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Staying Warm In Winter

team walkingsticks

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Hmmm....silk. I'll have to try that for my base layer. Never tried that material. Thanks for the tip!


In the past, I've used capilene/polypro first layer leggings/top with zip, hiking shorts made of synthetic material so it dries quickly. The second layer for the top is my REI windbreaker vest, wool hat...very important like others mentioned. My Zamberlain hiking boots waterproofed and wick-moisture away socks...part wool/synthetic. I'll wear gators over the boots and this keeps the snow out and lower legs dry. If it's gonna be windy, I'll put an outer shell on...pants and coat or if I'm taking a break. I sweat an awful alot so lots of water is a big must for me.


Always carry extra clothes in the pack and food. Flashlights, etc. The Ten Essentials.


Oh yeah, I wear 200 weight material for my base layers as that allows me to just have those and shorts/vest on. This approach works as long as I"m moving, but if I stop, I'll put on at least the top outer shell on. It's important to remember to bring a piece of foam to sit on to prevent dangerous chilling.

Edited by evergreenhiker!
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My best warmth is from a stretch fleece, like they wear nordic skiing, and a rainproof shell over that if the wind, rain or snow are coming down.  Rainproof pants and long johns under that if it's cold enough outside.  I bought them all at REI.


Hey, I am a choir director!


What do you mean by LowBflat? Is that the Bflat two below middle C? Can you sing this note or something?!

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We did a little shopping last weekend. Most stores around here have all thier winter inventory marked down. I found a very nice Gortex shell with a polar fleece zip out liner that doubles as a sweater. It was marked down %40. I would have held out till it was marked down %60 but they only had one my size. :)

If you wait another week or two you should find %60 mark downs wait a month and all you will find is swimsuits and shorts. Go figure.

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I have to chime in to recommend Sorel's Quest boots. These have a thinsulate lining that makes them a lot less bulky than felt lined Sorel boots. Lighter, too. They've also got a built in cinch closure at the top of the boot that makes a gaiter of sorts. I've used them on sub-zero backpacking trips in the White Mountains and have always had warm feet. I like to wear two pairs of socks - a very thin polypro liner sock under a heavy wool or wool-like sock. The polypro sock wicks moisture away, plus it feels a lot better than wool alone.

As far as layering goes, I find that a pair of polypro long johns and my windpants are a great combination for hiking. Very little bulk and almost zero restriction so you don't tire as quickly. They are also quite waterproof, so when I'm on my hands and knees scraping snow off yet another rock wall in search of a cache I stay nice and dry. Topside layers are completely dependent on the weather, but the more non-cotton layers the better.


Brian Snat's list is excellent!


Hydration is key - the ambient humidity is much lower in the winter, yet you are working harder due to the amount of gear you're carrying and the snow you are slogging through, vs summer hiking. So keep the fluid levels up. Our bodies have a very efficient mechanism to deal with excess fluid :) . If you aren't peeing clear, you should drink more.

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My feet tend to sweat badly at times, resulting in damp socks and eventually cold feet. Ski sock (wool, silk etc) help but I have also found that antiperspirant applied to the feet will keep them from sweating as much which helps keep your feet dry and warm (not to mention less funky smelling). Works well for me when I ski. You might give it a try sometime (maybe right on/left off) to see if it makes a difference.

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