WHAT TO BRING
At Snow Forest Adventures, we provide all of the equipment you need for your adventure.
We personally like to use only the best clothing and equipment available, and we treat our guests the same way. With our years of experience guiding trips both winter and summer, we can assure you that the equipment we provide for our trips is top qualitly, durable and technically adapted for recreation in any season.
When considering your clothing for any outdoor winter experience remember to dress in layers to stay warm. Your dog sledding apparel must work as a system that wicks away perspiration, insulates you from the cold and protects you from the wind. Our preferred winter clothing system is made up of several layers. This allows you to easily adjust your clothing to changes in the weather and changes in your heat output.
Most people can come up with practical layers without spending a fortune, if anything at all. Army surplus and other second hand stores are a great place to pick up some layers. Be sure to check the materials. To help organize your clothing and decide what to bring, think of your clothing in terms of providing yourself with three different layers.
This layer is next to your skin and it is important to wear something that will wick any moisture or perspiration away from your skin’s surface to keep you dry and thus warm. Merino wool, silk, or a synthetic material such as polypropylene works best. Stay away from cotton as it doesn’t wick moisture and will therefore leave you cold and wet after sweating.
This is your insulation and needs to retain your body heat without restricting movement. Any material that provides warmth will work in this layer. Wool or a synthetic material such as polar fleece are ideal. Cotton and denim, such as blue jeans, are not acceptable.
SHELL /OUTER LAYER
This layer is your protective shell. The key elements to block out are wind and the wetness of the snow (and on rare occasion’s rain). Often, the more windproof a garment is the less breathable it will be - a key consideration in winter. Gore-Tex jackets are a good choice, though expensive. A loose-fitting overcoat should provide the necessary protection and may be the best bet.
For your convenience you will receive a complete Gear Guide as well as a Packing List in your Welcome Package once you register for your trip.
WHAT NOT TO BRING
We encourage participants to immerse themselves in their Snow Forest Adventure and as such dissuade participants from bringing any electronic devices on trail (other than cameras and headlamps). There is no cellular service in most of the areas that we trip in and therefore such devices are not necessary nor will they work.
AN IMPORTANT WORD ABOUT FOOTWEAR
Nothing ruins your fun in the winter faster than cold feet. This is why we highly recommend boots with removable liners. You will be active and your feet will likely sweat, making your boots damp. At night, you will want to be able to remove the liners from the boots and dry them by the wood stove.
* Hiking boots, ski boots, rubber boots or slipper style boots such as Uggs, are not acceptable footwear and will not provide the warmth you need on a trip of this nature.
If you do not have boots with removable liners, we do have Sorel Glacier boots available to rent. *We do not bring these to the trailhead unless reserved in advance, so please let us know in advance if you need to rent boots.
We also highly recommend a warm sock that wicks sweat away from your feet such as merino wool socks from SmartWool or Icebreaker. Bring several pairs so you can change socks if they get wet or sweaty.
* Cotton socks will get wet, stay wet and keep your feet cold - they are not appropriate for this kind of trip.
Our guides have done this winter camping thing a time or two. As such, we thought we would pass on a few tips we learned the hard way. Hopefully they'll help make that first trip into winter a smooth one.
• Cold temperatures tend to drain batteries quickly. Bring extras for headlamps and cameras. Keeping batteries stored in pockets close to the body during the day also keeps them working longer.
• If you wear glasses or contacts bring 2 pair (just in case). If you wear contact lenses, bring plenty of solution for cleaning them; keep in mind that on cold days contact lens solution may freeze so store it in a pocket close to your body to help prevent this from happening.
• Tie small pieces of nylon cord through the eye of each zipper pull on all your clothing to enable you to operate zippers with mitts on.
• Outfit your mitts with "dummy strings", strings that are tied to each of your mitts so that you will not lose them if you take them off while your sled is still blazing down the trail.
• Mitts are warmer than gloves - mitts with liner gloves underneath are even better!
• Take the time to find a good quality, windproof hat that fits well and covers your ears well. It is great to not have to pull your hood up all the time if it is very cold.
• Make sure that your windproof pants and jacket are sized to fit over all of your bulky fleece pants and fleece jacket. If your clothes are too tight they will not provide nearly as much insulation as not as much air will be trapped between the layers and in the insulation itself.
• Bring a couple of zip-lock plastic bags to put your camera (or any other electronics) in when you bring it into the warmth of the tent from the cold. (This will prevent condensation from entering your camera lens and body, and potentially re-freezing later, just when that perfect scene presents itself!)
• On most of our trips your sled will be practically empty except for your personal clothes duffle bag, so bring more clothes if you just can’t decide what to bring. We'd rather you have a few extra items than be wishing you'd brought an extra sweater.
• Bring any preferred alcoholic beverages that you would enjoy!
• We will look very healthy from being outdoors, however the wind can chap your skin, be sure to bring skin cream and lip balm for extra protection!