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The Best Winter Survival Gear

Technology By
winter survival gear
Robert Redford in a scene from ‘Jeremiah Johnson,’ 1972 (Warner Brothers/Getty Images)

 

Whether you’re preparing for a daylong hike in the mountains, an extended camping trip in a national park, or just a crosstown commute through a foot of snow, it’s important to stay warm this time of year. It’s also important to err on the side of caution in terms of what you pack in case of an emergency.

With that in mind, here are 20 excellent new items to add to your winter survival arsenal. With these fine goods, you’ll be more ready for the elements than Jeremiah Johnson in a 19th-century blizzard. Beard not included.

 

1. Patagonia Men’s Merino Daily Boxer Briefs

(Patagonia)
(Patagonia)

 

First, let’s get dressed. Start with these boxer briefs. They’re made with merino wool from the grasslands of Patagonia, and they’re slow-washed without chlorine to prevent shrinkage. Which is vital in that area. $27 and up, more info here

 

2. Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Crew

(Smartwool)
(Smartwool)

 

When it’s freezing out, it’s not enough to wear your normal clothes. You need a good base layer. This one was voted best in class by Outdoor Gear Lab. The accompanying pants are topnotch as well. $95, more info here

 

3. Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Pants

(Patagonia)
(Patagonia)

 

These pants are constructed with two-layer Gore-Tex fabric for warmth and waterproof protection. Plus, they come in bright orange (in addition to black, green, and navy). $379, more info here

 

4. Carhartt Extremes Cold Weather Boot Sock

(Carhartt)
(Carhartt)

 

These are maybe the best socks on the planet, warmth-wise. You know those construction workers building condos and skyscrapers in February? A lot of them are wearing these. $15, more info here

 

5. Sorel Caribou Boot

(Sorel)
(Sorel)

 

These are the boots you’ll wear to climb Mount Everest. Or to shovel the driveway. Either way, your piggies won’t get cold. $150, more info here

 

6. L.L. Bean Snow Sneakers 3, Mid Lace-Up

(L.L. Bean)
(L.L. Bean)

 

For something a little less heavy-duty, we suggest these waterproof high-top snow sneakers from L.L. Bean. They’re a winter boot. They’re a sneaker. They’re your new favorite pair of shoes. $109, more info here

 

7. The North Face McMurdo Parka II

(The North Face)
(The North Face)

 

Finally, we get to the coat. This stylish and waterproof 550-fill down parka from the North Face will keep you as warm as Canada Goose’s Expedition Parka—at about a third of the price. $330, more info here

 

8. Marmot Fordham Jacket

(Marmot)
(Marmot)

 

Want something less bulky than a parka? Go with this rugged jacket from Marmot. It’s insulated with water-resistant down and features a snap-off hood and lots of hand and media pockets. $325, more info here

 

9. TopHeadwear Face Ski Mask 3 Hole

(TopHeadwear)
(TopHeadwear)

 

Need a simple item to keep your head and face warm? This no-nonsense ski mask will get the job done. Note: Don’t wear it into a bank. $8, more info here

 

10. ColdAvenger Expedition Balaclava

(ColdAvenger)
(ColdAvenger)

 

Want to step things up a notch? This is the warmest, most versatile mask on planet Earth. The only problem: You might be mistaken for Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. $80, more info here

 

11. Kbethos Winter Trooper Cap

(Kbethos)
(Kbethos)

 

Nothing says “King of Winter” like the hat that Walter Matthau rocked in Grumpy Old Men. $13, more info here

 

12. Outdoor Research Alti Mitts

(Outdoor Research)
(Outdoor Research)

 

These heavy-duty mitts were designed for 8,000-meter peaks and Arctic expeditions. They would also be helpful if you ever got a job delivering Chinese food on a motorized bicycle. $199, more info here

 

13. Oakley Wind Jacket 2.0 Prizm Snow Goggle

(Oakley)
(Oakley)

 

Pro skiers and snowboarders use these newly designed goggles from Oakley, which combine function and style. Wear them on the mountain or in the après ski scene. $150, more info here

 

14. Osprey Variant 52 Backpack

(Osprey)
(Osprey)

 

This pack is made for major expeditions and high alpine climbers. So it should be able to withstand your trip to Vermont. $200, more info here

 

15. Nemo Sonic 0 Down Sleeping Bag

(Nemo)
(Nemo)

 

This award-winning bag combines 850-fill down insulation with stretch construction at the knees for side sleeping. Bottom line: You won’t be shivering while you sleep. $530, more info here

 

16. Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad

(Therm-a-Rest)
(Therm-a-Rest)

 

Need a pad to go underneath your sleeping bag? This is the one you want. It returns heat back to your body and creates air pockets that conserve warmth. Also: It adds comfort. $200 and up, more info here

 

17. DeLorme inReach Explorer 2-Way Satellite Communicator

(InReach)
(InReach)

 

In the event you get stranded, you’ll want this. It’s the world’s only satellite communicator with built-in navigation. You can send and receive text messages, and it has 100 percent global satellite coverage. $314, more info here

 

18. Goal Zero Yeti 400 Solar Generator

(Goal Zero)
(Goal Zero)

We don’t know about you, but we always trust a generator with the word “Yeti” in it. And this one offers quiet, portable power for any unexpected outages. $360, more info here

 

19. Survive Outdoors Longer Survival Blankets

(Survive Outdoors Longer)
(Survive Outdoors Longer)

 

If things really get dicey out there in the wild, you can cover yourself with one of these vacuum-metalized heat sheets, which reflects 90 percent of your body heat to help you stay warm. Also makes a great gift for Jimmy McGill’s brother on Better Call Saul. $12 for two, more info here

 

20. Jack Link’s Small Batch Original Jerky

(Jack Link's)
(Jack Link’s)

 

Of course, if you ever get stuck in the woods, you’ll get hungry. For those situations, there’s this handcrafted beef jerky from Jack Link’s. It’s much tastier than eating your hiking partner. $6, more info here

—Shawn Donnelly for RealClearLife