The things that make winter backpacking the best
Here are some reasons snow backpacking delivers a special and unique kind of backpacking bliss.
- Spectacular snow scenery.
- Solitude: There are fewer hikers in cold weather and fewer cars at the trail heads.
- Low-impact: When the snow is deep (6 feet or more) you can set up your tent most anywhere without impacting the meadows.
- Fewer restrictions: Campsites and trails are buried deep under the snow. You can hike off trail without damaging fragile vegetation. Areas that are restricted to permit holders are open in the winter and parts of the shoulder months of May and November.
- No bugs: The winter cold suppresses mosquitoes, flies, and other annoying bugs.
- Less sweat: The cool, usually dry air, helps minimize sweat.
- Less trail dust and mud. The bottom of your tent rarely gets dirty and the footprint (ground cloth) isn’t even needed.
- Bears are usually hibernating.
- It’s easier to have a level, smooth, and stick-free surface for your sleeping area
- Water is everywhere. You just have to melt it. In the winter there is no reason to carry a heavy load of water.
Very few hiking experiences can compare to traveling across pristine snow under a blue sky.
Before you head out, be sure to read my short post about the dangers of winter backpacking.
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions. I’ll be updating this post periodically for correction, etc.
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