19 Comments

Oooh. I’m currently breaking in new boots (although why Han Wag’s marketing team called them Bunions, I don’t know) ahead of my November Everest Base Camp walk. Currently trying out lots of layering strategies on every walk. Maybe we should collaborate on a women’s trekking kit list!

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That sounds like an awesome idea!

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I've drafted something. If you are still keen on collaborating, do set me up as a guest writer on a post :)

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Absolutely, do you have my email?

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I've send to your @substack.com email - hopefully that works!

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I’ve only camped once and it was in April by the beach. I’d say I’m darn good at prepping. I even had a pair of tweezers that came in handy when my husband touched a cactus (on purpose). What are some essential items for winter that differ from spring camping?

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Aside from layering differences and maybe a pair of insulated boots, you also may want to bring tools like crampons or micro spikes. Thicker gloves, gaiters to keep snow out of your boots.

Also, some camp stoves don't perform well in cold temperatures, so I'd recommend testing that beforehand.

This is a bit of an odd tip, but I'd also make sure to bring wider-mouth water bottles and store them upside down. Water freezes from the top down, so this ensures even in cold weather, you aren't losing access to your entire water supply.

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The water tip is amazing. I would have never considered that. Thank you.

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You're welcome!

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Jan 24, 2022Liked by Cole Noble

What's the best way to break in hiking boots? Where to buy...good brand recommendations when on a budget?

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Great questions! Boots are a bit subjective. Everyone has different foot sizes, so boots that fit me well may be uncomfortable for you. You should try on boots in person. But in my opinion, Salomon and Merrel are great brands to start with -- though those just happen to be ones I've had good luck with.

As for breaking in: I wear new boots around the house for a weekend.

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Jan 23, 2022Liked by Cole Noble

Can you go over what gear you bring on trips specifically for emergency situations? What pieces of equipment do you carry at all times to prepare for worst case scenarios (i.e. severe injury, instances where rescue is needed)?

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Sure thing! I always bring an InReach satellite device. It can send an SOS signal, works anywhere you can see the sky, and also has a map built in. Aside from that, a first aid kit is critical, of course. A lot of outdoor retailers sell first aid kits equip with everything you need, but it's still a great idea to familiarize yourself with what's in it.

You should also always be carrying a way to make fire, along with a knife. It's just a great tool that has a lot of uses.

Especially in the winter, you should always be thinking about what to bring in case you're trapped overnight. As a lot of our local rescue groups say: you might be prepared for a day on the trail, but what about an unplanned night? A space blanket is a great solution for this.

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Jan 23, 2022Liked by Cole Noble

If your backpacking or just packing for an outdoors trip, are there certain things you should have closest to the top of the pack for easier access? What, if any, should you leave strapped on the outside of the pack?

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Yes! You want to pack things in order of accessibility. I plan to put out a guide specifically for this question, actually. Try to pack the items in the order you know you'll use them, so you don't have to dig around while you're on the trail. I typically use outside pockets for items I know I'll need on the fly. A rain jacket for example, either needs to go on the very top of your pack, or in an outside pocket.

Navigation tools and emergency supplies should also be left in easy to reach spots. Another packing tip: the rest of your group should know exactly where you keep your first aid kit in case there is an emergency and you are injured. I usually mark the pocket containing mine with a large cross.

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When do you need and not need spikes to hike in winter? Is there a brand you prefer? This debate has come up a few times in my life lately.

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Great question. Micro Spikes are a great tool for getting around on slick and flat surfaces, coated with a bit of ice. They're kind of like snow chains for your car tires. They're good for a thin layer of ice that starts to interfere with traction.

When you get into deeper snow, thicker ice, or a steeper incline, you switch to full-on crampons. They have deeper spikes that dig deeper into the surface. They do a better job maintaining your footing on steeper slopes.

Both add weight to your feet, so they should be used when the terrain calls for them. I'd recommend bringing a pair once winter conditions star setting in, just to have.

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Thank you!

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Of course! Happy hiking!

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