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Thread: What are ya Winter changes ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Vancouver Island

    Question What are ya Winter changes ?

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    With the cooler weather creeping up I began thinking about changes I make to my kit when I hike during the colder months.

    Let's hear what changes you all make. Do you maybe start carrying a larger knife or even an axe as the ability to make fire becomes ever more important ?
    Do you carry extra clothing ? Extra food ?

    What are your favourite cold weather clothes ?

    Feel free to also include any cold weather tips you have picked up over the years !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Austin TX
    Switch to gortex boots Lowas to Danners
    always have a jacket in my pack
    switch from straw cowboy hat to felt and throw in a beanie for my pack
    leave the sun block at hm
    change from crackers to chocolate snacks in my pack
    switch to heavier leather gloves

    I may carry a larger folder than my drifter . I have a RAT1 and a Blur
    Fixed blade stays the same my CABS or Scrapmax or BK16

    For us if it gets below freezing more than a few hours a year it is COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Illinois, and now... Valhalla
    The balaclava goes in the bag...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    New Jersey
    even on day hikes i bring overnight gear (i.e. extra pair of wool socks, gloves, wool hat, and tarp with stakes) but no sleeping pad or pillows...with a base weight of 13 lbs it's not that heavy to begin with for the extra peace of mind.
    nra | beckerhead #33 | rat pack #716
    reviews: kifaru | osprey | evernew | goalzero | etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I add;
    1) a nice, warm wool hat
    2) gloves
    3) extra wool socks (Thorlo's)
    4) extra sunglasses (my 'glacier' glasses)

    My EDC bag also doubles as my camera bag so it's already pretty hefty so the few extra clothing items aren't noticeable in the whole, grand scheme of things.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Southern Ontario (Hamilton)
    Winter makes me include a Zippo.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Northwester Ontario Canada
    I start EDCing fixed blades on the belt when jacket weather returns.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    On the river bank watching the Turkey vultures glide
    I think that this pic is from about 4-5 years ago. I still basicly just believe in layering, although I do it with a bit more sophistication now. Two things that I will never compromise with now also are serious winter boots and gauntlets. Can't find the pic, it had my snow camo in it also. Gear for a kit ? I,m just doing that now as I never took all that stuff seriously before. Just ate a big pig breakfast, dressed warm, and carried a lighter. I'm still here with all fingers and toes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Signal Mountain
    Chocolate, as chocolate doesn't melt in the winter Actually I make several changes. I take very little in the summer months, but in the winter I carry more in the truck and more on my person. In the cold months I always pack along some sort of food and some dry socks and an extra shirt. I also tend to carry a heavier knife and have more redundancy in fire starting materials.
    “A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.” ~Kurt Vonnegut

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Yep I carry more food. When it gets cool to even cold out.
    I just feel like eating more even while out hiking and sitting
    in the woods and just listening to the sounds of nature.

    I also have way more fires. so hot coco gets made way more too lol.
    I carry bigger sling pack called Malaga ( as seen here ready for Thursday mornings adventure )

    I also carry a small 5'x7' canvas tarp used for a wind block
    while sitting next to my fire.

    Filson insulated packer hat gets taken, leather insulated gloves, coat.

    I sometime take a bigger saw and a small axe too just depends on what I plan to do that day.

    Great question pitdog, Some great answers also from you all.


  11. #11
    Like Mistwalker said, I take extra wool socks and merino wool shirt. I also picked-up a merino wool buff this year to try with my wool beanie. Gaiters too. Staying or getting dry is a primary goal.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    British Columbia
    Pretty much all my adventuring takes place in mountainous areas. A lot of what I carry in summer is also carried in winter. In reality, the only changes in gear are clothes, sleeping bag, stove and tent. My three season tent or bivy bag will be swapped-out for a sturdy 4 season/mountaineering tent [Black Diamond Fitzroy]. I'll start carrying a shovel [lightweight avalanche rescue type]. My clothing will consist of a full Gore-Tex layer [bibs and jacket], and most likely a full insulation layer [Arc'teryx Dually Belay Jacket and Arc'teryx Kappa Pant]. My base layer will be Patagonia "Cap III" instead of "Silkweight". I'll carry heavy [i.e. warm] gloves or mitts and I'll swap-out my 35F or 20F sleeping bag for my 0F bag. I'll also switch to a white gas stove [MSR XGK EX] instead of an isobutane one. Batteries will all be lithium. Last but not least, I'll carry more, high-calorie food b/c I'm working harder and there's more potential for getting stranded or tent bound.

