The BivySak team never goes into the back country without making sure we have the right equipment and supplies. Here are 5 things you should always do before heading into the back country in Winter.

1. Check the weather conditions.
a. Most parks have website information where you can make sure the conditions are suitable for your skill level. Remember, conditions change rapidly and you should always be prepared for the unexpected.
2. Winter Clothing.
a. Be sure to pack waterproof and warm clothing for snow and rain. It’s not a bad idea to pack an extra set just in case you do get soaked. Don’t forget to layer! Wearing a wicking shirt can help keep the sweat from making you feel cold.
3. Proper Food/Water Supplies.
a. It is always a good idea to bring along water or a quality water purifier. That clear stream may contain dangerous bacteria or chemicals that you can’t see or smell.
b. When hiking in the backcountry during Winter be sure to bring foods high in calories and carbohydrates so ensure you can keep your energy levels up.
4. Emergency Supplies.
a. You can’t prepare for every possible challenge but you can be ready with some basics. Always pack a extra batteries, antiseptic, signal mirror/whistle, bandages, extra food, and water.
5. Tell a friend.
a. Never go on an outdoor adventure into the backcountry without telling someone where you plan to go and for how long. This is especially true when going alone.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the things you must do before adventuring into the back country during Winter. If this is the first time you go out, please complete your research for the area in which you plan to go. There are considerations not listed here such as wildlife, avalanche warnings, and lack of emergency services you should be aware of.