Jill, Day Hiking Ambassador
So you have decided that you are ready to take snowshoeing to the next level with a yurt expedition. First of all “You are AWESOME!” You are awesome because you are about to unlock a new achievement as a winter adventurer. You have decided to forgo a traditional snowshoeing outing to partake in a challenging and invigorating journey.
Now that you understand your awesomeness and are ready for this adventure the first thing you need to do to prepare is to pack. Traditionally, most yurts are off the beaten path in the backcountry where you will be required to haul everything you need via sled or in your pack. Now you are probably asking “What should I pack? How much should I pack? What do I really need?” There is no specific list of what exactly you should bring because every yurt, terrain, and weather forecast is different. But with these tips you can pack smart, warm, and lite.
- First Aid – Remember when you are in the backcountry to always pack a first aid kit.
- 2 Headlamps -The days of winter always have less daylight and you may find yourself in a situation where you need to snowshoe at night. Make sure you have one headlamp to find your way in the dark and a backup on hand should you need it. (Trust me that second headlamp can save your life)
- Extra batteries – Whether its for you headlamp, camera, etc. always carry a second set of batteries for your electronics. The cold will often shorten your battery life and will require you to switch them out.
- Toilet Paper – Though most yurts are well kept you don’t want to be caught out in the cold without some TP on hand.
- Matches/Lighter – Always have a way to start a fire whether its for survival or to ignite the wood stove in your yurt.
- Snowshoe Poles – You don’t always need snowshoe poles when out on day treks, but when packing it out to Yurts I highly recommend bringing them. With more weight on your back as you navigate unknown terrain you may find yourself slightly unbalanced and will find stability by using poles.
- Heel Bars – If your snowshoes doesn’t have heel bars you may want to consider either buying or renting a pair that do depending on the trail’s elevation gain. Heel bars will help you climb steep portions of the trail with ease and allow you to reserve more energy for the rest of your journey.
- Base Layers – Bring two pairs of base layers with you. If you sweat through one you can change out into your dry ones to keep you warm. Don’t forget to hang your damp layers up by the fire to dry out.
- Wear Windproof/Waterproof Gear – With waterproof and windproof gear you will be able to stay warm easily. You will be able to keep the wind from a snowstorm at bay as well as prevent the absorption of melting ice and snow.
- Buff/Scarf – Bring a piece of gear to keep your neck warm. By covering up with a buff or scarf you will keep winter’s chill from getting into your bones.
- Protein Bars – Pack a protein bar to eat before bed for each night you will be out camping in your yurt. This will help your body stay warm by giving it something to burn no matter how hot or cold your yurt gets in the night.
- Water – If you have backpack packed before you know that water is usually the heaviest thing in your pack. The beauty of winter is that the water you need is everywhere in the form of snow. Pack enough water to get you to your yurt and then simply melt (or boil) some snow to replenish your supply.
- Dehydrated Meals – If your bag is weighing you down and you need to lighten your pack consider bringing dehydrated meals.
- Toss Out The Extras! – When choosing your final selection of items for your yurt adventure remember that for every extra unneeded item you bring you will be weighing yourself down making it tougher to move when undergoing snowy terrain.
Now pack your bag, grab your snowshoes, and get out there on your destined trails. Good luck on your yurt adventure you awesome person you!