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Winter Hiking and Backpacking Gift Guide

Winter hiking and backpacking gift guide

Winter is a great time to gear up and get up for some cold weather hiking and snowshoeing adventure. The bugs are gone and so are the crowds, leaving the mountains and the hills to those who can’t live without their weekly dose of sun and snow. There’s no denying that winter gear costs a lot but it also lasts for many years and can be a good value if you use it. I own and have used many of the items list below. The rest is gear I want a special *someone* (hint) to buy me for the holidays!

Julbo Vermont Classic Glacier Sunglasses

Julbo Vermont Classic Glacier Sunglasses

Julbo Vermont Classic Glacier Sunglasses block 100% of UV rays and 95% of visible light protecting your eyes from the snow’s glare. Moldable ear temples offer  a customized fit. A leather nose piece and vented side shields block peripheral light and can be removed as needed. Multiple colors available.

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MSR Access 3 Winter Tent

MSR Access 3 Winter Tent

The 4-season MSR Access 3 Tent is warm enough for cold winter nights, yet light enough to keep you nimble on the move. It provides the protection that backcountry skiers and snowshoers need for camping in less severe conditions, such as those near tree-line. The robust frame withstands overnight snow loading, and is quick to set up in the cold. Dual doors and vestibules provide easy access and gear storage.

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Gregory Paragon and Maven Backpacks

Gregory Paragon and Maven Backpacks

The Gregory Paragon 58L (men’s) and Maven 55L (women’s) packs are lightweight, alpine-style packs weighing just over 3 pounds with a slim profile that’s perfect for winter hiking and backpacking. Featuring an adjustable length hipbelt and torso, they provide a custom fit for every physique. Remove the internal sleeping bag divider and use it in place of the top lid to shave even more weight for an ultralight configuration. Available in 48L\45L, 58L\55L, and 68L\65L volumes.

Men’s Women’s

Garmin inReach Explorer+ Satellite Communicator

Garmin inReach Explorer+

The Garmin inReach Explorer+ Satellite Communicator is a GPS-enabled tracker, navigation device, and two-way texting device than lets you share your location or text with SMS phone numbers and email addresses. While it is larger and slightly heavier than the new Garmin inReach Mini, the Explorer+ is easier to use when wearing winter gloves. A built-in SOS button lets you summon emergency aid and sends confirmation that your SOS has been received. Preloaded Topo maps, an altimeter, and barometer let you follow routes, record tracks, keep trip statistics, and mark backcountry waypoints. You can even receive local weather forecasts.

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NEMO Sonic 0 Sleeping Bag

NEMO Sonic 0 Sleeping Bag

The NEMO Sonic 0 degree down sleeping bag is a spacious cold weather sleeping bag that can be comfortably used by back or side sleepers. Tricked out with top of the line features such as a taped zipper, zipper draft tubes, and large draft collar, the Sonic 0 has innovative Thermo-Gills that let you adjust the warmth of the bag without cracking open the zipper and introducing cold drafts.

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Lowa Mountain Expert GTX EVO Boots

Lowa Mountain Expert GTX Evo Mountaineering Boots

The lightweight, waterproof Lowa Mountain Expert GTX Evo mountaineering boots are ideal for use with step-in crampons on backpacking trips above tree line and for mixed climbing on rock and snow. Available for MEN and WOMEN, these boots are insulated (rare in leather mountaineering boots) with 200g of Primaloft with Gore-Tex waterproof, breathable membranes. The soles are also replaceable for long life.

Men’s Women’s

Outdoor Research Mt Baker Modular Mitts

Outdoor Research Mt Baker Mitts

The Outdoor Research Mt. Baker Modular Mitts, with removable PrimaLoft One liner gloves, provide high warmth and storm protection in cold, damp climates. GORE-TEX 3-layer laminated nylon shells offer waterproof, breathable protection with long gauntlets; synthetic leather palms add durability and good grip. PrimaLoft One liner gloves have a high warmth-to-weight ratio and continue to insulate when wet; when it warms up or you need better dexterity, they can be worn alone. The liners also have heat pack pockets on the backs.

