First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

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lkjhj
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First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by lkjhj »

So, I'm taking my first vacation to a place with snow. I've never really been before, so I don't think I have anything I need. And trying to figure it out is not as easy as I thought. The plan is to do some sledding, hiking/snowshoeing, and take some ski lessons. What stuff should I buy to go out there? I need everything. Just assume you're taking a completely naked human and you need to clothe/shoe them appropriately. Product recommendations for each thing would be great. I'm just trying this out, so I don't need super durable, long-lasting stuff (maybe some day). On the other hand, I don't want anything that will fall apart after one use.

Here's what I think I need
--snow/hiking boots
--socks
--some kind of base layers to wear underneath
--snow pants
--jacket (this is the one thing I'll probably use a lot more than occasionally and am willing to spend more on for quality)
--hat

Anything else I need?

Thanks for the help!
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White Coat Investor
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by White Coat Investor »

Thermal underwear top
Thermal underwear bottom
Fleece pants
Polyester T shirt
Fleece jacket/sweatshirt
"Shell" bibs
Shell jacket
Down puffer jacket
Smartwool socks
Hat
Mittens
Neck gaiter
Ski helmet?
Goggles
Snowboots for sledding and snowshoeing
Ski boots/poles/skis
Sunscreen
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Topic Author
lkjhj
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by lkjhj »

Thanks! Exactly the kind of info I was looking for. That's way more stuff than I even imagined. Sounds like I've got some work to do.
increment
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by increment »

Driving gloves, if you need to be able to grip a steering wheel that's been sitting in the cold for hours and hours.
Nver2Late
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by Nver2Late »

lkjhj wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:16 pm The plan is to do some sledding, hiking/snowshoeing, and take some ski lessons.
The key is determining how "active" you will be. You can somewhat accommodate various levels of activity with layers.

Example - when I'm skiing or hiking, I'm usually working hard so I have a light or med weight poly layer long johns and a breathable but waterproof shell. I'm comfortable as long as I keep moving. I get cold quick if I stop to rest too long.
Alternatively, if we're going out at -20F to watch the Northern Lights, heavy parka and thick snow pants and I'll still get too cold after a while, though mostly on the extremities, hands and feet. My parka is super warm but too warm for any significant physical activity.

Depending on the temps where you are going, a face gaiter or scarf may come in handy. I unfortunately have a frostbite issue with the tip of my nose from motorcycling in the teens, so I have to be careful and protect it or it will flare up.
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StevieG72
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by StevieG72 »

Snow Bibs! Basically waterproof overalls, you will fall if taking ski lessons and it keeps snow out of your pants. I found an inexpensive pair on Amazon and they have lasted a few seasons.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by livesoft »

You definitely need to get a FarPointe Outdoor Gear Alpha Cruiser to wear.

When I used to ski in the Austrian Alps. I wore blue jeans and rented skis+boots. I had an inexpensive down puffy and a gore-tex rain jacket, a beanie, ski goggles, and some gloves. I also had long underwear (top and bottom). I had hardly any income, so I couldn't afford anything else.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by White Coat Investor »

That list is what I wear to go skiing. If you're really active (backcountry skiing, snowshoeing) you can probably drop a layer (or two) from top and bottom, but you'll want it with you in a pack in case you stop or it gets colder.

Being properly dressed makes it all more fun, but if you're looking to save money, you simply substitute. Instead of fleece pants, you wear jeans. Instead of nice patagonia thermal underwear, you buy some el cheapo stuff. Instead of $200 mittens, you buy $20 mittens. You might be a little more cold and wet and have to go in the lodge more often, but it's not like you're headed out to cross Antarctica here. You're just trying out winter sports.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by FIRWYW »

I mostly cross country ski and snow shoe. As WCI said if less active, you will need warmer than what I list here. As a beginner- save some money and buy nicer later if you find you like doing it.

