Experts Weigh In: Essential Gear for Winter Camping

Iceland glaciers

We reached out to pros across the industry to find out the best gear to bring on a cold weather camping trip. This is what they had to say:

jake ferguson from Gear Junkie

Jake Ferguson

from GearJunkie.com

“If I could only bring three things on a winter camping trip they would be a Western Mountaineering Puma GWS sleeping bag, a Mountain 25 tent from The North Face, and a Jetboil Mini Mo (with fuel).

 

I figure that with a shelter, a bag to stay warm, and a way to make some pine tea I could easily survive for a day or two. Anything else I felt like I needed I’d try to responsibly forage from Mother Nature.”

Emilt Trudeau from DirtyGourmet

Emily Trudeau

from Dirty Gourmet

I can build a fire with a bowdrill, but I’ll need a knife to carve my spindle. A knife will help with lots of things, and my favorite is my Opinel No. 8 Beechwood Handle Knife.

If I’m sleeping out without a tent, I’ll need a warm sleeping bag. The Marmot Ouray has water resistant down and is still very light for a bag rated to 4 degrees F.

I’ll need something to cook, eat and drink out of. The SnowPeak Titanium Solo Pot/Mug can do it all.

Emily Trudeau

from Dirty Gourmet

“I can build a fire with a bowdrill, but I’ll need a knife to carve my spindle. A knife will help with lots of things, and my favorite is my Opinel No. 8 Beechwood Handle Knife.

If I’m sleeping out without a tent, I’ll need a warm sleeping bag. The Marmot Ouray has water resistant down and is still very light for a bag rated to 4 degrees F.

I’ll need something to cook, eat and drink out of. The SnowPeak Titanium Solo Pot/Mug can do it all.”

Emilt Trudeau from DirtyGourmet
Chris Sunnen

Chris Sunnen

from The Last Adventurer

“Winter Camping (or adventuring) is really a different beast than being out and about in the summer. With that in mind, there’s a plethora of things I’d like to bring with me, but I can’t due to weight concerns (even though sleds do offer increased carry capacity!). As such, my three go-to items are the following:

 

1) an ice-axe (chances are I will need it for whatever I’m doing);

 

2) crampons/microspikes/or snow shoes (depending on the conditions);

 

3) a flask of something to keep me warm at night or during breaks.”

Stephen Berei

Stephen Berei

from Granite Rocx

“Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Hoody: It’s 800 fill and may not pack down like other jackets, but will keep you warm as could be and is super light.

 

Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3 3 Season Tent: Light, very easy to set up, and quiet in wind.

 

Sierra Designs 3 Season Backcountry Bed Sleeping Bag: 20° which isn’t super low, but keeps me warm. It’s zipper-less and has a foot vent which are ideal.

 

The tent and bag are both 3 Season. They have worked great for me in the cold, but you may want 4 Season if below zero or in snow.”

Stephen Berei

from Granite Rocx

“Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Hoody: It’s 800 fill and may not pack down like other jackets, but will keep you warm as could be and is super light.

 

Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3 3 Season Tent: Light, very easy to set up, and quiet in wind.

 

Sierra Designs 3 Season Backcountry Bed Sleeping Bag: 20° which isn’t super low, but keeps me warm. It’s zipper-less and has a foot vent which are ideal.

 

The tent and bag are both 3 Season. They have worked great for me in the cold, but you may want 4 Season if below zero or in snow.”

Stephen Berei
Jen Whalen from The Campsite

Jennifer Whalen

from The Campsite

Living in the snowy mountains of Banff, I’m pretty familiar with cold winter weather. When it comes to winter camping, preparation is the key to a comfortable and enjoyable trip. I’m a huge fan of Merino Wool, and I rock the layered look all winter long. Assuming I’m already dressed, if I could only bring 3 things on my next cold weather camping trip they would be: latex glove, Grabber Warmers, and my Nalgene bottle.

 

My hands tend to sweat when I hike sometimes, and if you layer latex gloves underneath, it will save your mittens or gloves from getting wet, and inevitably cold.
Grabber Warmers are my go-to, as you can tuck them in mitts, boots and even bra! Ta-Ta’s get cold too ya know!

 

I love filling my Nalgene with boiling water at night, and putting it in the bottom of my sleeping bag near my toes. I can’t sleep with cold feet.

Katie Levy

from Adventure Inspired

“It’s nearly impossible to distill my winter camping packing list down to three things, but three things I’d never leave home without is a bit easier! I’ll always bring a serious sleeping bag because man is it terrible being cold at night! I have a 0-degree bag from Marmot that I absolutely love. I also love having a good helping of warm drink options, including coffee (I never leave home without it!), hot cocoa, and other favorites. Finally, I always need extra layers to wear around camp when the sun goes down, like a warm down puffy coat and extra socks. I get cold fast when I’m not hiking!”

Katie Levy

from Adventure Inspired

“It’s nearly impossible to distill my winter camping packing list down to three things, but three things I’d never leave home without is a bit easier! I’ll always bring a serious sleeping bag because man is it terrible being cold at night! I have a 0-degree bag from Marmot that I absolutely love. I also love having a good helping of warm drink options, including coffee (I never leave home without it!), hot cocoa, and other favorites. Finally, I always need extra layers to wear around camp when the sun goes down, like a warm down puffy coat and extra socks. I get cold fast when I’m not hiking!”

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