For this Backpacking Trip, we use a Pulk Sled to go Winter Camping in the Deep Snow of the White Mountains.
Mike and I originally planned to do a long overdue return trip to Mt Crawford for some winter backpacking and camping, but as is usually the case, the notorious weather of the White Mountains thwarted our efforts. With a higher summits forecast from the White Mountains Observatory calling for -60° wind chills due subzero temps combined with high winds and gusts upwards of 90 MPH, we opted to stick to the lower elevations instead. So we shelved our higher elevation idea to camp on Mt Crawford, and instead started scouting for a new location on the fly.
Basically, we were winging it in terms of trip planning, but fortunately I was armed with a full set of White Mountains AMC maps to keep up safely prepared on whatever trail we ended up cast upon by the winter hiking gods.
In the video we do some snow campsite selection and setup, tons of firewood collection, snow furniture building, campfire cooking, trail sledding on the rather steep Airline Trail, and overall just plain having a fun time out in the snowy woods of New Hampshire for a few days.
Downloadable GPS data for this trip and others can be found on the Trip Data Page.
Time of Year
Appalachia Trailhead Parking Lot
Appalachia Trailhead on Presidential Hwy (Hwy 2), Randolph, NH
Trails Used, Day One
- Valley Way Trail
- Randolph Path
- Airline Trail
- Setup Camp near Airline Trail
- Located in the middle of the triangle formed for the Airline, Randolph Path, and Valley Way Trails.We used this campsite with significant snow pack on the ground so leveling out a decent platform for a tent was no problem. Based on my experience in this general area on previous summer trips, I would assume it would not make a very accommodating tentsite without snow, due to the steep and rugged terrain.
Day 1 Mileage: 2 miles
Day 1 Elevation Gain: 1,122′
Trails Used, Day Two
- Airline Trail
- Return to vehicle at Appalachia Trailhead Parking Lot
Day 1 Mileage: 1 mile
Day 1 Elevation Gain: 6′ (pretty brutal, I know)
Notable Gear Seen and Used in the Video
AMC White Mountains Full Map Set
‘Camp’ brand backpacking Snow Shovel
MSR Whisperlight Universal Stove (we were using white gas)
MSR Flex Skillet
Coghlan Camp Grill Grate
Nemo Losi 3p Tent
Z-Lite Sleeping Pad (Yellow pad used for bench, I stacked it on top of a Big Agnes Q-Core SUL pad for sleeping at night)
Therm-A-Rest Pro Sleeping Pad (Mikes sleep pad)
Hammock Gear Burrow 0° Top Quilt
Scandinavian Gear Backpack (my red pack)
Gregory Palisades 80 Backpack (Mike’s pack)
MSR Denali Ascent Snowshoes (my grey snowshoes)
Atlas 10 Snowshoes (Mike’s snowshoes)
Coghlan Fire Sticks (Fire starter used on day 2)
Sled – I’m honestly not sure what brad it was, but below is a pretty highly rated, heavy duty gear sled listed on Amazon.