Top - I have a 32 degree base layer, 2nd warmer middle layer- when I started was just a long sleeve shirt that I got for free, now is a merino wool layer that I bought on Amazon for $35-40. And a waterproof outer shell. (Now an outdoor gear “rain jacket” but previously was a water resistant cheap Columbia jacket. I get way too hot and am typically in just my base layer by the end of the day XC skiing

Bottoms started as jeans (don’t recommend), then running pants, now SWIX ski pants that I love and think are 100% worth it for cross country skiing.

Gloves- stayed cheap here. Regular “gloves” initially. Now thinner more water proof pair.

Feet- definitely wool socks to avoid blisters and keep warm. “Darn tough”are worth every cent.

Head- started with snow hat. Gets too warm, I like just a headband that covers the ears.

I tend to keep my hiking bag on me with some snacks and water and fill with layers as I warm up. As noted, I run hot.

Sunglasses and SUNSCREEN for XC skiing. My worst sunburn of my life was 1st time going and was out for about 8 hours. (Blisters covering my entire face)

For downhill or sledding- thicker snow pants, mittens, hand warmers and maybe toe warmers depending on how cold you get. Goggles

?snow tires or chains depending where you go.
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MrMars
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by MrMars »

We just returned from a winter visit to Yellowstone, where our primary focus was snowmobiling. Temps for us were mostly upper 20's (F).

A smart/merino wool base layer is fundamental. It wicks sweat (which is good because sweat equals wet which equals cold). And it's fairly odor resistant. You can easily wear the same base layer for multiple days. Longer if you're not sweating.

The other main thing is to make sure your outer layer (coat, gloves, pants, shoes, whatever) is at a minimum water repellant. It needs to be waterproof if it covers something that will be in the snow routinely (boots, pants legs) In a cold environment, wet is the enemy of warmth. If your down filled coat isn't water repellant you need another water repellant or water proof layer on top of it.

Sorel Caribou boots were the boots we came up with for our trip. Exceptionally warm and a waterproof. They turned out to be the same boots the snowmobile rental place was providing for their customers. We bought lightly used boots and for about 1/3 of the new price and couldn't have been happier with our decision for pricing and warmth.

Don't forget a neck gaiter
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lkjhj
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by lkjhj »

White Coat Investor wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:30 pm Thermal underwear top
Thermal underwear bottom
Fleece pants
Polyester T shirt
Fleece jacket/sweatshirt
"Shell" bibs
Shell jacket
Down puffer jacket
Smartwool socks
Hat
Mittens
Neck gaiter
Ski helmet?
Goggles
Snowboots for sledding and snowshoeing
Ski boots/poles/skis
Sunscreen
Got some questions about the list.

1. Why mittens and not gloves?
2. I'm a bit confused about all the jackets. We've got a fleece jacket, shell jacket, and down puffer jacket. Are you actually wearing al 3 at the same time or are they for different uses (i.e. different levels of cold).
3. Do you wear the shell bib and then the fleece pants over that?
Last edited by lkjhj on Sat Jan 21, 2023 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
mhalley
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by mhalley »

Mittens are warmer than gloves.
Be sure to winterproof your car in addition to yourself.
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Cruise
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by Cruise »

Trust you have seen this thread, which may help:

viewtopic.php?t=389722
Topic Author
lkjhj
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by lkjhj »

mhalley wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 8:00 pm Mittens are warmer than gloves.
Be sure to winterproof your car in addition to yourself.
https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/8-eas ... -car-51728
Is the only difference between mittens and gloves the fact that gloves have the individual finger slots? I'd imagine the additional dexterity would be worth it. Is it not possible for them to make gloves that are as warm?
Topic Author
lkjhj
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by lkjhj »

Cruise wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 8:08 pm Trust you have seen this thread, which may help:

viewtopic.php?t=389722
Thanks, that's helpful. I had not seen it.
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lkjhj
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by lkjhj »

Anyone have any thoughts on these 3-in-1 jackets? I assume the quality is worse, but they seem like decent value.

How about snow boots with laces vs no laces?
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by TallBoy29er »

You don't need as much as others are suggesting. But with all due respect, do not wear denim. You will freeze, and you will be the gaper on the slopes out of the gate.

