Winter adventuring can be tough, even downright dangerous, if you go out unprepared. Thankfully, we’re living in a Golden Age of outdoor tech designed to help you not only survive but thrive in the great outdoors, even when the mercury plummets. You’ve no doubt packed the essentials: A winter sleeping bag, a four-season tent, waterproof hiking boots, and trekking poles, to name just a few. But this year, why not go beyond the bare minimum winter camping equipment? These are our eight pieces of gear designed to make cold-weather camping a little warmer and a lot more fun.
Starting a fire in the snow can be a challenge. For car and front-country campers, BioLite’s FirePit+ is the answer. Newly redesigned this year, it combines a fire pit, a hibachi-style grill, and a power source all in one miracle gadget. The versatile design burns firewood or charcoal — your call. A built-in fan controls the flame’s intensity, and it’s all controllable via a dedicated Bluetooth app. Plus, it just looks so damn cool.
Heated clothing is nothing new, but legitimately good heating clothing is. EWool’s new Pro+ Heated Vest is the real deal. It’s designed to wear as a mid-layer under a jacket to maximize heat retention without added bulk. The included battery slips neatly into a dedicated pocket and is designed to run for up to seven hours of continuous heat (on low), while a second battery pocket allows you to double that capacity. That’s more than enough juice for even the longest day hikes or long nights relaxing around the campfire. Plus, the vest can connect directly to a 12V power source, so it’ll keep you warm indefinitely on chilly
We can all agree that hands are important. But they can become downright useless in frigid weather. Zippo’s rechargeable electric hand warmers keep your digits warm in even the most extreme temperatures. Simply charge them, throw them in your jacket pockets, and your hands have a toasty safe space while you’re exploring the backcountry. Bonus: They double as backup batteries in a pinch.
Try as you might, winter weather usually makes for wet gear. Snow has a way of seeping into everything while exploring the great outdoors. Unfortunately, damp footwear can ruin any good hike. DryGuy’s Travel Dry DX is a portable boot and shoe dryer that plugs into any standard home or automotive 12V outlet. Once you return to camp after a wet day on the trail, simply drop these in your boots or shoes overnight, and you’ll be ready to get back out there by morning.
Of course, the best way to keep your lower extremities dry is to avoid getting snow and ice in your boots in the first place. Stone Glacier’s all-new SQ2 Alpine Gaiters are designed to do just that. The Contrail bootstrap is fully replaceable and built of ultra-durable, high-strength Dyneema rope, so it’ll probably outlast you. Plus, the pinless buckle and calf adjustment system provide for easy donning and fitting.
We’re big fans of outdoor gear that does more than one thing. Turn up the gas to full blast with Ignik’s 2-in-1 propane-powered multitasker. Cook a quick meal on the cast iron burner, or just enjoy staying warm in your tent as the burner can reach up to 10,000 BTU. Push-button ignition and anti-tipping features keep this safe and convenient wherever you go.
Sometimes the simplest gear makes all the difference. A winter sleeping bag is essential, of course. But, a camp blanket is far more versatile. Kelty’s aptly named Biggie Blanket is built for two or one solo camper who really loves being wrapped up. The Cloudloft insulation and double-sided design make this blanket ideal for car
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