Gear List: Winter Camping

When winter camping, it is extremely important to have good equipment and clothing with you, suited to the extreme weather conditions you might experience. It is imperative for your survival that you stay dry and warm. Tents need to be rated for 4-season camping, and clothing must move moisture away from your body efficiently in all body areas. Winter camping is serious business, so please make sure you are knowledgeable and prepared before you go!

The Essentials

Be sure to have these essential items along:
□ Fire – matches or fire starter
□ Shelter – 4-season tent
□ Navigation – map, compass, GPS
□ Weather protection – for the cold, precipitation and sun
□ Illumination – flashlight or headlamp
□ First aid – appropriate for the activity and group size
□ Repair supplies – multi-tool, duct tape, sewing kit
□ Hydration – water bottles (some insulated against freezing), filtration
□ Nutrition – one day’s extra calories for an emergency
□ Identification – license/passport/credit cards/cell phone
□ Camping Shovel – very important!
□ Avalanche Safety – beacon, probe and possibly an avalanche PFD/airbag

Primary Gear List

Large Camping Gear
□ Properly fitted backpack
□ Pack rain cover
□ Small fanny pack (optional)
□ 4-season tent
□ Ground cloth/tent footprint
□ Snow tent stakes – include some spares
□ Camping Shovel – very important for creating place to pitch tent, getting out of tent if heavy overnight snows (make sure you keep the shovel inside the tent overnight)
□ Sleeping bag – 0° to -20° rated
□ Waterproof stuff bag for sleeping bag
□ Sleeping pads – closed cell foam pad for bottom insulating layer, self inflating for top
□ Technical tools for your trip, as needed – ice axe, climbing rope, etc.
□ Snowshoes with bindings
□ Crampons – with appropriate protective cover for storage
□ Poles – hiking for stability with snow basket or ski poles if skiing
□ Skis and ski boots – if you are backcountry skiing

Small Camping Essentials
□ Water bottles or hydration system – keep close to your body when carrying to avoid freezing and/or get insulating sleeve for bladder hose and bottles
□ Water filtration/purification system – drain off water after each use to avoid freezing
□ Water purification tablets (as a backup to filtration)
□ First aid kit – including foot care, tweezers, reflective emergency blankets
□ Survival kit – magnifying lens, fire starter, survival cards, whistle, etc.
□ Emergency fire starting supplies
□ Equipment repair supplies
□ Duct Tape
□ Rope
□ Sewing kit
□ Flashlight or head lamp and/or small lantern
□ Spare batteries– cold weather eats batteries, so have plenty along
□ Whistle
□ Thermometer

Cooking and Kitchen Items
□ Stove – suitable for extreme cold; liquid fuel expedition model
□ Fuel for stove – bring extra to melt snow for drinking water
□ Matches in waterproof container, lighter
□ Cook set/pot grip
□ Camping kitchen and/or cooking supplies – spatula, large spoon, pot holder
□ Knife – Swiss Army™ or other quality folding model
□ Plate – plastic
□ Insulated cup/mug – non-metal
□ Utensils – knife, fork, spoon or spork. Non-metal; Lexan® is a good choice
□ Dishwashing supplies – remember to only use biodegradable soap, if anything
□ Trash bags
□ Flask (optional)
□ Food (see food suggestions below)

Food Suggestions
□ Breakfast foods – instant cereals, breakfast bars, high energy bars, etc.
□ Lunch foods – peanut butter, crackers, beef jerky, cheeses
□ Snacks – trail mix, nuts, granola bars, high energy bars, etc.
□ Dinner foods – freeze dried dinners, rice, easy to cook entrees
□ Beverages – powdered drink mixes such as Gatorade, Crystal Light or Tang, coffee, tea, hot cocoa
□ Optional food choices – camp oven, fresh veggies, meat or fruit for start of trip, spices

□ Boots – waterproof and insulated; suitable for snowshoes
□ Camp shoes – you'll want to try to keep one pair of footwear dry at all times
□ Booties (optional) – down or synthetic; nice for keeping warm at camp
□ Spare laces (optional)
□ Socks that wick moisture – expedition or hiking weight, merino wool recommended. No cotton socks!
□ One pair of waterproof/breathable socks
□ Bandana
□ Balaclava – wool or synthetic
□ Lightweight balaclava – silk or synthetic
□ Brimmed hat (may be same as above)
□ Stocking cap
□ Gloves – liners, wool or fleece gloves and over glove or mitten shells
□ Rain/snow gear – waterproof, breathable jacket and pants
□ Insulated ski pant (optional)
□ Winter parka – down is recommended
□ Fleece, or wool heavy shirt or sweater
□ Fleece or synthetic medium weight shirt
□ Fleece or down pants
□ Synthetic thermal underwear
□ Underwear – should be synthetic to wick moisture
□ Belt – with non-metal buckle (optional)
□ Watch – waterproof
□ Sunglasses – glacier style is best for winter camping
□ Ski goggles
□ Eyewear – prescription glasses, contact lenses and supplies
□ Glasses band

Personal Hygiene
□ Personal medical supplies – prescriptions, inhaler, antibiotics, etc.
□ Pain reliever
□ Sun screen
□ Sunburn cream
□ Lip balm – with SPF
□ Bathroom supplies – trowel, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products
□ Toothbrush & toothpaste
□ Hair brush/comb
□ Pack towel
□ Antibacterial gel (optional)
□ Moist wipes (optional)

□ Maps
□ Map Case
□ Compass
□ Signal mirror
□ Altimeter, pedometer (optional)
□ Backup compass and maps
□ Field Guide (optional)

Optional Items
Nice to have, but each adds weight to your pack, so select sparingly.
□ Disposable hand and foot warmers – very nice to have along.
□ Waterproof stuff sacks – for clothing and other gear. Highly recommended for organization, compression and dryness.
□ Camp pillow
□ Candle lantern/candles – a winter camping favorite
□ Book
□ Journal & pen
□ Playing cards
□ Binoculars
□ Spare batteries, battery packs, power banks, or solar charging panel
□ Spare eyewear