December 8

Jen’s Winter Gear List

These items serve as my core gear list for weekend backpacking trips during the winter. Layering is key for me in the colder months: I tend to run hot while hiking and then cold at camp. Even for a weekend trip, I believe in bringing a back-up to essential layering pieces – I have a spare hat and gloves, as well as camp clothing. Plus, in the Mid-Atlantic, we’re known more for slush than snow so changing into something dry at camp makes a huge difference — and is the safe thing to do! My first aid kit and shelter tend to be more robust since, as the co-organizer of the DC UL Backpacking group, I’m often leading or assisting on our trips. My shelter can accommodate two people comfortably, and three in a pinch. My Mariposa holds all this and more for such trips.

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winter backpacking
Lightweight Backpacking in Winter



CategoryGear SelectionWeight (oz)Details
PackingGossamer Gear Mariposa (Medium Pack, Small Belt)29Switch from SitPad to TorsoPad for winter
Pack liner1.2To keep water off my things
Z-Packs Bear Bag3Food storage
Exped Schnozzel Bag2Leftover from old Exped - waterproof bag used for storing insulation layers
SleepingWestern Mountaineering Versalite32Rated to 10 degrees.
Thermarest NeoAir13Supplement with GG Torso Pad
Montbell Pillow2.5Luxury item, and I love it.
ShelterMLD Trailstar20So far I haven't frozen in this! Plus, as a trip leader, I like to have the ability to have extra space in the shelter if needed
Bivy Sack5.2Protection against ground, elements, and curious animals.
Packed ClothingPatagonia NanoPuff11Worth every penny as a layering piece
Patagonia Houdini Windshirt2Extra layering -- suprisingly warm for such a light piece
SmartWool Long Sleeve BaseLayer6.75For camp
SmartWool Long Underwear7For camp
Darn Tough Socks2Extra pair
Mountain Hardware Dome Perignon1.75Back-up hat
EMS Fleece Gloves2Camp gloves
MLD RainMitts0.75Adds protection to fleece gloves in case of snow or rain
HydrationSawyer Mini2Don't forget to sleep with it!
Platypus (1L)1For untreated water
Bleach1Always good to have a back-up
Hunnelsdorf Water Bottle3Can open these with mittens. Will add a bottle booty if temperatures look they will be below freezing during the day
CookingCaldera Cone and Stove5.5
SnowPeak Titanium Pot3
Sea to Summit Long-Handled Spoon0.7
Small EssentialsBandana0.5For cleaning
Extra Toilet Paper1
Toob (toothbrush + toothpaste)1.5With toothpaste
Petzl Tikka Headlamp2.4
Matches0.5Lighters and I do not get along... I find matches more reliable
Contact Solution0.5For a weekend trip, I'll skip bringing an extra set of contacts.
Glasses0.75Back-up in case of contact issues.
Knife1.75Good all-purpose knife
First Aid Items3Typically I carry BandAids (mix of sizes), blister pads, tweezers, Benadryl, Advil (Day and PM), Neosporin
Diaper Rash Creme2For, well, chafing....
Journal and pen4.5Moleskin journal for capturing the stories of the day
Mini-brush and mirror1.5It's scary when I leave this at home. Plus, the mirror could be used for signaling!
Tenacious Tape0.75Gear repair
Total Base Weight (oz)(not including worn items or consumables)178
Total Base Weight (lb)(not including worn items or consumables)11.125

This gear list was contributed by former Trail Ambassador Jen “Shuttle” Adach and Editor.