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Winter



Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

Keep your hands warm and dry while working in any weather.

Gear Review: Dynafit TLT6 Performance Ski Boot

A featherweight boot with impressive downhill performance.

Gear Review: Salomon Quest Max BC 120 Ski Boots

Ski boots featuring a flexible, 44-degree walk mode.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Factor MX/Shiva MX Ski Boots

Touring boots with downhill toughness built in.

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury TF Ski Boots

Boots to steer you through tricky snow and slush situations.

Gear Review: Rossignol Alltrack 130 Pro Ski Boots

Performance boots built for the best backcountry excursions.

Gear Review: Montane Tourbillon Event Stretch Gaiter

The ultimate tall, tough gaiters for the shoulder season.

Gear Review: Fits Pro Ski Sock

Editors' Choice 2013 Winner. Long-term comfort assured.

Gear Review: Wolverine Merino Xtreme Hiker Sock

Cushy winter socks that side-step being bulky or stuffy.

Gear Review: Lorpen T3+ Polartec Light Ski Sock

A sock with double the layer of Polartec power.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Stamina Gaiters

A beneficial hiking shoe-addition to help buffer snow, slush, and debris.

Gear Review: Sauce Chill Toque Hat

A go-to beanie that sheds winter snow and moisture.

Gear Review: Columbia Noble Falls Trapper Hat

A hat that's durable for the long, multi-day haul.

Gear Review: Buff Wool Balaclava Headwear

A super-thin model that can fit under your helmet or stand up to cold on its own.

Gear Review: Pret Cynic/Lyric Helmet

A vented helmet so comfortable you'll forget it's on.

Gear Review: Spyder Nordwand Pants

Comfortable pants built to handle all backcountry conditions.

Gear Review: Millet Touring Neo Hardshell Pants

A light hardshell pant with superb breathability.

Gear Review: Patagonia Untracked Hardshell Pants

These ski pants have seemingly bulletproof durability and loose, freeride styling.

Gear Review: Dynafit Cho Oyu Skis

If you spend most of your time touring to technical peaks and then carefully etching your way down them, the Cho Oyu is your choice.

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury Softshell Pant

Editor's Choice 2013 Winner. Innovative softshell fabric for a bargain price

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Valhalla Softshell Pants

Softshell pants to withstand gnarly weather

Gear Review: Dakine Kodiak Gloves

A tough, badass glove that is warm as can be

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Lodestar Gloves

Editors Choice 2013 Winner. Comfortable and capable gloves to fit high-exertion trips

Gear Review: Seirus Heattouch Hyperlite Gloves

Affordable battery-powered warmth

Gear Review: Black Diamond Fever Mittens

Leather mitts that stand up to the single digits

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Grub Glove

Don't settle between mitten or glove

Gear Review: Rab Alliance Gloves

Double layered warmth and protection

Gear Review: Patagonia Knifeblade Softshell

Classic softshell for any winter sport

Gear Review: Millet Rock + Ice WDS Softshell

Keep cool on hard-charging tours

Gear Review: Fjallraven Abisko/Nikka Softshell

A simple yet rugged cotton softshell.

Gear Review: Eastern Mountain Sports Fader Softshell

A wind-blocking nylon softshell jacket.

Gear Review: Columbia Zonafied Softshell

Complete Insulation with added hardshell-style wind and water proofing

Gear Review: Dynafit Mercury Softshell

Editor's Choice 2013: High-level performance without the price.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Dawn Patrol LT Softshell

All-weather defense in a light and stretchy softshell.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Fortrez Softshell

A midlayer that pinch-hits as outerwear.

Gear Review: Rossignol Soul 7 skis

A winning powder ski has to do more than just float through the feathers.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Aspect skis

If you're like some of our staffers, you appreciate the uphill as much as the downhill. For that brand of skiing, choose the Aspect.

Gear Review: The North Face Kichatna Shell Jacket

Armor for tall hikers

Gear Review: Adidas Outdoor Terrex Advanced Shell Jacket

Unique features fit for the cold

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Beta LT Shell Jacket

Brawn without the bulk

Gear Review: Montane Alpine Endurance Event Hardshell

Alpine climbers' all-time favorite

Gear Review: Mammut Lanin/Larain Hardshell

A hardshell that's powder ready and made for the skier that likes to earn her turns.

