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Packing list for winter travel

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Packing list for winter travel

When we approached the end of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in the northeastern US, we didn't have a new plan yet. We knew that we would spend the winter in Canada and there was a dream of a short ski trip. A few days later we sat at the table with our host in Fort Kent, the end of the canoe trail. Our host was the president and trainer of the local biathlon club, a ski enthusiast who has over a hundred skis in his basement. We talked about our idea and then everything accelerated. Carl said he once traveled in the provinces of Labrador and Quebec by motorcycle. He remembered a section along the coast in Quebec where the route was interrupted for 400 kilometers. In the summer a ferry connects the villages, in the winter the lakes and rivers freeze and a winter road is created, the White Trail. We immediately found a promo video on Youtube and we were sold. Our idea of a short ski tour became a three-month trip along the north coast in Quebec.

It was the beginning of a new turn in our lives. The winter trip and love of snow eventually brought us to Norway. Meanwhile, we have much more winter experience and have done several winter treks. We often sleep outside in winter, with and without a tent. The packing list below is everything we take on a winter trip in the wilderness, as on the winter trips we organize and guide ourselves.
A packing list for this winter trip is much more extensive than a packing list for a hiking trip. Temperatures dip well below zero so we will need winter sleeping bags, more warm clothing, a winter tent and more fuel. In the packing list we assume a cross-country skiing trek, but it is equally possible to replace skis with snowshoes. We use a pulka to carry all the luggage, but on a shorter trek it is possible to use a large backpack if necessary.




  • MSR Whisperlite stove (dinner and melting snow)
  • MSR Whisperlite spare pump and repair kit
  • MSR fuel bottle 375 ml
  • MSR fuel bottle 650 ml
  • White gas (1 liter per person per week)
  • MSR Pocket Rocket burner (Breakfast and lunch)
  • MSR isopro wintergas (0,5 bidon per person per week
  • Cooking set (two big pans, frying pan, tea pot en one smal pan for breakfast)
  • Cooking gear: spatula, 2 forks, 2 spoons, 2 bowls, can opener, sponge
  • Mug
  • Spices: pepper, salt, Italian herbs, broth cubes
  • Swiss knive
  • Opinel knive
  • 2 x Microlite 1 liter thermo bottle
  • 1x 1,5 liter thermo bottle
  • 2x Nalgene 1 liter water bottle
  • 2 x Foam seating pad
  • LightMyFire firesteel
  • 2 x lighter en matches
  • Cleaning cloth



* You can replace the skis with snowshoes for an alternative trek in winter.
** In the trailer we use a large waterproof duffel from Ortlieb. All other gear (which must remain waterproof) we put in waterproof drybags from Ortlieb.


Skiing clothes Daily camp clothes Extra clothes baselayer Extra clothes mid layer Shoes
  • Waterproef winter shoes (type Sorel)
  • Wool mittens
  • Outdoor Research waterproof over mittens
  • Balaklava
Other clothes
  • handkerchief
  • Sun glasses
  • Ski goggles
  • Teddy bear
  • Nomad bag organizer M
  • Dry-bag (for clothes)
  • Mouth mask ***


Daily ski clothes Daily camp clothes Extra clothes baselayer
  • 5 x underwear
  • Sportbra
  • 1 paar merino wool socks baselayer
  • 2 paar merino wool socks warm
Extra clothes midlayer
  • Polartec shirt long sleeves
  • Fleece pants
  • Sorel winter boots
Extra gloves/beanier
  • Merino liner gloves
  • Waterproof over mittens
  • Winter neck tube
  • Balaklava
  • Bergans beanier
Other clotes
  • SeaToSummit bag organizer L
  • Sun glasses
  • Ski goggles
  • Dry bag
  • Mouth mask ***


  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth past
  • Body lotion
  • Mini deo
  • Ear plugs
  • Sunscream
  • Zinkoxide
  • Tampons
  • Panty liners
  • Vaseline
  • Sewing kit
  • EHBO kit
  • Rubytec Microfiber towel medium


  • Kobo Glo HD e-reader
  • Nikon D3500 camera, oplader + 5 batteries
  • 18-72mm Nikon lens
  • 50mm Nikon lens
  • Aluminium camera tripod
  • Mavic Air drone + controller, chargers and 3 batteries
  • XStorm 15.000 mAh powerbank
  • WakaWaka Power Plus solar charger + lamp
  • Tent light with usb-charger
  • Garmin Instinct sport watch
  • Iphone 12 mini
  • Sigma Rox 12.0 cycling gps
  • Vartra head lamp en Black Diamand head lamp
  • Spare batteries
  • Garmin Inreach Satellite GPS messenger


  • Survival blanket
  • Matches, fire startes and a firesteel
  • 10 x Heat packages
  • Survival rope/fishing line
  • Duck-tape, zipties, safety pins, glue
  • Tent- and cloth repair set
  • Adjustable wrench
  • 10 meter para rope
  • Wind sack (fjellduk)


  • Wolverine 19cm hand saw
  • Outdoor knive
  • Bresser binoculars
  • Passport
  • Vaccination card
  • Credit card
  • Book
  • Notebook, pen en pencil
  • Thermometer
  • DNT key for Norwegian mountain huts
  • Maps and compass
  • Waterproof map case Ortlieb


* We prepare with clothing for the cold weather scenario. In reality, we may not use balaklava and fleece pants, but we want to be prepared for these conditions. Mountain weather is very unpredictable over the long term. ** If you sweat in your boots during the day, the ski boots will be wet and freeze at night. To prevent this, you can use a "vapor barrier liner (VBL). This can be a simple plastic bag between two pairs of socks, or a special VBL sock. Olivier sometimes prefers neoprene socks. Zoë prefers to wear two pairs of socks and sweat in the inner layer of socks. *** We used a mouth mask when we needed to protect our faces in extreme cold or in blizzards. A buff freezes from your warm breath making it feel very cold. In a mouth mask we can breathe better and put a buff over it that protects our face.

More packing lists?

Packing list for a summer hike
Packing list for a canoe trip
Packing list for bicycle touring

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