Travel Leisure

How to Pack For a Cold Weather Trip

If you are planning a trip to a cold-weather destination, then proper packing is essential. The right clothing options ensure you stay warm, comfortable and prepared to endure the elements. This is something travel influencer Courtney Lanctot knows all too well. As the content creator behind The Unpopular Black, she chronicles her adventures through the American outdoors, inspiring other Black travelers to get outside and explore wide open spaces. 

Lanctot has ventured out to explore in a variety of weather conditions and temperatures. Using her personal experience and knowledge, she created a winter packing guide providing expert tips on how to pack effectively for a cold-weather trip.

Layers are Essential

When it comes to staying warm in the cold weather, the first and most important thing Lanctot recommends is making sure to pack multiple layers of clothing to wear. For your base layer, she suggests clothing made of wool or polyester. The mid layer should ideally be a thick fleece.

The outer layer is your first line of defense against the elements. For safety reasons, Lanctot recommends choosing a bright hue for your outerwear. 

“Make sure it’s bold in color,” she said. “For the Instagrammable moments make sure you stand out, but also if you get lost in all that sea of snow you want to make sure people can see you.”

Don’t Forget Hand Warmers

Hand warmers are a must-have cold-weather companion for every outdoor enthusiast. They come in various types from single use heat packs to heated gloves. Lanctot’s go-to, however, is a pair of rechargeable warmers from HotHands. 

“You can just put them in your pockets or you can put them in your jacket when you’re cold,” she said. “They’re just easy to carry.”

A long-lasting charge ensures your extremities can resist the frost and frigid temperatures for longer periods of time.

Carry a Daypack

A daypack is a lightweight backpack with enough space to carry your essential personal items while out and about. Smaller than a regular backpack, it enables you to comfortably tote all you’ll need for a day of hiking or exploring.

“I can’t recommend enough a daypack,” Lanctot said. “When you’re on the go, something like a purse or a fanny pack might not be secured enough.”

Invest in a Good Pair of Waterproof Boots

Invest in sturdy, insulated, waterproof boots that will keep your feet warm and dry. Rubber soles are ideal, as they provide good traction to help prevent slippage. Make sure your boots fit well and allow room for thick socks. 

Additionally, if you’re planning on hiking in the snow, it is a good idea to bring along a pair of gaiters. Designed to cover the tops of your footwear, gaiters add an extra layer of protection to prevent rain and snow from seeping into your boots.

Preparation is Key

Preparation and smart packing is key to helping you have the best outdoor winter experience on your trip. Packing for a cold weather trip requires some extra thought and careful consideration of the weather and conditions. 

“Adventuring, being outside in the winter can be uncomfortable,” Lanctot said. “It’s cold, but sometimes it is one of the most incredible experiences you can have.” 

Step outside of your comfort zone and try an interesting new experience. From hitting the slopes in Colorado to glacier hiking in Iceland, a plethora of exciting cold weather activities await. By following these packing tips and bringing all the necessary supplies, you’ll be well-prepared to stay warm, comfortable and ready to enjoy all the adventures your cold weather destination has to offer.

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