Gear Review: DPS Wailer 99 skis

When 90 percent of our test crew argues over who gets to ride a certain ski, we know we've found excellence.

Outdoor Retailer 2013: A Tester's Wishlist

Becca Stubbs explores the floor in search of the gear she'd most love to run through the wringer.

Gear Picks by Kristin Hostetter

For BACKPACKER'S Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012, Kristin tested tons of gear. Here are a few of her special favorites.

Skier's Paradise: Backcountry Hut & Yurt Destinations

Maximize your winter fun with a backcountry basecamp where you can spend all day skiing or snowshoeing, and all evening lounging by the fire. These 10 huts and yurts will make you hope the snow never melts.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: Sierra Designs Ymir 55 Backpack

A pack made for multi-day ski touring.

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2012: First Ascent Katabatic Tent

A stable, light, livable, four-season tent.

Gear Review: Patagonia Troposphere Hardshell Jacket

A shell that offers winter-worthy protection at a year-round weight.

Gear Review: Exped Pegasus Tent

The next best thing to a hut

Gear Review: L.L. Bean 2-Person Backcountry Dome

A tough, spacious two-person tent for under $400.

Gear Review: Brooks Range Invasion Tent

This tent is so small and light, you'll barely notice it in your pack–until you need it.

Gear Review: Easton Expedition 2P Tent

Carbon poles with monofilament connectors make this tent light and cold-weather friendly

Editors' Choice Gold 2012: Kahtoola MICROspikes

Tackle slick terrain with confidence–and a light load.

Gear Guide 2012: More Tester Picks - Winter Sleeping Bags

Ready to endure all the elements, these bags offering warmth and protection for winter camping.

Adventure Upgrade: Camp Comfortably in Winter

Extend your backpacking season: Here's how to stay warm and protect your gear.

Adventure Upgrades: Hike Smarter and Farther

Take your backpacking to the next level. Our experts craft custom plans for readers who asked for help with navigation, winter camping, thru-hiking, and more.

Escape Plan: Warm a Hypothermia Victim

Treat severe hypothermia with this life saving technique.

America's Best Backcountry Ski Tours

Upgrade your winter fun at these 8 beginner-friendly, expert-ready spots.

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Western Mountaineering Flash Down Booties

Goose down booties with a nylon shell that pack down super small.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Smartwool Spring Glove

Breathable merino wool and rugged leather make for happy hands

Gear Review: Stoic Welder Gauntlet Mitt

A 100-percent wool-lined glove that heats hands instantly.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Arc Gloves

A great all-purpose glove for high-output activities.

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Backstop Gloves

Gore Windstopper covers the back of the hand from cuff to fingertips.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Contact Crampons

Stainless steel crampons that bite into ice and repel slushy buildup.

Gear Review: High Peak Chameleon 20/0

A budget-conscious convertible bag that changes to match its environment.

Gear Review: Mammut Altitude Winter Sleeping Bag

The Altitude's 800-fill down is protected from the elements by a waterproof/breathable ShelterTX shell and full-length, rubberized, splashproof zipper.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear ExtraLamina 0 Sleeping Bag

Three inches of extra space in the shoulder area make this a primo bag for the broad shouldered.

Gear Review: REI Radiant 0 Sleeping Bag

Winter camping becomes budget friendly with this 0° bag.

Gear Review: Zeal Optics Transcend SPPX Goggles

The GPS-enabled cyborg goggles you've been dreaming about

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Boreal Sliding Snowshoes

Have a blast in rolling terrain with these snowshoe/ski hybrids.

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Over-Shoe Booties

Turn any shoe or boot into a fully insulated winter trekker with these over-shoe booties.

Gear Review: Platypus Insulator Hydration System

An all-in-one lightweight hydration system for snow lovers.

Gear Review: Salomon Nytro WP Cold-weather Hiking Boots

Just because they have fur doesn't mean they're not serious backcountry boots.

Time-Tested Gear: Tents

A-frames, domes, party tents–we've tested them all.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Best Winter Trips

We traveled to Fjordland and discovered that nothing compares to skiing glacier-clad mountains above deep-water fjords. Plus: 20 winter adventures, from California to New York.

Top 25 Winter Trips: United States

Find the best skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter camping trips in the U.S.

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Kelty Cosmic Down 20° Sleeping Bag

Want to fly business class on a coach fare? Gift the Cosmic.

