When the wilderness puts the hurt on—snow, sideways rain, wind you can’t talk over—are you going to bail? Or are you going to soldier on? If you have the right gear, the choice is easy. It starts with staying dry, of course, but I run hot, so I want the lightest, most breathable, waterproof stuff out there: That’s the Black Diamond Helio Active Shell ($399; 12.8 oz.), the Rab Kinetic Alpine Pant ($180), the adidas Terrex Fast Mid GTX Surround ($200; 1 lb. 12 oz.), and the Columbia OutDry Ex Gloves ($75; 3 oz.). If it’s exceedingly wet, I’ll add in the Outdoor Research Crocodiles ($85; 9 oz.). I keep all of my stuff inside the Arc’teryx Bora AR 49 ($499; 4 lbs. 11 oz.), an uber-comfortable, waterproof top-loader. When it’s time to throw down, I trust the Slingfin Portal 2 ($485), the year’s best-performing tent in weather. Of course, riding out a storm in your tent is only as fun as the stuff you bring inside it—for me, that’s my Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (starting at $130) (nerd alert) and my Stanley Classic Flask ($25; 5.3 oz.) (lush alert), filled with 8 fluid ounces of a fun-inducing beverage, such as Suerte Tequila Reposado ($35).
Sunday Afternoons Ultra Adventure Storm ($42; 3 oz.)
Ziploc Freezer Gallon Bags ($5 for 28); family picture optional
Jaybird Tarah Pro ($80)
CEP Women’s Outdoor Light Merino Mid-Cut Socks ($18; 2.6 oz.)
Helen Knows Best Extreme Weather Lip Balm ($6; .2 oz.)
Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody ($299; 8 oz.)
Columbia Freezer Zero Arm Sleeves ($30; 1.1 oz.)—hammering sun is its own kind of bad weather.
Thinksport Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($13; 4.2 oz.)
MSR Reactor Stove System ($240)