Winter mountain hiking in the Catskills is spectacular — the snow-blasted woods, the bleached landscape views, the harsh elements that test your mettle — but the days are shorter, the nights are longer, and the temperature is lethal. The stakes are way higher: a lack of preparation or a missing piece of kit could mean death in a very short time.
With cold weather on the way, I’m looking to make some changes to my winter kit from last season. Sometimes small tweaks yield big benefits, and that’s exactly what adding a buff does.
A buff is a leg-warmer for your face
It’s a thin, light tube of fabric you pull over the top of your head until it wraps around your neck, trapping a layer of warm air next to your skin.
While hiking gear can change from trail to trail, and from season to season, the following items will serve you well on every hike. They are a fleshing out of The Ten Essentials (the absolute bare minimum you should pack for every hike). This hiking gear list focuses on day-hiking.