Winter Camping Skills: Bring the Right Cooking Gear

Don't forget these essentials when you're headed into the cold.

Winter Camping Skills: Plan Your Menu

Use these tips to plan perfect winter camping meals.

Winter Camping Skills: Melt Water

There are two basic ways of melting water: passive and active.

Winter Camping Skills: Build a Camp Kitchen

Site your stove a few steps from your tent, so you can conveniently melt snow or brew drinks. If you're camping in the same spot for several days (and in deep snow), dig out a snow kitchen.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Mountaineering Gear

Head high with an axe, crampons, and more.

Winter Hiking: Master Winter Travel

Quick tips for your transportation of choice.

Blizzard Wizards: Cold Weather Hiking Experts

Meet our four cold-weather experts.

Winter Hiking Repair Kit

Pack this essential kit to handle your unpredictable gear mishaps.

7 Steps to a Bombproof Tent

Your tent will withstand anything with these tips.

4 Key Winter Camp Accessories

Don't leave home without these winter camping essentials.

Build a Winter Basecamp: Beat the Deep Freeze

Our pros tell you how to set up a deluxe–yet weatherproof–winter basecamp.

Cold Weather Camping: Sleep Better Than a Hibernating Bear

12 secrets for keeping your core (and your gear) warm in the coldest weather

Layering For Cold Weather: Dress to the Nine-Belows

Master the art of layering to keep comfy all winter.

Winter Hiking: The Cure for the (Un)Common Cold

Life's too short to be a three-season hiker. Follow these expert tips on staying warm, picking your route, and cooking savory meals--and add winter's deep solitude and frozen dreamscapes to your adventure calendar.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Boots

Warm up with 7 picks for every winter pursuit.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Backpacks

Carry in comfort, from dayhikes to hut trips.

Gear Review: Muck Boot Arctic Sport Winter Boots

These are the warmest (and lightest) boots you will ever need for winter.

Gear Review: Sorel Alpha Pac Winter Boots

These will keep your feet warm on the coldest of hikes.

Gear Review: MSR Lightning Axis Snowshoes

Rely on the jagged steal crampons for grip and add-on tails for super float.

Gear Review: Redfeather Vapor Snowshoes

Run, really run, in the snow with the help of these snowshoes.

Gear Review: Lowa Baikal GTX Hiking Boot

This all-purpose boot provides great support and warmth.

Gear Review: Mammut Alugator Expert Shovel

Dig quickly and easily with this all-aluminum shovel.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Baselayers

Keep your bod warm & toasty all fall and winter long.

Gear Review: Klean Kanteen Wide Insulated

This thermos converts into an insulated mug whenever you're ready for a warm drink.

Gear Review: SOLE Exhale Slippers

Ditch your hiking boots for these fleece-lined slippers and relax.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010: Gloves & Mitten

Keep your fingers warm and functional this winter with these five digit warmers.

Gear Review: Flylow Tough Guy Gloves

Gloves that are rugged and cheap.

Gear Review: Columbia Carabineer Gloves

Gloves made with thermal-reflective Omni-Heat lining.

Gear Review: Black Diamond Virago Mitt

Tuck chemical handwarmers in these mitts for long-lasting heat.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardware Pistolero Gloves

Tough gloves that still let you use your fingers for delicate tasks.

Gear Review: Arc'teryx Alpha SV Gloves

The best gloves for wet and cold we tested.

Ultimate Backcountry Beds

For five months, we tested 50 bags, pads, and other snooze-related gear to find perfect sleep systems for every season.

Ultralight Bargain: Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads

For warm summer nights, this two-pound system delivers sweet dreams for just $138.

Basecamp Luxury: Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Pad, and Camp Pillows

Get all the comforts of home with this four-star setup.

Winter Warmth: Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads for Cold-weather Camping, Plus Tips for Easy Sleeping While Camping

Stay toasty in the deepest freeze with an overstuffed bag and cold-weather pad.

Three-Season Backcountry Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads

Get big comfort, low weight from a premium down bag and a super-cush pad.

Gear Review: Exped SIM Lite 2.5 Short Sleeping Pad

A shortie summer pad that offers surprising comfort for its size and weight.

Gear Review: Deuter Dream Lite 500 & Sea to Summit's Reactor Thermolite Sleeping Bag

A 40° mummy that disappears inside a pack.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest DreamTime Sleeping Pad

A sleeping pad made for luxurious car camping.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Pinole 20° & Big Agnes Cabin Creek Sleeping Bag

An affordable mummy bag that's super soft inside.

