Klondike packing list

Here is a suggested packing list for the Klondike  as well as some tips on what to wear and bring,  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Clothing is best worn in multiple layers – next to the skin, insulating and outer protective layers – bring changes of warm clothes

    • Long underwear (upper and lower body)
    • Pants – anything comfortable, loose fitting but no jeans
    • Snow pants
    • Shirts (long and short sleeve) layers , layers , layers,
    • Sweater, fleece
    • Parka or Jacket (think wind, wet snow and brrrr….cold)
    • Gloves/Mittens (these are first to get wet….bring a few pair)
    • Hats (bring one to sleep in)
    • Socks (you can never have too many warm dry socks)
    • Boots  insulated (waterproof with removable liner) make sure they are not tight
    • Spare boots/shoes


    • Sleeping bag (-20 to +20 degrees/ mummy design)
    • Sleeping bag liner or extra blanket
    • Sleeping pad
    • Water bottles  – hydration is very important in all weather.
    • Day pack
    • Eating utensils (bowl, plate, cup, fork and spoon…)

Sleeping in the Cold

  • Sleep only in long underwear.  Change into a dry set before getting into your bag.
  • Use a mummy type sleeping bag and cinch it closed to the smallest opening possible to allow you to breath out your mouth and nose.  Wear a knit cap down over your nose and a neck gaiter up over your chin.
  • The temperature rating of the bag should only be used as a guide.  Find your own comfort level without feeling cold or overheating.  A fleece liner will increase the bag’s temperature rating.  Combine bags if need be.

The part of the bag your body lays on has lost it’s insulating value because the batting is being compressed.  Sleeping on a foam pad, that does not easily compress, makes up for the lost insulation in the bag.

Dressing for cold weather

  • One third of your body’s heat is lost from the neck up.  Wear a baklava as insulation and a hooded shell jacket.
  • Good winter gloves have all three layers.  A Gortex like outer layer on the glove works best.  Mittens help the fingers share heat, but reduce dexterity.
  • Winter boots that have a rubber coating on their lower half work best at keeping dry.  Some boots have removable insulation which can be kept warm in your sleeping bag.  They should not be tight fitting.  Gortex boots without a lower rubber coating will get wet and freeze.  Sneakers are the worst thing to wear winter camping.  Do not wear cotton gym socks
  • Keep warm enough from head to toe without sweating by adding or removing layers as needed based on your activity – something that you can’t do wearing a winter coat.


Why dress in layers? Because it keeps your skin dry and allows you to adjust your insulation depending on how cold it is AND your activity level.  Both overdressing and physical activity will make you sweat – even in the winter.  Layering prevents overdressing and helps get rid of moisture near your skin which will make you feel colder. Cotton is the worst thing you can wear when winter camping -  it does not insulate when wet and will steal heat from your body as the moisture evaporates. It is a good idea to try out your layered clothes in cold weather before you go winter camping.

Wearing layers means not wearing a winter coat! A bulky winter coat is fine when your not camping because you wear it for a short time and then take it off when you go indoors.  However, is does not work well when dressing in layers. It provides too much insulation when you are active outdoors and has no layers that can be removed when you become overheated – it’s either on, zipped open, or off.  Also most winter coats are not water resistant and will get wet in the snow or rain.

The Wicking Under Layer The innermost layer must wick perspiration from the skin and transport it to a adjacent outer layer -   otherwise your body heat is lost to the evaporation of this perspiration.  The wicking layer must be very thin and in direct contact with the skin.  Look for underwear tops and bottoms, face masks, sock liners, and glove liners made from: Capilene, Coolmax, Dryskin, Powerdry, Tremastat and Thremax.


Insolating Layer’s) The middle, insulating layer traps the air and restricts it’s circulation.  It is this trapped air that keeps you warm.  That’s why you need to wear loose fitting layers – they trap more air.  Wear enough layers so that you are comfortable and adjust your layers as needed.   Look for pants, shirts, sweaters, jackets, vests, sock, hats, mittens made from wool, piles and fleeces such as Berber Pile, Borg Pile, Synchilla and Polartec; and fiber fills such as Holofil, Lamilite, Lite Loft, Miroloft, Polargaurd, Primaloft, Quallofil, Tehrmoloft, Termolite and Thinsulate.  For your feet, one layer of wool socks with silk liner works best.  Synthetic wool also works well – look for brands like SmartWool with built-in liners.


Outer Layer/ Shell The outer layer protects you from the wind, rain and snow.  For the upper body, a parka with a hood as well as wrist and waist closures is best.  Pants with waist and ankle closures work well to protect the lower body.  Both of these garments should be sufficiently oversized so they’ll fit over all of the insulating layers when they’re worn.  Breathable, windproof shell garments are often constructed of Ripstop, Supplex, Taslan and Versatech.  Water/Wind proof and breathable shells are typically made from Gore-Tex,  Avalite, Entrant, Extreme, Hely-Tech, and Ultrex.


Boots -  It is very important to wear the right boots when winter camping. Wear insulated winter snow boots with one-piece injected rubber outsoles of such brands as Columbia, Sorel, Kamik, Asolo and Merrell. Boots should be loose fitting with enough room for thick socks – tight boots restrict circulation and will make your feet feel colder.  Scouts should be encouraged to check their boots from last year to see if they still fit.


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