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Winter Camping: Winter Checklist

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

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This checklist is optimized for winter trips in mountain environments where high/low temperatures will range from 20°F to -30°F. Adjust for the conditions you’ll face–insulated pants and goggles might not be necessary, for instance, for a November trip in the Smokies.

Outerwear
waterproof/breathable jacket
waterproof/breathable pants
synthetic or softshell hiking pants
insulated parka or down jacket
insulated pants
waterproof gaiters

Baselayer
expedition-weight long john bottoms
expedition-weight long john top
midweight long john top
midweight long john bottoms
long sleeve T-shirt
synthetic briefs
synthetic sports bra

Accessories
wool or fleece hat
balaclava
synthetic liner gloves
midweight insulated ski gloves (2)
heavyweight down mittens
waterproof overmitts
sun hat or visor
bandanna

Footwear
insulated camp booties
waterproof hiking or snowshoeing boots (insulated is best)
wool or synthetic socks (one pair for every day or two, plus an extra pair for sleeping only)
liner socks (2)

Gear
internal or external frame backpack
convertible or four-season tent
sleeping bag
(-30° to 0°F)
inflatable sleeping pad
closed-cell foam sleeping pad
collapsible snow shovel
trekking poles
white-gas stove and fuel bottles
lighter and waterproof matches
cookset
eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
32-oz. water bottles (2)
water bottle
parkas (2)
vacuum-insulated bottle for hot drinks
pocketknife or multitool
compass or GPS (and map)
sunglasses
goggles
first-aid kit with personal medications
chemical heat packs
assorted zipper-lock bags
stuffsacks
sunscreen
(SPF 45+)
lip balm
(SPF 15+)
toilet paper

Consider
towing sled or toboggan
metal tray or lid for firebuilding
avalanche beacon and probe
ice axe
crampons
pee bottle
personal locator beacon

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