Worth asking how cold it will be where you are going. If it is 30+ deg F, mid layers become less needed

Helmet, skis, ski boots, snowshoes -Rent all of these
Ski goggles - May need to buy. Check w rental store. You can find cheap online, you don't need the $150 Smith's.
Base Layers - I prefer a long sleeve wicking up top. Any wool/synthetic will do. Down below, long underwear etc. are fine.
Mid layers - don't overthink. You do not need fleece pants, or a special mid layer. You can wear a sweatshirt/fleece, or other long mid layer you likely already own. Or an extra longsleeve and vest. If you get insulated pants/bibs, another bottom layer not needed unless you are in frigid (eg below 0) temps.
Shell Layers - Get a pair of waterproof insulated pants preferably (insulated adds more meat b/w you and outside-if you find shell pants, you may want a little beefier underlayer). You don't have to break the bank. Here's some Stoic pants on Backcountry.com for 90 bucks. You can get bibs, but pants will serve you just as well, and are more versatile. You also want a gore-tex jacket.
Gloves - If low temps, get some good ones. You can also get handwarmers as well, which help
Neck gaiter - nice if it is cold. Above 30 deg f, i don't bother.
Beanie
Ski socks - Wear thin ski socks, do not get thick ski socks. Look at Darn Tough or Smartwool.
Snow boots - Insulated boots are a waste if this is a one shot deal. If you are on groomed paths, just wear hiking boots with warm (thicker) socks.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

You don't need that much stuff. I used to ski a ton, working at a ski shop and at their rental shop at a ski area as a teenager. I also have had snowmobiles, so can talk about them.

For skiing, both downhill and cross country, the temperature matters and so layers help.

Skiing: Leather lined gloves. These were thick enough leather that they could be motorcycle gloves. Where your hands will get cold is on a long chairlift and if you're a beginner, you'll likely not be on a long chairlift. In my ski boots I wore regular socks. Not heavy, not multiple pairs. I'd wear a long sleeve T shirt, a ski sweater and a good ski jacket. Pants were loose fitting and anything from jeans, corderoys, khakis. On top, I have "warm up" pants/bib. As mentioned, pants like this make falls a big nothing. You won't get cold or full of snow. If it's warmer, lose the sweater. Warmer still, unzip the jacket. Tubing, hiking boots are fine.

Snowmobiling: I use the same jacket with sweater and long sleeve T under. My jacket has a zipper in the collar with a shell hood I can put on under the snowmobile helmet. This is great for when snow falls out of trees all over you. It doesn't go down your back. A bit of a collar zippable is good to keep your neck completely covered. I use the same bib pants and jeans but have some good, big snowmobile boots. They should be a couple sizes bigger than normal for air that will keep your feet warm and dry. I also use snowmobile gloves that have a sort of cuff that goes half way up your arms.

I've picked up the bib warm ups at Burlington Coat Factory which is big discount. They'll literally cost 1/10 what they were in my ski shop. Jacket at the ski shop along with the ski gloves. Snowmobile gloves at a sled shop. Pretty sure I got the snowmobile gloves at Burlington.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by obgraham »

When I went snowmobiling at Yellowstone some years back, the outfit renting the rigs also provided afull snowmobile suit, big gloves, boots, etc. Good thing, as the high temp those days was about 7F.
Did several hundred miles and had a blast, but it was bloomin' cold!
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by Raycpact »

Do othes a favor, don't drive in snow or when roads are went and temperature below freezing.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by safari »

If you don't have snow tires or 4-wheel drive, you will need tire chains for your car.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by Cycle »

Take cold showers the month before and you'll have some brown fat for thermogenesis
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by TheOscarGuy »

lkjhj wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:16 pm So, I'm taking my first vacation to a place with snow. I've never really been before, so I don't think I have anything I need. And trying to figure it out is not as easy as I thought. The plan is to do some sledding, hiking/snowshoeing, and take some ski lessons. What stuff should I buy to go out there? I need everything. Just assume you're taking a completely naked human and you need to clothe/shoe them appropriately. Product recommendations for each thing would be great. I'm just trying this out, so I don't need super durable, long-lasting stuff (maybe some day). On the other hand, I don't want anything that will fall apart after one use.

