When packing for a winter trek, you mainly use the same list of equipment that you use for treks during the other seasons of the year, although there are a few things that are specifically needed to handle winter conditions. For example, a spade and probe are absolute necessities during winter treks, as well as a wind sack, reinforcement garments and a sleeping bag.
You do not need to bring a lot with you, but think about how you are going to use each item. On a short trek, you might only need the clothes that you will wear, reinforcement garments and safety equipment. Below you will find a list of the equipment we think you will need for a day trip, and further down on the page you will find a list of equipment for treks with one or more nights spent in the outdoors.
Day treks – clothing to wear while on the move:
Base layer: Underwear, sports bra, base layer bottom, base layer top with long sleeves, socks.
Middle layer: Wool sweater/shirt, trekking trousers.
Outer layer: Shell jacket, shell trousers and, if needed, gaiters (depending on the trousers and boots).
Footwear: Ski/hiking boots (preferably with removable insoles).
Head and hands while on the move, depending on the intensity of the activity:
• Thin hat/cap, headband, thick hat or balaclava.
• Five-finger wool glove liner, five-finger working glove, preferably with a detachable wool lining, and mittens with detachable wool lining.
Reinforcement layer that is easy to access during breaks:
Warm jacket (half/full length, the thickness depends on the temperature and type of trek), warm trousers, thick wool or fleece sweater, dry change of socks.
Good to have in pockets/backpack compartments:
Sunglasses, ski goggles, thermos, water bottle, cup/folding cup, lunch bag, snacks, compass, map, GPS, camera, headlamp, first aid (including blister tape).
Wind sack, sleeping bag, ground pad, probe, snow spade, safety line (15-20 metres).
Multi-day treks – additional equipment
When sleeping in a tent or bivouac, you should supplement your day pack with the equipment listed below. You will need a significantly larger backpack or a sledge to transport it all.
To carry in your backpack/on the sledge for the campsite:
Tent with snow stakes
Undergarments, balaclava, five-finger gloves, socks (all of these should be stored in the sleeping bag)
Extra undergarments and socks, as needed
Food, cup, cutlery/whisk, cutting board
Stove, fuel, matches, lighterSheathed knife, multi tool, saw, axeDish washing liquid and brush 2 0.5 litre insulated water bottles that can hold boiling water1-2 0.7 litre insulated/wrapped thermoses
Towel, 2 wash rags and toiletries (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)Toilet paper packed in a plastic bag (it is good to have extra toilet paper in the pocket of your break garments).Sunblock and mini-pharmacy (special medicine, pain relievers, charcoal tablets, skin lotion, etc.)Small details that add a little extra to the atmosphere: tea lights, book, small stereo or radio.
Repair equipment: duct tape, seam sealer, steel wire, needle and thread, nylon rope, etc.
Pen and diary/notebook.
What to think about when packing:
Pack in waterproof carry bags. Be particularly careful with your sleeping bag! Preferably pack in a large backpack, but bring a smaller bag/backpack for day trips.
Indoor shoes/slippers can be good to have if you will be spending nights in a cabin. When preparing to head home, it is often nice to have an extra set of clothes to "look good in". These should be stored in a small bag that is left at the start/end location of the trek, for example a mountain station or train station that you will return to. You should not carry them on your trek.