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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.
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
- 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.
* 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