Here's what I think I need
--snow/hiking boots
--socks
--some kind of base layers to wear underneath
--snow pants
--jacket (this is the one thing I'll probably use a lot more than occasionally and am willing to spend more on for quality)
--hat

Anything else I need?

Thanks for the help!
Recommendations:

Darn tough socks. Ski socks over calf good for ski boots.

Merino wool baselayers. You may get lucky at sierra trading post as they sometimes have 100% merino baselayers, and underpants.

Hot hands hand warmer.
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lkjhj
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by lkjhj »

Thanks everyone for the advice.

Don't need to be worried about driving. I won't be doing any, I'll be up there with some people who live nearby and are accustomed to the conditions. They're doing all the driving.

I think the temperature will probably be in the 20s most of the time, so not too cold
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lkjhj
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by lkjhj »

TheOscarGuy wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:06 am

Recommendations:

Darn tough socks. Ski socks over calf good for ski boots.

Merino wool baselayers. You may get lucky at sierra trading post as they sometimes have 100% merino baselayers, and underpants.

Hot hands hand warmer.
Question about the Merino wool baselayers. Are these in addition to the thermal underwear (and not instead of it)?
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typical.investor
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by typical.investor »

White Coat Investor wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:30 pm Thermal underwear top
Thermal underwear bottom
Fleece pants
Polyester T shirt
Fleece jacket/sweatshirt
"Shell" bibs
Shell jacket
Down puffer jacket
Smartwool socks
Hat
Mittens
Neck gaiter
Ski helmet?
Goggles
Snowboots for sledding and snowshoeing
Ski boots/poles/skis
Sunscreen
And the trail mix goes in your pocket?
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by investingdad »

lkjhj wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 8:17 pm
mhalley wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 8:00 pm Mittens are warmer than gloves.
Be sure to winterproof your car in addition to yourself.
https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/8-eas ... -car-51728
Is the only difference between mittens and gloves the fact that gloves have the individual finger slots? I'd imagine the additional dexterity would be worth it. Is it not possible for them to make gloves that are as warm?
Mittens will always be warmer, like for like, because there’s less surface area for heat loss. When your fingers are in a mitten they’re not physically isolated like in a glove and hold heat better.

If you’re looking for great merino wool hiking socks, i can recommend PURE brand on Amazon. They’re super thick, dense, warm, and durable. I wear them all the time.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by Sandtrap »

lkjhj wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:16 pm So, I'm taking my first vacation to a place with snow. I've never really been before, so I don't think I have anything I need. And trying to figure it out is not as easy as I thought. The plan is to do some sledding, hiking/snowshoeing, and take some ski lessons. What stuff should I buy to go out there? I need everything. Just assume you're taking a completely naked human and you need to clothe/shoe them appropriately. Product recommendations for each thing would be great. I'm just trying this out, so I don't need super durable, long-lasting stuff (maybe some day). On the other hand, I don't want anything that will fall apart after one use.

Here's what I think I need
--snow/hiking boots
--socks
--some kind of base layers to wear underneath
--snow pants
--jacket (this is the one thing I'll probably use a lot more than occasionally and am willing to spend more on for quality)
--hat

Anything else I need?

Thanks for the help!
To OP:
Safety concerns and things:

1
Are you driving in snow and ice?
Is your car or the rental car going to be 4 wheel drive or AWD capable?
Do you live where there is snow and ice? (what kinds of roads do you normally drive on?)

2
feet and hands, especially hands. . and head. . .and neck. . .(neck wraps), keep them warm and all is good.

