Packing list: Winter backcountry 4-day snowshoe adventure at Algonquin Provincial Park

The following is a packing list for 2 people for a 3-night, 4-day snowshoe backcountry trip in winter (February) at Algonquin Provincial Park. We each carried our own personal items (clothes, sleeping bags, headlamps, cameras etc.) and then shared things that we would use collectively. Items carried by my friend are denoted with a *. All of my things fit into one canoe pack, with Thursday’s dinner and evening snack, and our small shovel packed separately in my homemade sled. I don’t recommend loose items in the sled. Somehow our first night’s dinner and evening snack fell out without us noticing!

All my stuff ready to go (minus the food).

Clothing (packed and worn)

  • 6 pairs hiking socks
  • 2 bras
  • 3 pairs underwear
  • 1 short sleeved shirt
  • 3 long sleeved shirts [Note: 2 were not worn]
  • 2 thin sweaters
  • 1 fleece sweater
  • 1 pair pants
  • 1 long john top and bottom
  • 1 balaclava [Note: not used]
  • 2 winter hats (one for sleeping)
  • 2 pairs of mittens [Note: 1 not worn]
  • 1 pair fleece gloves
  • 2 pairs running gloves + 1 pair waterproof shells
  • 1 pair fleece pajamas
  • 1 pair snowpants
  • 1 winter coat
  • 1 pair winter boots
  • 1 pair hiking boots
  • 4 plastic milk bags to use as boot liners if need be
  • sunglasses


  • food in bag suitable for hanging in a tree away from little critters (bears should be hibernating) + rope
  • MSR Dragonfly stove (x2, based on our inability to get them going during a winter camp camping trip in 2015 when it was -27 degrees Celsius with the windchill)
  • stove servicing kit [Note: not used]
  • fuel (2 x 887 ml bottle + 1 x 650 ml) [Note: used only 1 x 887 ml]
  • hand sanitizer
  • 3 nalgene bottles (1*)
  • 1 bike-style water bottle
  • Swiss army knife
  • waterproof matches*
  • 1 medium sized pot*
    • dish soap [Note: frozen – not used]
    • flipper [Note: not used]
    • pot gripper
    • lightweight utensils
    • dish cloth [Note: not used – washed dishes with snow, spoons, paper towels]
  • 1 more medium sized pot
  • 1 medium sized pot for cooking on a campfire
  • insulated mug
  • 2 Outback oven tea pot cosy things (1*)
  • paper towels*
  • lightweight bowls*
  • tinfoil* [Note: not used]
  • food
  • 10 L jug of water* [Note: in future, would not bring – too heavy]


  • winter tent (Marmot Thor 3 person)
  • MEC Phoenix winter sleeping bag (rated to -20 degrees Celsius)
  • pillow
  • fleece sleeping bag liner
  • shiny silver survival blanket for under thermarest
  • 2 thermarests, one on top of the other [Note: 1 was old and would not inflate]


  • snowshoes and poles (Tubbs Women’s Elevate 25″ and Tubbs Snowshoe poles)
  • homemade sled with tarp cover and bungees to hold it down
  • small backpack:
    • headlamp
    • GPS
    • extra batteries for headlamp and GPS
    • compass
    • map
    • whistle
    • snack
    • water in water bottle in a sock
    • emergency locator beacon (ACR ResQLink+)
  • toiletries, including kleenex
  • camera, tripod and extra battery
  • cell phone
  • ID and change for wood
  • small lightweight tarp + ropes [Note: not used]
  • shovel
  • sunblock [Note: not used]
  • 4 toilet paper rolls [Note: used 2-3]
  • extra bag for bringing electronics into the tent at night to keep them warmer
  • 2 quick dry towels (1*) [Note: not used]
  • trowel* [Note: not used]
  • axe*
  • saw*
  • fire starter*
  • first aid kit*
  • pen and paper*
  • emergency kit, including needle and thread, duct tape, etc.* [Note: used needle and thread for emergency button repair!]
  • 2 x Ontario Parks kindling ($4.50 each) (1*) [Note: approximately 5 pounds each, but would bring again to ensure dry wood]
All my stuff fit into this canoe pack, + a loose shovel and first night’s dinner and evening snack (that went AWOL).

Related posts for this trip:

Trip report

Menu and cooking tips

Gear review: snowshoes and poles

Sled review



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