Gear Review: Big Agnes Dual Core Sleeping Pad & Klean Kanteen Classic Water Bottle

A winter warm sleeping pad that's also easily packable.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs BTU -20 Sleeping Bag and Mountain Hardwear Phantom 0&Deg;

An Arctic-worthy 800-fill down mummy.

Gear Review: NEMO Cosmo Air & Pacific Outdoor's Equipment's Peak Oyl Mtn Women's Petite Sleeping Pads

An extra wide and extra long sleeping pad with three inches of cushion.

Gear Review: Rab Neutrino 400 & Eureka! Riner 40°F Sleeping Bag

A premium down bag that masters three seasons.

Gear School: Snowshoes

Get out more this winter with the right pair of 'shoes.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Convert 3 Tent

A four-season tent that can truly handle the elements.

Gear Review: Big Agnes String Ridge 2 Tent

A wedge-style, double-walled tent that packs super small.

Gear Review: Integral Designs SilTunnel Tent

A floorless tunnel tent that's ultralight for it's four-person capacity.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Keron 3 Tent

A roomy tunnel tent that's quick to set up.

Gear Review: Hilleberg Altai XP Yurt Tent

Sleeps eight and sits 12, this is the tent for a group expedition.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Rocket A2 Tent

A lightweight, all-conditions shelter for two.

Gear Review: REI Arete ASL 3 Tent

If you dip your toes in winter camping this tent is for you.

Gear Review: The North Face Mountain 25 Tent

This tent survived the worst of Mt. Washington's epic weather.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads

Sleep better all year long with these warm sleeping bags & pads.

Gear Review: Kelty Alpine Sleeping Pad

A closed cell/open cell foam system that provides maximum comfort.

Gear Review: Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest Solar Sleeping Pad

An indestructible sleeping pad with an aluminized surface layer that reflects body heat.

Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear ExtraLamina 20 Sleeping Bag

A roomy and comfortable bag built for big guys (or gals).

Gear Review: Western Mountaineering Lynx Sleeping Bag

An 850-fill bag that packs down to the size of a basketball.

Gear Review: Marmot Never Summer MemBrain Sleeping Bag

A warm and weatherproof bag at a sweet price.

Gear Review: Sierra Designs Euphoria Sleeping Bag

A women's bag that stays warm even when wet.

Gear Review: MontBell U.L. Super Spiral Down Hugger #1 Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag you won't want to get out of.

Gear Review: Brooks-Range Elephant Foot Sleeping Bag

Pair this bag with a puffy jacket for an ultralight, ultratoasty setup.

Gear Review: Exped Waterbloc 1000 Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag that doesn't require a tent.

Budget Apparel Guide: Bargain Baselayers

For $35 or less, keep your core warm and toasty.

Camp Chef Makeover: The Winter Hiker

Staying warm does require extra calories when hiking in the winter.

Gear Review: Venture Snowboards Zephyr Splitboard

It's skis! It's a snowboard! It's a splitboard!

Gear Review: Microcrampons

When the conditions call for grip but not burly crampons, strap on one of these three microcrampon options and feel secure on ice and snow.

Coffee-mate: Thermos Round-up

No one takes a to-go cup on the trail. Unless it's one of these hardy thermoses or hot/cold bottles.

Gear Review: Marmot Eigerwand Jacket

This synthetic-filled puffy stays warm even in wet, sloppy snow.

Gear Review: Thinsulate Thermal Insoles

Boost your boots' warmth with these insoles.

Beginner's Guide to Winter Camping: A Seven Part Series

Rocky Mountain Editor and survival blogger Steve Howe gets you out of the house on your first winter camping trip with this seven-part how-to guide.

How to Cross a Spring Snowfield

Cross the steeps safely and avoid avalanches with these guide-approved tips.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Rugged Nordic Touring Ski Gear

From boots to bindings to skis, this rig will have you set for the backcountry.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Backcountry Touring Ski Gear



Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Telemark Ski Gear



Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Alpine Touring Ski Gear

Skip the resort crowds and find clean powder with this backcountry ski gear.

Gear Review: Petzl Summit Ice Axe

Gross a glacier or handle snow travel on big peaks with this versatile mountaineering axe.

Gear School: Crampons

Traverse snow and ice safely with the right set of points.