3
Is it going to be windy or breezy?
Outer or some layer should resist cold biting wind and breezes.

4
Eyes and face. . protect against cold biting wind and breeze.

5
Chapstick.

6
Hand and other lotion. Cold is often very dry.

7
Hydrate: often easy to become dehydrated.

Much of what you might need, you may already own. Be careful not to over spend on things that will only be used on this trip and nevermore.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by OnBoard »

The core essentials have been listed. It’s been mentioned by someone else but want to call out face masks again. Really helpful in windy situations, especially when going up lifts.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by TheOscarGuy »

lkjhj wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:29 am
TheOscarGuy wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:06 am

Recommendations:

Darn tough socks. Ski socks over calf good for ski boots.

Merino wool baselayers. You may get lucky at sierra trading post as they sometimes have 100% merino baselayers, and underpants.

Hot hands hand warmer.
Question about the Merino wool baselayers. Are these in addition to the thermal underwear (and not instead of it)?
Depends on the cold I guess, but yes always undewear (whichever you choose -- regular or thermal) then baselayer. I also use merino underwear (not any other material).
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lkjhj
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by lkjhj »

TheOscarGuy wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:04 pm
lkjhj wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:29 am

Question about the Merino wool baselayers. Are these in addition to the thermal underwear (and not instead of it)?
Depends on the cold I guess, but yes always undewear (whichever you choose -- regular or thermal) then baselayer. I also use merino underwear (not any other material).
This is what was confusing to me. So what you are saying is sometimes you are wearing merino thermal underwear and then a merino wool base layer over that?
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Lip balm - nothing worse than windburn on your lips.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by Lalamimi »

My daughter's family is headed to Colorado for first time next week. (4 and 6 yr olds). She reached out to friends and neighbors and managed to score almost everything for the girls. Hubby is borrowing from a friend. Ask around. Check your local resale shops and Market places online. If you go, and love it, then buy new stuff. I would like buy a good pair of ski goggles for the sun, etc.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by batman »

Just came back from backcountry skiing and saw this post.
If this is a vacation and you stay for a few days only, I would find buying the full gear quite an overkill.
In Austria where I live you can rent most of the stuff you need. It also depends a lot on the activity you do. It would make little sense to buy all ski gear if you don’t know what you like.

What I find important (and I am out in the backcountry pretty much every week):
- good socks (thick merino. Those I would buy)
- good gloves (also moderately expensive. You can some decent ones for 50 usd. )
- Good base Layer if it’s really cold. I usually wear a long sleeve base layer and a sports T-shirt above it. You probably even have something suitable already. I sometimes just wear a soccer long sleeve from summer as base.
Base layer pants I never use (and I rent to be cold in general).
- Jackets: I mostly bring 2 layers. One that is warm (a puff jacket) and one that is water and wind proof. Depending on conditions I wear one of them or both. If I were you, I would try to rent a skiing jacket.
- pants depend on activity. If you go for a walk you can wear jeans. If you are in deep snow, you need ski pants, would also rent
- most of the heat is lost from hands, feet, head. Now head is still missing, get a warm beanie and you will be good :)
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by White Coat Investor »

typical.investor wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:47 am
White Coat Investor wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:30 pm Thermal underwear top
Thermal underwear bottom
Fleece pants
Polyester T shirt
Fleece jacket/sweatshirt
"Shell" bibs
Shell jacket
Down puffer jacket
Smartwool socks
Hat
Mittens
Neck gaiter
Ski helmet?
Goggles
Snowboots for sledding and snowshoeing
Ski boots/poles/skis
Sunscreen
And the trail mix goes in your pocket?
In my case? It's probably there or in my pack with the avalanche airbag, shovel and probe and any layers I'm not wearing.
Last edited by White Coat Investor on Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by White Coat Investor »

lkjhj wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 7:54 pm
White Coat Investor wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:30 pm Thermal underwear top
Thermal underwear bottom
Fleece pants
Polyester T shirt
Fleece jacket/sweatshirt
"Shell" bibs
Shell jacket
Down puffer jacket
Smartwool socks
Hat
Mittens
Neck gaiter
Ski helmet?
Goggles
Snowboots for sledding and snowshoeing
Ski boots/poles/skis
Sunscreen
Got some questions about the list.

