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Check out our tips for how to dress for winter camping and hiking, featuring our favorite women’s outdoor clothing options.
Are you spending more time outside?
If you’re hoping to spend more time outside, but aren’t so sure about doing it in the cold, I’m here to reassure you that your clothing can make a massive difference!
I used to loathe the cold weather. I’d avoid going outside if at all possible from December to March.
But then I realized something. With the right clothes, winter isn’t so bad.
Actually, it’s kind of nice.
Check out our picks for our favorite women’s winter outdoor clothing. These picks will help you know how to dress for winter camping and hiking so that you can enjoy your time outside.
Looking for gifts for the campers in your life? Check out our guide to our favorite camping gifts.
How to Dress for Winter Camping: Think Layers
First, consider what you’ll be doing outside.
Will you spend most of the time relaxing? Or will you be hiking, rock scrambling, or snow-shoeing?
If there’s even a remote chance that you’ll break a sweat or get wet (from rain, creeks or waterfalls), make sure all your layers will dry quickly.
I recommend starting with breathable, quick-drying layers by wearing under-layers made from merino wool or silk thermals.
My personal merino wool gear includes these Icebreaker merino wool jogger pants, a merino wool long-sleeve half-zip, and merino wool hiking socks. I also highly recommend these Icebreaker wool undies.
Want to learn more about merino? Check out my guide to shopping for merino wool clothes!
Women’s Hiking Pants for Winter Camping
If you don’t own hiking pants, this is the perfect time to get some!
As appealing as blue jeans might seem, they’ll take a long time to dry out if they get wet. I prefer to stick with hiking pants!
Our favorite hiking pants are these prAna Halle II pants. The prAna Halle Joggers II are another great option. Both have a great fit and fabric, with deep pockets that I’m a huge fan of!
Our Favorite Winter Jackets
I always like to take along a couple of jacket options.
First, a fleece pullover jacket will be cozy around the campfire. I especially like this North Face fleece and this Columbia fleece.
If you prefer a hoodie, my favorite is this Marmot women’s Polartec hoodie. It’s soft, cozy and, while it’s not as warm as the name “Polartec” might imply, it’s breathable, flattering, and works well for layering with a heavier jacket when needed.
Next, grab this North Face Triclimate Jacket. It’s my personal favorite and has held up well with lots of heavy wear-and-tear.
It comes with a quilted puffer jacket and a waterproof hooded outer jacket. You can wear each jacket separately or zip them together for an extra-warm coat.
How to Keep Your Head Warm
One of the most important ways to stay warm is to keep your head warm.
For winter camping and hiking, you’ve got a few different options.
First, check out these BLOM headbands.
I wear them while hiking to help keep my ears warm.
Next, grab a beanie hat.
If it’s extra-cold, wear the hat while you’re hanging out at the campground or hiking. But I especially like to wear a beanie hat while sleeping in a tent.
The hat will help keep your head from getting cold, especially if your sleeping bag doesn’t cover your head.
Finally, keep your head and neck warm by wearing a neck warmer.
It’s like a portable turtleneck.
For extra-frigid days, wear a balaclava.
How to Dress to Keep Your Hands + Feet Warm
Don’t forget about your hands and feet!
I recommend packing etip gloves so that you don’t need to take your gloves off to reply to a text message.
For extra-cold (or wet) days, I like to wear waterproof mittens.
Wear merino wool hiking socks to make sure your toes stay both warm and dry.
Extra Winter Weather Accessories
Sometimes winter hiking or camping simply means that the air is cold.
At other times, you’ll encounter snow, ice, or slush on the ground. If so, there are two more things you might want to buy.
If the ground is slick, buy a pair of Hillsound trail crampons for better traction on icy surfaces.
When you’re hiking through snow or slush, you’ll want to protect your legs and boots with an extra layer.
These waterproof snow boot gaiters will help keep your legs and feet dry and warm.
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