Solo Stoves are more efficient wood-burners than traditional campfires, emitting less smoke and leaving less ash behind. We reviewed a similar version recently if you want to learn more, but the Bonfire is much more portable. Just toss it in the truck and take it wherever you plan on pitching camp for the night.
An even smaller and lighter version, the Solo Stove Lite, is available for $70 ($20 off). It’s great for cooking dinner or just boiling water. The company is running a BOGO offer on the Lite, so if you buy one you can gift another to your hiking buddy for free. Stoves like the larger Titan and larger-still Campfire are also on sale and have the same BOGO free offer.
Solo Stove
If you’re less concerned with moving quickly to cover ground and just want to go car camping, the charcoal-fed Ultimate Grill is big enough to cook for everyone. The Ultimate Bundle comes with two stands of different heights, a grill cover, grilling tools, starter nuggets (for starting the fire), charcoal briquettes, and a carry case.
Backcountry, Moosejaw ($159)
This is my favorite synthetic sleeping bag, and I recommend synthetic insulation over goose down for temperatures hovering around freezing point. If it warms up a bit and snow thaws, synthetics will dry out more quickly than goose down so that your next night won’t begin with you climbing into a damp bag.
Men’s: Backcountry, Moosejaw
Women’s: Backcountry, Moosejaw
Sweaty underwear is a surefire way to drag down your hike from enjoyable escape to soul-sucking drudgery. Damp cloth chafes, which can rub your skin raw, and when it’s cold outside the sweat will chill out. Swap out your everyday cotton undies for a pair of quick-drying, sweat-wicking synthetics.
REI
The Flash 22 is a classic frameless day pack that eliminates the bells and whistles of more expensive day packs to keep the weight low. I prefer the Flash 22, a 22-liter pack, to the Flash 18 because it comes with two stretchy water bottle pockets on the exterior. The regular color Flash 22 is also on sale for the same price.
Women’s: Backcountry
Men’s: Backcountry, Dick’s Sporting Goods
You’ll rarely hike in a puffy jacketthey’re just too warm. These are best for when you’re stopped to eat a meal or stepping out of your tent at night to tighten the guylines. The Nano Puff is a lightweight, compact synthetic-insulation jacket that’s plenty warm enough for subfreezing temps.
Womens: REI, Backcountry ($127)
Mens: REI, Backcountry ($127)
These are seriously warm boots for trudging through snow. I wouldnt choose them over purpose-made backpacking boots for a long, multi-day hike, but for a pair of warm, water-resistant boots that can pull general duty for car camping, day hiking, and plodding your way through a snowed-in city, these Sorels are a great choice.
Photograph: Backcountry