1. Why mittens and not gloves?
2. I'm a bit confused about all the jackets. We've got a fleece jacket, shell jacket, and down puffer jacket. Are you actually wearing al 3 at the same time or are they for different uses (i.e. different levels of cold).
3. Do you wear the shell bib and then the fleece pants over that?
1. Warmer. Hand warmers don't really work in gloves anyway because the tips are what get cold. This am I started climbing/skinning at 0530 wearing gloves. I put the mittens on about 2 hours later when my hands got cold. Fingers were much happier, but I just sweat in them too much to wear them all the time. Keep in mind these are $200/wear to the top of Everest type mittens though.
2. Yes. All three. Layers is the key. For example, this morning for a while I was wearing just a thermal top and a T shirt on top for a while. Then I put on the fleece over those about the time I put the mittens on. When I reached the summit, I put on the down jacket and shell jacket and goggles to ski down with.
3. Everything goes inside the shells. The job of the shells is to keep everything else dry from the snow you're playing in. I only have one layer that I ever wear that goes outside the shells and that's because it doesn't fit. It's a big down parka that I've never worn while hiking except one day and that day was over 20,000 feet and -20 degrees F. That's not something most people need.

I know it seems complicated, but trust me when Is say this sort of set-up is pretty routine for anyone that spends significant time exerting themselves in the outdoors (snowshoeing/backcountry skiing/climbing) in Winter.

If you're just going to snowshoe for 20 minutes outside the lodge you can wear whatever you want. You might even be able to make it 20 minutes without gloves.
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Glockenspiel
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by Glockenspiel »

Minnesotan here. I've lived through 38 cold, snowy winters.

You'll need/want:
-Long socks - either wool or cotton are fine, though wool is much better.
-Jeans - a brand you don't mind getting wet
-Thermal underwear - not needed, though you might want if you're not used to cold weather
-Long sleeve t-shirt to use as a layer
-Hooded sweatshirt or regular sweatshirt
-Winter boots - warm and waterproof - Sorel makes great boots, but plenty of others will suffice.
-Snow pants or ski pants
-Warm mittens or gloves (mittens keep you much warmer) - any good brand from sporting goods store will work
-Stocking hat - keeps your head and ears warm
-Thermal winter face mask or balaclava - keeps your neck, cheeks, and nose warm in windy cold weather - must-have for downhill skiing
-Winter Parka - any brand like North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, Burton, etc will be fine.
-Ski helmet - a must for downhill skiing
-Ski goggles - very nice to have
-Rent snow shoes
-Buy a cheap sled from the local Target when you arrive and you'll be fine.
LittleMaggieMae
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by LittleMaggieMae »

Don't know if it was mentioned - but you want to think about/consider the discomfort of getting wet in the cold. Once your socks get wet for example - either from a slush puddle (and your trendy fashionable boots leaked cause they were only water repellent) OR just sweat - you will have cold feet with no easy way to warm them up (other than to put on dry socks and boots). Choose your base layer carefully. Pay attention to your boots - water repellent is good if it's just snow and you won't be going thru slop/slush/puddles. Waterproof is better over all. You will want your boots to dry out over night.

When picking out what to buy/wear - look for layers that will wick moisture away from your skin especially if you will be working up a sweat while you are enjoying the snow.

Not suggesting wool underwear :) but the reason wool clothing is a winter thing -is because even if it gets wet it will still keep you warm. Wet cotton will not.

You might want to have a couple of hats, scarves, and some different pairs of mittens or gloves. You might want to take along a couple extra pairs of socks. That way if something gets wet in the morning and you can't get it dried out for the afternoon or evening - you can just use a spare.

When you get back inside - and change out of your 'snow gear' or whatever you wore during the day for activities - you want to make sure you hang stuff up or lay stuff out to dry. expecially your boots/shoes. You really want to make sure your footwear dries out. Cold wet feet can ruin an otherwise fun day. If you are the kind of person who leaves stuff in a pile on the floor or piles everything on a chair - make the effort to make sure you clothes dry out for the next day (nothing worse than wearing a damp anything - it's cold and unpleasant).