  13. #13
    For winter hiking, my pack starts looking like a gypsy wagon. I use carabiners to attach stuff outside so it frees up inner space.
    In winter, I bring a HPG Mountain Serape, hatchet, bigger fire kit, extra socks, extra base layer shirt, several hats, my 180's ear muffs and extra batteries for my headlamp and surefire. I also load up on water and mixed nuts as I need much more of it in the cold. And of course the trusty 64oz Kleen Kanteen full of tea to sip while fireside. It sits in the coals until I drink it all.
    Surprisingly, I can still stuff it all in my Scout.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    I've found an issued soft-shell jacket is a big plus (mine is in multicam). I do have add an orange running vest if I'm hiking during hunting season. It doesn't get too cold down here in GA, but I do start packing my silk-weight thermals, an extra set of mid-weight wool socks and my fleece watch cap. Binoculars are used more as the foliage is coming off the trees and visibility opens up.

    Layers are still important as my activities can go from very active to stalking or glassing an area with little to no movement.

    My ball caps and boonies often get swapped out to my Filson packer hat.

    I typically pack a light pair of leather gloves, but will also add a pair of glove liners when the temps dip; I'm looking to upgrade to a good pair of thin wool glove liners...

    Ah, I love fall!

    Quote Originally Posted by LMT66 View Post
    In winter, I bring a HPG Mountain Serape,
    HPG's Mountain Serape is a great upgrade to a poncho liner and gives the Kifaru Woobie good competition. I like the more "dense" insulation and the ability to go from a hooded serape to a sleeping bag.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by pitdog View Post
    With the cooler weather creeping up I began thinking about changes I make to my kit when I hike during the colder months.

    Let's hear what changes you all make. Do you maybe start carrying a larger knife or even an axe as the ability to make fire becomes ever more important ?
    Do you carry extra clothing ? Extra food ?

    What are your favourite cold weather clothes ?

    Feel free to also include any cold weather tips you have picked up over the years !
    What is this hiking during colder months you speak of?! This is a new concept for me

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    MA / Upstate NY
    Besides the basic stuff like more clothing and alo good tinder and some extra sterno and fuel for my stove. I change my stove to one that works better for winter and I alo carry spicy food. A big thing for keeping warm is eating because it gets your metabolism going. When I started mountaineering the guy I learned from would always tell us to eat a spicy meal before bed because it helps keep you warm. Also when ive been on some trips where it got really cold at night we would wake up in the middle of the night and eat then go back to sleep and you would be surprised at just how much warmer you get eating before bed or in the middle of the night.

  17. #17
    Winter equals logistical problems. I go out less, the trips are shorter, we travel in larger groups, and you need more of everything. Most of the time it is more about bringing in a bunch of gear than actually hiking. Dexterity is sacrificed for warmth. You end up setting up a camp and then using that camp as a staging area to accomplish whatever tasks need doing.

    Items of clothing bulk up. Layers of goretex + primaloft become the norm to keep out the wind, or down + fur trim for the really cold days. Mittens replace gloves, mukluks and boots replace shoes, underwear thickens and stretches down to your ankles. Pocket space is now at a premium since all winter jackets have to accommodate a pair of wool socks and a wool balaclava at all times (those are extras and carried in addition to whatever else I am rocking). Hats become a thing.

    Sleeping quarters become heavier, cramped and shared. Tents must be heated in some way and must retain heat making them heavier. To conserve fuel when heating the tent and to have fewer turns feeding the fire requires you to bunk up with others. Being out in the cold burns more calories, so you need more food. Oh yeah, and car maintenance becomes critical and car kits become complex. All in all you can expect to increase the bulk and weight of your system and the logistical headache.

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