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Winter Camping + Boots

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Winter Camping + Boots

Postby farside » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:37 pm

I am looking for a good 14er to camp at in the winter with snow. I camped near the trailhead of the Grey's/ Torey's peaks this past February. Any recommendations for one kind of close to the front range area?

Also my girlfriend does some hiking with me in the winter months and gets cold real fast do you have any recommendations for boots, socks/liners, or gloves for folks that get cold easily?

Much appreciated for the advice!

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Re: Winter Camping + Boots

Postby DaveSwink » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:10 pm

Buy her some quality winter-weight wool blend socks, and have her wear those socks when trying on her boots. Some boots are warmer than others, but key is to size the boots to fit well; snug at the heel, wiggle room at the toes, and not so tight as to compress the wool socks. The socks will provide excellent warmth if they are not over-compressed. Boots that are too tight will reduce blood flow to the feet which will let feet get colder.

For her hands, buy quality liner gloves that are wind-resistant, water-resistant, light insulation, and allow good dexterity (something like this: http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/shop/mountain/gloves/midweight) and mitt shells to go over the liner gloves.

Bring several sets of hand warmer chem packs for her.

Teach her to windmill her arms/legs when they first start to get cold.

A good wool cap goes a long way to maintaining body heat overall.

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Re: Winter Camping + Boots

Postby pvnisher » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:19 pm

Don't forget circulation. Too tight means too cold.
And sometimes the best way to warm up your feet is to wear long johns.

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Re: Winter Camping + Boots

Postby ctlee » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:37 pm

I'm another girl who gets cold--numb fingers and toes forced me off Quandary last winter. I'll second the comments on clothing and boots not being too tight, good baselayers and a hat. I also bought Merrell Winter Whiteout boots--rated to minus 40, great support for long distance hiking and climbing, and work well with snowshoes and micro spikes--super warm-and the price is right. For hands I went extreme with Outdoor Research Alti Mitts. They wear them on Everest and they're like sticking your hands in a toaster-a little pricey but I got mine on sale-to never have cold hands is worth it. Hand and foot warmers are also good to have on hand. Outside of the basic rules of layering for the winter, some of us--especially the women-need a little extra help with warmth and I found these boots and those mittens did the trick for me! Have fun!
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Re: Winter Camping + Boots

Postby GregMiller » Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:52 pm

Same advice as above on the layers and boots and socks, definitely. I personally double sock in my normal boots, as well, prevents blisters for me, but that's another topic.

For keeping feet warm, I've found that tall gaiters work really well for keeping the snow off, and thus keeping my feet dry, and thus warm: http://www.backcountry.com/outdoor-research-crocodiles-gaiter-womens

If you find you get cold while sleeping, try this: Boil up some water, pour it into a nalgene bottle, close it (quite tightly), and put it in a sock or something similar in the bottom of your sleeping bag. It should keep you warm all night.
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Re: Winter Camping + Boots

Postby farside » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:17 am

Foot warmers! I had never knew that they made those too, ill certainly have to get some. Thanks for the advice on the gloves, I think my best bet is going to be getting some super duty gloves and maybe some good liners just in case.
-Cheers!

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Re: Winter Camping + Boots

Postby dsunwall » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:48 am

farside wrote:Also my girlfriend does some hiking with me in the winter months and gets cold real fast do you have any recommendations for boots, socks/liners, or gloves for folks that get cold easily?


Salomon, Colombia, are two brands that make great winter boots. There are others but look for something similar to these. http://www.salomon.com/us/product/nytro-wp.html#bas There is a womens version. I have found these to be the warmest of about 5 different winter boots I've owned, despite the fact they don't have the lowest temperature rating. I generally don't need toe warmers with them but peoples needs vary greatly. Toe warmers are great to bring along though, they do work well when you need them.

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Re: Winter Camping + Boots

Postby RoanMtnMan » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:28 pm

For the camping part, we go with our Parbat High Mountaineering booties. Unfortunately, the CA based company went out of business but the booties do pop up on used gear sites every now and then. Nothing has been built as well since in my opinion. If I have some cold weather work to do on relatively benign terrain, Steger Mukluks, warmest footwear I have ever put on my feet. For the climbing portion, standard cold weather leather mountaineering boots offered by companies like La Sportiva or Scarpa, as well as others, will be more than sufficient. And if they aren't quite enough (which seems unlikely in CO), just call up the folks at 40 Below and get some overboots. Joel Attaway is an awesome guy and supporting outdoor small businesses is a positive thing to do.

Mitts are always warmer than gloves. You can go as crazy as your budget allows. But honestly we haven't used anything beyond a $35 pair of Nikwax treated leathers from the local ranching store in years (that includes many days of winter hiking, camping, snowmobiling, ice climbing, and working). Both hands and feet have two levels in my opinion, moving and standing. If one is moving then circulation and body heat increase, hence the need for less insulation, if standing then the opposite. So it depends on what your plans are. It's cheaper to stay moving until you retire to the tent. Kinco's are a great moving glove, Marmot 8000m mitts are a great standing around choice.

Given that you live in Greeley, it seems like heading up to Cameron Pass would be a good option to test out your setup. Closer, few people, cold in winter, accessible, and certainly comparably to most 14ers in the Frange.
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