One of the best times of year to plan your outing is during the winter season. The white blanket of snow creates a magical, almost fairy tale-like hue. This almost always seems to make everything around you seem even more beautiful, from the landscape to the creatures that live in it.
If you are planning a snowshoeing hike, it goes without saying that you will need some snowshoe gear. This will help make your time out in the backcountry a little more accommodating. One of the first steps to make when planning your outing is deciding just how far you are going to go. This allows you to figure out what to bring.
Before heading out, go through the snowshoeing for beginner’s guide. Even if you may be experienced, it is a good idea to freshen up on what you already know.
Simply put, the further out you intend to go and the worse the weather is likely to get as per the forecasts, the more gear, and clothing that you will need to bring. This snowshoe hiking gear and equipment guide tell you everything that you need to know.
Creating a checklist
The importance of a snowshoe hiking checklist cannot be overemphasized. It ensures that you do not forget anything that you pack all the essentials that you require.
The idea is to remain self-sufficient when you are out in the wilderness. And while sometimes a checklist may seem to suggest more items than you will use, often it is better to have more than to be less equipped. After spending a few days out in the backcountry, you may want to extend your stay. Having a few extras will come in handy.
Let’s begin, shall we?
When you are out hiking in the snow, the snowshoes will be your most important snowshoe gear. Make sure that you have the right size for you depending on your weight as well as the type of terrain you will be on. Take a look at our guide on how to size snowshoes. You will also need:
- Snow boots
- Trekking poles.
Footwear and clothing
It’s important to check the weather forecasts. This will help you pick the right clothing. Dress in multiple non-bulky layers. These allow you to shed some layers off whenever you start to get too hot. You can also add a few more layers on top when you are feeling a bit too cold.
You will also need some extra clothing in case the weather changes for the worst. Clothing will include:
- Underwear that is moisture-wicking
- Softshell jacket
- Snow pants
- Waterproof jacket
- Hiking socks or ski socks
- Neck gaiter
- Mittens or ski gloves
- A warm hat
Water and food
When the weather is cold, your body needs more food to maintain a constant temperature than you would when the temperatures are warm. It’s a good idea to have compact highly nutritious food such as energy bars. You can pack plenty of these in a small space. A sandwich will help to quickly bring up your energy reserves.
As you pack your food, take care not to pack things that can freeze easily such as a gel pack.
When carrying water, pack at least 2 liters for each person each day. You will thus need:
- Reservoirs or water bottles
- Water filter system
- Insulated bottle
Emergency first aid gear
It is a bad idea to head out into the backcountry without fast aid gear. You might trip and fall and sustain a cut and in the worst-case scenario, someone might even break an arm.
A first aid kit ensures that any wounds get cleaned up quickly to avoid infection and any broken bones are aligned properly before help can be called in.
Under first aid gear you will require:
- Waterproof matches or fire starter rods
- First aid kit
- Emergency shelter
Tools and repair items
Sometimes you may need to fix something fast such as that tent or the grill. Always remember to bring along a knife, a multi-tool or a backpacking repair kit.
Of course, there are no road signs when you are out in the backcountry and without proper navigational skills, you might get lost in the vastness of the wilderness. That is exactly why you need gear to help you pick your direction wisely. Some of the best gear to carry with you include:
- Waterproof map
Of course, before you can use a compass, you will first need to understand how to use a compass in the first place. Other optional navigational tools include a GPS, personal locator beacon and perhaps and altimeter watch.
Granted, you are away from civilization but this is no excuse to be unhygienic. It is necessary to keep yourself clean. Also, the snow is a huge reflector of harmful UV rays. You will therefore need:
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Waste bags
- Alcohol wipes
If you have a bit more room to spare, there is nothing wrong is bringing along a few extras. These will help make your stay in the cold snow a bit more comfortable. Packing the best winter sleeping bag is crucial.
Some of the extra gear and equipment that you can pack include:
- A headlamp
- Insulating seat pad
- Extra batteries
Also, pack nicely and carry some identification documents, cash and sometimes a credit card. You may just need to rush to the nearest convenience store to purchase some new items. When choosing gaiters, first understand the difference between high and low gaiters.
Globo surf overview
Snowshoe hiking may sound like a lot of fun, but it demands more in terms of energy, gear and equipment requirements. This means carrying a heavier load in the steep and snowy terrain. If you are up to the task, then this snowshoe gear and equipment guide will help you ensure that you bring along all the essentials.
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- Snowshoe gear checklist, backpacker.com