5 Pieces of Gear to Extend Your Camping Season


You’ve got the four-season tent and the winter sleeping bag, but there are still a few key accessories that you can add to your kit to help extend your camping into the coldest months.

Mountain Equipment Aerostat Down 7.0 Sleeping Pad ($165)

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(Courtesy Mountain Equiptment)

Not all sleeping pads are built for winter. But the Aerostat Down 7.0 is loaded with 120 grams of duck down inserted into baffles with twisted walls, which keeps the insulation from migrating to the edges of the pad. It has an incredibly high R-value of 8.8, resulting in an unprecedented warmth-to-bulk ratio. Bonus: it weighs 19 ounces and packs down to the size of a Nalgene bottle. 

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Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Extreme Sleeping Bag Liner ($68)

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(Courtesy Sea to Summit)

Your four-season bag is warm, but why not make it warmer? This mummy-style sleeping bag liner can add up to 25 degrees to the rating of your existing bag. At 14 ounces, it’s not the lightest sleeping bag liner on the market, but it’s easily one of the highest-rated winter liners you can buy.

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Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Pants ($250)

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(Courtesy Mountain Hardwear)

The Ghost Whisperer jacket is a staple layer for cold-weather adventures, and the pants should be a staple for cold-weather camping. They look a little silly, but you’ll be the one laughing once you surround your legs with 800-fill hydrophobic down, which maintains its loft and heat retention even when wet. You can sport them solo, or layer them under another pair of pants.

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Western Mountaineering Cloud 9 Comforter ($320)

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(Courtesy Western Mountaineering)

There are down blankets, and then there are down blankets built for winter camping. This is the latter. The Cloud 9 is stuffed with 800-fill power down and has a quilted box pattern so the insulation doesn’t migrate. Think of it as a four-season sleeping bag that you can share around the campfire at night.

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Polar Buff ($40)

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(Courtesy Buff)

The Polar Buff is super warm thanks to a fleece lining. Wear it as a bandana over your head, drop it down to keep your neck warm, or pull it up over your nose and chin if there’s a breeze. It’s a handy layer that weighs nothing and deserves to be in your winter kit.

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