Snow Intermediate Gear List

This List is to help you quickly compare what you usually carry into the backcountry against what we suggest for the Snow Intermediate Course. The items listed are our choices, what we have chosen to use after 34 years of teaching wilderness travel in the Sierra. We prefer reliable performance and durability over light weight to assure personal and group safety. We suggest that you do the same.

Boots (please read “Why Boots?” in our school library)

Creek crossing footwear

Insoles (i.e.: Superfeet)

2 or 3 pair of socks (i.e.: Smartwool)
1 pair of Poles with snow baskets (to include a Black Diamond “Whippet” pole)

Backpack (internal or external frame)
Pack Cover (for snow and rain)

Sleeping Bag (that you know will keep you warm down to 20 degrees)
Down Booties (for in-tent and around camp)
Pillow (optional)
Sleeping Pad(s) (that you know will keep you warm on snow)
Tent:  3-Season preferred with stakes

Canister Stove (for cooking indoors as well–no alcohol stoves allowed)
Fuel (one 8oz canister lasts one person 8 meals or more)
Fire Starters: Lighters, Matches
Cooking Pot (or whatever cooking system you are using)
Clean Up: Soap, Sponge, Rags (for tent spills and pots)
Garbage Bag (can be the first empty zip-lock obtained)
Plates & Utensils: Cup, Spoon, Multi-Purpose Knife
Water Storage: Canteens (2)
Water Purification: Pump Filter or Chemical Treatment
Food: Sufficient for SIC plus one extra day (must include hot food and fluids)

Electronics: (whatever you want, but hiking with earbuds is not allowed)
Extra Batteries 
Low-Reading Thermometer (optional)
Lighting: Headlamp or other lightweight light
50 feet Parachute Cord: (for multiple purposes over time)
Repairs & Maintenance: Sewing Kit, Repair Tape, Patch kits, Spare parts
Personal Medicines: (G.I., Stomach, Allergies, Inflamation, Infection, etc.)
Bags and Containers: Plastic and Stuff bags(for carry-out and organizational uses)
First Aid Kit, Emergency Whistle

Sun Hat (baseball or other wide-brimmed style)
Bandanas (for sweating and sun protection)
Gaiters (Tall, for post-holing in snow)
Waterproof/Breathable shells (pants, jacket with hood for self-arrest practice)
Under-Layer: Underwear, Long-Johns, Tee Shirt
Mid-Layer: Fleece/Turtleneck/Flannel Shirt (or all of the above)
Insulating Layer: Down Jacket/Parka, Fleece Hat
Gloves/Mittens: 1 pair, waterproof/breathable shell and glove liners

Toothbrush & Toothpaste (or equivalent)
Sunscreen (at least SPF 40)
Lip Balm (with sunscreen)
Skin Cream (for dry, exposed skin)
Skin & Foot Lubricant
Toilet Kit: Paper, Lighter, Baby Wipes, Hand Sanitizer, Carry-Out zip-lock garbage bag
Bathing items: Multi-Purpose Soap, Towel, Skin/Facial Wipes
Eye Management: Glasses/Contacts, Contact Fluid & Case

Dark Glasses for snow, UVA/B, polarized (i.e.: Julbo brand is excellent)
Camera: Still/Video or phone
Maps (Topo for detail, Area/F.S./State for larger picture)
Compass (Silva, basic)
Books: Trail/Flora/Fauna Guide Books to the area (optional)
Watch, Cell Phone
Wallet (or just the important ingredients)
Car Keys 
Journaling: Recording Device, Pen, Paper

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