Our editors carefully select every product we recommend. We may earn a commission from these links. Learn more

15 Winter Hiking Essentials

It’s tough being an outdoor enthusiast stuck in the throes of winter. Not only are the days cut short but the weather is less than ideal, as is the temperature. And for anyone working the standard 40-hour work week, the chances of any outdoor activity during daylight hours is slim to none for five days a week. Here’s where the weekends come in handy, but also where preparation for inclement weather is important as well. Because without the right winter hiking gear, you’ll remain inside, seeking warmth until Spring arrives in the coming months.

For these reasons we wanted to put together a list of items that will enable you to get out and exploring even if the mercury refuses to get above freezing. This time of year is all about adaptation, not hibernation. So, instead of keeping indoors until the temperature rises, get outside and tackle that hike you’ve been eyeing before the crowds descend upon the hillsides at the first glimpse of spring weather. From base layers to snow boots to gloves, it’s all here and ready to get you hiking this winter no matter what. Just take a scroll and see for yourself.

Darn Tough Merino Wool Hiker Socks

Nothing like some wool socks to keep the feet warm in the winter time. Each pair is made right here in the USA from 67 percent merino wool, come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee, dense cushioning around the foot, and a ring-toe construction so they remain snug without bunching up.

Purchase: $20

Seirus Neofleece Combo Scarf

Sometimes when the weather outside is extra frightful protecting all exposed skin is a must. Thankfully, this combo scarf offers windproof and waterproof protection from the freezing elements. It’s moisture wicking and fleece-lined as well for extra comfort. The outdoors never seemed so inviting.

Purchase: $22

Yaktrax Pro Shoe Crampon

Conquer that icy trail with confidence with a little help from these slip-on grip-enhancing devices for your boots. They’re spikeless rubber design simply slips over your boots and offers unparalleled traction thanks to the Crampon’s SkidLock steel coil makeup. They also don’t detract from your natural step and pack up nice and small so they won’t take up too much room in your pack once the destination has been reached.

Purchase: $30

Finisterre Fishermans Beanie

The winds of winter can be unrelenting and brutal. So if an outdoor excursion in on the books, then it’d be wise to protect the head and ears with a merino wool beanie. In fact, this Fisherman Beanie is exactly what you need to keep the warmth in this winter. It boasts a traditional fisherman’s rib, turned up brim, is made from Australian sourced wool and knitted for a fully fashioned fit.

Purchase: $30

Foursevens Preon P1 Flashlight

Here’s an obvious choice, especially since those daylight hours aren’t what they were 6 months ago. As an ultracompact and powerful flashlight, the P1 is equipped with a CREE XP-L LED emitter that offers brightness levels ranging anywhere between 5 and 100 lumens while running off a single AAA battery. Light up the night.

Purchase: $40

Snow Peak Kanpai Bottle

What’s better than some liquid warmth while on the trail? Yeah, we couldn’t come up with anything either. This vacuum-sealed Snow Peak bottle can keep drinks or soups piping hot for up to 6 hours. It also features 350ml of room for your drink of choice and can keep a 12 oz can cold for up to six hours if you so wish.

Purchase: $70

Saxx Blacksheep Long Johns

Layering is key to keeping warm while outside. The act reduces the need for bulky clothing while also keeping you mobile and agile during your hike. Take this pair of long underwear for example. They’re made from soft Merino Wool and spandex for warmth and comfort and are a great way to enjoy the outdoors without with worry of that biting cold air.

Purchase: $86

Marmot Reactor Jacket

As a mid-layer, there’s no better option than the Marmot jacket. It’s made from 100 percent polyester micro fleece, boasts lightweight warmth and breathability, works to retain body heat and hosts what’s known as Angel Wing Movement resulting in increased mobility while out and about.

Purchase: $69

Gordini Wrangell 3 Finger Glove

Each pair of Wrangell gloves is made with Pittards goatskin leather built for the winter-loving outdoorsman. These gloves are also reinforced with American bison leather and feature a PrimaLoft insulation for additional comfort and warmth. Along with a neoprene cuff and leash and Hydrowick lining they’ll be your go-to winter gloves for years to come.

Purchase: $115

Camelbak Phantom Ski Pack

Outfitted for hitting the slopes, it’s obvious why this ski pack makes a great option for a winter hike. The Therminator Harness keeps your water insulated against the cold and can fit a myriad of various gear both large and small thanks to Camelbak’s intricate storage system. The Phantom also comes with a lifetime guarantee boot.

Purchase: $120

Salomon X Ultra Winter CS Boots

Cold and wet feet can spell disaster while out on the trail. So, help mitigate this unfortunate reality with this pair of Salomon boots boasting a Climashield waterproof membrane in congruence with a seamless build to keep your feet dry as a desert. They’re also outfitted with mud guards, injection-molded EVA midsoles for underfoot cushioning, an Ice Grip rubber compound, and a light Thinsulate to keep your feet warm all winter long.

Purchase: $135

Haglofs Rugged II Mountain Pant

It’s no secret that pants are required for a winter hike. But no need to sell yourself short. This pair of Haglofs boast a climatic soft-shell fabric, waterproof membrane, reinforced stretched panels, triple-stitched main seams and zippered thigh pockets to keep your hiking EDC at the ready for whatever that cold climate may throw your way.

Purchase: $180

Julbo Vermont Classic Glacier Sunglasses

To celebrate Julbo’s 125th anniversary, these signature mountaineering glasses were brought back, offering complete comfort and protection from the sun’s rays both from above and from the snow beneath your feet. They block out 100% of UV rays, 95% of visible light and boast moldable ear temples for a custom fit no matter what.

Purchase: $150

DPX Hest/F Knife

What’s a hike or a weekend at the campsite without a proper folding knife? Looking the part in terms of winter aesthetics, this knife is fashioned to be used in even the most brutal of conditions. It’s made from Sleipner steel, hosts a carbon fiber handle, and comes with a Tungsten carbide glass breaker at the base of the handle. Oh yeah, and a bottle opener as well.

Purchase: $275

Patagonia Men’s Stretch Nano Storm Jacket

Built to defend against the perils of Alpine climbing, it’s safe to say you’re in good hands with the Nano Storm Jacket as an outer layer. Patagonia outfitted this beast with a highly breathable FullRange insulation that’s finished with a H2No Performance Standard shell fabric. The result is a hybrid jacket that’s part belay parka, part storm shell and hosts the ability to weather even the strongest winter storms.

Purchase: $450