warm should I be stuck out overnight. I also take my Kahtoola Microspikes. Right now a lot of Columbia River Gorge trails are quite icy. We've had two weeks of days just above freezing and below-freezing nights, with no precipitation. December drought!

I haven't noticed problems with my Mini-Bic (warmed in my armpit), but I do take extra REI emergency matches during our Pacific NW "monsoon" season! It normally doesn't get that cold on the west slopes of the Cascades for a Mini-Bic not to work. If I were going to the east side, where it's colder, I'd check out one of those pressurized lighters or more likely bring yet more matches.

Edited by hikinggranny on 12/11/2011 16:25:50 MST.

Brian Barnes
(brianjbarnes) - M

Locale: Midwest
RE: Lighter on 12/11/2011 16:25:38 MST Print View

Hey Chad - Do you recall which brand/model of lighter you use?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
10 on 12/11/2011 18:00:52 MST Print View

a typical snowshoe day hike

shelter- AMK thermolite bivy, AMK heat sheet, 30' Spectra line, shovel, 1/8" ccf pad, two 6 hour candles, pakc liner does double duty as a "door" when packed w/ snow; shelter would most likely be a debris shelter or trench shelter depending on snow depth, the heat sheet would be used over the shelter (w/ debris/snow over the top of it), the small candles put out decent heat in a small shelter

fire- firesteel, lighter, UCO storm mtaches; tinder- tinder tabs, fire straws, wetfire cubes


first aid kit

clothing carried- windshirt w/ hood, down parka, mid layer top, bavaclava, fleece mittens, gore over mitts, spare socks, goggles

small esbit/wood stove, 600 ml mug w/ lid, spork- like to bring soup for lunch (along w/ normal lunch fare), also carry a single freezedried dinner w/ a couple of extra high cal bars just in case; can melt snow in a pinch

navigation/signaling/comm map, compass, gps/whistle, signal mirror, headlamp/sat phone



water-widemouth bottle w/ micropur tabs

small repair kit