If you’re determined to camp in winter, you’re going to need some sturdy gear
Black Diamond GlideLite 147 Skis ($469)
Don’t try using these for downhilling. The GlideLites have bindings that work with most winter hiking boots, combining the convenience of snowshoeing with the efficiency of cross-country planks.
Sierra Designs Mountain Guide Tarp ($350)
Redesigned for 2018, this shelter has ample room to sleep four and hold all their gear. Guy lines self-equalize to maintain tension and keep the tarp erect.
Klymit Insulated V Ultralite SL Sleeping Pad ($120)
Weighing in at just under a pound, this pad has a high 4.4 R-value (a measure of insulation), and Klymit’s V-shaped baffles offer enough structure for you to sleep on your side without bottoming out.
The North Face Immaculator Parka ($349)
Testers loved the Immaculator for frosty belays in the Tetons. The double zipper, high collar, and oversize baffles stuffed with 800-fill goose down make it near perfect for extended outings in the most frigid weather.
MSR WindBurner Duo Stove ($180)
A longtime favorite, the redesigned WindBurner is lower to the ground for improved stability and can hold up to 1.8 liters of water—plenty for morning coffee for two.
Mystery Ranch Terraframe 80 Pack ($450)
For hauling big loads deep into the backcountry, there’s no better option than the Terraframe 80. Compression straps connect the body to the frame, so we could stuff our heaviest, most awkward items right up against our backs for easy carrying.
Therm-a-Rest Polar Ranger Sleeping Bag ($700)
The Polar Ranger is expensive, but the splurge is worth it. Rated at minus 20 degrees, it saved our bacon when we were marooned in our tent during a 48-hour whiteout. The zippered arm openings let us tackle small chores without leaving our 800-fill hydrophobic cocoon.
Dakine Diablo Mittens ($200)
The Diablo’s Gore-Tex shell and leather palm withstood whatever abuse we threw its way during a wet six-day traverse in the Cascades. Switching between the removable down mitt and liner glove let us dial in the level of insulation for the task at hand.
Coast FL75R Rechargeable Headlamp ($105)
What really sets this headlamp apart is the ability to easily widen or tighten the beam by twisting the front bezel. The 530 lumens provide plenty of illumination for night hiking.