For BACKPACKER'S Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2012, Kristin tested tons of gear. Here are a few of her special favorites.
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.
A pack made for multi-day ski touring.
A stable, light, livable, four-season tent.
A shell that offers winter-worthy protection at a year-round weight.
The next best thing to a hut
A tough, spacious two-person tent for under $400.
This tent is so small and light, you'll barely notice it in your pack–until you need it.
Carbon poles with monofilament connectors make this tent light and cold-weather friendly
Tackle slick terrain with confidence–and a light load.
Extend your backpacking season: Here's how to stay warm and protect your gear.
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.
Treat severe hypothermia with this life saving technique.
Goose down booties with a nylon shell that pack down super small.
Breathable merino wool and rugged leather make for happy hands
A 100-percent wool-lined glove that heats hands instantly.
A great all-purpose glove for high-output activities.
Gore Windstopper covers the back of the hand from cuff to fingertips.
Stainless steel crampons that bite into ice and repel slushy buildup.
A budget-conscious convertible bag that changes to match its environment.
The Altitude's 800-fill down is protected from the elements by a waterproof/breathable ShelterTX shell and full-length, rubberized, splashproof zipper.
The GPS-enabled cyborg goggles you've been dreaming about
Have a blast in rolling terrain with these snowshoe/ski hybrids.
Turn any shoe or boot into a fully insulated winter trekker with these over-shoe booties.
An all-in-one lightweight hydration system for snow lovers.
Just because they have fur doesn't mean they're not serious backcountry boots.
A-frames, domes, party tents–we've tested them all.
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.
Find the best skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter camping trips in the U.S.
Want to fly business class on a coach fare? Gift the Cosmic.
Head high with an axe, crampons, and more.
Warm up with 7 picks for every winter pursuit.
Carry in comfort, from dayhikes to hut trips.
These are the warmest (and lightest) boots you will ever need for winter.
These will keep your feet warm on the coldest of hikes.
Rely on the jagged steal crampons for grip and add-on tails for super float.
Run, really run, in the snow with the help of these snowshoes.
This all-purpose boot provides great support and warmth.
Dig quickly and easily with this all-aluminum shovel.
Keep your bod warm & toasty all fall and winter long.
This thermos converts into an insulated mug whenever you're ready for a warm drink.
Ditch your hiking boots for these fleece-lined slippers and relax.
Keep your fingers warm and functional this winter with these five digit warmers.
Gloves that are rugged and cheap.
Gloves made with thermal-reflective Omni-Heat lining.
Tuck chemical handwarmers in these mitts for long-lasting heat.
Tough gloves that still let you use your fingers for delicate tasks.
The best gloves for wet and cold we tested.
For five months, we tested 50 bags, pads, and other snooze-related gear
to find perfect sleep systems for every season.
For warm summer nights, this two-pound system delivers sweet dreams for just $138.
Get all the comforts of home with this four-star setup.
Stay toasty in the deepest freeze with an overstuffed bag and cold-weather pad.
Get big comfort, low weight from a premium down bag and a super-cush pad.
A shortie summer pad that offers surprising comfort for its size and weight.
A 40° mummy that disappears inside a pack.
A sleeping pad made for luxurious car camping.
An affordable mummy bag that's super soft inside.
A winter warm sleeping pad that's also easily packable.
An Arctic-worthy 800-fill down mummy.
An extra wide and extra long sleeping pad with three inches of cushion.
A premium down bag that masters three seasons.
Get out more this winter with the right pair of 'shoes.
A four-season tent that can truly handle the elements.
A wedge-style, double-walled tent that packs super small.
A floorless tunnel tent that's ultralight for it's four-person capacity.
A roomy tunnel tent that's quick to set up.
Sleeps eight and sits 12, this is the tent for a group expedition.
A lightweight, all-conditions shelter for two.
If you dip your toes in winter camping this tent is for you.
This tent survived the worst of Mt. Washington's epic weather.
Sleep better all year long with these warm sleeping bags & pads.
A closed cell/open cell foam system that provides maximum comfort.
An indestructible sleeping pad with an aluminized surface layer that reflects body heat.
A roomy and comfortable bag built for big guys (or gals).
An 850-fill bag that packs down to the size of a basketball.
A warm and weatherproof bag at a sweet price.
A women's bag that stays warm even when wet.
A sleeping bag you won't want to get out of.
Pair this bag with a puffy jacket for an ultralight, ultratoasty setup.
A sleeping bag that doesn't require a tent.
For $35 or less, keep your core warm and toasty.
Staying warm does require extra calories when hiking in the winter.
It's skis! It's a snowboard! It's a splitboard!
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.
No one takes a to-go cup on the trail. Unless it's one of these hardy thermoses or hot/cold bottles.
This synthetic-filled puffy stays warm even in wet, sloppy snow.
Boost your boots' warmth with these insoles.
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.
