Snow Excuse

By Phil on 2015.01.13 In General

I’m known amongst my hiking friends as “gadget man” (amongst other names) and I’m always the one with the heaviest rucksack, whether it be for a day hike or long distance treks. I won’t lie, I love my gadgets and I also like to be prepared for whatever can be thrown at you.

One of my first winter hike photos taken from my first ever winter Munro in Scotland. Brilliant day!

Now winter is here, this gives me the opportunity to pack even more! With things like crampons, ice axes, shovels, snow goggles and many more. I love it! I actually prefer hiking in snow and colder conditions than in the summer. The scenery can often be spectacular during snowy winter hikes as well as the feeling of walking on hard ice in your crampons as the teeth dig into the ice with every step. A great feeling.

I love wearing these!

As I often get asked “What have you got in your rucksack Phil? Why is it so heavy?” I thought I would do a post about what I carry in my daysack during the winter months.

I am by no means an expert on winter hiking, so please don’t take my thoughts and rucksack contents as the definitive answer on winter hiking as I still have lots to learn! This is just from my experiences and from doing a winter skills course in Scotland last year which you can read about here. There is still so much for me to learn about winter mountaineering, so much so that I have booked on the same winter skills course next month as well as taking along some friends and introducing them to the wonders of winter mountaineering.

The rucksack I use for all my day hikes is the Fjällräven Friluft 45, which you can read my review of here.

Carried Items (along with item weight where significant and known):

Always take spare of key items such as hats, gloves and socks, as these are things which can easily get wet while out in the snow. It’s also useful to store all your items inside a rucksack liner, as even though you might have a rucksack cover over if it’s snowing, you will be surprised how easily your rucksack can get wet is such conditions. You might also want to consider taking additional waterproof jacket and trousers depending on the quality of jacket and trousers you will already be wearing.

Clothes I generally wear during winter (may differ depending on conditions):

Note: If going out in the winter where crampons and ice axe may be required, please ensure you know how to use them correctly. If you have no previous experience of using them, then I would strongly advise attending an Intro to Winter Skills course, where they will cover the correct use of such items. I was lucky enough on my first winter outing to go with some experienced guys and the conditions we would be encountering would be a great opportunity to try crampons and ice axe without any training. We probably could have done the hike without them, as it was borderline as to whether they would be required, so it was a great opportunity for me try for the very first time. After that I booked myself on a Intro to Winter Skills course as I planned to do further hikes in much tougher conditions.

So don’t let the snow and winter weather put your hiking adventures on hold! Take the opportunity to learn new skills and experience the hills in different conditions. Having the right equipment and clothing allows you have just as good an experience on the hills in the winter as you would in the summer.

If you are venturing out into the winter for the first time, make sure you go with someone who does have some winter experience. Winter mountaineering can be such an amazing experience. Try it!



Below are a couple of good articles on staying safe and enjoying the winter:

How I learned to stop worrying and love winter

Stay safe in the winter hills

Winter mountaineering can also be fun! Check out this video from my first ever winter mountaineering experience when doing the Scottish Munro Meall Ghaordaihd in January 2014:

So there’s no excuse to not get out there in the snow!!

I can’t wait to get out on those Scottish hills over the next few months!

Enjoy and be safe!

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Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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