The Manual: Deluxe Winter Camping

Don't let frigid temps keep you inside. Here are five tips for deluxe winter camping.

Gear Review: Eagle Creek Abominable Snowbag

This convenient travel snowbag pays for itself quickly.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Snowshoes

Hit the trail in the winter with one of these nine snowshoes.

Gear Review: Tubbs Couloirs Snowshoes

These wide-decked Tubbs snowshoes are perfect for long hauls and large loads.

Gear Review: TSL Over the Top Snowshoe

These TSL snowshoes are best for day-long adventures over varied terrain.

Gear Review: TSL Escape Snowshoe

New to snowshoeing? Check out this stable snowshoe for beginners.

Gear Review: Redfeather LaCrosse with Pilot II Bindings Snowshoe

Great shoe for deep powder and big mountains

Gear Review: MSR Denali Tyker Snowshoe

Best shoe for the mini mountaineer

Gear Review: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Check out this staff favorite voted best-all-around snowshoe.

Gear Review: GV Snowshoes Cat Trail Ultralight Snowshoe

This ultralight aluminum-based snowshoe will keep you moving fast.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide: Winter Essentials

From a Quickie sled to sunscreen used by the U.S. ski team, these five winter essentials are must haves.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Socks, Gaiters, & Booties

Keep your feet warm and happy with these socks, gaiters, & booties.

Fall/Winter Gear Guide 09: Ski Gear

This guide covers ski gear for telemark, alpine touring, backcountry touring, and rugged Nordic touring.

Cold Comfort: Winter Camping Guide

No crowds, no bugs: Winter camping holds rewards aplenty– once you master the gear and skills required to thrive in frigid climates.

Gear Review: Zamberlan 1009 Vioz Top GT RR Mountaineering Boot

Insulated backpacking boots with enough support to carry a 50-pound pack.

Gear Review: Columbia Winter Trek XMT Omni-Tech Hiking Boot

Ideal for treks on packed snow, this boot is great for wintry day hikes.

Gear Review: Kamik Snowpass Snowshoe Boot

Ideal for snowshoeing, or wintry day hikes, this boot keeps your feet dry and warm.

Gear Review: Helly Hansen Lynx Snowshoe Boot

Whether it's snowshoeing, light day hiking, or sloshing through town, this boot does it all.

Gear Review: Zamberlan 4041 Expert Pro GT RR

Sturdy yet light, this boot is great for the most extreme day hikes.

Gear Review: La Sportiva Baruntse Mountaineering Boot

Made for big peaks, this boot is warm, and great for ice and snow

Winter Camping: Recipes & Menu Planner

These recipes are fortified with extra warmth and calories for winter camping.

Winter Camping: Winter Checklist

Get the gear you'll need to stay warm and happy on a winter backpacking trip.

Winter Camping: Safety & Survival

Assess your winter climbing risks with this handy chart.

Winter Camping: Navigation

Learn to figure out where you are (even in a whiteout) and prevent, or stop, a snowy fall.

Winter Camping: Winter Essentials How To...

Learn how to cook, make water, and...go to the bathroom when the backcountry is a winter wonderland.

Winter Camping: Camp & Trail Skills

Learn how to choose between a tent and a snow cave. Plus the best ways to travel in the snow.

Winter Camping: Gear & Clothing

Your complete guide to choosing, fitting, and using essential winter gear.

Winter Camping: Getting Started

Winter camping requires extra planning and gear. But it's well worth the effort.

Gear Review: Pacific Outdoor Pneumo Zips Storage Bags

You'll never use zip-top plastic bags again after trying these Pacific Outdoor PU-coated nylon storage bags.

Gear Review: Dermatone Lips 'n Face with Z-Cote Sunscreen

This sunscreen goes on clear and blocks sun and wind. Bonus, it also moisturizes.

Gear Review: Talus Outdoors ColdAvenger Classic Face Mask

This Talus face mask mixes your hot breath with the cold outside air to keep your face warm and snot free.

Gear Review: TSL Quickie Sled

For sledding or glissading, the TSL Quickie is a speedy descent.

Gear Review: Crescent Moon Gold Series Snowshoe

Comfortable and stable straps win this snowshoe the best binding award.

Gear Review: Polar Buff Headwear

This versatile headpiece is half fleece, half microfiber–it can even double as a pillow.