Cross the steeps safely and avoid avalanches with these guide-approved tips.
From boots to bindings to skis, this rig will have you set for the backcountry.
Skip the resort crowds and find clean powder with this backcountry ski gear.
Gross a glacier or handle snow travel on big peaks with this versatile mountaineering axe.
Traverse snow and ice safely with the right set of points.
Don't let frigid temps keep you inside. Here are five tips for deluxe winter camping.
This convenient travel snowbag pays for itself quickly.
Hit the trail in the winter with one of these nine snowshoes.
These wide-decked Tubbs snowshoes are perfect for long hauls and large loads.
These TSL snowshoes are best for day-long adventures over varied terrain.
New to snowshoeing? Check out this stable snowshoe for beginners.
Great shoe for deep powder and big mountains
Best shoe for the mini mountaineer
Check out this staff favorite voted best-all-around snowshoe.
This ultralight aluminum-based snowshoe will keep you moving fast.
From a Quickie sled to sunscreen used by the U.S. ski team, these five winter essentials are must haves.
Keep your feet warm and happy with these socks, gaiters, & booties.
This guide covers ski gear for telemark, alpine touring, backcountry touring, and rugged Nordic touring.
No crowds, no bugs: Winter camping holds rewards aplenty– once you master the gear and skills required to thrive in frigid climates.
Insulated backpacking boots with enough support to carry a 50-pound pack.
Ideal for treks on packed snow, this boot is great for wintry day hikes.
Ideal for snowshoeing, or wintry day hikes, this boot keeps your feet dry and warm.
Whether it's snowshoeing, light day hiking, or sloshing through town, this boot does it all.
Sturdy yet light, this boot is great for the most extreme day hikes.
Made for big peaks, this boot is warm, and great for ice and snow
These recipes are fortified with extra warmth and calories for winter camping.
Get the gear you'll need to stay warm and happy on a winter backpacking trip.
Assess your winter climbing risks with this handy chart.
Learn to figure out where you are (even in a whiteout) and prevent, or stop, a snowy fall.
Learn how to cook, make water, and...go to the bathroom when the backcountry is a winter wonderland.
Learn how to choose between a tent and a snow cave. Plus the best ways to travel in the snow.
Your complete guide to choosing, fitting, and using essential winter gear.
Winter camping requires extra planning and gear. But it's well worth the effort.
You'll never use zip-top plastic bags again after trying these Pacific Outdoor PU-coated nylon storage bags.
This sunscreen goes on clear and blocks sun and wind. Bonus, it also moisturizes.
This Talus face mask mixes your hot breath with the cold outside air to keep your face warm and snot free.
For sledding or glissading, the TSL Quickie is a speedy descent.
Comfortable and stable straps win this snowshoe the best binding award.
This versatile headpiece is half fleece, half microfiber–it can even double as a pillow.
Want to get a winter tent without breaking the bank? The Cirque is the tent for you.
This winter tent is long, lean, and livable.
Brave cold, wet weather with LOWA's sturdy, Gore-Tex winter boot.
For extreme waterproofing at a good price, you can't beat these insulated, high cut boots.
Bring along your winter toys— L.L. Bean's Mountain Guide pack can carry anything from ice climbing gear to skis.
Take Black Diamond's practical Predator 50 with you on any trail, anytime.
Pack up the weekend toys for your outdoor activity of choice in Marmot's ultralight–and ultra cheap–Alpha 25 backpack.
Ultralight meets ultra-comfortable in this roomy sleeping bag.
Tents are better, but if the time comes, building a snow shelter isn't that hard.
Use these simple tips to survive the storm.
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.
Perfect baselayer: the Icebreaker Superfine 140 Henley Lite stays odor-free with style.
The white, fluffy, subzero-temperature-loving polar bear takes this title.
Hike safely in avalanche terrain
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.
Frostbite is bad news. Learn how to safely treat frozen feet.
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.
Solve winter routefinding challenges with these expert tips.
These gaping glacier cracks are dramatic–and deadly. Here's how they form, plus three safe places to see a crevasse up close.
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.
Pick your own path to an empty 14er.
From ultra-warm to ultralight, here are the year's best-performing bags in every category.
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.
Want to hike visit Yellowstone in winter? Follow our guide to get all the winter highlights.
With the cold driving away crowds, National Parks are a delight to visit in winter. Here's our top picks.
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.
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.
The secret to a great day outdoors? Start with a great night. Sleep well in all conditions with one of these snooze-tested bags.
When you're trekking into a backcountry bowl, avalanches are almost always a threat. Learn how to protect yourself when the worst happens.
Made with down or synthetic fibers and paper-thin shells, these puffy jackets weigh less, loft higher, and pack much smaller than fleece.
On the trail and in camp, beat the cold with these tips.
Don't be fooled: Hypothermia can happen in the summer or the winter. Learn how to prevent and treat a dropping core body temp.
