Keep warm in winter! It's simple! Here's how:
WEAR LAYERS—Wear clothing in several layers rather than one thick garment: long underwear, warm shirt and pants, sweatshirt, sweater, windproof winter coat. Layers are warmer, plus they let you control your temperature by adding or removing layers. It's better to stay slightly cool, which helps your body adjust to low temperatures and keeps you dry.
KEEP DRY—Brush snow off yourself before it melts into your clothes. NEVER stand by a fire. Fires overheat you and make you sweat (and that will make you real cold).
WEAR A HAT—Your head radiates enough heat to make your feet cold! Keep your head covered. If your feet are cold, put on dry socks AND a hat. A wool (or fleece) balaclava is a good investment.
CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES—Bring at least one change of everything and bring several pairs of socks. Tiny amounts of moisture in your clothes will make you VERY cold at night, so change ALL your clothes when you go to bed.
LONG UNDERWEAR—You need it, especially the bottoms. You can use a sweatshirt or turtleneck for the top.
PANTS—Wool is best (try Jax Surplus). Avoid cotton. Jeans are worthless, and are unacceptable on winter outings!
FOOTWEAR—Winter footwear should have removable felt liners (wring them out when they get damp). Footwear must be roomy for extra socks (if it is too tight, circulation is reduced and your feet will get cold). Sneakers are unacceptable! HINT!—When you take off your shoes at bedtime, put them INSIDE your tent; if you leave them outside, even under a tent flap, they will freeze overnight and possibly be too stiff to put on in the morning (not to mention too cold.
MITTENS/GLOVES—Keep your mittens or gloves dry. Mittens will keep your hands much warmer than gloves.
WATER—Dehydration is a special problem in winter! Our dry air and high altitude will zap you before you know it. Bring a full water bottle on EVERY outing and drink plenty of water.
SUNGLASSES—They are helpful on bright winter days (and they look cool).
HOW TO PACK—Put all your clothes in waterproof stuff sacks (which you can easily make from scrap nylon). Put your sleeping bag in a trash bag, then into a nylon stuff sack. Your sleeping bag is the most important item you have, so keep it dry.
NIGHTTIME—Bring an extra blanket in case your sleeping bag isn't warm enough (and did we remind you to change ALL your clothes when you go to bed?). In really cold weather, it's not a bad idea to put your water bottle in your sleeping bag to keep it from freezing (be sure it won't leak). You can also get some of those little hand/foot warmer packets to put in the bottom of your sleeping bag.
Last Revision to This Page: 30 November 2020
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