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Editor’s Note: One of my favorite aspects of splitboarding is the ability to get away from it all, camp in a remote location and ride uncrowded lines with our friends. As we all know winter camping can be a lot of fun, it can also be miserable, or some combination of the two. For many of us our winter camping set-up is ever-evolving. Check out the tips below from an informative thread on winter camping started by member Powpowpow. Cut the trial and error out of dialing in your winter camping kit, and see what your fellow splitters have done. Don’t forget to add your own two cents in the forums or comments section and you could see your tips added!

Editors Editors Note: We remind our readers these are general tips and we encourage you to find your own tips and tricks that work well for you. Many factors such as location, time of year, goals , group, etc will play into what gear you bring for a specific adventure. 

Pro tips and photos from forum member Firstlight

Here’s some hot tips given to customers on our overnight MRBC trips.

  • Down booties with Neos over-shoes. Take your snowboard boots off when you get to camp, put the down booties on for in the tent, and use the over-shoes for outside chores.
  • Exped Mat. I rock the Down Mat 9. A well rested guide is a happy guide! You can also put a closed-cell Thermarest mat underneath for added protection from the cold.
  • Thermarest Z seat. Great to pack all day as a seat for having lunch and for sitting around camp.
  • Snow anchors. I’ve made these myself. These are a life saver in high winds and rain.
  • Tent rule. Always subtract one person from the rating on tents, 2 man = 1 man, 3 man = 2 man etc etc.

For tents it’s a personal preference, I just started using single wall tents and love them! I like the optional vestible on the single wall tents. Great for storage of wet stuff and you can dig a pit for cooking, putting your boots on, etc.

Single wall – Nemo Tenshi, North Face Assult 2

Double wall – Mountain Hardwear Trango 3

Keep smiling also helps!

Forum member Acopafeel added his very thorough packing list as well to the thread. Check it out below.

Tent/Sleep
Pyramid tent (Mountain Laurel for me). You can dig down into the snow to make  a “cave” and as large/complex as you want, depending on time/needs. For the center pole, I like to use ski poles for single nights, or cut a piece of wood for multiple night stays. Use axes, poles, skis, bags of snow, etc. as anchors for your tent. For springtime mud, use a SOL safety blanket for a floor. Mountain Hardware -40deg down bag (has waterproof shell) for winter. HEAVY at around 5lbs, but shit gets cold here in MT, and I like to sleep well. Synthetic +20deg for springtime. Thick inflatable sleeping pad (I use REI Flash) full length foam RidgeRest, cut in half. Use this to sit on (I combine with the foam bivy pad from my CiloGear bag, to put under my inflatable sleeping pad).
Cook
Jet Boil. I’ve camped in 3 consecutive days of negative weather (lowest around -22deg) without fuel problems. Sleep with the canister(s), keep them on your body during cold days. Mountain House meals for dinner. I only bring one of the foil packs, and repack the other dinner meals into plastic baggies to save weight. Pro-Bars, Gu, nut butters for the day/lunch, oatmeal for morning, tea, coffee for mornings/nights, dark chocolate, carb drink/electrolyte tabs for day , protein powder, for post-movement drink , a lil’ whikkey, for those early nights . Fozzil bowl/plate, spork, SnowPeak double-walled mug, wide-mouth nalgene (to sleep with during nights too), extra nalgene compressible canteen, soft nalgene canteen for pee bottle.
Clothing
Softshell for touring (Pataguch Mixed Guide on warm days, Northwall jacket for cold days). Hardshell in case it gets nasty (Pataguchi M10 for winter, Houdini for spring), R1 (built in balaclava booya!), capalene for layering. BD liners for touring, warm/waterproof gloves for riding, mitts for back at camp, lightweight insulation (synthetic vs. down, depending on temps), beanie for cold/nights (really, i just use hoods most of the time), socks-socks-socks, headlamp (BD Storm for me).
Misc
Leatherman – para-cord (and lots of it!), simple first aid (athletic tape, mole skin, benadryl, asprin, and a bandaid or two), fire starter stick, lighter(s), party favors, I always take my glucosamine, 2 ski straps, little notebook/pencil, map, compass, camera, SOL safety blanket (or 2).
Additional tips
I try to bring no additional layers – at my coldest (resting/sleeping), I should be wearing all my clothing. (Except socks – dry socks are worth their weight in gold). Sleep with fuel, boot liners, any food that will freeze. A warm nalgene between the thighs goes a long ways. For my pack, I use a CiloGear 45Ski for winter overnight trips. The simplicity/multi-functionality of it is unparalleled, IMO. Tent goes in bottom, without any bag, to fill out corners, etc. Sleeping bag (in compression bag) goes next. Then goes everything else, with the most weight packed on top. I use sili-nylon and/or cuben fiber bags (z-packs, Hyperlite Mountain Gear) to keep things in, as they keeps things separate and most importantly DRY. Getting a cuben fiber sack for my skins has been life changing, as I can throw my wet skins in with all my other stuff and not worry about it.

What do you think? What’s in you’re winter camping kit, what would you add or leave at home. Tell us in the forums:

Here’s a couple of bcrider’s thoughts.

While down booties are a nice creature comfort and can really put a smile on your face at the end of a long day, they’re also one more thing to carry. To save weight and bulk I typically leave them at home. At the end of the day I like to put on two pair of dry socks and use my snowboard boots tied loosely for around camp. This helps dry your boots for the next day as the socks wick away the moisture and your body heat dries your liners. When I do take my down booties, I like to remove my liners from my snowboard boots and use the shells as overboots, similar to Firstlight’s tip above.

For snow anchors. We’re definitely guilty of using our splitboard skis, poles, axes as anchors too but we’ve also found that can be troublesome when you want to go ride if you plan to leave camp set up. It’s hard enough getting up at 4am to go splitboarding…digging all your gear out of the ice in the dark doesn’t help! I like to use sticks if I’m near tree-line or rocks if I’m above it. Stuff sacks full of snow work great too.

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About The Author

Since I could walk, sliding around on some form of frozen water has been my passion, starting with skiing and hockey, then switching to snowboarding in middle school and never looking back. After moving back to my home state of Vermont, I found that resort riding just wasn't cutting it for me. So I skipped buying a season pass, and bought a splitboard. That first tour was the same ah-ha moment I had when I first strapped on a snowboard in middle school. When not splitboarding, I work in digital media, mountain bike, play hockey and enjoy all of the amazing beers the Green Mountain State has to offer. Look for me to write about gear, trip reports, tips and tricks and other miscellanea such as climate change, often with an east coast bent.

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