So here I am it's six degrees outside, my snow fort of the night is made and my tarp is over head. I am expecting the temp to drop to -5F tonight. I have my fire started and a wood pile stacked.
Here is the equipment that helped me get here.
My MSR snow shoes have done me well. I gained almost 600 feet of elevation in a short period of time. With a 40lb pack on, the snow shoes have not slipped once even on the near vertical sections of hard icy snow. The rubber straps make it easy for putting on or taking off. Make sure you undo all the straps before you get back into the shoes. I tried keeping the three foot straps on and just took the heel strap on and off and it did not work to well. The straps are also easy to manipulate with gloves on.
My Danner Gortex boots I use for the outdoors are uninsulated. Along with my Filson socks my feet stay dry and mostly warm. When it gets below 0F degrees my feet do get a bit cold if I'm not moving a lot. But I think for uninsulated boots they do great.
My REI down jacket is a must have. I have never been cold in it today hiking at 6 F degrees I was way to warm and had to unzip it to avoid sweating to much. The only down fall is the thin outer fabric that I always think will puncture when I am walking through think brush. But so far so good.
Tonight I have two North Face snowshoe sleeping bags rated to 0 F degrees. Since it will be below zero I have two which both fit into my pack along with everything else I needed for my overnight. The bags are filled with a synthetic blend which I like over down because of it's ability to keep you warm even when it is wet.
Side story. I was camping with my family in the okanogan high lands in October one year. It sleeted and rained all night at about 5:30 am my sister woke me up and told me she was cold and wet in her down bag. I got out of bed and put her into my North Face synthetic bag while she was wet and my bag wisked the moisture away from her drying her off and kept her warm to get some sleep. Needless to say she went out and bought one after.
I will settle in for the night and write more in the morning.