This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary by escaping to Missoula, Montana, just a short and stunningly beautiful drive away from our home in Spokane.
You’ll be hearing more about Montana in future posts, but what I will focus on for now is trail style—what to wear hiking in the snow (in 20 degree weather). My favorite thing about getting dressed for the trail is that the criteria for what to wear hiking is preparedness, technology, comfort. You’ll fit in (and stand out in a good way) by wearing the best gear you can find.
We’ve been working on collecting some high-quality essentials lately, and it paid off on this recent getaway in the Bitterroot Mountains. We chose to hike up Big Creek. We probably went at least seven miles round trip, but it’s hard to gauge when you’re battling snow and ice, everything just goes a little slower. I was definitely more-than-seven-miles tired, but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be cured by a dip in the jacuzzi, a bit of Laphroaig scotch (pronounced “La-froyg,” but we have affectionately re-named it “Leapfrog”), and a few hours of napping.
Regarding my trail style, I was delighted to find that my shoes matched my coat, which complemented my other coat—both of which matched my hat. My husband took a more monochrome route: navy, gray, black. While my things happened to go together, don’t worry about matching on the trail. Like I said, shop for function and style will happen. That’s how it works in the great outdoors.
What to Wear Hiking in the Snow (what I wore, at least)
Underlayer: underwear (obviously), long underwear pants (I just used my thermal running pants), sports bra, Thorlo Women’s Wool/Silk Light Hiker Crew Socks.
Clothing: thermal running top (I really liked having the half zip, so on the rare occasions when I got a bit toasty, I could let some heat out), Outdoor Research water-resistant hiking/climbing pants (my husband has the men’s version—the specific pant is called Voodoo—and we both love them).
Outerwear: red/maroon North Face Gore-Tex Parka, bright green REI mid-layer synthetic down jacket (notice my use of complementary colors).
Extremities: polar fleece lined knit hat (the more colors in your hat, the more likely all your other gear will match it), fleece gloves
Gear: TUMI Rialto Polarized Sunglasses (TUMI’s brand is more on the business, luxury side of things, but a quality pair of sunglasses can be good for anything), Vasque Talus hiking boots (they are waterproof, had good traction and kept my feet plenty warm—my husband had actual winter hiking boots, Vasque Arrowhead Ultra Dry).
Tell me about your favorite winter trail gear in the comments!
Go in style,
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