Several years ago there was a heavy snow in Indian Peaks Wilderness on Labor Day. Difficult to tell how many inches because the snow was blowing, but the drifts were over 2'. The ridge at timberline between Coney Flats and Brainard Lake was hard winter conditions. I was wearing trail runners.
When we go into the backcountry we decide whether to carry gear or technique. The wildlife will find natural shelter and survive - we can too with the right technique. A local hiking club teaches a survival class. We get to decide what balance of technique or gear we carry.
In the summer I carry extra weight because I want to hang places that do not take advantage of natural shelter.
Weight is not that much of a problem when the gear goes on a sled. The conditions I fear are 35 degrees, steady rain and gusty or below zero with no snow.
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
- Mark Twain