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!
This winter tent is sturdy, quick to set up, and most importantly keeps me warm and dry in unpredictable winter conditions. My Tangent 2 has seen me through blizzards and windstorms and it's held strong throughout it all!
I've tried my fair share of backpacks and each one didn't feel like it fit quite right. Then I tried a Deuter pack and it was as if everything fell into place; it fit me perfectly! In the summer I typically use it for longer trips but I've found that its size is great for brief winter trips as well. It is able to fit all of my extra winter gear and layers but doesn't drag me down.
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!
A sleeping bag is a really important component of a winter camping trip as staying warm throughout the night is imperative. The Marmot Ouray sleeping bag is rated at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and is filled is 650-fill duck down keeping the bag lofty and extra warm even in subfreezing temperatures!
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.
I carry a headlamp with me all year but I use it much more in the winter because the days are so short. When nightfall comes at around 5pm but I'm not quite up for sleeping for 14 hours these headlamps are a great source of light. I also hang them from the ceiling of the tent so it can act like a lantern.