Gear Guide 2009: REI Cirque ASL 2 Tent Review

Want to get a winter tent without breaking the bank? The Cirque is the tent for you.

Gear Guide 2009: MSR Dragontail Tent Review

This winter tent is long, lean, and livable.

Gear Guide 2009: LOWA Khumbu Ice GTX Boot Review

Brave cold, wet weather with LOWA's sturdy, Gore-Tex winter boot.

Gear Guide 2009: Kamik Northfield Boot Review

For extreme waterproofing at a good price, you can't beat these insulated, high cut boots.

Gear Guide 2009: L.L. Bean Mountain Guide Review

Bring along your winter toys— L.L. Bean's Mountain Guide pack can carry anything from ice climbing gear to skis.

Gear Guide 2009: Black Diamond Predator 50 Review

Take Black Diamond's practical Predator 50 with you on any trail, anytime.

Gear Guide 2009: Marmot Alpha 25 Review

Pack up the weekend toys for your outdoor activity of choice in Marmot's ultralight–and ultra cheap–Alpha 25 backpack.

Editors' Choice 2009: MontBell UL Spiral Down Hugger #1 Sleeping Bag

Ultralight meets ultra-comfortable in this roomy sleeping bag.

How To: Build a Snow Shelter

Tents are better, but if the time comes, building a snow shelter isn't that hard.

Survive This: Caught in a Blizzard

Use these simple tips to survive the storm.

The Cure: Treating Frostbite

Frostnip and frostbite are poetic names for a serious health issue: frozen skin. Frostnip occurs when the first layer of skin freezes, creating pale blotches on the affected area (usually the fingers and toes). If unchecked, the condition deepens into frostbite, in which multiple layers of skin freeze. Frostbite turns the flesh white and makes it feel solid to the touch. It often causes permanent tissue damage, and in rare cases requires amputation.



Review: Icebreaker Superfine 140 Henley Lite

Perfect baselayer: the Icebreaker Superfine 140 Henley Lite stays odor-free with style.

Wilderness Wonders: Biggest Bear

The white, fluffy, subzero-temperature-loving polar bear takes this title.

How to Avoid Avalanches

Hike safely in avalanche terrain

How to Pitch a Tent in Foul Weather

There's nothing cozier than a warm, dry tent on a cold night. But strong winds and rain can turn setup into a sopping, frustrating fiasco.

Survive This: Frostbitten Feet

Frostbite is bad news. Learn how to safely treat frozen feet.

Weatherproof Your Electronics

Rain, snow, cold, hard knocks–the backcountry can be tough on trail gadgets. You can either upgrade your devices, or learn how to protect them.

How to Navigate in the Snow

Solve winter routefinding challenges with these expert tips.

Phenomenon: Crevasses

These gaping glacier cracks are dramatic–and deadly. Here's how they form, plus three safe places to see a crevasse up close.

Danger Signs - Winter Sun

UV rays are still harmful even when the temperature drops. We'll show you how to protect yourself against the sun, even when it's cold.

The Works: Snowshoe the Sierra

Pick your own path to an empty 14er.

6 Sweet Sleeping Bags

From ultra-warm to ultralight, here are the year's best-performing bags in every category.

Cold War: A Winter Traverse of New Hampshire's Presidential Range

Got guts? Good. Now learn what skills you'll need to bag America's Little Everest—a traverse of New Hampshire's Presidential Range in Winter.

3 Ways To See Yellowstone

Want to hike visit Yellowstone in winter? Follow our guide to get all the winter highlights.

Time 2 Go: National Parks In Winter

With the cold driving away crowds, National Parks are a delight to visit in winter. Here's our top picks.

March 2008 Essentials Review: Navigation



March 2008 Essentials Review: Shell Jackets



March 2008 Essentials Review: High Tech



March 2008 Essentials Review: Camp Kitchen

Packs, tents, boots, and bags--that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.

March 2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Winter Sleeping Bags



2008 Three-Season Sleeping Bag Reviews



2008 Sleeping Bag Review: Summer Sleeping Bags



Backpacker Gear Guide: Essentials

Packs, tents, boots, and bags–that's easy. Now comes the hard part: Everything else. Below, you'll find our top picks for all the lust-worthy backcountry essentials you'll need to make your trip safe, fun, and simple.

Backpacker Gear Guide: Sleeping Bags

The secret to a great day outdoors? Start with a great night. Sleep well in all conditions with one of these snooze-tested bags.

