When you’re skiing and camping miles away from civilization, cell phone service and emergency personnel, your well-being depends on the gear in your pack, on your back and strapped to your feet. Of course, said equipment also allows you to access the incredible ski terrain and untouched snow that defines the out-of-bounds. There’s no shortage of great winter camping-centric products out there, so—what to buy? Count on us for the answers.
Below, you’ll find 11 items that will make your next camping mission that much more enjoyable—plain ‘n’ simple. When you’re craving even more to look at, you’ll find plenty over at freeskier.com/gear. Enjoy your journey and, as always, be prepared and travel smart.
Assault 2 Tent — The North Face
The Assault 2 was designed specifically for high-altitude mountaineering, where weather can turn nasty on a dime. The four-season tent features a ripstop nylon floor fabric with a polyurethane coating and silicone water-resistant finish to keep living quarters dry; tabs for hanging gear; and proprietary Drywall fabric ensuring optimal breathability. For when mountain winds ramp up and hit the broadside of the tent, a pole-supported ventilation system allows the interior to be backfilled, thus equalizing pressure and stabilizing the tent so it doesn’t fly off down the hillside. A removable vestibule also provides an entryway to keep dirt and moisture from entering the living space.
Inferno 0°F Sleeping Bag — The North Face
This sleeping chamber is for those nights snoozing at high altitude when temperatures plummet and hover in the single digits—it’s rated down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It boasts water-resistant, 800-fill synthetic down, a “draft collar” that wraps around your neck to keep the heat in and side baffles to ensure the down stays in place. To top it off, it compresses into a tiny stuff sack to fit nice and snug in your pack.
Hog Park 20 Sleeping Bag — Big Agnes
Car campers, or those who simply covet more room when they sleep, will love the Hog Park 20. It features a tall and wide cut for optimal roominess. The nylon taffeta shell fabric is durable and features a water repellent finish to keep you dry. The Thermolite Extra synthetic down provides warmth (to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit). Its integrated pad sleeve allows you to slip Big Agnes’ 25-inch-wide sleeping pads—like the one below—into place so you don’t fall off during the night.
Double Barrel Double Z Sleeping Pad — Big Agnes
Big Agnes’ warmest insulated sleeping pad, the Double Stuffed Double Z is four-season rated and boasts double layers of PrimaLoft Silver Hi-Loft insulation. You won’t be cold atop this comfort cushion. Additionally, its unique valve allows you to unscrew its top to inflate it, and simply unscrew the bottom valve for an incredibly quick five-second deflation.
PocketRocket — MSR
The PocketRocket is lightweight (three ounces) and optimal for long, multi-day missions in the backcountry. It comes with a hard shell carrying case, has a flame adjustment lever and boils a liter of water in about three-and-a-half minutes. Gas canisters sold separately.
Rise Tour 45+ — Deuter
If you’re heading out on a multi-day ski expedition, you’ll need a bag big enough to handle the load you’ll bring along. The Rise Tour 45+ is built with an aluminum, X-shaped back frame for comfortable weight transfer, as well as a pivoting hip belt to allow the pack to move with you on those long approaches. The 53-liter pack has a side zipper for easy access to buried items and a dedicated tool pocket for your shovel and probe. An external A-frame ski carry and ice-axe holder provide storage for when bootpacking becomes necessary.
Flash — JetBoil
The Flash Cooking System is all about intuitive operation. It ignites with a push-button, has a heat-indicator that changes color to indicate temperature and can boil two cups of water in just two minutes. The cook cup is clipped into the burner to prevent spills (and scalding water from burning you) and a tripod on the fuel canister keeps the system stable and prevents it from tipping over.
Ultra Water Purifier — Steripen
Steripen employs UV light to purify water and destroy protozoa, bacteria and viruses. The Ultra is small and compact, utilizes a display to notify the user when water has been purified and is re-chargeable via USB. The Ultra treats 16 fluid ounces of water in less than a minute.
Gravity Works Filter System Reservoir Kit — Platypus
This filtration system has some moving parts, but is ideal for car camping or campsites right near the trailhead. Simply fill up the reservoir labeled “dirty,” hang it up on a tree or in the car, and the contaminated water will flow through the microfilter—which utilizes hundreds of hollow fibers—and into the “clean” bladder.
Nomad 7 Plus Solar Panel — Goal Zero
This solar panel from Goal Zero allows you to keep your devices charged deep in the backcountry. It has a solar intensity indicator to notify you of the strength of the sun’s rays in your particular location and how that’s affecting the charge. Plus, its detachable kickstand allows you to place it at an angle for optimal charging at camp. The panels have a waterproof build and the Nomad 7 weighs in at a manageable 12.8 ounces.
Helinox Camp Chair — Big Agnes
Comfort in the backcountry is key, and having a spot to take a load off around the campsite will make your trip that much more pleasant. The Helinox is relatively lightweight at 2.7 pounds and folds down into a storage sack for easy transportation. If you’re looking to lounge around the car campsite or need to kick back and relax in the wilderness, the Helinox is a solid option.