Winter Gear

Posted by webmaster on December 10, 2009

Troop 16 Personal Winter Camping Check List

Essential Winter Gear:

10 Essentials: these items are required for every outdoor activity the scout attends. I recommend gathering these items and then finding a daypack that will hold them with some room to spare for extra warm clothes.

  • Water: MINIMUM two 32 oz Nalgene bottles with lids with loops and carabiners
  • First aid kit: with moleskin or duct tape rolled on a stick and a whistle
  • Fire starting kit (matches, etc.)
  • Rain Gear (stay away from cheap plastic ponchos, in winter this is really snow gear)
  • Warmth: A polar fleece jacket or pull-over and a fleece or wool hat and gloves.
  • Pocketknife (must have Totin Chip)
  • Orientation: compass, map (will usually be provided), and pencil
  • Flashlight  or headlamp (with extra batteries)
  • Sun protection: wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 30, and sunglasses.
  • Trail Food: High protein and high carb trail mix, granola bars, beef jerky, etc.

Daypack: (start with a book bag and work up to something more comfortable)

Basic Clothing:

  • Appropriate footwear –
    • Waterproof Winter Boots – ideally with felt pack liners and gaiters. Make sure they are loose-fitting, not too snug. Kamik makes a good boot that is less expensive than a Sorel.  Cold toes = no fun.
    • Hiking boot  as a back-up shoe in case one gets wet.
  • 2 Fleece or Wool Stocking Caps (one for day, one for night).
  • Synthetic long underwear  (minimum 3 pair, with at least one heavy pair). Make sure these are NOT the waffle-style that made from cotton!
  • Wool Hiking Socks: 1 pair per day with 1 extra pair.
  • Pants
    • Shell Pants – a pair of ski pants/bibs -or- a pair of long underwear/fleece pants under rain gear pants.
    • Wool pants from army surplus also work well – look for tightly woven wool.
  • Synthetic long sleeve shirt (2) (wicking material is very good)
  • Underwear
  • Sleepwear – always sleep in a different set of long underwear or fleece than you spent the day in.

Additional Winter Recommendations:

  • Layers.  Multiple non-cotton layers are required. Multiple fleece and/or wool layers work far better than a heavy coat. If the coat gets wet, the Scout gets cold. If a layer gets wet, he has others. Plus, it allows greater flexibility as temperatures change or activity levels change.  Our recommendation is a minimum of 5-7 upper body layers that can be used throughout the weekend (long underwear / synthetic turtleneck / synthetic wicking shirt / wool or fleece shirt / heavier fleece jacket / rain jacket). Spare long underwear can serve as additional layers.
  • Keep hands dry and warm.  Multiple pairs of gloves and mittens. Light, tight fitting wool or fleece gloves work well inside an oversized mitten for keeping hands warm and allowing the use of hands for cooking, etc.
  • Handwarmers are ok.  Disposable hand warmers are also recommended, as they can be put inside gloves and socks to keep hands warm day and night. Costco sells 40 pr for about $15. Eight (8) pair will be plenty (depending on how long they last).  The ones that last longer, also take longer to heat up.
  • Face Mask
  • Goggles


  • Sleeping Pad — Closed Cell Foam Pads are a must to keep cold ground from making the scout cold. They may be used in conjunction with an air mattress for comfort.
  • Sleeping Bag
    • Zero-degree or better sleeping bag (no cloth bags)
    • Alternatively, nesting two sleeping bags inside one another works well -or- using a fleece liner inside a 10-20 degree bag can work.
  • Tent – with one or more other Scouts.  Smaller tents stay warmer and can usually deal with wind better than larger tents

Cooking and Eating:

  • Utensils (no metal in winter)
  • Plastic Bowl and Cup (no metal in winter)
  • Insulated Drinking cup

Toilet kit:

  • Biodegradable soap
  • Toilet paper in a Ziploc bag.
  • Toothbrush & travel-sized toothpaste
  • Towel (optional, the fast dry towels or synthetic auto chamois work very well)
  • Deodorant (ok in winter since the bears are asleep)
  • Washcloth (optional)

Backpack or Large Duffle Bag (duffles often work best in winter camping, unless we are snow shoeing)


  • Bandanna (acts as a hanky, tourniquet, or hat)
  • Plastic garbage bags (2) – work as gear cover, sleeping bag cover or emergency rain poncho.
  • Rope (50′ of cord)
  • Cheap Wristwatch with Alarm
  • Sunglasses
  • Repair kit
  • Small pillow
  • Space blanket
  • Several feet of duct tape wrapped around a short piece of pencil or dowel.
  • Camera
  • Medicines

 Optional Gear:

  • Additional clothing
  • Neck gator
  • Additional gloves, hats, boots, pants, or shirts (including wool pants and shirts)
  • Work gloves
  • Spending money as appropriate
  • Camp Chair (adult drivers only)
  • 2-Way Radio
  • Snowshoes & Trekking poles (often old ski poles)
  • Cross Country Skis & Trekking poles
  • Pulk or tow sled for pulling gear
Troop 16 - Parker's High Adventure Troop