Like most of us at Near Zero, you might be looking out your window to see snow or ice as we kick off the coldest months of the year, or you might be one of the lucky ones down in the southwestern United States who are hitting prime weather after months of triple-digit heat.
If you’ve been cooped inside for too long this cold season, Near Zero has the best gear to keep you warm on a winter adventure. But before you head out into that bleak mid-winter, we want to share our top five tips to help prevent you from becoming the abominable snowman. I mean, as cool as it would be for scientists to discover that a yeti is sporting The DEAN, we want you to stay warm in all our awesome winter gear this season.
FIRE! When you get to your campsite, build a fire because winter can make building a fire a bit trickier with all that added moisture. Be sure to take dry kindling with you like newspapers, lint (our preferred for its weight and how little space it takes up), or twigs. Then, build a teepee out of larger pieces of wood around your dry kindling to get things started. Our new pocket fire bellows is an awesome fire starter that can help make it easy for you to get a flame going so you can enjoy good company around a warm campfire.
Use an insulated sleeping pad! An insulated pad will keep your body heat from escaping, helping you stay warm instead of the cold hard ground or snow. Our feathered sleeping pad has an R-value of 3.7, meaning it will do a great job at fending off the cold air beneath you so you can get a good night's rest.
Bring a sleeping bag made for winter. This is also a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at what people think might work for winter. Our mummy sleeping bags are built to keep you warm in high-altitude and low-temperature places, and when we say low temperature, we mean temperatures not just near zero but below zero (see what we did there?). Our sleeping bags, including this one, also include heat pouch pockets, adding more options to keep you warm at night.
Use your rainfly. It might snow or rain while you're backpacking this winter, and using that tent rainfly will do more than keep you dry, it can keep you warm. When you're setting up your tent, use your rainfly to trap the heat inside your tent. All our tents come with rainflys to keep you warm and your gear dry so you can focus on your adventure.
Pack warm clothes and extra socks. Yes, we know warm clothes are also a no-brainer, but we’ve been camping with enough tough teenagers to know this tip can be underestimated. Bring extra socks, in case you get too deep in the snow. Nothing is more uncomfortable than hiking with wet feet, and nothing could be worse for you in cold weather. Our packs will help keep your packed-up clothes dry so you can enjoy the absolute stillness those winter outdoor night brings.
I know we said five tips, but we’re adding a bonus!!!
Bring a coffee mug! Near Zero’s mug works great for heating water and other things to add another layer of comfort around a warm fire, and it's easy to pack. A mug is simple but makes a big difference when a cup of hot chocolate or coffee sounds like a million dollars in that cold mountain weather.
If you’re just a novice starting on your backpacking adventures in the winter or a seasoned mountaineer who sees one foot of snow as a walk in the park, being prepared for winter weather can keep you warm but most importantly save your life. Near Zero provides all the gear needed for a winter backpacking trip (minus the clothes), all in one place, so you can get out and enjoy the winter wonderland that nature provides!