4 PRO TIPS ON TRANSITIONING OUT OF WINTER
WITH OUR RESIDENT UPHILL ENTHUSIAST Becky Switzer
Whether you're preparing for a trip to a new environment or just shaking off the dust from a long winter, spring adventures are around the corner and you'll be dragging that forgotten gear out soon. Follow these 4 tips to foolproof your spring prep.
#1 CHECK ITEMS THAT MIGHT NEED REPLACING
There are pieces of gear, some vitally important, that should be replaced, replenished, or rejuvenated at least every year. A dreary spring day before your first trip of the year is a great time to get these pieces of your system really dialed in if you haven’t already.
#2 WASH & RE-WATERPROOF RELEVANT ITEMS
Myth: Washing waterproof jackets, pants, etc makes them less waterproof.
Fact: Washing these articles with the appropriate cleaner AND treating them with a waterproof renewing spray is the best way to keep your gear performing as it should.
This time of year, I suggest having all your waterproof layers on board- you never know and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of that guess.
#3 RESEARCH WEATHER, CONDITIONS & REGULATIONS WHERE YOU'RE HEADED
Anywhere a couple hours from where you call home base requires paying attention to the weather weeks in advance. Note precipitation patterns, humidity, and the temperature highs/lows for the weeks leading up to your trip so you can be as prepared as possible for proper layering and gear to bring.
If you’re headed into snowy areas, look into who covers avalanche/snowpack information, even if you’re not skiing. Most of us will wander into snow that can move if we are in the mountains during this transition period- knowing how to avoid avalanche danger is key for safe backcountry use of every medium.
Some places have seasonal wildlife closures for migration or (especially for climbing) raptor nesting. USFS lists closures on district websites and corresponding climbing coalitions will post closures.
Many Western states have Spring hunting seasons that you’ll want to be aware of. Make sure you do adequate research on the areas you're visiting to respect wildlife, other users, and the land management programs applicable to your trip.
#4 HAVE A BACK STOCK OF FOOD READY FOR ANY ADVENTURE
Especially during the season’s transition, weather can be so unpredictably nice you may need to run out quickly to take advantage of the weather window or so terrible you opt for a new destination altogether. Either case, don’t get held back because you don’t have the supplies to head out. I suggest having on hand 5-6 breakfasts, 7-10 dinners and a few snacks so you’re not running out to the store instead of packing.
Becky is a Bozeman based climber and skier, racking up over 20 years of experience in our mountains. She’s worked in science education and now in the outdoor industry and has a passion for helping people get outside. We'd trust any pin she dropped on the map and the gear she'd suggest to take along.