Even if you're just going for the day
you need to bring all the items below with you. You never know
what could happen to delay your return. You might have to
spend the night out in the woods. If you are unprepared for
this you are very likely to die or get frostbite and have your
arms and legs amputated. Don't let this happen to you, bring
all the items on this list with you every time you go out into
the backcountry in the winter time.
|3 pocket lighters
||Pocket lighters are
cheap and light, and fire is very important on a cold
winter night. Bring at least three of them just in case
one or two stop working. If your lighter gets jammed
with snow it may not work until you remove the snow and
dry it, so make sure your lighters are in a place where
they don't get directly exposed to snow. Don't use
matches, they run out quite quickly, and once they get
wet they'll never work again.
||Either a Leatherman
tool, Swiss Army knife, or something similar will do.
These tools are excellent if you need to fix some broken
gear, such as a snowshoe or a ski binding.
|Lightweight wood stove
These stoves have not been around that long and most
people have never heard of them. You need to have a
stove in order to melt and boil water to drink, to
keep your body temperature up and your energy
consumption down. Anyone who has tried to use a gas
stove in very cold temperatures knows how much trouble
they are, sometimes they just don't work, which could
mean death on a cold winter night, not worth
it. Wood stoves are a much better option, they
always work. I would recommend the Trailstove, this wood stove
weighs around one pound but you don't need to bring any
fuel since it runs on wood. Another great feature of
these stoves is that they generate quite a lot of heat,
enough to raise the temperature inside your emergency
snow shelter to a descent level, just make sure you have
good ventilation .
The reason I'm
writing such great things about portable wood stoves is
that mine saved my life in January of 2001 during a
snowstorm. I was stuck for three nights in a snow
shelter, I didn't have much food but I was able to drink
plenty of hot water to keep me warm. I believe I would
have frozen to death without my Trailstove.
info about this stove
||With a camp saw you
will be able to quickly cut down branches to make a snow
shelter or for fire wood. You can do this with your
multipurpose tool too but having a real saw will save
you a lot of energy and frustration. You can also use a
campsaw as a snow saw to cut hard snow into building
blocks for a snow shelter.
|Light weight cooking pot
||This is a very
important item, you will need a pot to melt and heat
water. Drinking hot water will warm up your whole body.
I would recommend just getting a cheap mess kit and
using the pot from it. You could just grab a pot from
your kitchen but these tend to be relatively heavy which
is OK in your kitchen but not in your backpack.
||A tarp is a very
useful item in the snow. You can use it as an inner
roof for your snowshelte.
|String is very useful for making
snowshelters, emergency snowshoes, or fixing broken
equipment. Bring at least 20 feet.
||Bring plenty of high energy food. Don't
waste your money on fancy energy bars though. Chocolate
bars and granola bars are just as good and they taste
||Find out how cold it gets at night where
you will be going and bring enough clothes to keep you
warm at that temperature. This is extra important if you
are planning a day trip only since a sunny winter day
can be quite pleasant and you may be comfortable in a
t-shirt, but after the sun goes down it's a different
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