When packing for a winter trek, you mainly use the same list of equipment that you use for treks during the other seasons of the year, although there are a few things that are specifically needed to handle winter conditions. For example, a spade and probe are absolute necessities during winter treks, as well as a wind sack, reinforcement garments and a sleeping bag.
You do not need to bring a lot with you, but think about how you are going to use each item. On a short trek, you might only need the clothes that you will wear, reinforcement garments and safety equipment. Below you will find a list of the equipment we think you will need for a day trip, and further down on the page you will find a list of equipment for treks with one or more nights spent in the outdoors.
Base layer: Underwear, sports bra, base layer bottom, base layer top with long sleeves, socks.
Middle layer: Wool sweater/shirt, trekking trousers. Outer layer: Shell jacket, shell trousers and, if needed, gaiters (depending on the trousers and boots).
Footwear: Ski/hiking boots (preferably with removable insoles).
• Thin hat/cap, headband, thick hat or balaclava.
• Five-finger wool glove liner, five-finger working glove, preferably with a detachable wool lining, and mittens with detachable wool lining.
Warm jacket (half/full length, the thickness depends on the temperature and type of trek), warm trousers, thick wool or fleece sweater, dry change of socks.
Wind sack, sleeping bag, ground pad, probe, snow spade, safety line (15-20 metres).
When sleeping in a tent or bivouac, you should supplement your day pack with the equipment listed below. You will need a significantly larger backpack or a sledge to transport it all.
• Tent with snow stakes
• Undergarments, balaclava, five-finger gloves, socks (all of these should be stored in the sleeping bag)
• Extra undergarments and socks, as needed
• Food, cup, cutlery/whisk, cutting board
• Stove, fuel, matches, lighterSheathed knife, multi tool, saw, axe
• Dish washing liquid and brush
• 2 0.5 litre insulated water bottles that can hold boiling water
• 1-2 0.7 litre insulated/wrapped thermoses
• Towel, 2 wash rags and toiletries (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)
• Toilet paper packed in a plastic bag (it is good to have extra toilet paper in the pocket of your break garments).
• Sunblock and mini-pharmacy (special medicine, pain relievers, charcoal tablets, skin lotion, etc.)
• Small details that add a little extra to the atmosphere: tea lights, book, small stereo or radio.
• Repair equipment: duct tape, seam sealer, steel wire, needle and thread, nylon rope, etc.
• Pen and diary/notebook.
Pack in waterproof carry bags. Be particularly careful with your sleeping bag! Preferably pack in a large backpack, but bring a smaller bag/backpack for day trips.
Indoor shoes/slippers can be good to have if you will be spending nights in a cabin. When preparing to head home, it is often nice to have an extra set of clothes to "look good in". These should be stored in a small bag that is left at the start/end location of the trek, for example a mountain station or train station that you will return to. You should not carry them on your trek.