The weekend before Christmas I hiked from Den Haag to Katwijk aan Zee, through the dunes and hiked back on the beach. This was my first "light" weight winter hike and I have made a lot of mistakes but learned a whole lot more. You can read about it on the internet but the realty is always different.
So the trip, it was quite hard to get to Den Haag, because of the snowfall. People were driving 50km on the highway. But when we arrived in Den Haag it almost stopped snowing. So we parked the car and packed our back. In the car we where debating if we should take the snow shovel or not. I taught it was quite funny so I strapped it on my pack. But it proofed quite useful.
So we walked to Scheveningen and started our hike at the pier of Scheveningen.
After a small section on the beach we continue our way through the dunes.
In the dunes hiking became more difficultbecause of the snow drifts witch made you sink in the snow knee deep. But some other walkers and skiers (langlauf) had made a compact path.
A fen that has not been frozen
The bar is open!
After we had opened the bar, we pitched our tents and we noticed the difference between the carbon fibre tent pole and the aluminium pole. The Aluminium drained all warmth from your hands. After we pitched the tent we cooked our dinner, noting special just boil in the bag dinners. Here again we noticed the difference between two products. Plain Coleman gas and Power gas from Primus. I put my Coleman gas canister it briefly in my pants to heat the gas, it was a new experience, not worth repeating. The Primus gas worked so much faster.
After the dinner we walked back to Katwijk for drinks. When we returned from the bar it began to snow.
When we waked up the next morning my friends tents looked a whole lot smaller. Normal size can be found here
My shelter was also a bit smaller but thank to its shape the snow glide of it. Some random pics:
So after breakfast we packed our gear and headed back to Scheveningen.
After a couple hours we did see the pier again.
So what did I learn?
My sleeping bag is to warm, I used it more like a quilt. Slept under it wearing only my boxer short.
I need some more insulation under my Neo Air. After one night I did melt all the snow under my shelter and I felt sometimes the cold rasing. A thicker EVA mattress will do.
A snow shovel isn't only funny but convenient for clearing your camp spot and digging your friend out.
Bring two pair of liner gloves.
If you are using open trail runners your feet will get wet but stay warm as long as you walking. Better is wearing waterproof socks. My sealskinz socks are worth their weight in gold.
Frozen shoes aren't the best way to start your day.
Discipline is very important! Discipline is very important! Discipline is very important! Put the things away after you used them and don't let them laying around.
Things will get wet and it is very hard to get them dry again.
And probably much more...