South Eastern CT Adventures Message Board › Winter Gear Suggestions
New London, CT
I am posting this info which was originally posted by Carol Ann from The Connecticut Hiking Alliance. We will be updating this list as we get applicable info:
Winter Gear List:
1. Microspikes (I do not recommend yak traks ... see more below)
3. Poles (most people use extensions) with baskets for snow (remove the basket for no snow)
4. Hiking boots - waterproof
5. Snow shoes
6. Very large waist pack - or - day pack - or large camel back (enough to hold the layers you will be taking on and off because on the winter hikes you will get HOT ascending and then cool off very fast if we stop or walk along a ridge)
7. Always have a lot of water with you in the winter... you are at greater risk of dehydration in winter because the cold masks your body's thirst. Medical Tip: if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
8. Layers (you will not want to wear anything with cotton)
9. Outer layer that blocks wind
10. Mittens are warmer than gloves. I recommend glove liners under mittens.
11. Fleece, wool, silk, and fibers that wick are the key... also think about long underwear, sock liners, neck/face fleece, hat
In this world you can get anything used. But remember that cheap isn't always a bargain.
Microspikes are more of a necessity than snowshoes in our usual CT winter. Snowshoes work best in 6 or more inches of snow. Microspikes work best when the ground is icy, slippery or some snow. They help to grip so you don't slip down the side of a hill/mountain.
Plan on spending $125+ for new snow shoes (unless you find clearance) and close to $40 for microspikes. (Yak Traks are not truly meant for hiking but are meant for icy walks, steps and parking lots... so look for microspikes or an equivalent brand is what I recommend).
Buy a name brand like Tubbs, for snowshoes. And go to a sporting goods store like EMS or REI first, even if you intend to buy used. Because you'll want to learn what to buy... snow shoes are height specific sometimes and always weight specific. There are also different shoes for the type of snowshoeing you intend to do. So you would not need shoes for breaking trails... unless you plan on going out in the wilderness on your own.
Snow shoes are meant to be worn with hiking boots and you will need poles. In a pinch, cross country ski poles work. Most hikers use poles that adjust to different heights. When going uphill you shorten the poles. When hiking downhill, you lengthen the poles.
You will want gaiters. The keep the snow from spraying onto pant legs and dripping into your boots.
Buying used gear: once you've learned what you need from a professional - I would suggest Play it Again Sports (retailers that sell used) or Craig's List (online). Perhaps the best place to get a good deal (but you must know what you want) is Campmor http://www.campmor.co....
Keep in mind hydration packs could freeze . Use wide mouth water bottles if you have them and fill them with hot water . Place them up side down in your pack . Water will freeze from the top down. One other thing is your food - try to bring soft snacks that will not freeze or get hard.
Edited by Loretta McElwee on Jan 26, 2013 9:52 AM
Thanks for the reminder. Something to add is that during hunting season (now) its advisable to wear or carry florescent orange. CT doesn't have a requirement to do this but RI does and a copy of their guidelines can be found at: http://www.dem.ri.gov...