When the year 2018 rolled around I decided to challenge myself to get more involved in winter hiking and camping. At the time I was living in England so It was more about shoulder seasons than actual winter camping. But luckily there is always this winter! During my research, I came across the Book Ultralight Winter Travel: The Ultimate Guide to Lightweight Winter Camping, Hiking and Backpacking.
The book was written by some of the first people to complete the Pacific Crest Trail during winter. I was intrigued. I had never really considered backpacking in winter, let alone a full expedition. I had to see what this book was about.
I was immediately impressed. This book contains a wealth of knowledge; more than I could find on any google search. The Author’s experience really shows.
This book covers everything you need to know about winter travel, and a lot of things you didn’t think you needed to know (Like is is better to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and brave the cold, or wait until morning).
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About the Authors of Ultralight Winter Travel
The Ultimate guide to lightweight winter camping, hiking and backpacking was written by two experienced adventurers, Justin Lichter and Shawn Forry. Also known on the trail as Trauma and Pepper. Together they have hiked over 65000 miles.
Clothing and Equipment
The Ultralight Winter Travel guide has a plethora of information. One of my favourite sections is the Winter Camping gear section.
The Gear guide chapter provides information on every aspect of backpacking such as shelter, clothing and equipment, Stoves, Sleep Systems, Hydration systems, Backpacks and even electronic gear.
It goes through every single category for each section (e.g Shelter is broken down into tents, tarps, and hybrid tents and even an igloo). The book Goes into detail about the advantages and disadvantages of each one. It also provides comparison tables throughout the book, so you can compare each of their recommended gear.
Modes of Travel
When you are traveling through snow, there are more options available than just walking. Trauma and Pepper discuss different methods of travel which include snowshoes, ski’s and crampons. Once again they share their expertise on how to choose the best system of travel depending on your goals.
Tips and Tricks
This section covers everything from staying warm, to setting up a tent in snow and choosing a campsite and even weather forecasting. There is also a very comprehensive safety section as well.
At the end of the book, the authors have including a list of gear that they brought with them on their Winter Pacific Crest Trail adventure. It covers how much everything weighs and items that were shared between group members.
Some Advice That I Learned
I thought I would leave you with a couple things that I learned from the book that I thought would be useful to know. It should give you an idea of some of the things you can learn from the book.
One piece of advice I found interesting was about staying warm while sleeping. The book suggested that you minimise the amount you move around in a sleeping bag, as each time you move you are compressing your sleeping bag which is causing you to lose warmth.
If you do wake up cold, try doing some exercising in your sleeping bag to get your heart pumping. One exercise I liked was trying to swap socks from one foot to another! Which I imagine would be quite challenging inside a mummy sleeping bag.
Good luck on your Winter Adventure!
Planning a winter adventure comes with its own set of unique challenges. If you are planning on venturing out into the cold, I highly recommend this book. You can pick up this great resource from Amazon.
If you are planning a winter adventure, I am interested to hear about it in the comments. What kind of challenges are you expecting to face? But more importantly, good for you! You have decided to take part in an adventure only few people willingly decide to go on.