Finally. We got some snow. Boy did we get some snow. Which Drew and I couldn't be happier about because we both love the snow and the activities it brings. Our new favorite is that of snowshoeing. So for those of you interested in polar exploration, here is a little info on the gear I use and love when I set off on a snow adventure. First up the base-ics.
If you're going to be outdoors in the winter a good base layer is a must. Drew prefers wool base layers I'm a fan of polypro because it is 1.) Cheaper and 2.) not itchy and I think dries quicker. To each is own though, just invest in a base layer. These actually serve double duty as this is my cold weather running gear. If I get more serious about winter camping and such, I'll invest in different base layers, but for now this works. And don't forget your socks! Liner socks are a must and don't they look hot?
Next up some mid layers, and word to the wise if you've got great base layers that keep you dry and toasty you DO NOT need a mid layer when it's 30+ degrees. If we had actually been out on the trails I might have been in trouble as I was overheating and when I took my down coat off, my fleece got wet and then I got cold which is NOT good. Learn from my mistakes here.
Wearing: Columbia Omni-Heat half zip (SUPER warm)
This isn't mine exactly but it's basically the same thing
Also in that picture are my snow pants which aren't really a mid layer but an outer. Don't ask why I only wore a mid layer on top. (Dumb) Also I love my snow pants. They're from Patagonia and are da bomb.
Next up on the super important list is making sure your feet stay dry and warm. Nothing puts a damper on your polar exploration like cold wet and turning frostbitten feet. So you saw the hotness that is the poly blend liners and on top of those I wear my Smart Wool socks.
You don't have to buy Smart Wool specifically, but definitely invest in some good quality wool socks. My friend Mountain Man Mike likes Darn Tough socks, if you're looking to compare another brand. Sock situation settled you need BOOTS.
Like legit boots, not Uggs. (barf) Mine are Columbia and I heart them. They're warm and comfortable and most importantly water proof. Well warm and comfortable are important too.
Last but certainly not least, are the accessories.
Yes two sets of gloves. Kind of like two sets of socks. The black ones on the left are gloves that I use for winter running. They are moisture wicking and makes for a great base layer glove. The silver gloves on the right are my outer water proof gloves by Columbia (surprise) and under neath is my favorite pink fleece hat by Columbia (surprise again) This leads us to our final piece of polar exploration gear which is...the coat.
This photo is from last year. Sorry. But you get the drift. That is my beloved pink down coat by you guessed it...Columbia. And Mike thought I was obsessed with The North Face. Anyways this coat is amazing it's very light weight but very warm, which made my mid layer stupid and unnecessary and made me very very hot. If you have an awesome down coat and a great base layer that is all you need if it's at freezing or just slightly below. Trust. Also that coat is from the kids section. Don't hate, kids can go polar exploring too.
So there you have it, my long and Columbia filled Urban Polar Exploration gear guide. Anyone else out there snowshoe or do any winter hiking? What gear do you love?