Winter is a great time to get out there and enjoy outdoor adventures! The snow provides new opportunities for you to experience the great outdoors in fresh and exciting ways. With a little preparation, you can be skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking your way through the winter wonderland.
When you head out for your hiking and backpacking adventures you may be wondering which winter backpack will suit your needs best.
Do You Really Need A Winter Backpack?
While your backpack choice will depend largely on your intended use and the conditions where you will be adventuring, there are a few simple tips to keep in mind when determining which winter pack is best. Using your regular 3-season pack is one option, provided it has enough room for your winter extras such as clothing, gear and water. However, you may want to consider a specifically designed winter backpack. These packs come with features not normally found on the packs you’d use at other times of the year. If you are a serious winter outdoor adventurer, a dedicated winter backpack will give you the most for your money while providing ease of use and comfort.
Before you choose the right backpack for your winter sport, here are a few hiking/backpacking categories to consider:
- A mild to moderate day hike: These are your shorter distance hikes, but still require you to carry enough equipment for the possibility that you may not make it back to the trailhead exactly as you had planned. You may not need all the gear to stay overnight, but you’ll want a few survival essentials.
- An advanced to strenuous day hike: This is a little higher adventure level, meaning you don’t plan to spend the night camping out, but you need to be prepared for almost anything. A Strenuous day hike can add a lot of “just in case” emergency gear to your pack. These types of hikes usually require bringing some food and specialty gear such as ropes and carabiners as well.
- Overnight Backpacking Trip: Could consist of a long, brisk hike and overnight camping. For this trip, you will be packing a lot of winter-specific gear that takes up a lot of packing space, such as your -25 below down sleeping bag, sleeping pads, fire starting gear, and much more!
Once you determine the length of your outdoor stay, you will be able to choose the best backpack for your needs. Stay tuned for more tips on how to choose the best backpack for your outdoor winter adventure!