Gear Kits

Must-Have Women's Gear for Winter Backpacking

Stay warm in the depths of the snowy backcountry.

Curated by Sonja Saxe

Camping in the winter can seem like a cold, and even miserable experience, but I've found that with the proper gear and a little bit of luck with the weather, it can make for some of the best memories. During the winter months the crowds in bustling summer spots disperse, leaving you with a winter wonderland to enjoy to yourself. Setting up camp and spending a night or two in the wilderness allows you to enjoy beautiful sunrises and sunsets in solitude. Here's what you I use when I head out into the backcountry in the depths of winter!

Clif Bar

CLIF BLOKS Energy Chews

Hands down this is my favorite backcountry snack, perhaps even front-country snack! I'm not quite sure how much energy they actually give me but they sure taste good!

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Oboz Bridger 7in Insulated BDry Boot - Women's

These hiking boots are a quadruple threat: insulated, waterproof, light, and warm. I thought it was an impossible combination to find, but these have held up to a winter's worth of hikes in the snow and are still keeping my feet cozy and dry.

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Swiss Miss

Hot Cocoa Mix

I have a bit of a sweet tooth so hot chocolate is the perfect way to satisfy my craving for something sweet and stay warm on cold winter nights!

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Sea to Summit

Reactor Extreme Thermolite Liner

This sleeping bag liner serves two purposes. First, it helps keep the inside of my sleeping bag clean and it is much easier to wash than the sleeping bag. Second, it keeps me just a little warmer than I would be if I didn't use it and when the temperature is dipping into the single digits at night I'll take all the extra degrees of warmth I can get. It's also super comfortable to boot!

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Bicycle Cards

Playing Cards

It gets dark early in the winter, way too early to go to sleep right after sunset. Games are the perfect way to pass the time between sunset and bedtime. I like to bring a standard deck of cards along because the game options are endless!

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Mountain House

Mountain House Beef Stroganoff - 2 Serving Entree

There is nothing more satisfying than a beautiful sunset and a warm meal after a long day of hiking. My favorite backcountry meal has to be the Mountain House beef stroganoff, it always hits the spot!

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Therm-a-Rest Z Lite SOL Sleeping Pad

I've tried inflatable sleeping pad after inflatable sleeping pad and I always end up going back to the light and easy-to-use Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol. However, for winter trips I like to pair this with an inflatable pad for extra insulation from the cold, cold ground.

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Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad

This is great to layer on top of the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol for extra insulation and a more comfortable night's sleep.

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SmartWool Hike Light Crew Sock - Women's

Year-round these socks keep my feet warm in every condition!

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SmartWool Midweight Crew Top

This top, paired with the matching bottoms, is the perfect base layer for a cold-weather trip. I leave these on night and day and even on longer trips, with no showers, these haven't gotten too stinky.

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mophie Powerstation 8X

One of the more frustrating aspects of spending time outside in the winter is the drain the cold can have on my electronics' batteries. This is where the Mophie Powerstation comes in! It has 2 USB ports that can charge phones, cameras, etc multiple times.

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Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System

When the trail is well packed and doesn't warrant snowshoes I opt to use microspikes instead. They prevent me from slipping on icier sections of the trail but don't weigh my feet down.

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Patagonia R2 Fleece Jacket - Women's

Sandwiched between my wool baselayer and my hardshell is this Patagonia fleece jacket. It's extremely comfortable and when I am really working hard this can work as my outer layer.

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Pointelle Design

Giant Pom Pom Wool Hat

I love this knit wool hat so much I have it in multiple colors. Nearly every time I step outside in the winter this hat is on my head. Sometimes it's actually too warm and I have to take it off when I'm hiking or snowshoeing, but at camp it is the perfect topper!

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