Added if you are traveling with little kids - make sure you have extra gloves/mittens for them - they will get wet. and your kids will not have so much fun with wet hands (or feet).
Last edited by LittleMaggieMae on Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TexasPE
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by TexasPE »

Something like these

https://www.amazon.com/Traction-Crampon ... th=1&psc=1

can be helpful for hikes
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DoubleComma
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by DoubleComma »

lkjhj wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:28 am Thanks everyone for the advice.

Don't need to be worried about driving. I won't be doing any, I'll be up there with some people who live nearby and are accustomed to the conditions. They're doing all the driving.

I think the temperature will probably be in the 20s most of the time, so not too cold
You've received lots of good suggestion on what to buy, I won't go into detail other than to affirm layering in critical.

You mention the 3 in 1 jackets, I stay away form those, they have a tendency to be bulky.

I specifically and responding to this post because you mentioned you be there with people who live near by. They could tell you exactly what gear you would need. In fact, if this is a one time trip they likely have extra gear you can use for a day or two. I know in my mountain home we have several extra sets of gloves and mittens, lots of fleece and several extra shells. This just seems to happen when people spend a lot of time outdoors in the cold, they don't want to wear the exact same "uniform" each time out. Personally I rotate 3 shells and for the extremely cold day I have a couple of insulated jackets in place of the shell. I use mittens most of the time and have a couple pairs. Same for boots.

This forum has a lot of experience and knowledge, but none as personal as you can get from the friends you will be with who know the area and you.
CorgiGoneCycling
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by CorgiGoneCycling »

You have gotten a lot of good answers but be aware that most people answering here sound like they have made snow sports a main hobby and have invested in the gear. You likely don't need to get two types of jackets for 1 vacation..

General rules: don't wear cotton for outside activities and have a few layers so you can adapt to cardio intensity and changing weather (some kind of hiking/skiing pack would help here if you are going longer distances and don't underestimate how warm a backpack is on the back!).

You likely do not need super expensive ski bibs/pants to try out a day or two. My 10-year-old Columbia 3 in 1 and Cherokee (random department store brand?) snow pants were perfectly adequate for frequent Colorado resort skiing. (I did upgrade the Cherokees eventually, after enduring some good-natured ribbing from friends and wife). If you get it wrong while resort skiing, the risk is low, just run inside grab a hot chocolate. The more remote you get (ski touring, hiking, ski mobile, etc.) the more you need to invest in the right gear.

I would like to emphasize: do not underestimate having a buff/neck gaiter that you can pull up over your face/ears.
DoubleComma
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by DoubleComma »

CorgiGoneCycling wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:03 pm I would like to emphasize: do not underestimate having a buff/neck gaiter that you can pull up over your face/ears.
This is an excellent call out. I wear a Blackstrap balaclava every day I'm in the snow. I consider it part of my base layering that I always wear. The ability to pull the face panel down below the chin is perfect for warmer days; its its like shedding a layer without really having to shed a layer. I much prefer the balaclava to a neck gaiter.

I consider the balaclava one of the best things I was introduced to as a result of Covid. In 2021 most ski resorts made face masks mandatory and gaiters became a hassle to adjust while wearing a helmet and googles ...balaclava solved that issue.
stoptothink
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by stoptothink »

CorgiGoneCycling wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:03 pm You have gotten a lot of good answers but be aware that most people answering here sound like they have made snow sports a main hobby and have invested in the gear. You likely don't need to get two types of jackets for 1 vacation..
I have lived in the mountains of Utah for half my life, snowshoe a few hundred miles each winter, ride my e-assist fatbike a ton in the snow (and climb a lot of mountains and sled with the kids, etc.) and don't have a bunch of the gear listed in this thread. Some other stuff I actually have and have never even used (ie. balaclava and neck gaiter) because I don't feel they are needs and I got them as gifts. Don't overcomplicate this, you aren't on a month-long artic expedition. I assume people, even in warmer areas, already have some form of base layer, a beanie, and some decent socks (yes, merino wool are nice, but I never even owned a pair until a few months ago). A decent jacket (you don't have to spend $600 for the latest and greatest, and you will barely notice if it is heavy) and some gloves are probably all that I'd buy in this situation, the rest of the stuff you can easily rent. You could rent the jacket and gloves too, but you likely use those again. Not only would it be really expensive, for stuff you may never use again, but you also have to carry it around.
livesoft
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by livesoft »

