Everything You Need to Winter Camp Without Freezing Your Bag Off

Don't brave the cold without these 18 essentials

By The Editors
February 21, 2017 9:00 am

There’s still time to go camping this winter. Why would you go camping in the winter? Because it’s beautiful. Because there are fewer people out there. Because there are plenty of places that are best seen in the offseason (looking at you, Death Valley). But even the desert dips into the 30s come nightfall, so you’d be wise to buckle up with these 18 cold-weather essentials.

The Snowshoe: Fimbulvetr Tankr
As you’d expect from a Scandinavian company, the design is clean while almost resembling a neon green claw. But at over three feet in length and under seven pounds, these puppies are built to work, and make traversing through snow a helluva lot easier.

The Removable Traction: Hillsound Trail Crampon
If you’re not hoofing it long distance and just need better tread, the Hillsound Trail Crampon is ergonomic and easy as pie to use.

The Tool Set: Max Multipurpose Axe Kit
Seven tools, one set. Includes a shovel, axe and a pick.

The Flask Light: VSSR Compact Camp Flask
Part flask, part LED flashlight, part compass. Because obviously too much of what’s in the flask could lead you astray. But nothing warms the bones like a nice swig of whiskey.

The Fire Starter: Vargo Fire Starter
Actually, nothing warms the bones like fire. The Vargo Fire Starter gives you some distance when lighting the fire so you’re not hunched over the kindling.

The Lantern: Goal Zero Lighthouse Mini
You need a lantern in the tent and on the picnic table. Goal Zero’s rechargeable LED lantern is dimmable, ultra lightweight, throws a lot of light, and has a magnet for easier positioning.

The Dutch Oven: Lodge
From a breakfast scramble to jambalaya to peach cobbler, you can cook just about anything in a Dutch oven. Place it on the grill or in the coals and it’ll handle business.

The Field Oven: Snow Peak Pizza Oven
Snow Peak just made an add-on to its incredible field oven that lets you cook a pizza. This is great for backcountry (or any country) because sometimes the ground is too cold or wet for a fire.

The Furniture: Lamzac
Yes, it looks more like an outsized erogenous zone than a piece of camping furniture, but it’s a super comfy couch once inflated. To inflate, you literally whip it around and tie up its end.

The Coffee Situation: French Press Vacuum
Few things are as satisfying as a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning in the woods. Stanley’s French Press Vacuum is both brewer and storage, and even has two nesting mugs and dry storage for your grounds.

The Headlamp: Snowpeak Miner Headlamp
Snowpeak’s miner headlamp is still our favorite, as it uses LED light, so it never overheats and provides lots of soft light you can focus while cooking — or sifting through your bag in search of that damn flask.

The Mid Layer: Bonded Fleece Shirt
A nice flannel shirt will go a long way to keeping you warm, while also supplying a great layer for the warmer parts of the day.

The Jacket: Patagonia Nano Air
We tested the Nano Air a couple of years ago and it remains the best warmth-to-weight ratio we’ve encountered. And it’s waterproof.

The Gloves: Columbia Freezer Zero Gloves
You’ll be happy your fingers are free, but you still need those mitts to be warm. Columbia’s Freezer Zero’s give you the best of both.

The Hat: AETHER Cashmere Hat
One-hundred percent cashmere that’ll keep you warm — and stylish enough for city walks should you ever decide to come back from the woods.

The Sleeping Bag: Sonic Reg
NEMO’s Sonic Reg will not only keep you warm on those cold nights, it folds up extra small so that you can easily cart it out into the backcountry.

The Tent: North Face VE 25 3P
North Face’s VE has a vestibule that’ll come in handy in extreme weather: the shape is designed to keep the heat in and the wind out.

The Camper: Airstream Basecamp
Or, just get the new Airstream Basecamp. The abbreviated take on an American classic is designed for adventurers. You can add solar panels to keep it toasty and LED-lit well into the night.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.