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Trail Tip: Hiking in a Wintry Mix


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Aaron Zagrodnick

The words “wintry mix” are horrible enough to hear if you’re just commuting to your job, but they’re even more terrible if they’re in the forecast for a backpacking trip. When a wintry mix is predicted, it often means that a backpacker will have to deal with multiple forms of precipitation – rain, sleet, snow, and perhaps even freezing rain – as the temperatures fluctuate from night to day or due to elevation during a trip. What might start off as a miserable cold rain can shift to sleet before you go to sleep and you might wake up with a few inches of wet snow to deal with. Or if you’re incredibly unlucky, you might have to handle frozen gear and hazardously slick conditions resulting from freezing rain. In over a decade of four-season backpacking, some of the most uncomfortable conditions I’ve ever had...

@Mark Wetherington shares tips on dealing with wintry mix hiking conditions - take a look below in Issue 50:

Trail Tip: Hiking in a Wintry Mix

Tips for Hiking and Backpacking in Wintry Mix Conditions

Issue 50 Page 1

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RogerMoore

My worst experience with this was in Yellowstone. And it a still a BOMB trip!

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ppine

If you are out there a lot you are going to run into transitional conditions.  Sleet and freezing rain are dangerous because it is so easy to get wet and hard to get warm.   It can happen in the mountains any time.  My worst experience was in Alaska in August.  

Fire building skills become important.  Take shelter if you start to get wet.   Use a pack cover and protect your sleeping bag no matter what.

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