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Packing list for winter travel

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April 28, 2020

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.

Just like our cycling, canoeing and sailing adventures, we faced a new challenge that we never did before. This time there were two new challenges: skiing and winter camping. We knew that our preparation would be more important this time. We spent a lot of time reading blogs and talking to people in the search of the right equipment. Finally, we left on our adventure on January 26, 2020. Two months later we had to stop because of the corona virus, but with two months of experience on the skis. We aren't professionals, but we have gained a lot of experience the last two months. Our packing list for winter travel shows everything we brought on our two month adventure.
Our packing list for this winter trip is more extensive than our packing list for a summer hike. We left without experience and didn't want to save on warm clothes and things we thought we needed. Two months later, we learned that we took to much clothes and a few tools we didn't use. In addition, we had a laptop and a hard drive in our sled, which we would not take on a shorter trip.


  • Fischer Traverse 78 Crown skin
  • Fischer BCX Waterproof boots
  • Fischer BCX Magnum binding
  • Fischer Easy Skin
  • G3 Escapist Universal full skin
  • G3 VIA adjustable ski poles
  • Skin glue
  • Ski wax
  • Snow seal (making leather waterproof)
  • Ultimate Survival Technologies U-Dig-It snow shovel
  • Nomad Topaz 24 daypack
  • Lowe Alpine Manaslu 60 backpack
  • *Nordic Cab Explorer Multi Trailer (sled, skis and wheels)
  • Nordic Cab Harnas system + spare parts
  • Bicycle pump
  • 2 x 20’' inner tubes
  • Tire repair set


  • MSR Whisperlite fuel stove
  • MSR fuel bottle 375 ml
  • MSR fuel bottle 650 ml
  • Ecoflame fondue gel (**Didn't work. We changed it for a Trianga alcohol stove)
  • Trianga alcohol stove
  • 0,5 Liter plastic bottle for pure alcohol
  • BoCamp cooking set
  • Cutlery: spatula, 2 forks, 2 spoons, 1 knife, can opener, sponge
  • Spices: pepper, salt, Italian spices, broth cubes
  • Swiss knife
  • Opinel knife
  • Decathlon 1,5 liter thermo bottle
  • 2 x Microlite 1 liter thermo bottle
  • Nalgene 1 liter water bottle
  • 2 x Foam seat pad
  • LightMyFire fire-steel
  • 2 x lighter
  • dishcloth



  • We will write a separate blog to explain our food plan for our winter adventure. We made our own dehydrated food and didn't bring any liquid food.


* We can easily replace the skis for a set of wheels. We used it when we had a portage on a paved road and had to into town to resupply. If you only go over the snow, you don't need the wheels.
** We wanted to warm our breakfast with a small can of fondue gel, but this did not give enough heat in -25 degrees C. We replaced it with a Trianga alcohol burner which works much better.


Daily ski outfit
  • Sport underwear
  • **MEC Neoprene socks or merino wool socks
  • Icebreaker Merino long sleeves
  • North Face Polartec vest
  • North Face Tanken Zip-In jacket
  • Patagonia Powslayer Bibs
  • Summer buff
  • Swix ski hat
  • Salomon Gore-Tex mitts
  • Icebreaker Merino liner gloves (used a couple of times with mild temperatures)
Daily camp outfit Extra clothes base-layer
  • 1 x cotton underwear
  • 1 x sport underwear
  • 1 x short thermo underwear (never used)
  • 1 x long thermo underwear (never used)
  • Under armour legging (never used)
  • 1 pair normal socks
  • 1 pair merino wool socks base layer
  • 1 pair merino wool socks warm
  • Nomad ultralight merino shirt long sleeves (never used)
  • Decathlon Quechua long sleeves hiking shirt (never used)
Extra clothes warm layer
  • Decathlon Quechua Polartec sweater (never used)
  • Decathlon Forclaz 500 Trekking down jacket (never used)
  • Homemade fleece pants (never used)
Extra clothes shell
  • Colombia Winter jacket (never used)
  • Xenos poncho (never used)
  • Fjallraven long pants (only used when inside a house)
  • Zip open rain pants (never used)
  • Merrell Moab FST 2 hiking shoes (only used when inside a house)
  • Swix ski gloves (never used)
  • Outdoor Research base-layer mitts (never used)
  • Outdoor Research outer layer XXL mitts (never used)
  • Winter buff (never used)
  • Balaklava (used once)
  • Barts hat (never used)
Other clothes
  • 2 x handkerchief
  • Sunglasses
  • Cairn goggles
  • Teddy bear
  • Nomad bag organizer M
  • Dry-bag (for the clothes)
  • ***Mouth cap


