Participant Personal Gear List – Valid for 2018 Trips
This page is designed to provide specific recommendations and links for personal packing for our guided trips. For a cleaner checklist-style list, use the following .pdf document:
- Personal Gear List (provided by each individual);
Note: These recommendations are intended to be used as a guideline only. We do not expect you to have the ‘best’ of everything to participate on our trips. If considering making a few purchases, we recommend the following priorities:
- Proper Footwear: Soft, breathable deerskin moccasins are by far the best footwear for our style of winter camping. In fact I doubt we would love the winter as much as we do if we hadn’t discovered moccasins. These should be accompanied by a pair of lightweight rubber ‘over-boots’ in case of warm conditions. For economy and convenience a pair of large winter Sorel-style boots which can accommodate 2 – 3 pairs of socks, and have removable felt liners are 2nd best.
NOTE: Hiking boots are not appropriate.
- Traditional Snowshoes: Modern snowshoes were designed for use in icy/ wind-packed alpine environments (or more recently, for hard-packed, high-use trails in more urban environments). Simply put, they don’t have enough surface area to provide adequate floatation in deep, unpacked snow. We know of no better snowshoe weaving material than 400lb fishing line, found here: Lure’s Traditional Snowshoes.
- Good Base Layers: A good layering system starts with a good base layer. These are the clothes you will be wearing next to your skin all day, every-day. We never skimp on a base layer, and try to find nice merino wool long underwear whenever possible.
- Nice Wool Pants: If you don’t have them already, you won’t regret purchasing a nice pair of heavy wool pants. They will find use all winter around the home(stead) and in the bush.
- Specialty Cotton Wind Layers: These are not essential if you have nylon wind layers already, but if you plan to do a lot of winter trekking in exposed locations (ie. lakes and rivers), they are an exceptional bit of clothing. We have made, and love, our own, which is now available in our store. We have also found cotton/nylon wind pants at army surplus stores.
The Complete List
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Clothing – Bottoms
- 2x Heavy Base-Layer Long Underwear
Best: MEC Merino T3 Long Johns – $99;
Economy: MEC T3 Long Johns – $59;
- Heavy Wool or Synthetic Pants
Best: Military surplus stores can be an excellent source of high quality, heavy wool pants;
Best Online: Big Bill 100% wool pants – $123
OR 100% wool Filson “Mackinaw Pants” – $265 USD;
Economy: Your favourite roomy winter pant;
This should be a windproof cotton or nylon pant which pulls on easily over your moccasins or boots and fits over your pants.
Best: Empire Wool and Canvas – Tundra Trousers – Currently Unavailable;
Economy: Canadian Forces Wind Pant – $62 (Search military surplus stores if available);
Clothing – Tops
** It is important to note that the items on this list should layer together very comfortably. Ie. Ensure that you can wear your base layer, mid-layer and jacket all together, and your wind layer or parka should fit over all of the first 3 items.
Costco Fall 2017: We’ve recently found that Costco has a great selection of men’s and women’s 100% merino wool tops in various weights. They’re super soft and well made, but not online: Cloudveil (very light), Calvin Klein (mid-light) and Kirkland Signature (mid).
- 2x Light Base Layer (half-zip or pullover)
This layer should be close-fitting, and long sleeved. No drafts!
Best: Costco Cloudveil 100% Merino top (~ $20);
Best Online: MEC Merino T3 Zip-T – $109;
Value: MEC T3, Long Sleeved, Zip-T – $65;
- Mid-way Layer (half-zip or pullover)
Best: EWC Scout Shirt – ~ $300 USD;
Good alternative: Stacking the three Costco products listed above would be serve as a great light and mid-weight;
- Heavy wool or fleece jacket (full-zip preferred)
Best: Empire Wool and Canvas Camp Coat – Currently Unavailable;
Local: Mark’s Work Wearhouse or similar ~$80 – $120;
Economy: Thrift stores ~$Varies;
- Outer Wind Layer
This should be a loose-fitting windproof item made of nylon or cotton which easily fits over all other layers. If the hood has a fur ruff you will be very well protected in windy conditions.
Best: Lure’s own cotton canvas anorak – ~$320;
Economy: Large nylon wind jacket- Thrift stores & Army Surplus stores;
- Very warm parka for rest stops
Down jackets are best because they are extremely lightweight and compress well, so they can easily be packed in a day pack high on the toboggan.
Best: Feathered Friends Expedition Down Jackets – $500 – $830 USD
Economy: MEC Tremblant Down Jacket – $220;
Clothing – Extremities
(Many of the following items are easily identified and readily available, thus no links have been provided).
- Warm Wool Toque;
- OPT: Wool face mask, neck tube or balaclava;
- Thick wool scarf;
- Heavy wool mitts and leather or nylon overmitts;
Check out our mittens and DIY mitt kits!
- Insulated leather work gloves;
- Heavy wool socks (4 – 5 pairs)
** We recommend a base layer wool sock that is comfortable next to your foot, plus a thick knit sock which fits comfortably over your base sock;
Best base sock: Thermohair Wool Socks – $30;
Best thick knit sock: These can be found at thrift stores or knitting stores.
- Moccasins or Sorel-style boots
Best: Our Moccasins;
Economy: Sorel Boots – Canadian Tire with 2 or 3 pairs of socks- $60;
- Rubber over-boots (if using moccasins)
Best: Tingley Natural Rubber Overboots $50;
Alternative: Local industrial supply stores;
- Ski googles;
- Underwear (briefs are best under long underwear);
- Pajamas – comfortable, light, breathable material;
Example: MEC T-1 Long John – $29;
- Sleeping Bag rated to -20;
Top of the Line: Feathered Friends Expedition Down Bags: $700 – $1080 USD
Great Value: MEC Centaurus synthetic sleeping bag – $240;
Economical Alternative: You can also pair two 3-season sleeping bags, which gives a lot of versatility for year-round use;
- Sleeping Pad
**We do not recommend inflatable sleeping pads as they are too likely to be damaged if using tree boughs in the tent.
Durable closed cell foam: Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest – $27;
Luxury to be used carefully: Exped Downmat 9 – ~ $350;
- Toiletries: Toothbrush/ toothpaste/ floss/ chapstick/ vitamins/ meds, etc;
- LED Headlamp – huge variety at MEC;
- OPT: Reading/ sketch/ log book;
- 2 litre water capacity;
We use a 1l insulated vacuum bottle (eg. “Thermos”) and a 1l insulated water bottle. The latter will cool quickly for morning drinking water, while the vacuum bottle stays warm for the afternoon;
- Sunglasses and sunscreen;
- Simple belt knife
Recommended: Bahco Belt Knife – $15;
Best: Our traditional snowshoes with monoline weave;
- OPT: Ski/ trekking Pole(s);
- OPT: Small binoculars;
- OPT: Camera;
- Small wash towel;
- Lightweight rain gear (tops and bottoms);
- Spare headlamp batteries;
- Duffel Bags x 2 (35l or 60l) – (MEC)