Time is of the essence in the backcountry. Learn how long it will take an impending thunderstorm or avalanche to find you.
8 easy ways to fortify your sleeping bag
8 easy ways to fortify your sleeping bag
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.
These hares love the snow and cold and they're designed to use the elements to their advantage
Circumnavigate Oregon's Crater Lake on snowshoes
A NOLS veteran offers tips on balancing comfort, safety, and Leave No Trace principles.
By keeping your gear (relatively) free of dirt and grime and storing it properly you can make your gear last forever.
Don't overload your pack. Learn how to leave the non-essentials behind and still stay warm.
Master these skills to make your axe a tool—not a toy.
Florida's Everglades National Park has a December high of almost 78°.
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.
Expert tips for improving your night vision
Expert tips for a safe, sound night's sleep
Keep your feet toasty with these 6 tricks
How to make your cold months warmer: boots, bags, jackets, backpacks, and booties for frosty weather
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.
Head out with six hard-charging huskies, and winter will never feel more alive.
Start packing now for a once-in-a-lifetime ski tour through silent, snow-draped Yosemite.
Testers give the Jannu two thumbs up, despite wanting more space
Carry less, enjoy the cold months more with the latest four-season tents, gloves, hats, and gaiters.
3 tips for conquering snowy hills and steep climbs
Hurricane-force winds and a snowfall average of 246 inches per year? Cake, compared to the challenge the mountain poses in summer.
Lake effect snow and a vast virgin forest make this a spectacular winter getaway for skiing and snowshoeing
Spend New Year's in the Big Ditch, where fishing, camping, and hiking await
Snowshoe to a scenic high balcony
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 6.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 5.
One camper sweats and another shivers. What's the deal?
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 4.
How to acquire your very own Navy SEAL Protective Combat Uniform.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 3.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 2.
Keep water flowing with this simple technique.
We follow a giant, endangered caribou herd from the Yukon to Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Part 1.
18 facts you didn't know about Alaska and Canada's Porcupine Caribou herd.
Will he keep up? Karsten Heuer embarks on an audacious 1,200-mile expedition-cum-caribou chase.
How do you plan a route following 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Try to keep up.
How do you plan an expedition to follow 123,000 migrating caribou across Canada and Alaska? Very carefully.
Protection one of Alaska and Canada's largest caribou herds is so close, yet so far away.
Winter warmth is easy with these tips from arctic explorers, cold-weather experts, and army docs.
Bust out of winter doldrums on one of these stellar snowshoe routes.
Stay cozy this winter by bedding down in a heated cabin or yurt.
Tips to take with you when the snow flies.
Do you have what it takes to climb Alaska's Denali? Find out with our mountaineer's guide.
Watching snow fall is a backcountry joy--unless it's barreling 80 mph down a mountain and you're in its path.
How to hike safely across frozen lakes and ponds
How and where you should set up your winter tent for maximum comfort and shelter longevity.
How to travel safely across four seasons of white.
Keep your sleeping bag up to fluff with proper care and handling.
Follow these tips when you embark on your next snowshoeing journey.
Follow these tips before you embark on your next winter snowshoeing journey.
Get up close and personal with all those snowshoe parts.
Take BACKPACKER's quiz to quickly determine where your natural ability directs you.
Quick Tips to Prevent, Recognize, and Treat Hypothermia.
Need someplace to go shoe with your snowshoes? Whet your whistle with one of these great places.
Sure, you can summit Mt. Rainier, but the real treasure isn't on top. It's the Wonderland Trail down below.
Strap on the skis and glide across wind-sculpted snow into alpine solitude.
In winter, the glasslike menagerie of icicles in the Cumberland Plateau will send a chill down your spine.
Use these tools if you're hankering to learn the secret of snow.
When the ground is frozen or 3 feet under snow, use these backcountry bathroom techniques.
Winter activities demand more of your body's energy.
That's essentially what the outdoors is, so use those cold temps to carry tasty foods that wouldn't stand a chance in summer.
When the rest of the East is bare, snowshoers can find plenty of powder in New York's Five Ponds Wilderness.
Cold can harm in subtle and quick ways, so it pays to be prepared.
When the white stuff piles up, work together to break a trail.
Hike this crown of North Cascades National Park, Washington.
Hickory Creek Wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest remains a great hiking destination all year -- even in winter.
Extend the hiking season at these three destinations, all perfect for winter newbies.
Stomp and glide at Wild River State Park, where no snow monsters are allowed.
Tips to take with you when the winter snow flies in camp.
Techniques for winter trekking. Find out the advantages snowshoes provide for getting over hill and dale.
Two trails, same river, two different worlds.
When temps warm but the going's still snowy, strap on snowshoes to reach Washington's hidden camping gems.
How to dress smart and stay warm when Old Man Winter blows in.
It may be winter, but that's no reason to stop hiking.