My evil mind wants the OP to go into their local REI or bigbox sporting goods store and spend at least $5,000 on gear for this trip.
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backpacker61
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by backpacker61 »

Many, many people went on their first ski trip giving their regular coat and a pair of blue jeans a good spraying over with Scotch Gard and regular long underwear.

It's up to you, but unless you know you'll be doing this often, I wouldn't spend a mint. It sounds as if the temperatures you're expecting aren't too extreme.
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kiwi123
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by kiwi123 »

Depending on where you are going, you can rent ski clothing (in addition to ski/snowboard gear)... call or email the ski resort and local shops. Also, depending on where you are going it is often a good idea to make reservations for the equipment in advance.

Also if it's UT vs. MN vs. WY/MT vs. VT that will play a big part in what gear to go with for clothing... "it will be in the 20s and not too cold" is a recipe for disaster as anyone who's experienced some of those conditions in some parts of the country :-)
kiwi123
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by kiwi123 »

livesoft wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:44 pm My evil mind wants the OP to go into their local REI or bigbox sporting goods store and spend at least $5,000 on gear for this trip.
Not a trip to the Patagonia store? I love seeing the annual spending that goes on for the 1x per year ski trip :-)
sgt
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by sgt »

For hiking in snow (and ice) consider wearing microspikes for foot traction. Microspikes fit over your hiking shoes and they grip on packed snow and ice. Also, trekking poles may be useful for hiking.
halfnine
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by halfnine »

stoptothink wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:35 pm
CorgiGoneCycling wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:03 pm You have gotten a lot of good answers but be aware that most people answering here sound like they have made snow sports a main hobby and have invested in the gear. You likely don't need to get two types of jackets for 1 vacation..
I have lived in the mountains of Utah for half my life, snowshoe a few hundred miles each winter, ride my e-assist fatbike a ton in the snow (and climb a lot of mountains and sled with the kids, etc.) and don't have a bunch of the gear listed in this thread. Some other stuff I actually have and have never even used (ie. balaclava and neck gaiter) because I don't feel they are needs and I got them as gifts. Don't overcomplicate this, you aren't on a month-long artic expedition. I assume people, even in warmer areas, already have some form of base layer, a beanie, and some decent socks (yes, merino wool are nice, but I never even owned a pair until a few months ago). A decent jacket (you don't have to spend $600 for the latest and greatest, and you will barely notice if it is heavy) and some gloves are probably all that I'd buy in this situation, the rest of the stuff you can easily rent. You could rent the jacket and gloves too, but you likely use those again. Not only would it be really expensive, for stuff you may never use again, but you also have to carry it around.
This.

OP, don't overthink it. I'd only start beginning to upgrade the further and further you get from civilization.
heyyou
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Re: First time trip in snow, need to know what gear to buy

Post by heyyou »

I've bought a lot of used gear from ebay and from some light weight gear themed, backpacking sites. Do look at REI, then shop at ebay for the same gear. I like fleece (100% polyester) since it is lighter and cheaper than merino wool for day use. Merino wool($$$) is for dedicated users, not novices on an introductory trip.

Wearing a thin, water repellent enough to be windproof, synthetic fabric layer over your fleece & long underwear layers could be warm enough, if your fleece is thick. What are the daily temperatures where you are headed? I second the remark about how your extremities will get cold first, even if the cause of the chilling is from not enough core insulation. So you need both, the head, fingers, toes, ears and part-time nose coverage, and adequate trunk and limb insulation. Carry some easy to eat and digest, high sugar candy and some water. Some extra fat (butter?) at meals is good too, but not too much as that would expedite how quickly it moves through you.
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