Winter Hiking

While winter hiking and backpacking share a lot of techniques and clothing with three-season hiking and backpacking, there are a lot of specialized skills, gear, and knowledge required to stay safe and have fun in extremely cold and snowy conditions.

Winter Hiking Accident Analysis

Boston AMC - Winter Hiing Program

I was introduced to accident analysis as a teaching methodology a few years ago when I took the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (Boston Chapter) Winter Hiking Program. I sat their riveted as Mohammed Ellozy, a well known White Mountain hiker, climber, AMC leader, and the former accident editor for Appalachia Magazine, …

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Winter Backpacking Gear List

Mt Washington and the Presidential Range from the summit of Mt Hale

I don’t believe in the idea of ultralight winter backpacking and I’d be hesitant to set an upper bound on what your winter gear weight should be, if only because people’s regional definition of winter differs so much. Regardless, I still try to reduce my gear weight in winter as …

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What is a 4 Season Tent?

Tarptent Scarp 1 in Winter

Mountain Hardware Stronghold 10 Person Base Camp Tent “What is the difference between a four season tent and a three season tent?” It’s a good question because the distinction is blurry. Moreover the phrase “four season tent” is a misnomer since it refers to winter tents, which you might not …

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Pitching a Winter Tent on Snow

Winter Tent

If you’re properly prepared, camping in winter is a lot of fun. But pitching a tent in winter, particularly on snow, requires some different gear and technique. The first thing you need to focus on is site selection: make sure that you are not in an avalanche zone. Next, find …

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Dead Men in Winter

One very important skill you need in winter is how to stake out a tent or shelter when the ground is frozen or covered with snow. You can do this with skis, ice axes, and hiking poles, but people also use a special type of stake called a snow stake …

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Torso Deep Snow Caves

Bivy sack and snow trench

I'm still at it this winter, building practice snow shelters and caves in my front yard. This time, I built a simple snow cave featured in the Revised Edition of Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book, which is the illustrated bible of traveling and camping skills for winter …

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