Best Winter Camping Gear for 2021
Winter is a peaceful time to camp — no bugs, fewer crowds and ideal snuggling conditions. Consider these winter camping helpers for your next trip.
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Family Handyman, via retailers (3)
Throughout my years of camping trips I’ve dealt with my fair share of chilly weather, so I know a thing or two about winter camping gear. We’ve rounded up all the essentials, from seriously insulated sleeping bags to clever hand warmers. Read on for our top picks, based on editor favorites and rave reviews.
Nemo Equipment Inc. Disco 15 Sleeping Bag
For a good night’s sleep even in frigid weather, give this ultra-warm, lightweight winter sleeping bag ($300) a try. It’s rated for temperatures as low as 15 F, and its hydrophobic down stays warm even when wet. And since it’s available in tall and regular sizes, with a spoon shape to accommodate side sleepers, this sleeping bag is comfortable for just about all campers.
Eureka K-2 XT Tent
Capable of stopping the strongest of winter winds, the K-2 XT four-season tent from Eureka ($600) is a cold weather essential. It’s a good choice for family or group campers because it sleeps four with tons of storage space. Add some double sleeping bags, sleeping pads and heated blankets, and you may not want your winter trip to end.
Solo Stove Ranger Portable Fire Pit
Strategically placed holes cut down on campfire smoke while also helping it burn hotter and cleaner than your average campfire. Another bonus (or drawback, depending on your preference): Your clothes won’t smell like campfire.
RoverTac Camping Multitool
From pounding stakes to chopping up kindling to opening a beer, this camping multitool ($26) is an absolute essential. It’s highly rated for its high-quality heavy-duty design, small size that saves space in your pack, and affordable price. With 14 tools in one, you’re always ready for anything.
Carhartt Rain Defender Heavyweight Sweatshirt
Whether you’re setting up the tent or assembling the perfect campfire, stay warm and protected from the elements with this heavy-duty Carhartt sweatshirt ($50). It features a water repellent exterior, built-in hand warmer pocket and a loose fit that’s great for layering.
MSR Pika Teapot
A kettle is an absolute must for all camping trips, but it’s never more important than during the winter. This small-but-mighty teapot ($25) weighs just five ounces and boils one liter of water. Use it to make coffee, tea, hot cocoa or dehydrated meals.
Wool Fire Retardant Blanket
You don’t have to splurge on an ultra-expensive wool blanket to find one that fits your specs. This wool blanket ($35) comes highly rated and keeps you toasty warm on chilly nights. I know; it’s my go-to blanket for cold-weather camping. You’ll be surprised by its powerful insulation and generous size.
Stanley Vacuum Insulated Food Jar
Not every winter camper relishes cooking outside. For them, there’s the Stanley Classic Food Jar ($35), which keeps 24 oz. of your favorite home-cooked meal warm. Depending on weather, your food will still be hot and delicious up to 15 hours after filling. In true Thermos style, the leak-resistant top doubles as a cup.
Carhartt Base Force Midweight Bottom
Growing up in the Northern U.S., base layers were as much a winter clothing essential as stocking caps and mittens. The thin construction of Carhartt’s midweight base tights ($30) work well under pants and moisture-wicking cotton. Rugged Flex technology means your movement won’t be restricted, so you can tackle a snowshoeing trip in comfort.
Rechargeable Hand Warmer
Among the many surprisingly useful camping gadgets on Amazon is this rechargeable hand warmer ($27). It offers three levels of warmth, up to eight hours of battery life and a convenient USB recharging port. Plus, its small size makes it easy to slip into your pack without sacrificing much space.
Eno Vulcan Underquilt
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to give up hammock camping once the temperatures drop. You’ll just have to do more prep, including purchasing an excellent hammock underquilt. This one from Eno is rated for 30 F, offering a thick layer of insulation to protect from the elements without letting heat escape.
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