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Old 03-30-2013, 11:07 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 10
Question Help with Winter Clothing

Hi everyone,

This was my first year winter hiking and I am hooked! I only got to go a few times in February though, and it was limited to the Catskills. I am already excited about getting in a full season next winter and have my eyes set on hitting the major high peaks in the Daks as well as an attempt on Mount Washington. I know my layering system is incomplete and I have a few questions on what I should be getting throughout the year for next winter. If you all could please weigh in on what I have/need I'd really appreciate it!

Upper body:

* Base layer: Medium weight synthetic
* Mid-layer: Quarter-zip medium weight synthetic
* Insulating layer: Marmot Variant Jacket
* Softshell: North Face Apex (old version of the Apex Bionic)
* Stormshell: Outdoor Research Foray - When cold/super windy, I can also wear this in place of my softshell...

Questions: Do I need an insulated stormshell or is the OR Foray sufficient for general mountaineering/alpine hiking?

The REI winter mountaineering class on Mount Washington suggests a heavy/expedition weight fleece/insulating layer. Do you think that my insulating layer (Marmot Variant) is sufficient?

I need suggestions for a Parka!

Lower body:

* Base-layer: Medium weight synthetic
* Marmot softshell Scree pants

I know I also need an insulating layer and a storm shell. I'd love suggestions that keep cost in mind but I also know that this stuff is PRICEY!


* Asolo TPS 520 boots with Superfeet Green insoles
*Smartwool Trekking or Mountaineering socks

Though I love the Asolo 520's, I think next year I'm going to invest in an insulated boot that will also allow for more technical ice climbing...

At this point, I've done so much research on this topic that my head is spinning. Having more experienced hikers weigh in would be extremely helpful!


MichaelpMcCabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: 06333 & Pittsburg, Berlin GR, Edmonton
Posts: 466
You are totally on the right track. Staying warm and not wet from the weather and your self is the most important concept while moving. The trick is knowing when to put on every thing you brought with you to stay warm and dry when you stop moving including a thick hat. In very cold conditions I've cooked with my lower 2/3rds in my sleeping bag.
With that in mind it's even more important to invest the time in your own physical condition and your companions. Epic winter trips start in the Spring and Summer.
richard1726 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2013, 10:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,177
I would go with a heavy wool shirt from Empire Canvas. Its felted so it blocks wind. But it is heavy so you might take a look at the Grey Fox shirt from Empire.

Take a look at the Permafrost Parka. I have the Arctic Anorak and usually use it in the Presidentials unless rain is forecast. I find cotton far superior to keeping my temperature regulated than synthetics and GoreTex is useless in cold conditons. No cotton does not always kill, but the weave matters. Twill is good. Jersey is useless.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
Indian Mt.Club
chairrock's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,685
Do not discount wool. A wool shirt and wool pants are old standbys that work.

Johnson and Filson are two good brands to check out.

Also military surplus is a choice. I have 2 pairs of Swedish Army Wool pants that are super.

Wool won't melt while sitting around the campfire!!!

I also have a couple of pairs of polyester briefs. They are not my everyday choice, but for backpacking they offer another layer of "protection" keeping the long johns clean, that are easier to wash out and dry quickly than my everyday cotton.
Be careful, don't spread invasive species!!

When a dog runs at you,whistle for him.
Henry David Thoreau

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insulating, jacket, layer, parka, winter

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