Back to Adventure Alan's Ultralight Backpacking Home Page: This contains a wealth of information on backpacking with gear lists, trip reports, backpacking techniques for various weather and environments (cold rainy weather, alipine hiking, desert hiking), etc. While focused on lightweight backpacking, much of the content applies to all styles of backpacking.

Three Day Blizzard in the Wind Rivers

I took less than 7 pounds of gear for this late season trip. Mesh trail runing shoes and thin wool socks were my only footwear.
Good tarp camping and experience in cold conditions with minimal gear were critical to the trip’s success.


Waiting out a 15 degree night under a tarp in a hoodless one pound sleeping bag with no insulation on the bottom.
I am using my running shoes as a pillow since I am wearing everying I can find to stay warm.

Trip Summary

This was a five-day the trip that Ry, Glen and I took to the Wind Rivers in September 2003. We had a major blizzard mid-trip —ended up going over Texas Pass (not a trail) into the Circ of the Towers during the thick of the blizzard. It was a long cold night during the blizzard in a light down bag under a tarp. It snowed hard and went down to 15F. We just hunkered down and tried to not freeze to death.

We had a ridiculous weight reduction session the night before the trip start (and we knew a major storm was coming). We had a scale in the motel room (Glen’s). Every time somebody removed stuff and got their pack weight lower, the others would throw more stuff out to get even lower. After the session, I think I had the heaviest pack, which was under 14 lbs including food for 5 days.


Oh, but a wonderful sunrise the next morning. We had the Circ of the Towers all to ourselves.
One of the most spectacular mornings I've ever experienced in the mountains.


Hiking out of the Circ of the Towers


Start of round two for the blizzard. Ryan assessing if we'll make it over the pass in a blizzard.