Daily ski clothes
  • Sport underwear
  • Sport bra
  • 2 pair merino wool socks **
  • Icebreaker Merino long sleeves
  • Polartec shirt
  • Licht weight jacket, wool lining
  • Mammut Venture 2 jacket
  • Patagonia Powslayer Bibs
  • Summer buff
  • Head band
  • Leather gloves, down lining
Daily camp clothes Extra clothes base layer
  • 5 x underwear
  • Legging (never used)
  • Sport bra
  • 1 pair merino wool socks base layer
  • 2 pair merino wool socks warm
  • Decathlon Domyos sport top
  • Nomad Merino Ultralight short sleeves (only inside a house)
  • Nomad Merino Ultralight long sleeves (never used)
Extra clothes warm layer
  • Nomad Merino thermo long sleeves (only used inside a house)
  • Down bodywarmer (never used)
Extra clothes outer shell
  • Xenos poncho (never used)
  • Fjallraven long pants (only inside a house)
  • Light weight long summer pants (never used)
  • Colombia Packable rain pants (never used)
  • Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX W Trailrunning (only inside a house)
  • 2 x Merino liner gloves (never used)
  • Swix ski gloves (never used)
  • Base layer mitts warm (never used)
  • Outdoor Research Meteor Mitts (never used)
  • Winter buff (never used)
  • Balaklava (never used)
  • Muts (never used)
Other clothes
  • Light weight cloth (never used)
  • SeaToSummit bag organizer L
  • Sun glasses
  • Wed'ze goggles
  • Bikini (for the unexpected hot springs)
  • Dry bag (for the clothes)
  • ***Mouth cap


  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth paste
  • Body lotion
  • Shampoo
  • Mini deo
  • Ear plugs
  • Sunscream
  • Zink oxide cream
  • Tampons
  • panty liner
  • Vaseline
  • Soap
  • Razor blade
  • Nail scissor
  • EHBO set
  • Rubytec Microfiber towel medium



  • Survival blanket
  • 10 x Heat packages
  • Survival rope
  • Duck-tape, tie-wraps
  • Fire-starters
  • Fire-steel
  • Tent- and clothes repair set
  • Adjustable wrench and allen wrench
  • 20 meter para rope
  • (Shoe)glue
  • Compass


  • Wolverine 19cm hand saw
  • Bresser binoculars
  • Aurora Candle Lantarn (never used)
  • Passport
  • Vaccination card
  • Credit card
  • LUCI LED solar light
  • Paperback book
  • Thermometer
  • Beautiful thoughts card game (to have something to think about while skiing)


* We had too many clothes because we didn't know how cold we would be. In reality, we used the same set of clothes every day while skiing and in the evening. Although we didn't use some of the extra clothes, we would take it on a next trip to be protected for extreme cold. But we would take less spare clothes, such as just one pair of spare gloves and one legging or thermal underwear for skiing.
** If you sweat in the shoes during the day, the ski boots will be humid and freeze at night. To prevent this, you want to use a 'vapor barrier liner (VBL)'. This can be a simple plastic bag between two pairs of socks, or a special VBL sock. Olivier chose to use neoprene socks that were also more comfortable with his blisters. Zoë chose to wear two pairs of socks and sweat in the inner layer of socks. In the night we would dry the socks inside our sleeping bag.
*** We used a mouth mask to protect our face in extremely cold or snowstorms. A buff freezes because of our warm breath, making it feel very cold. With a mouth mask we can breathe better and pull 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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