How to go Winter Camping in Saskatchewan: Part 2 - What Gear Do You Need?


All my gear fits into this neat package!

Winter camping as I always say is a logistical challenge - you are going to need a lot of gear. You need everything to keep yourself warm and comfortable, plus food. emergency gear and more.

Before you go any further, if you haven't read Part 1 in this miniseries designed to take you from beginner to winter camper do so now.

There are two things about your winter camping gear you need to keep in mind. The first, it is going to be very heavy. The second, you don't want to forget anything important.

To help you out I have compiled a list of gear that I bring when winter camping. As you can see it is a lot!

Shelter

  • Woods Expedition Series 2P Backcountry Tent or Marmot Carbide 2P Backcountry Tent

  • ​I have two tents that I use depending on my mood. Both have worked great so far.

  • Large Painters Tarp

  • ​Used to wrap gear in my pulk and for extra protection if I need it.

  • Thermarest

  • Exped Down Winter Mat

  • ​I like to double up my sleeping mats for extra warmth.

  • Yukon 10 Woods Sleeping Bag (Rated to -40C)

  • ​Heaviest part of my gear, but so worth it when I am sleeping!

  • Marmot Needle Tent Pegs

  • ​These can handle being pounded into frozen solid ground

Tools

  • Pack Shovel​

  • ​Used to clear snow and as a hammer for tent pegs

  • Gerber Fixed Blade Knife 7" Blade

  • ​Used to cut and prepare wood

  • Gerber Folding Knife

  • ​For when I need more finess

  • 2 BIC Lighters

  • ​I always carry two, just in case one doesn't work. Carry these in an inside jacket pocket to keep them warm and usable!

  • Steel Rod and Ferrocerium Rod

  • ​Just in case!

  • Matches

  • ​Even more just in case fire starter!

  • ​Newspaper

  • ​Helps get a fire going in wetter conditions.

  • Black Diamond Trekking Poles

  • ​With all this heavy gear, these help tremendously with the hike in.

Food

  • Trailmix

  • Cliff Bars

  • Granola Bars

  • Oatmeal

  • Beef Jerky

  • Dehydrated Meals (Mountain House)

  • Dehydrated Fruit

None of this food has any liquid, you don't want to be thawing food. It takes too much energy and fuel!

Cooking Supplies

  • Metal Cup

  • ​For melting water and making tea

  • MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

  • ​Main cooking device

  • ​MSR 4 Season Cooking Fuel

  • ​Make sure to try and warm it before use. It loses vapour pressure as it cools.

  • Sea to Summit Spork

  • Sea to Summit Collapsible Backcountry Plate

  • 1L Nalgene Bottle

  • Depending on the temperature I will bring more than 1 prefilled with water. If it is very cold I will only bring 1, as I will need to melt water every time I need to drink. DO NOT FREEZE your water and make your bottle useless!

  • ​Green Tea

  • A great pick me up in the morning! If you want coffee, I recommend the Starbucks Via instant coffee packets.

Pack

  • Osprey 65L or Woods 70L Convoy​

  • Osprey Pack Fly

  • ​Keep the snow off your pack and your gear dry!

Clothing

  • FXR Wool Long Johns

  • Lululemon Running T-Shirt

  • FXR Wool Sweater

  • Marmot Wool Sweater

  • Under Armour Running Sweater

  • NorthFace Wool Toque

  • Buff

  • Insulated Leather Work Gloves

  • FXR Black Ops Thin Gloves

  • Woods Andes Down Mitts

  • Flyflow 800 Fill Down Jacket w with hood

  • McKinley Skipants with suspenders and vents

  • SmartWool Socks - 3 Pairs

  • ​Wear one, two backups.

  • Salomon Wool Ski Socks

  • ​I wear over top my SmartWool socks for extra warmth

  • Columbia Winter Boots (Rated to -40C)

This is a layered system. You will see that I am able to dress up for extreme cold and all the way down to summer heat. You will be surprised how hot you can get once you start working hard in the snow! DO NOT wear any cotton - cotton once wet can be dangerous.

Miscellaneous

  • JetSled

  • ​For pulk system (more information to come in a later post!

  • 6 carabiners

  • ​Used for pulk harness and other gear

  • 4mm rope

  • ​30 feet - used to tie down tarps, fix gear or whatever I need it for.

  • 3 garbage bags

  • One for garbage, one for boots when sleeping, one for backup.

  • Black Diamond Headlamp

  • ​Put fresh batteries in before heading out

  • Spare AAA batteries

  • ​Make sure to keep these warm by putting them in an inside jacket pocket.

  • Flashlight​

  • Toilet Paper

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Book

  • ​For reading around the fire once the work is done.

  • Cell Phone

  • Ziploc Bags

  • For socks and other items I want to ensure are dry and secure

  • ​Safety whistle

  • Emergency space blanket

Do you think I missed something? Tell us in the comments!

Want to learn more? Read Part 1 and Part 3 for more information!

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