Winter camping gear – don’t leave any essentials behind

Winter is coming. That cold, wet time of the year that makes you want to curl up with a thick blanket in front of a roaring fire with a nice hot mug of cocoa and binge watch your favorite TV show until the weather changes enough to permit venturing outside again. Then again, you’re not really the type of person to let a season tell you what you can and cannot do and, with the proper equipment and a little planning, you don’t have to. Here are a few of the basics that will keep the frost at bay.

1. Warm Clothes

While this seems like a basic necessity, you may be surprised at how many people don’t know the basics of dressing warmly. When venturing into harsh climates layers are your best friend, allowing you to regulate your body’s temperature. Wicking underwear under, and an insulating layer over, your normal clothes does wonders for keeping you warm while a light waterproof rain jacket and pants keeps the ensemble dry. Complete the set with boots, insulating cap, gloves, and, if needed, a balaclava. More information can be found here.

2. Expedition Tent

Unlike your ordinary tent, normally seen peppering national parks during 4th of July Weekend, expedition – or “four season” – tents are equipped with more guy-lines and sturdier fabrics that help keep out fierce winds. In addition, they have far less ventilating mesh, which provides for a warmer night and fewer drafts.

3. A Warm Sleeping Bag

There are two options when it comes to sleeping bags; synthetic fill or natural down. While natural down is fantastic for drier environments, synthetic fill is really the best option if you know your trip has the potential for wet conditions. When choosing a sleeping bag, it is very important to make sure to choose a quality bag that has a temperature rating that is at or below the temperatures you can expect on your trip. You might also consider investing in an insulating barrier such as this one to place below your sleeping bag to help prevent your body heat from leeching away into the ground while you sleep.

4. A Camp Stove

Why buy an expensive camp stove when you can build a fire for free? The truth is, campfires are vastly outmatched when paired against stoves, and the technology of today has made them more lightweight, portable, and efficient than you may realize. A quality liquid-fuel stove can keep you warm, cook your food, and provide light despite the weather or any other obstacles you may face when attempting to build a fire.

Proper planning and quality gear can make any trek a delight. Winter is coming. Are you ready?

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  • An expedition tent is so important in cold weather. Some people don’t realize just how much more comfortable they will be with one.

  • I’d never heard of an expedition tent before. Very interesting idea, as I’m used to nothing but warm weather tents, i.e. wide open and mostly netting.

  • You could say I’m too organized, I make a ton of lists even when I start house cleaning, if it’s not noted down I will most likely forget to do it. This drives my husband insane but it helped us be prepared and have everything we need, regardless if we were in Santorini or camping in the mountains.

  • I have two tents from ALPS Mountaineering bought for less than $100 on Amazon and after 3 years of intense camping they still look brand new. They’re affordable, easy to set up and hold up well in the rain.

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