Winter Camping: Winter Checklist

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