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Fall/Winter Hiking: What to bring, How to save $$$

Updated: Nov 29, 2022


A few years ago I was working for a local TV station as an Outdoor Adventure Specialist. One assignment I received was to research a story on “How to dress for winter sports on a shoestring budget”.  

This is what I presented and I've used this formula ever since.

Get acquainted with the brands, fabrics, styles, etc. in reputable Outdoor Recreation Retail Stores.  (REI, Scheels, Backcountry, Sierra Trading, etc.)

Examine what they sell and the prices they are selling for BUT DON’T BUY ANYTHING yet.

I live in Utah and many people shop at these stores. At some point they’ll donate these items, still in great condition.

Go to thrift stores like Deseret Industries, Savers, The Gear Room (a consignment shop), etc.  Look thru the racks of clothing especially focusing on brands and the fabric label.

For base layers look for 100% Merino Wool or mostly Merino Wool.

For me this was like a fun treasure hunt.  If you know what to look for because you are familiar with the good stuff, it will be easy to spot these items in a thrift store.

Sugarhouse DI (Deseret Industries) 700 East 2100 South is a great place to start OR any of the DI stores in Utah.

My favorite picks -

This is only an example of how one person dresses for snowshoeing.  Many other options are available.

Mostly: THINK like an onion.  Think LAYERS! Since this is an aerobic sport you will get warm.  Make sure you have a backpack big enough to carry layers you need to peel off or put more layers on.

Best base layer fabric for top and bottom: Merino Wool

Hat - wool blend (fleece lining)

Backpack - REI Brand, large enough to carry snowshoes - (Big enough to carry snowshoes or look for ways to attach on the outside of the backpack)

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