Best Winter Camping Gear for 2020
Winter is a peaceful time to camp — no bugs, fewer crowds and ideal snuggling conditions. Consider these 11 winter camping helpers for your next trip!
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Wearable Sleeping Bag
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a warmer, more comfy winter camping uniform than the new Selk’bag Nomad ($249), a wearable sleeping bag. It’s made from recycled bottles that create a material with thermal properties similar to 550-fill power down. All sorts of conveniently placed vents and zippers help you regulate heat. Unzip to release some heat, or zip the attached booties right off and wear your regular shoes.
Huge Four-Season Tent
Capable of stopping the strongest of winter winds, the Battle Mountain 2 from Big Agnes ($700) is many mountaineers’ favorite. It’s gained a following with family campers, too, because of its size and ability to keep the most chill-prone children warm. Add some double sleeping bags, sleeping pads and heated blankets, and you may not want your winter trip to end.
Portable Fire Pit
Bring your fire pit camping! Of course, the Solo Stove Bonfire ($300) is no regular fire pit. Strategically placed holes cut down on campfire smoke, even though it burns hotter and cleaner than your average campfire. Another bonus (or drawback, depending on your preference): Your clothes won’t smell like campfire.
The new Truss from Gerber ($35) is the latest multitool to catch our eye — just in time for winter adventures. The butterfly design opens into spring-loaded pliers with 16 more tools tucked within its handle, which locks closed with a satisfying click.
The variety of tools make this EDC (that’s Every Day Carry) a DIYer’s dream — a wire stripper, flathead, awl, file, ruler and more, all for $35. Not bad for a multitool that’s capable of everything from shaving tinder to cutting slices of backcountry pizza. Never heard of backcountry pizza? Keeping reading!
Portable Pizza Oven
Half the fun of winter camping is winter eating. After all, you’re burning extra calories in the cold, which means you have to eat well, right? Meet the Ooni Karu, ($329) a new portable pizza oven that runs off wood or charcoal. The Karu can heat up in 15 minutes. Once at temperature, baking takes as little as 60 seconds. Plus, it’s another source of heat while you enjoy your dinner in the backcountry.
Queen-Sized Sleeping Bag
Larger than a standard queen bed, the Cloud Layer Double Sleeping Bag from SylvanSport ($300) sleeps two adults plus a kid or pet, making it one of the largest sleeping bags out there. The removable sheet, blanket and outer layers help with heat regulation, keeping you cozy in temperatures as low as 20 degrees F.
Durable Duffel Bag
The new 90L Gregory Supply Duffel ($90) is roomy enough for longer camping trips or shorter family winter trips requiring layers for everyone. Plus, the Kevlar-reinforced bottom means it will stand up to years of loading and unloading, inside and out, in all kinds of weather. This bag is destined to be your new go-to packing piece.
Food Jar for Day Trippers
Not every winter camper is completely committed to cooking outside. For them, there’s the Stanley Classic Food Jar ($18), designed to keep 18 oz. of your favorite home-cooked meal warm. Fill up the jar with something hot and delicious. Up to 15 hours later, depending on weather, it will still be hot and delicious. In true Thermos style, the top’s a cup, and there’s an attached spork, too.
Customizable Sleeping Bag
Every once in a blue moon, the outdoor world sees a new product idea that changes the game. The Zenbivy Quilt ($300) is one of those products.
This 800-fill adjustable sleeping system allows the sleeper to change sleep settings to fit their preferences and the weather they’re up against, down to 10 F. Strategically cinch and button to transition from rectangular sleeping bag to heat-conserving mummy bag to quilt.
Flexible Camp Pants
Dubbed the “do it all” pants, the LIVSN Flex Canvas Pants ($99) are made to be outside in the cold. The fast-drying duck canvas fabric contains two percent spandex, lending some give to keep them comfortable while completing camp tasks into the chilly evening. There’s a discrete EDC pocket on the right, and a secret zip pocket on the left, to stash things you don’t want to set down and lose when the sun sets.
A Pack for Awkward Loads
The new Mystery Ranch Terra Frame 65 ($400) was designed to accommodate lots of camping gear, including awkward loads, from long rolled-up tents to stumpy round-ish sleeping bags. The bag detaches from the frame, allowing you to stuff the space between frame and bag with bulky gear that won’t fit inside. Stuff, reattach the bag, then cinch it into place.