Personal Gear List - Winter

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From Fall through early Spring, we practice the cold weather layering principles. Weather in the mountains is very unpredictable. We always use the layering system not only for comfort but more importantly for safety. Weather can change dramatically in the mountains, so you should understand and practice the layering system religiously.


Good raingear (waterproof shell jacket and pants). Please have waterproof, not water repellant upper and lower raingear. You cannot stay warm if you are wet.

Foot Gear

There are literally hundreds of different hiking boots on the market today; leather, plastic, leather/fabric and other combinations. Buy and wear what is most comfortable for you with the following guidelines. A general hiking boot must strike a balance of being tough enough to withstand the scraping of rocks, stiff and solid enough to give protection and support, yet comfortable enough for the hike. In a single day of hiking, boots may have to contend with mud, streams, gravel, brush, underbrush, rock, etc. So, your hiking boot should be comfortable, sold, waterproof and supportive. Socks cushion and insulate the feet and reduce friction between the boot and the foot. Socks made of wool, synthetic materials or a combination of wool and synthetic can perform these functions. Socks must absorb perspiration. Because boot uppers do not breath appreciably, the sweat generated by your feet collects and builds up until you get the opportunity to remove your boots. Synthetic materials dry faster than wool. A blend of synthetic/wool is very reliable, comfortable and warm when worn with liners. You should also use the layering concept on your feet. Always, always, always wear a liner sock. Liners not only wick away perspiration from the foot they are also the major preventative for blisters, hot spots and trench foot. A good guideline is to wear a good wool or wool/synthetic blend over a good liner sock. Don't wear cotton socks! Cotton socks will get saturated, collapse and stick to your feet, softening the skin and leading to blisters or worse trench foot.


If possible, stay away from cotton as it doesn't dry out and it will not hold heat when wet or damp. The weather in the north GA mountains changes dramatically, and can be 15 degrees colder than in Atlanta, so choose your clothing with care.

  • 1 or 2 pair of long underwear [top and bottoms]
  • 2 pair of briefs or boxers
  • 1 long-sleeve shirt
  • 1 fleece vest AND a jacket
  • 2 pair of pants (one quick-drying convertible)
  • short-sleeve T-shirt
  • Fleece or wool hat
  • Fleece or wool gloves or mittens
  • Hiking boots (already broken in, not too small, not brand new)

Other Gear

  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • 2 Quart size water bottles filled
  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Half of 2-man tent (small tents are warmer in the winter and quieter (of course)
  • Personal light (headlamp recommended)
  • All-purpose knife
  • Compass
  • Waterproof matches
  • 2 pairs wool or synthetic-fiber socks
  • 2 pairs of moisture wicking liner socks
  • extra shoes
  • bowl/cup/spoon (personal mess kit)
  • personal snacks
  • personal hygiene kit
  • rain gear
  • change of clothes (in case of failure of raingear)
  • Fold-up chair (if car camping)
  • pack cover (if backpacking)