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Old 03-15-2013, 10:35 AM   #5
woj's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 19
I'm making an assumption that you have done some reading about cold weather hiking / backpacking, so I'll be brief...

Remember to layer properly. This will help keep you warm, but not too warm. Layers should be wool and/or sythetics. Cotton kills in the winter. Too much clothing will cause sweating which will dehydrate you, along with making you all wet and eventually cold (especially when you stop moving).

If you get wet, wool/synthetics will at least keep you warm. If you choose to hike in a pair of jeans and a cut-off t-shirt, well that is of course a personal choice, although you may end up frozen like a popsicle before day's end. Extra clothes in a bag to keep them dry is advisable as well.

Also, use care with the crampons if you have never used them before. The sister forum to this forum has multiple reports of those using crampons saying that on occasion that inexperience with crampons can almost be more dangerous than not having crampons at all. Make sure that the crampons will fit your boot before you start your hike, no point in carrying something that won't work for you in the end.

If you plan on taking on more winter hiking, I started using Hillsound Trail Crampons this year, which are more like microspikes and was very pleased with them. I would pick up some type of microspikes for the future.

As far as snow baskets go, I wouldn't get too concerned. I haven't sprung for trekking poles yet, but I use downhill ski poles in the winter time to hike with, and the smaller baskets on these poles has not greatly affected my hiking experience. I would consider this a more minor detail at this point.

Depending on conditions, remember that traveling in winter is slower going than summer hiking so plan accordingly. Start early, rather than later. It may be colder/darker earlier in the morning, but it is better than being faced with oncoming darkness as night falls.

Lastly, lots more information is available on the sister forum at

Enjoy your hike...
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