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Clothing and Gear for a Cool Weather Hike

February 1, 2011

On our recent trip up to the highest ridgeline in the eastern US via the Woody Ridge Trail, we started out with very mild (55F) weather and hiked up into a harsh wind chill and and 3 feet of snow.

Fortunately, I was not really surprised by the weather change, but we did have to cut our trip a little short because Ben’s hands got very cold.

Here is what we took with us….

My 10 year old son, Ben, wore:

  • light hiking boots – these were soaked by the snow, but no problem for a short hike
  • wool socks
  • polyester short pants
  • long sleeve, polyester fleece shirt

Ben carried:

  • large day pack
  • over-sized stocking cap (to cover the ears and some of the neck)
  • wind shell
  • down insulated jacket
  • polyester wind pants
  • extra wool socks – which he changed into at the top/turn-around
  • bandana
  • head lamp
  • pocket knife
  • 2 plastic mugs and a spoon
  • water bottle, 1 liter, filled
  • camera

I wore:

  • light hiking shoes
  • wool socks
  • polyester short pants
  • long sleeve capilene (Patagonia’s polyester) shirt
  • pocket knife

I carried:

  • large day pack
  • wind shell
  • over-sized stocking cap
  • poly-fill insulated jacket
  • polyester wind pants
  • extra wool socks
  • camp towel – used to dry Ben’s feet when putting on dry socks
  • map & compass
  • head lamp
  • first aid kit (medical tape, gauze, alcohol pads, band aids)
  • emergency blanket
  • pot and alcohol stove kit – hot Russian tea was great
  • water bottle, 1 liter, filled
  • lunch (SEVERAL granola bars, mixed nuts, cheese sticks, Russian tea mix)

We could have used gloves for Ben since in the deep snow atop the ridgeline, he had to put his hands down frequently.

The only things we did not use were the first aid kit and emergency blanket.  I did not use my extra socks, poly-fill jacket or wind pants, but if we had stayed up on the ridgeline much longer, I would have had to put them on to stay warm.

As always, please ask any questions, or add your comments.

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