Gear Picks: Winter Essentials

BACKPACKER staffers share their must-have items for battling sub-zero temps
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BACKPACKER staffers share their must-have items for battling sub-zero temps

This past weekend, Americans everywhere endured unspeakably cold temperatures across the country. A massive Northeast ice storm crippled New Hampshire, and I watched the thermometer here in Colorado drop to -13. That's cold enough to freeze your eyeballs (true story).

But BACKPACKER staffers don't let breathless warnings about "Arctic freezes" or "severe frostbite danger" on local TV keep them from getting outside. Forthwith, our staffers pick their tried-and-true gear favorites for staving off cold weather. Follow their advice, and you just might stand a chance of winning the war on winter.

Associate Editor Shannon Davis: Mountain Hardwear Phantom down jacket ($240), Cloudveil Troller gloves ($80), Smartwool Mountaineering socks ($20.95), and Bushmills Irish Whiskey ($18.99 and up)

Map Editor Kris Wagner: Kifaru Tipi

Assistant Map Editor Kim Phillips: Sierra Designs Down Booties ($50)

Editor-in-Chief Jon Dorn: Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Balaclava ($28), Sugoi Midzero Tight ($60)

Deputy Editor Dennis Lewon: Mountain Hardwear Cima Insulated Mitt ($80)

Assistant Map Editor Mark Harrison: Craft Balaclava ($32)

Senior Editor Tracy Ross: Patagonia Cap 2 Zip-Neck ($43), Marmot Ama Dablam ($180)

Web Producer Katie Herrell: Smartwool Adrenaline Light Crew socks ($15), Yaktrax Pro ($30)

Assistant Editor Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan: Patagonia Down Sweater ($200),


Need more cold-weather gear picks? Check out our guide to Extreme Layering: Cold-Weather Clothing. And share your winter faves in the comments section below.

—Ted Alvarez