Check Off As You Pack Them
- backpack or duffle bag lined with a garbage bag
- 1 pairs pants – fleece or wool
- 2 pairs thermal socks
- 1 pair polypro or silk socks
- 3 pairs synthetic or silk underwear
- 1 pair synthetic thermal long underwear
- 2 T-shirts
- 1 long sleeve shirt
- 1 wool sweater or polar fleece jacket
- 1 Gore-Tex or nylon wind breaker pants
- 1 pair snow boots – should be half knee high and rated to -15°C, with a removable liner
- neck warmer (scarf)
- toque (hat)
- 1 pair winter mitts + 1 pair polypro gloves (or other thin gloves)
- winter jacket
- sleeping bag (a summer rated bag of about 5°C will be fine)
- toilet kit
- shoulder bag (knapsack) for water, lunch, etc.
- camera – put in a “Zip Lock” bag, or wrap in plastic bag for rain or wet snow
- flashlight (new batteries!)
- sunscreen and lip balm (chapstick)
- water, approximately 1-2 litres, in a refillable plastic container
- personal 1st aid kit
- alcohol (optional)
Note: Winter Clothing (boots, pants, jacket, and gloves) can be rented.
These items should be all you need for a great trip. The list includes the clothes you will be wearing on the first day so don’t pack extras (i.e. pack 1 T-shirt and wear 1). If you have special requirements (i.e. dietary), or aren’t sure about bringing something, just ask! The key factors in deciding what clothes to bring are weight and size. Bring clothes that are light-weight, loose-fitting, and that can dry quickly if they get wet. Also, the more you pack, the slower you go, so don’t get over zealous!
Line the inside of your bag/pack with a garbage bag, and wrap your sleeping bag in another one, to keep everything dry.
Many people like to bring some alcohol for sitting around the fire at night. If you would like to do so also please bring it with you as there is no place to get it at the lodge (wine boxes or beer cans are ideal). And if you must smoke, please bring a pouch or other container for your cigarette butts.
Do Not Bring The Following
- jeans or jean jackets (heavy, and they take forever to dry if they get wet)
- cotton clothing of any kind (it gets damp from your sweat and keeps you COLD!)
- bottles or cans (they can freeze and burst)
- expensive jewellery – fingers shrink in the cold and rings can slide off!
How To Dress (in case your mother doesn’t tell you!)
The best way to stay warm in winter is to go to Mexico! But, failing that, you should dress in layers. You don’t need any fancy, high tech clothing to stay warm. Natural materials such as wool are very warm and help wick moisture away from your skin. There are, generally, 3 layers to consider. As you get warmer you can strip off layers and, as you get colder, you can put them back on.
The idea is to have a thin “wicking” layer next to your skin. This is usually a synthetic material like polypropylene, but silk, wool, or “thermal” underwear all work well. They move the moisture, away from your skin, to the outer layers, keeping you dry and warm.
This layer is your warmth layer. Have a wool sweater or polar fleece jacket over top of your shirt. Loose fitting wool or fleece pants complete the layer.
This is where you have your protective outer shell. You want something that will protect you from both the wind and water (wet snow or, gasp!, even rain). A light wind breaker (jacket and pants) or Gore-Tex outfit is needed for this purpose. If you don’t have a waterproof outer jacket, you can use whatever you have and spray on some Scotch-Guard, or Dubbins (for leathers). A thick winter coat completes this layer when you are not active (i.e. standing around).
Your hands and feet are what feel the cold first. It’s very important to have good waterproof boots and mitts. Both should have a removable liner that you can dry at night. A thin pair of gloves is also useful when you need your hands for some delicate task. A warm toque (wool hat) is also essential – you lose about 60% of your body heat through your head, so keep it covered!