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Layering your summer sleep-system for Winter use on a Snowvernighter

If like me you're on a tight budget, and can't afford the luxury of different sets of camping gear for the different seasons, it's worth evaluating if you can layer your gear to make it work for summer and winter.

We are all different. We all have different tolerances to cold. Some sleep hot, some sleep cold. I seem to waver between both.

I wanted to do two things with my summer bikepacking gear, before venturing on a snowy hike and overnight snowy camp:

1) Was to see if I could fit it all in my Exped Lightening 60 liter Backpack, along with my snowshoes and snowfeet

2) Was to see how my summer camping gear fared in the snow

The results of this can be seen in this video

Here's what I did to carry out the test

It took three visits to the mountains to achieve my test snow camp. The first visit was to see how the land lies at Mount Buffalo, there was plenty of snow at Lake Catani on my visit, so I had planned my first snow camp to be there, alas, it wasn't possible in the subsequent weeks as the snow had melted. My second recce was to JB Plain, where there was plenty of snow, two weeks later there was still plenty of snow, so my third trip was my first snow camp.

The Answers - Part 1

The answer to question 1 was yes, it's a bit tight but yes I could get away with using my existing backpack, along with using a bumbag or similar to carry my electronics. I only had 1 day's food supply, so I need to be a bit more creative when packing!

What I packed for my Snowvernighter

  • Extra clothes; fleece, merino wool T shirt, woolly hat and buff

  • Down jacket

  • Rain poncho

  • Hiking umbrella (leave out next time, I didn't need it)

  • Folding shovel

  • Food and water, spoon, cooking pot, stove and gas, collapsible cup

  • Head torch and additional light

  • GoPro spare mounts and lightweight tripod

  • Towel

  • Water filter

  • Micro-spikes (crampons)

  • Tent, ground sheet, air bed, pillow, quilt, foam roll-up mat

  • Snowshoes and Snowfeet

The Answers - Part 2

I survived the night! but I was cold. I have no accurate data on the temperature outside that night, but in the village of Dinner Plain it was to be -5°C with feels like -10°C. Being a little higher and more exposed I think these would be the warmest temperatures I would have seen that night.