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Backpacker Magazine – Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2010

4 Key Winter Camp Accessories

Don't leave home without these winter camping essentials.

by: Kristin Hostetter

>> Glove-friendly zippers
Snip off the dinky, hard-to-grasp fabric tabs that come standard and buy a healthy length of 3mm parachute cord. Cut it into six-inch lengths (to form three-inch-long loops). Attach one to every zipper slider—on tent doors, vestibules, jackets, pants, and packs.

>> A survival bracelet
"You always need extra P-cord for rigging tents, making clotheslines, and fixing straps," says Mt. Washington meteorologist Ryan Knapp, who wears a bracelet or belt made from woven parachute cord (starting at $19, Or make your own; see how at

>> Pencils
Pens freeze up, but, says Clark, "You can always sharpen a pencil with a knife."

>> A tent brush
"You can use any small kitchen brush or even a cheap paint brush," Larsen says. "They're light (a couple of ounces). Use one to brush off the frost from your clothes, boots, and pack before entering the tent." Also: Sweep snow out from inside your shelter.

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Reader Rating: -


Dec 26, 2011

Backpackers are mostly the nicest people I've ever met. How come everyone who posts to these things are a bunch of jerks or idiots? Honestly. I am pretty sure that even though they said "you always need extra p-cord" they were offering the bracelet idea as an "emergency" option. I doubt anyone is advocating your "bracelet" being your only rope.

Dec 24, 2011

So, you're going to wear a $19 survival bracelet during each backpacking trip for daily camp use, interesting. You could just carry a length of cord in your pack for this purpose. Then wear the survival bracelet for just that, survival. I would suggest for the next list you list something that doesn't need to be made into a bracelet first.

Nov 19, 2010

We have also used the "meter locks" that utility companies use as zipper pulls. They are light weight and stay attached really well. Ours came from our city utility.


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