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Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/23/2012 16:31:39 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/23/2012 17:17:19 MDT Print View

Good read, thanks!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/23/2012 20:23:41 MDT Print View

Good info. I got to go plan a winter outing now

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/23/2012 20:32:03 MDT Print View

Neat little article with some good links. Still looking at Arizona and SoCal for soloing this winter, but, to add, may need to look at the snowy higher elevations too with some fresh ideas.

Edited by hknewman on 10/24/2012 11:00:08 MDT.

Gregory Allen
(Gallen1119) - M

Locale: Golden, CO
Nice on 10/23/2012 20:58:34 MDT Print View

Great article and thanks for all the links. I have a lot of reading and planning to do.

I promise my original post a couple of,days ago was not a plant to get discussion started or to bait the crowd!

Cheers

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/23/2012 22:04:11 MDT Print View

Nice read, thanks. And a nice collection of links, most of which I haven't read yet. I'm looking to try my hand at winter/snow camping this year in the Sierras. I'm getting pumped!

PS. More little tricks please.

Edited by mediauras on 10/23/2012 22:05:06 MDT.

Michael Richey
(beaverboymike) - M

Locale: Southern Utah
goldmine on 10/23/2012 22:06:16 MDT Print View

Wow, what a goldmine of references to great articles. I know for years that I was a 3 season backpacker due to lack of gear and experience in winter hiking. The last three winters have been a joy, but I needed what this article taught to take me to the next level!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/23/2012 22:33:57 MDT Print View

Excellent article! I especially appreciated the links to old articles. There's a lot of pure gold in the article archives waiting to be tapped! (Oops, mixed metaphor! Let's say "liquid gold" or "waiting to be mined.":)

For us Pacific Northwesterners, who even at higher altitudes are as liable to be in rain as in snow, some of the articles about hiking in cold rain are useful, too. This one is really good, IMHO:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/lightweight_guide_to_backpacking_in_sustained_rain.html

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/24/2012 14:53:08 MDT.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: Winter backpacking on 10/24/2012 07:39:31 MDT Print View

Another great article, Dave. Your inclusion of the many links really turns this into a stand alone reference worthy of bookmarking. I had somehow missed a couple of the early articles the first time around and they gave me some things to think about.

As an aside, I've really been enjoying the new influx of technical articles in recent months. Thank you for your many contributions.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/24/2012 10:41:43 MDT Print View

Excellent, Dave. Thanks.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/24/2012 11:36:57 MDT Print View

Good consciousness raising article. I've done some x-country day tripping in the Washington Cascades and enjoyed the seasonal contrast. Camping is a whole other order, but just some extra weight and bulk as far as base weight goes.

I think winter navigation is a daunting aspect for less experienced hikers, with the trail covered and landmarks blurred. It's not a good time to get lost. Honing up map and compass skills on dry ground makes excellent winter travel preparation.

Knowing your limits is important on winter trips. Turning around and going home is NOT failure, just good common sense. I haven't done multi-day backcountry snow trips. I would be prepared for much more physical exertion and knowing what the weather report means for your location. I would want to know more about reading avalanche conditions, as many of my favorite summer trails have slide chutes that aren't an issue after the thaw.

It can be beautiful. The mud and leaves are covered over, bare trees have snow covered branches, the air seems so pure, and everything sounds different in the snow. If you can escape the snowmobilers on the weekends, the solitude is wonderful.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/24/2012 11:37:58 MDT Print View

Top Marks Dave, its nice to have all this information in one place.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
re 5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/24/2012 11:59:59 MDT Print View

Good read. Appreciated the links to other like-minded articles for further reading.

Yes 1000
(mamamia) - F
Can't wait for winter adventure. on 10/24/2012 13:43:46 MDT Print View

Excellent article David. Thank you.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking on 10/24/2012 14:58:58 MDT Print View

One important thing for those of us in mountainous terrain--check the avalanche forecast before going out. It's important to learn to judge snow conditions and to judge the terrain so places where avalanches are likely can be avoided. If I'm going alone in the snow (I usually stay below the snow line in winter, but I'm considering taking up snowshoeing once more), I'll stay on flat ground, well away from any possible avalanche runouts (they can go a surprisingly long way).

Herman E
(hre814) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Good info on 10/24/2012 15:00:39 MDT Print View

Dave,

Thanks for the info. Unrelated to winter camping, but what pack are you sporting in that photo of you doing a ski toss? Good timing as winter is already here in Alaska.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: pack on 10/24/2012 17:46:34 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone.

Herman, the pack is a Mountain Hardwear Thruway 50. A review is part of a larger project I'm currently writing up. In short, it's got a lot of good stuff but needs a suspension redesign and longer torso lengths for each size to merit the price.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Great links on 10/24/2012 19:44:23 MDT Print View

Thanks for a very interesitng article.

I agree with Michael R., this article is a "goldmine" of links to other winter camping articles.

And (IMHO) THE best book on the subject, especially for beginners, is "Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book".

Having taught winter survival to ARMY ROTC cadets for a few years I can say that it is almost a necessity for beginners to do their first winter trips with experienced winter campers. The crazy mistakes beginners make are usually laughable but could be very serious without a "guide".

On a personal note I am about two years away from becoming a National Ski Patrol Mountain Travel and Rescue instructor. Never stop learning.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Re: "5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking" on 10/26/2012 23:32:28 MDT Print View

Great article and the photos are fantastic. I live in Michigan where we get wet snow conditions, so I would have to revamp my equipment to take that into consideration (a synthetic sleeping bag, for instance).

The photos make me long for snow! We hardly got any here last winter.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: "5 Beginning Concepts for Winter Backpacking" on 10/27/2012 14:47:23 MDT Print View

I was disappointed myself Kathy with the lack of snow in Michigan, fingers crossed we get far more this winter.