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Jetboil Joule Cook System

Jetboil Joule Canister Stove

The Jetboil Joule Cooking System lets you burn canister gas in its liquid (upside down) form, letting you cook in temperatures down to 10 degrees. The insulated 2.5 liter FluxRing pot is ideal for efficiently melting snow, and while the 10,000 BTU stove can boil 1L water in just 2:40, it can still simmer.

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MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes

MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes

With tough, reliable decking, and security that tubular frames can’t touch, the ultralight MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes provide a solid platform for mountain snowshoeing. Available in MEN’S and WOMEN’S models. The 2-piece PosiLock AT bindings create a secure, freeze-resistant attachment, regardless of footwear.  An integrated heel wire reduces calf-strain on climbs. Wrap-around 360 degree traction frames offer edge-to-edge grip while the split tooth crampons distribute forces for continuous contact, delivering traction on any terrain.

Men’s Women’s

CAMP USA Corsa Ice Axe

Camp Corsa Ice Axe

Quite possibly the lightest ice axe in the world, the CAMP USA Corsa excels at ski mountaineering, adventure racing and low-angle glacier travel. Built from 7075-series aluminum for dependable service and minimum weight, Corsa is hardly noticeable when packed. A hot-forged, aluminum head delivers solid bite, and the rear adze adds chopping power.

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Hillsound Trail Crampons

Hillsound Trail Crampons

The Hillsound Trail Crampons are a necessity for added traction when you’re out hiking on local trails or deep in the backcountry. Their heat-treated carbon steel spikes are strong and durable providing years of use. The elastomer harness ensures compatibility with most shoes and boots and make the Hillsound Trail Crampons easy to get on and off.

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Patagonia Nano Puff Vest

Patagonia Nano Puff Vest
An insulated vest is an ideal layer when winter hiking or snowshoeing because it provides freedom of motion for your arms, while keeping your core warm. The Nano Puff Vest is windproof and warm, made with 60g of Primaloft Gold Eco Insulation. With 55% post-consumer recycled content, it is the most thermally efficient synthetic insulation available today.

Men’s Women’s

REI Alpine Gaiters

REI Alpine Gaiters

REI Alpine Gaiters are an excellent value and tough as nails for winter hiking and snowshoeing. Their water-resistant construction will keep your legs dry and warm when plowing through snowdrifts and down winter trails. Heavy-duty velcro front closures provide a secure and adjustable fit while hooks at the bottom assure compatibility with many kinds of boots.

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The North Face Etip Insulated Gloves

 E-tip gloves

Make calls, send texts and surf the web without compromising warmth in The North Face Etip gloves. They offer full finger and palm touch-screen conductivity. Four-way stretch fleece gives you full range of motion while pre-curved fingers improve warmth and blood flow to your fingers by mirroring the natural relaxed curve of the hand.

Men’s Women’s

Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles

Black Diamond’s Trail 3-section poles provide patented FlickLock adjustability with zero-slip security.  Simply flick the lock open, set the length and flick the lock closed—a quick, tight, and easily accomplished task, even while wearing winter gloves. Includes low-profile baskets for general use and powder baskets for use in the snow.

Men’s Women’s

Osprey Kamber 32 Snow Pack

Osprey Kamber 32

The Osprey Kamber 32 Snow Pack is ideal for winter snow sports like snowshoeing and backcountry skiing. It has internal reservoir pocket with insulated harness sleeve w/ an insulated hydration tube sleeve in the shoulder harness so you can stay hydrated in the cold winter air. Glove-friendly buckles and zipper pulls and a wet/dry gear division make it perfect for a wide range of winter adventures.

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Reversible Polar Buff

Reversible Polar Buff

The Polar Buff Can be worn as a neckliner, helmet liner, balaclava, mask, scarf, hood or hat to give you warmth where you need it, when you need it. One side is the covered with an original Buff while the other is covered with a layer of Polartec fleece to help minimize heat loss. Super warm and comfortable, the value of this item is its versatility in winter conditions.

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Outdoor Research Winter Ferrosi Hoody

OR Ascendent Insulated Hoodie

The Winter Ferrosi combines the legendary lightweight toughness of breathable Ferrosi stretch soft shell fabric with a layer of synthetic Thermore insulation inside, adding up to an insulated jacket that can take some abuse.

Men’s Women’s
Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.

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