Heading out into the wilderness for a winter camping trip can be a beautiful back-to-nature experience, if you go prepared — if you’re not, it will be at minimum miserable and at max straight-up dangerous. But with the proper gear, playing, and staying, in the backcountry during the snowy season, is downright fun. Here are some of our favorite things to pack this season when hiking and camping in winter.
1. Optimus Camping Stoves
One bummer with winter camping is that sometimes camp stoves don’t perform as well in colder temperatures. But Optimus makes stoves that don’t have this issue. The Vega is perfect for freezing temps because it lets you invert the gas canister to keep the fuel flowing while you cook. It also has precise flame control, which keeps food from burning. Another great option from Optimus for winter is the Elektra FE Cook System, which we like when it is freezing outside and you just want to cook fast before retreating inside the tent. The Elektra provides a 29 percent faster boil time than a normal pot with no lid or windscreen (meaning you’re still camping so it’s never going to be the stove at home) and a 20 percent fuel savings. The lightweight system is designed to fit snugly inside a pack and includes a stove, heat exchange pot with lid and non-stock coating, a clip-on windscreen, cleanup sponge and a handheld Piezo ignitor.
3. Rhody+ LED Lantern
Another favorite light source is the , which is a compact and trendy LED lantern with a removable magnetic base and cord that lets you hang it from a tree or inside the tent. The lantern powers the campsite with 130 lumens of light and also includes a rechargeable battery and also serves as a USB charging port for devices from cell phones to computers.
4. STABILicers Hike Marco
Serious winter explorers that plan to hike or climb in extreme snow and ice will love. The Marco features a wide cleat platform and 1/2 inch stainless steel swap in/out cleat system that ensures stability and traction and lets you easily transition from bare rock to snow to ice. The Marco also offers the ability to interchange the 1/2 cleats with 1/4 cleats depending on what you’re doing and the conditions.
5. Garmont Boots
The Italian active footwear company is known for its quality boots including the Ushuaya, which comes in a model for men and another cut specifically for women. The mid-cut boot is a great choice if you’re looking for lightweight active winter boot that provide awesome support and performance in a number of different weather conditions. Another winter option for women is the Momentum boot, which is insulated and has excellent ice grip, even on steep terrain, due to its outsole that features micro-glass filaments to aid with traction.
6. EcoVessel Hydration Vessels
This company makes innovative glasses and bottles from stainless steel that maintain optimal hot or cold drink temperatures, making them perfect for camping. The TriMax Triple Insulated Port Wine and Whisky Tumbler is one of our favorites. It is made from food grade stainless steel and a signature triple insulation technique that ensures drinks stay hot or cold for hours. There’s a BPA free lid that keeps your beverage inside the cup even when you’re moving. We also love The Vine wine growler that holds an entire bottle of wine and keeps it at the ideal temperature for up to 36 hours, allowing you to eliminate the risk of breaking a glass bottle, and bring a fine Merlot to drink by the campfire. Other hot products from EcoVessel include the Double Barrel Mug and The Boss, a reusable stainless steel growly for cold beer or hot coffee.
7. Rumpl: Sherpa Puffy Blanket
Just packing this blanket makes us excited to hit the tent. The Sherpa Puffy Blanket comes with a super soft sherpa fleece on one side and a matte Nylon fabric on the other. It is beyond cozy to cuddle into in and comes with a zippered pocket that lets you stow keys, cash or even jewelry easily. The Sherpa even comes in two sizes — for one person or two. It is machine washable and rolls up compactly.
8. Energizer PowerKeep Wanderer
Thelets you charge your laptop, phone or tablet with solar power, making it another winter camping and hiking essential. The device features flexible, durable and lightweight solar panels inside a backpack that lets you charge your devices as you move. The pack also comes with a 2 liter hydration bladder.
9. Cotopaxi Claro Headlight
A headlight is key for camping and we like the Claro from Cotopaxi. It offers hands-free lighting and is lightweight, compact to carry and you can even recharge it with a USB cord. The Claro features 170 lumens, which means it will properly brighten your walking path or camping tent in darkness.
10. Morakniv Eldris
Another must-have for camping is a reliable knife. The features a Swedish stainless steel blade in a compact fit. It has a grip-friendly, symmetrical shape that makes its handle fit comfortably in your hand. And the knife even has a ground spine that is compatible with a fire starter, meaning you can even use it to light your winter campfire.