Winter Backpacking


Well-Known Member
Sep 15, 2012
Mojave Desert, Nevada
Winter is the time to get out and backpack to get more experience with your gear and fine tune it. This is to prepare you for the event that you get a snow dump or deep cold snap when hunting next year.

Things like my suggested VBL (Vapor Barrier Liner) 3 mm US Divers brand closed cell neoprene divers' socks over thin poly liners can be tested and proven to your satisfaction. The VBLs preserve boot insulation.

Tent set-ups with, for example, extra guy lines for wind and heavy snow load, snowshoes or skis compatibility with the boots you want to use, stoves and how they work (or don't work) in the cold, clothing choices ("cotton kills!") and the most nourishing high fat/high oil/high calorie winter foods etc.

All these things can be experimented with on a short winter backpacking trip. And best of all, in winter there are no bugs and no people! ;o)
Eric B.
Good call. I've done 1 winter / snow backpacking trip a few years ago. It really did help me figure out what clothes I needed. The food was easy for me because it was only 1 night. Pan fried ribeye in garlic good with a few swigs of bourbon then went to bed in a warm tent and sleeping bag with a 5" thick blowup mat.
Sounds great, especially that ribeye. D@ymn!

On winter mattresses - they need to have at least an R 5 insulating value. Regular, non-insulated air mattresses are very cold.
Double wall backpacking tents tend to be about 15 F. warmer than the outside air. But be sure they have floor level and upper level venting to carry your moist breathing & body air up and out.

Eric B.
Yeah, in Wyoming -10 F. will be -20 F. buy January and -40 F. once in a while after that. However northern Nevada near Idaho gets very cold.

My warmest down parka is an Eddie Bauer Peak XV rated to -30 F. That parka and insulated ski pants over polar weight long johns will work well to that temperature. The coldest I've ever experienced was -40 F. and that was "cold enough"!
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