Must-Have Gear for Exploring PNW Waterfalls This Winter

Stay warm and dry while seeing some of the best of what the PNW has to offer.

Curated by Austin Jackson

This kit is what I use on nearly every winter adventure in the Pacific Northwest. This gear has taken me in conditions below zero and is great because of all of the layers. Layer down on warmer days, and bundle up when it gets colder! No one wants to go hiking if they are wet and cold.

The North Face

Jim Beanie

I had never found a beanie that kept my ears warm until I stumbled across one of these one day. The ears are fleece lined, while the top of your head is not. This is really nice because your head will not get sweaty, and at the same time you can keep your ears warm.

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Prana

Prana Stretch Zion Pant - Men's

These pants are incredibly comfortable and I end up wearing this before any of my other pants after all of the laundry is clean! Not only are these pants comfortable, but they are water resistant incase you run into a light rain and also have a built in belt. Not to mention how fashionable they look!

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Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear Scrambler RT 35 OutDry Backpack -2111cu in

What I love about this backpack is how it works for nearly every season. In the spring, it works great with all the rain we receive in the PNW. In the summer, the 35 liters are generally enough for an overnight trip, and in the fall and winter you can throw the bag down in any water or snow and it remains completely water sealed. If you’re like me, you want to throw your big DSLR camera with a lens in the bag, and I have plenty of room for that in this bag! If you only buy one thing from this whole list, let it be this bag!!

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Columbia

Columbia Midweight II Tight - Men's

Baselayer is so important, but is often something so overlooked. I love this baselayer for the fact that it uses Columbia’s Omni-Heat technology, which essentially reflects your body heat back at you to keep you warmer. These are great in the winter because while you are hiking, your legs will get warm, and the heat will be reflected right back at your

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Kahtoola

Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System

As the newest addition to my adventure kit, I can tell you that these will save your life. So many times recently I have been on icy cliffs and I am confident in these spikes to help me to stay stable and not slip. Definitely an essential for winter hiking unless you are wearing snowshoes.

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Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear Alpine Balaclava

The balaclava has made so many early mornings less dreadful! Nothing is worse than getting out of a warm car into the cold and getting a cold nose. This balaclava will help keep you warm until you get hiking, at which point I generally take it off to avoid getting too hot.

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Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear Jalapeno Glove

These gloves are everything you’d want from a big glove. Very warm, waterproof, and lightweight. I take these gloves on any cold weather adventure.

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Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Pant - Men's

Finding comfortable waterproof pants had always been a challenge for me until I stumbled across these pants. Unlike traditional waterproof pants which has a plastic type of feel, these pants are made on Mountain Hardwear’s stretch fabric. This way, they stretch when you move and are incredibly form fitting.

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Mountain Hardwear

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded Down Jacket - Men's

I can’t say enough about this jacket! It is great for every season. On summer nights, it works great as a standalone jacket, and in the winter it works as a great layer. Weighing in at less than 8 ounces, it can easily be stowed and thrown in your backpack if you get hot hiking. I wear this jacket nearly every day, whether I am exploring or not!

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Columbia

Omni-Heat Touch Screen Compatible Glove Liner

If you’re like me, you love documenting every adventure on your Instagram and snapchat story, and these gloves are perfect for that. If you wear these under your bigger gloves, you can take the bigger ones off and use the stimulus to access your phone while still wearing these gloves to keep your hands warm! The Omni-Heat is also great in the cold when your hands are in a bigger glove. Knock out two birds with one stone and wear these as standalone gloves in the spring!

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f-stop

Small Pro ICU

Hands down, this is the best way to store your camera and lenses. Best of all, the storage compartment is fully customizable to fit your camera and lenses, and it fits great inside of the Scrambler Backpack mentioned earlier.

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Mountain Hardwear

Men's MicroChill™ Lite Zip T

This works great by itself on spring days where it isn’t quite cold enough for a jacket and not warm enough for a t-shirt. For winter waterfall exploring, this works amazing under a jacket to help really keep you warm. The zip is great because when you get hot, you can unzip and vent out without actually taking the fleece off.

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Hoya Filters

Circular Polarizer Filter

For all of you photographers out there, you know that a polarizer is essential for taking stunning photos of waterfalls. I love the Hoya filters and always carry one in my bag.

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MSR

Evo Snowshoes

These snowshoes are great due to the increased traction they give you. If I am not wearing my MICROspikes, I have the snowshoes on! If you plan on trekking through a lot of fresh powder, the tails for the snowshoes are an investment worth getting!

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