Survive This: Caught in an Avalanche

When you're trekking into a backcountry bowl, avalanches are almost always a threat. Learn how to protect yourself when the worst happens.

Puffy Jackets

Made with down or synthetic fibers and paper-thin shells, these puffy jackets weigh less, loft higher, and pack much smaller than fleece.

Stay Warm On the Trail and In Camp

On the trail and in camp, beat the cold with these tips.

Hypothermia 101

Don't be fooled: Hypothermia can happen in the summer or the winter. Learn how to prevent and treat a dropping core body temp.

Calculate Trouble

Time is of the essence in the backcountry. Learn how long it will take an impending thunderstorm or avalanche to find you.

Make Your Sleeping Bag Warmer

8 easy ways to fortify your sleeping bag

Where Can I Find the Warmest Winter Campsite?

Florida's Everglades National Park has a December high of almost 78°.

How to See More Snowshoe Hares

These hares love the snow and cold and they're designed to use the elements to their advantage

Learn How to Use an Ice Axe

Master these skills to make your axe a tool—not a toy.

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Oregon's Crater Lake

Circumnavigate Oregon's Crater Lake on snowshoes

How to Choose a Campsite

A NOLS veteran offers tips on balancing comfort, safety, and Leave No Trace principles.

How to Survive Winter Storms

New Hampshire's Mt. Washington is know for its evil weather. Learn how to survive a winter storm from one of the peak's experts.

How to Clean and Store Your Gear

By keeping your gear (relatively) free of dirt and grime and storing it properly you can make your gear last forever.

Make Your Sleeping Bag Warmer

8 easy ways to fortify your sleeping bag

Cut Winter Weight: 4 Ways to Pack Light and Stay Warm

Don't overload your pack. Learn how to leave the non-essentials behind and still stay warm.

Quiz: Would You Survive?

The wilderness can be deadly if you don't know what you're doing. Take our test to rate your survival IQ—and learn a few skills that might save your hide.

How to See In the Dark

Expert tips for improving your night vision

Winter Camping: Building a Snow Shelter

Expert tips for a safe, sound night's sleep

Winter Boots Review: Snowshoeing and Camping

Keep your feet warm and dry while snowshoeing, camping, and shoveling the driveway with the Columbia Ice Dragon, North Face Ice Storm GTX, and Kamik Patriot.

Cold-Weather Gear Review: 5 Winter Fixes

How to make your cold months warmer: boots, bags, jackets, backpacks, and booties for frosty weather

Winter Skills: Warm Toes Forever

Keep your feet toasty with these 6 tricks

Dogsledding in Minnesota: Born to Run

Head out with six hard-charging huskies, and winter will never feel more alive.

The Works: Trans-Yosemite Ski Tour

Start packing now for a once-in-a-lifetime ski tour through silent, snow-draped Yosemite.

The Works: Mt. Washington In Winter

Hurricane-force winds and a snowfall average of 246 inches per year? Cake, compared to the challenge the mountain poses in summer.

Tent Review: Hilleberg Jannu

Testers give the Jannu two thumbs up, despite wanting more space

Snowshoeing 201

3 tips for conquering snowy hills and steep climbs

Winter Gear Lightens Up: Tent and Clothing Review

Carry less, enjoy the cold months more with the latest four-season tents, gloves, hats, and gaiters.

Winter Camping in Michigan's Porcupine Mountains

Lake effect snow and a vast virgin forest make this a spectacular winter getaway for skiing and snowshoeing

Camping at the Grand Canyon

Spend New Year's in the Big Ditch, where fishing, camping, and hiking await

Winter Camping at Mount Rainier National Park

Snowshoe to a scenic high balcony

Being Caribou Returns Home

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 6.

Being Caribou: Arctic Summer

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 5.

Cold Sleepers vs. Hot Sleepers

One camper sweats and another shivers. What's the deal?

Being Caribou: A Mountain Of A Shortcut

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 4.

Getting Navy SEAL Gear

How to acquire your very own Navy SEAL Protective Combat Uniform.

Being Caribou: Calving Grounds

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 3.

Being Caribou: 350 Miles On Skis

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 2.

Winter Fuel Saver

Keep water flowing with this simple technique.

Being Caribou: Spring Migration

We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 1.

Being Caribou: Caribou Facts

18 facts you didn't know about Alaska and Canada's Porcupine Caribou herd.

