Updated: Nov 17, 2022
Winter camping, especially in Alaska, can be so overwhelming! Do you have the right gear, are you going to freeze, is the gear too heavy to backpack with? I list out some of my favorite go-tos and tried-and-true gear that has allowed me to be comfortable and happy out camping in the middle of our Alaskan winters.
You'll notice there are a lot of REI links - these links are affiliate links, so I receive a small commission if you were to purchase via these links!
But, I do advise shopping local and used first! Geartrade is a great online used shop! REI Outlet is as well! Compare to what you already own or ask me how I think these are sustainable or longer-lasting in order to lower our outdoor gear consumption!
This list gets long because I wanted to add some options at different price points, so bare with me or just scroll to the parts your interested in :)
For baselayer tops, I mostly wear any technical shirt that's comfy! Here's 2 to take a look at:
Nike Element Long Sleeve Crew - I snagged this one at REI while gearing up for a 4 day ski trip, and it blew me away with how quick drying it is!
Lululemon Swifty Tech Long Sleeve - So many people have recommended this shirt to me over the years. I finally pulled the trigger and I see what they all rave about!
CRZ Yoga Long Sleeve - I have found this is a tiny bit thicker than the Lulu shirt above, but very similar and a whole lot cheaper!
Corbeaux Silkyway Long Sleeve - A great first layer for outdoor activities or as a camping sleep top paired with baselayer bottoms!
Patagonia Capilene Midweight Zip - A great stand alone layer or mid-layer!
Mountain Hardwear Stretch Hoody - I have this in 2 colors and LOVE it for layering overtop a technical long sleeve.
It's very rare that the Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece isn't with me on most camping trips -
Patagonia R1 Full Zip - I have the half zip and it's my go to layer, especially when hiking and skiing! Linked is the full zip!
Arc'teryx LT Atom - I have two of these and they go on almost every trip with me! I recommend sizing up one size to be able to layer!
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow - I have the old version of this jacket, bought it from REI in 2017 and it's still going strong! It's a great layering piece and packs down really well.
Rain/ GORE-TEX Jackets:
Arc'teryx Zeta SL Rain Jacket - A great lightweight, packable GORE-TEC option!
Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket - A little thicker, better for colder weather.
Arc'teryx Rho LT Base Layer - I LIVE in these all year round!
Corbeaux Amie Ankle Pant - Another great baselayer option, more light-weight.
Vuori Studio Pocket Leggings - The comfiest leggings!
Vuori Rib Studio Leggings - Another great option to be active in!
Mountain Hardwear All Day Favorite Leggings - My favorite leggings to hike or ski in!
Mountain Hardwear Women's Dynama Pant - A great hiking pant that feels like yoga pants!
Mountain Hardwear Mountain Stretch Jogger - These are so comfy!
Prana Halle Pant - A good mid-weight hiking pant.
Warm Outer-Layer Pants:
Mountain Hardwear Down Pants - Down Pants are a winter camping must. I held off for way too long before pulling the trigger, don't do what I did.
Patagonia Insulated Snowbelle Pants - If you're skiing, ice fishing, or standing outside for a long time, snow pants may be the way to go! These are very warm and flattering!
Mountain Hardwear Polartec Fleece Pants - If you're car camping or winter skiing with a sled and have the space for extra comfy fleece pants, these are so warm and comfortable! I keep them in the car to change into after ski touring before the brewery or as my "after
clothes" as we call them - aka the clothes you change into after backpacking and are gross and ready for new clothes!
Arctery'x Beta - I have these and LOVE them! They are expensive, but really hold up! Plus they double as ski pant in the warmer temps.
Arctery'x Zeta - A less expensive option, more geared as a rain pant.
REI Rain Pant - A great, lightweight rain pant. I have these and bring them on winter/ snowy hikes to slide down the snow! Cheaper, so if they rip I wouldn't be AS upset!
It's easy to get caught up in the shear amount of options there are for socks. I have learned that when you find favorites that work for you, just stick with them! I've also noticed it's better to just buy the higher quality, better performance socks now rather than have to buy them later!
Darn Tough Alexa Crew - These are lightweight, good for a warm day.
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew - I have multiple pairs of these, and they are my go to hiking socks! Bought them years ago and they have still held up!
Glyder Pure Bra - These are so comfy!
Vuori Daily Bra - A favorite for sure!
In terms of being active, I prefer a lightweight glove or mitten to avoid my hands from overheating. Once you're done setting up camp and hanging out for the night, that's when I break out the big down puffy mittens!
