Winter Backpacking Is Expensive
Over the past few months, I’ve been slowly testing and accumulating all of the gear necessary for winter backpacking and climbing, primarily in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, which are less than a 3 hour drive from my home. This winter, I’ve been mainly doing day hikes and climbs under 3,500 ft. in height, but I’m about to go one my second overnight trip of the season, to summit two 4,000 footers, Mt. Hale and Zealand Mountain.
Building up a winter gear list is expensive, far more expensive that 3 season hiking, so it’s taken me a while to accumulate and pay for the required gear. After my January summit attempt on Mt. Washington, I’ve concentrated on dramatically reducing my base pack weight. On that trip, I carried a 60 lb pack using a lot of borrowed gear from our guide. Since then, I’ve applied lightweight backpacking principles (and money) in developing a base (minus food/fuel) winter gear list that still maintains a healthy safety and comfort margin but comes in at slightly over 31 lbs.
This gear list is not designed for solo winter trips: that’s not a risk I’m prepared for the foreseeable future. However, I have not factored in gear sharing, which is typically practiced on multi-person trips, where it’s normal for people to share a tent or stoves and cooking gear. I snore and I value my life, so I don’t share a tent. In addition, this gear list is only designed for 1 night, 2 day trips at this stage in my winter backpacking/climbing evolution.
There are a few areas where I believe I can shave some more weight from this list, but I would value your feedback on alternatives that you think are low hanging fruit. I am, after all, still an educated novice on winter backpacking and camping. For example, I have a pretty heavy sleeping pad. I bet I can find a lighter alternative, but I’d also like something compressible or very low volume. I also have two pairs of goggles since I have problems with my glasses fogging up. So, have at it. I’m looking for some good suggestions, questions and critique.
Winter Gear List
Most Popular Searches
- winter backpacking
- winter backpacking gear list
- winter hiking gear list