As the temperatures drop and the layers increase, prepping for your favorite adventures becomes a whole different ball game. Whether you’re kayak fishing, camping or hiking, we’ve decided to spotlight ten products that’ll ensure your comfort (and safety, if you live in extreme cold weather) to enjoy the winter season.
Kayak Fishing: The most important thing when you’re out fishing is keeping warm. For your body, you have options to choose from, whether you want to invest in a full dry suit or pair a dry top with fishing waders. Waders are great because they’ll make the loading/unloading process way more comfortable.
Here’s an outfit that’ll ensure ultimate dryness: The NRS Sidewinder Dry Bib Pants, paired with NRS Hydroskin socks and NRS Maverick gloves to give your toes and fingers the extra neospere insulation needed for cold-weather paddling. Just remember when you’re layering up underneath your waders: Commit to ABC (anything but cotton). Cotton is a sponge when it comes to retaining water, making it one of the worst materials you can wear out fishing. Instead, a mix of wool/nylon is the way to go. If you’re looking for a more versatile way to protect your feet other than neoprene socks, consider a pair of SealSkinz Thick Mid-Length Waterproof Socks – they’re ideal for bring along on winter camping/hiking trips as well!
Paddling: Keeping with “the more insulation, the better” theme… if you don’t have Yakgrips for your paddle, get yourself a pair! This accessory is a must-have year-round, as it’ll protect your hands from blistering and help you maintain grip and positioning on your paddle, but it’s especially handy in the winter to add an extra protective layer for your fingers.
Hitting the Trails: Speaking of layers… Hikers and campers, consider adding the Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic Jacket to your wardrobe! Depending on where you live, this jacket can serve as a necessary mid-layer that retains body heat or as a stand-alone jacket (the latter is just fine for Texas). Its lightweight portability – it can be compressed into its own pocket – makes it especially great for hiking – you can easily take it off and carry it when you’re on the move, then bust it back out when you stop for a break or to set up camp.
The White Stuff: Now, if you’re looking to trek in snow this winter, Redfeather has a line of snowshoes for men, women and children. The men and women kits even come with trekking poles! Snowshoeing isn’t really a thing in Texas… but ACK.com proudly has customers across the nation, many who do get to experience the magic of heavy snow. If you’re looking for a winter activity for the whole family that’s overall more economical (and easier to learn) than skiing/snowboarding, give snow-shoeing a shot.
Staying Fit: Any runners out there? No need to take it inside to a gym in the wintertime with Columbia’s silicone-grip Trail Summit Running Gloves. Because it’s 2016, these gloves are touch-screen compatible – so there’s no need to take them off and feel the bite of the wind to switch the song on your workout playlist! These are also ideal for hikers using trekking poles looking to insulate their hands.
Sleeping Warm: Of course, we can’t talk about camping in cold weather without mentioning sleeping bags! We’ve got a wide variety, but the Slumberjack Borderland line – which comes in bags made for 20, 0, and -20 degree weather – offers a special feature that you don’t see often – “Arms out” functionality!
All right all right, it looks a bit silly, but how many times have you been in a situation where you’ve wanted to maintain warmth/comfort but also maneuverability? That’s me every morning in bed… but when you’re in a tent and you don’t want to shuffle in and out of your bag to organize your gear, grab a book or beverage, or maybe just hug your tent-mate, this bag pretty much serves as a jacket.
Food Tastes Better Warm: Last but not least, we can’t recommend the Hydroflask 18 oz Insulated Food Flask enough as a cold-weather accessory. Just like the Yakgrips, it’s a purchase that’ll serve you year-round (as it retains the temperature of the food, cold, hot, lukewarm) and like the SealSkinz socks, it’s ideal for all adventures – paddling, hiking, camping, even your kid’s school lunch. It was particularly handy for our photographer Josh and his crew – Travis Perkins of Kammok and Luke Webster – when the trio set out to climb Pico de Orizaba in Mexico in October. They’d make Backpackers pantry meals early in the morning and put them in the Hydroflasks for lunch!
With the right gear, there’s no need to hibernate when the weather starts to get colder. Enjoy your winter adventures!