Packing for Winter Mountains

 

Getting prepared to head into the winter mountains on an expedition where you’ll be sleeping in mountain huts requires just a little bit of planning. To participate in our expeditions, you will need to bring the items listed below (once you are booked on an expedition, we will send you an expedition specific packing list as well).

Items marked * are mandatory safety equipment.

  

Equipment

  • Backpack, a hiking backpack of 50-70 liters together with a camera cube. Make sure that you have tested it before and that you can carry it comfortably all day. We do not recommend a camera specific backpack

  • Head torch (with spare batteries) *

  • Toiletries

  • Small pocket knife

  • Sunscreen (SPF 50 or above) *

  • Sunglasses (category 4) *

  • Goggles *

  • Snacks for the days of snowshoeing - try mixing chocolate, dried fruit, nuts and bars, calculate 300 – 600 calories per day

  • Water for the day – Insulated lightweight vacuum bottles with a capacity of 2L (one for water and one for warm tea or chocolate – a normal water bottle will freeze before lunch) *

  • Small personal first aid kit, including any personal medication required *

  • Emergency blanket (one of those space age foil blankets) *

  • Notebook and pen

 

Clothes

  • Snow gaiters * (or trousers with built in gaiters)

  • Thermal long-sleeved shirts and long-johns for active use (synthetic or wool) *

  • Fleece or wool sweater, medium to heavy-weight *

  • Shell jacket and trousers * - hard or softshell, with hood. Personally, I prefer a good sturdy softshell as it breathes much better than e.g. Gore-Tex.

  • Warm jacket, down or synthetic insulation, light weight but warm. For example, Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka. Heavy parkas are not recommended as we will be moving on snowshoes/cross country skis and these will be stuffed in our backpacks as we move around.

  • Insulated pants for extended shooting – either full length with zippers, e.g. Haglöfs Barrier Insulated Pants, or insulated winter shorts that you wear above your shell trousers e.g. Haglöfs Barrier Knee Insulated Pants.

  • Hiking socks, warm (wool or synthetic, multiple)

  • Neck warmer / Buff (x 2-3) *

  • Winter Hat * (x 2)

  • Gloves * (one light to medium-weight pair with leather palms for active use)

  • Gloves * (one heavy weight pair for night time photography),

  • Mittens * for emergency use (very heavy weight pair)

Footwear

  • Hiking winter boots – these should be a high model, warm, comfortable, sturdy, well worn-in (!), water resistant and have good grip. They should fit warm wool socks inside as there is nothing worse than cold feet to spoil the day. *

  • Indoor slippers/shoes to wear in the hut​ 

 

Camera Gear

  • Camera – with manual settings, such as a DSLR, mirrorless or analogue.

  • Lenses – ranging from wide angle to long tele, but remember that you’ll have to carry what you bring so be strategic. We recommend that you try to limit yourself to two-three fairly lightweight lenses (meaning: leave your beautiful 500mm f/2.8 at home!). We would recommend that one of your lenses should have a focal length of at least 21mm full frame (14mm on an APS-C sensor) or wider and have a fast aperture of at least f/2.8 for those aurora and milky way shots!

  • Tripod – for those beautiful long exposures in the morning and evening, but also at night to try to capture the milky way and the aurora! A lightweight version with ballhead is recommended.

  • Remote shutter release or built-in timer

  • Filters – circular polarizer and ND being the obvious ones, there is only a very limited use of graduated ND filters in the arctic circle in the winter as the scenes are generally well balanced.

  • Lots of memory cards and batteries for the entire trip

  • Snow/rain cover for the camera equipment

 

Insurance

  • You can’t really pack the insurance, but having an insurance is very important if you’re unlucky! All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for snowshoeing in mountains, such as mountain rescue (including helicopter), medical, repatriation, cancellation, etc. *

 

 

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

© 2023 by Vagabond Trails Handelsbolag and Terra Photography Expeditions

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