Winter is clearly the season for camping, so check out these 10 great essentials and make no excuses.
Mountain Hardwear Phantom Jacket
Water-resistant, 850-fill down in Mountain Hardwear’s Phantom jacket ($350) means less worrying about moisture. We also liked the hot-water-bottle-size pockets, the layering-friendly fit, and the fact that it stuffs into its own pocket.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ice Pack
Made from sailcloth and weighing just 2.3 pounds, Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s Ice pack ($325) excels where most flyweights fail: it’s durable and comfortable when loaded.
At two pounds, the BioLite CampStove ($130) is heavy, but because it burns twigs there's no need to carry gas. Bonus: the stove’s heat converter can charge gadgets via a USB port. Add the portable grill accessory (shown; $60) and you can cook brats, too.
The multitasking Uco Arka ($70) lights up the night as either a flashlight or a lantern, and it has a built-in USB charger to juice your other gadgets.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Inflatable Pad
Four layers of reflective material form the core of the lightweight Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm inflatable pad ($190). It weighs just 15 ounces and provides a superbly effective insulating barrier between you and the cold ground. The downside: it’s crinkly and a bit delicate.
Big Agnes Crosho SL Sleeping Bag
The minus-20 Big Agnes Crosho SL sleeping bag ($500) has a roomy cut, a cozy draft yoke, water-repellant down, and vertical baffles that distribute heat more effectively than horizontal designs.
Northern Sled Works Siglin Skijoring Pulk
Made of lightweight polyethylene and weighing under five pounds, Northern Sled Works’ Siglin Skijoring pulk ($205) comes with built-in tracking rails and lashing that can adjust the angle of pull. It works much better than a kiddie sled.
Astis Kibo Gloves
With silicone-injected suede leather, thick Polartec fleece lining, and Cree Indian-inspired beadwork, the Astis Kibo gloves ($165) look and perform great.
Patagonia Das Pants
Patagonia’s Das pants ($249) are constructed with quick-drying PrimaLoft insulation and kept us toasty on a frigid evening in the Tetons. Full-length side zips make for quick venting.
Sierra Designs ASAP Bivy and Tarp
Sierra Designs' ASAP bivy and tarp ($260) are ideal for fast-and-light solo missions. Use the bivy sack year-round and bring the tarp in winter for ample cooking and hangout space.
Next Up: 2013 Hiking Essentials