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Backpacking Pack List (Winter)

It’s a terrible sensation, realizing that you have forgotten something once you’re setting up camp after a long days hike. It’s even worse if it’s something vital  like a sleeping pad on a winter backpacking trip. Fret not. I’m here to help. Posted for your reference is a bare minimum list of essentials for your backpacking trip, Winter Edition! Check this page when you’re packing up your gear, and check it again before you leave. You’ll never forget something vital again. The Hershey bar for your smores sadly didn’t make the list, but it doesn’t mean you can’t pack it along.

Sleeping essentials:

  • Shelter

  • Sleeping pad(insulated)

  • Sleeping bag rated at least 10 degrees cooler than expected lows

  • Pillow

Food essentials:

  • 3 meals a day, plus 3 snacks per day. An extra days food, just in case. You need more calories in the winter than in the summer, plan accordingly. At least 3000 calories per day if you’re very active

  • 2-3 liters of water per day

  • Stove. With backup ignition source. Matches work well

  • Fuel source. (Check your levels before you head out)

  • Cookware (pot, dutch oven, etc)

  • Spoons and forks

  • Dinnerware. Plates, bowls, whatever you need

Preparedness essentials:

  • Map and Compass

  • Knife

  • Head Lamp (extra batteries)

  • Water purification/ filtration (tablets, filter, iodine, etc)

  • First aid kit

  • Rain gear. Pants and jacket

  • Clothing layers(no cotton). Shirt. Warm base layer(fleece, polyester). Thick outer layer (puffy down jacket works great)

  • Extra socks (no cotton)

  • Gloves, and backup gloves

  • Headgear (beanie, hat, etc)

  • Fire starter, matches, lighter or similar

  • Biodegradable toilet paper


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