Buff - I don't leave the house without a neck gaiter! I love this one for more lightweight/ active activities!
Skida Sun and Snow Tour - Skida is awesome in all things they make! I swear I collect these things!
Boots / Gaiters
Outdoor Research Gaiter - The best! I have them in red/ black :)
Okay okay now onto the GEAR!!
Osprey Ariel Plus 85 - I upgrade to the 85 L for longer backpacking trips and it is a TANK! Holds literally everything you could need!
Osprey Ariel 65 - The 65 L is a perfect option for your typical summer backpacking trip.
Deuter Aircontact 60+10 - This is the pack I started out with many years ago and it held up through years and years of putting it through the ringer! If you're starting out or looking for a cheaper option than Osprey, I'd look at Deuter!
Osprey Kyte 46 Pack - A great in-between pack! Could be used for a day or 2 backpacking trip, or a long approach day!
Osprey Daylight Plus - My go-to day hiking pack!
When looking for a sleeping bag, I look for the type of material (down, synthetic or mixed) and the degree rating!
I like down for winter because it's warmer! I typically go synthetic for summer because it rains a lot more and has a bigger chance of getting wet. Down can't get wet or it won't dry and will be useless in your tent!
You can have the best sleeping bag in the world, but if you don't have a good pad you'll still be cold! In the winter, I always use a foam pad under an air pad!
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir - It's expensive, but I bought mine in 2019, patched it once because Fynn (my dog) ripped it, use it every weekend, and it's held up!
Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite - A fast, self-inflating option.
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite - A foam, folding, accordion-type pad. In the summer, I use either just the NeoAir or just the Z-Lite. But in the winter I use both for added warmth!
Until THIS year, I always used a stuff sack with clothes and/or jackets for a pillow. For a 4 day cabin ski trip, I grabbed the Rumpl Stuffable Pillowcase and it was so nice to have!
Mountain Hardwear Trango 2 - Okay, I am not going to lie, this tent is very expensive. We finally pulled the trigger after finding it on major sale a few years ago, but have never looked back. Since we winter camp all winter long, it really was so necessary to have a double-walled, insulated tent. We have camped at -35F in this baby (obviously with the right clothes and sleeping bags). Been in windstorms and snowstorms, this thing isn't budging. If you are planning to winter camp a lot, I couldn't recommend this tent enough!
Hubba Bubba Tent - If you're just dabbling in winter camping and want to try it out before getting an insulated tent, a sturdy 3-season tent could work if you have the right gear. I'd dip your toes in colder temps though before sending it on a multi-day-dead-of-winter-trip. You really have to be careful using a 3-season tent in winter. Please don't go over your comfort zone in this one, winter isn't the time.
MSR Access Ski Touring Tent - Lightweight, meant to withstand wind and snow.
MSR Remote 2 Tent - This one is a 4-season tent! Still very expensive, but another option!
Black Diamond HiLight Tent - Another 4-season tent. I haven't used the MSR and Black Diamond more than a handful of times, but they are great tents!
*All in all, I think borrowing tents and doing your own research is very important on this one*
Okay, now onto cooking!
Jetboil - Great for boiling water and also can be used with a pan to cook food. At least one Jetboil comes with us on every, single, trip. Doubles as a pot too!
MSR PocketRocket - Great lightweight option to cook food on!
Sea to Summit Alpha Pan - No need for a fancy pan, but I have found the ones that handles fold up are such safe savers!
TOAKS Light Titanium Pot - I like titanium pots since I think they hold up better.
MSR Trail Light Pot - Another great pot option!
UCO ECO 5-Piece Mess Kit - Get a plate with a lid. You'll thank me later.
GSI Spoon/Spatula - The only spatula/ cooking utensil that (sometimes) comes with! Depends on weight and what we are cooking!
Knife - I tend to go cheap on the knife front because I always loose them. Also, I have one in every pack to never forget one!
Lighters! Don't forget a lighter for your stove!
GCI Outdoor Table - for car camping
Outdoor Research CarryOut Duffel - A great waterproof duffel to have all your cooking gear on the sled for winter traverses or on the boat for backcountry cabin trips!
Dirty/Clean Bag - A GENIUS invention for those long backpacking trips!
Okay I saved the best for last, of course!
SLIPPPERS! You really can't go winter camping without slippers.
Teva ReEmber Slip Ons - Seriously life-changing. Go ahead and get them, you won't regret it. They are shoes, pack down in your pack for backpacking, water-resistant. Oh yeah.. they are awesome.
Any other gear you want to know about? Message me! And don't forget to comment below your favorite gear! :)