Being Caribou: ANWR Or Bust

Will he keep up? Karsten Heuer embarks on an audacious 1,200-mile expedition-cum-caribou chase.

Being Caribou: Caribou I Am

How do you plan an expedition to follow 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Very carefully.

Being Caribou: Protecting the Porcupine Caribou Herd

Protection one of Alaska and Canada's largest caribou herds is so close, yet so far away.

Being Caribou: The Route

How do you plan a route following 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Try to keep up.

This Winter, Book A Yurt

Stay cozy this winter by bedding down in a heated cabin or yurt.

Powder Hungry? Hike These Snowshoe Trails

Bust out of winter doldrums on one of these stellar snowshoe routes.

Stay Warm In Winter

Winter warmth is easy with these tips from arctic explorers, cold-weather experts, and army docs.

Winterize Your Camp

Tips to take with you when the snow flies.

Climbing Alaska's 'Great One': Denali National Park

Do you have what it takes to climb Alaska's Denali? Find out with our mountaineer's guide.

Avalanches: The Big Slide

Watching snow fall is a backcountry joy--unless it's barreling 80 mph down a mountain and you're in its path.

On Thin Ice: Safe Hiking On Frozen Lakes

How to hike safely across frozen lakes and ponds

Winter Camping Tips: The Perfect Tent Pitch

How and where you should set up your winter tent for maximum comfort and shelter longevity.

Snow Smarts

How to travel safely across four seasons of white.

Sleeping Bag Care: A Lofty Goal

Keep your sleeping bag up to fluff with proper care and handling.

Before You Snowshoe

Follow these tips when you embark on your next snowshoeing journey.

Before You Go Snowshoeing

Follow these tips before you embark on your next winter snowshoeing journey.

Anatomy Of A Snowshoe

Get up close and personal with all those snowshoe parts.

Hypothermia: Just The Facts

Quick Tips to Prevent, Recognize, and Treat Hypothermia.

Skis or Snowshoes?

Take BACKPACKER's quiz to quickly determine where your natural ability directs you.

Snowy Destinations

Need someplace to go shoe with your snowshoes? Whet your whistle with one of these great places.

A Hiker In Mt. Rainier's Wonderland

Sure, you can summit Mt. Rainier, but the real treasure isn't on top. It's the Wonderland Trail down below.

Skiing Utah's Tushar Mountains

Strap on the skis and glide across wind-sculpted snow into alpine solitude.

Tennessee: Ice As Art

In winter, the glasslike menagerie of icicles in the Cumberland Plateau will send a chill down your spine.

Tools For Snowhounds

Use these tools if you're hankering to learn the secret of snow.

Backcountry Bathroom: How To Go In The Snow

When the ground is frozen or 3 feet under snow, use these backcountry bathroom techniques.

Camping With A Fridge

That's essentially what the outdoors is, so use those cold temps to carry tasty foods that wouldn't stand a chance in summer.

Winter Calorie Count

Winter activities demand more of your body's energy.

Winter Harm: Cold Dangers

Cold can harm in subtle and quick ways, so it pays to be prepared.

Breaking Trail: Snow Going

When the white stuff piles up, work together to break a trail.

Snowshoeing New York's Five Ponds

When the rest of the East is bare, snowshoers can find plenty of powder in New York's Five Ponds Wilderness.

Washington's North Cascade's Copper Ridge Loop

Hike this crown of North Cascades National Park, Washington.

Pennsylvania's Hickory Creek Wilderness

Hickory Creek Wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest remains a great hiking destination all year -- even in winter.

Winter Hiking For Beginners

Extend the hiking season at these three destinations, all perfect for winter newbies.

Minnesota's Wild River State Park

Stomp and glide at Wild River State Park, where no snow monsters are allowed.

Snowshoes Terrain Techniques

Techniques for winter trekking. Find out the advantages snowshoes provide for getting over hill and dale.

Winterize Your Camping Habits

Tips to take with you when the winter snow flies in camp.

Michigan's Manistee River Trail

Two trails, same river, two different worlds.

Snowshoe Camping, Northwest-Style

When temps warm but the going's still snowy, strap on snowshoes to reach Washington's hidden camping gems.

Layering For Winter

How to dress smart and stay warm when Old Man Winter blows in.

No Excuse For Winter Hiking

It may be winter, but that's no reason to stop hiking.

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