My first camping trip as a Scout was a memorable Klondike Derby. During this Klondike Derby, I took only one pair of pants with me and after a day in the snow they had gotten pretty wet. By morning, they were frozen. Putting on frozen pants on a cold morning in the snow is not fun! I’ve used this story as a bedtime story for my kids. It makes them smile and hopefully feel better about sleeping in a warm, comfortable bed.

The Boy Scout Motto is to “Be Prepared,” and I think the most powerful way of learning to be prepared as a young Scout is to have a few trips where you weren’t prepared. I’ve used some new gear that will make you prepared for all things camping, especially winter camping. Here are a few essentials that will make your next snowy winter campout a little better.

6-Hour Rechargeable Hand Warmer

I came across the 6-Hour Rechargeable Hand Warmer made by Zippo that doubles as a power bank for charging phones or other devices recently. I would recommend this as a great winter adventure accessory. It stays warm for up to six hours on lower heat settings and heats both sides up to 120 degrees! On the hottest setting, it gets pretty toasty, but this drains the battery quicker, lasting only about 3.5 hours. It took about three hours to charge an iPhone from zero battery life to 100%, and the power bank was still around 50% capacity. Overall, I was really impressed with this product. I think it would have come in handy on my first Klondike Derby!

STABILicers Walk

The STABILicers Walk is great for giving you extra traction on ice and snow-covered surfaces. They stretch over your shoes, and it is like adding chains to your car tires! There are five sizes that would fit most youth and adults. I wear a size 15 in shoes and the XL fit snug. It still worked fine. With these on my shoes, I could hear them biting into the ice under my feet, and I didn’t slip or slide around. I was extremely satisfied with the Stabilicers, and I think they offer some piece of mind while walking on icy or snowy trails.


Merrell Continuum Polartec Waterproof Boots

I have had the Merrell Continuum Polartex Waterproof Boots for the last few years, which speaks to their durability. They are waterproof, insulated with 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation, and have excellent traction. They are great with snowshoes or gaiters, and they will keep your feet warm and dry. I lived in Anchorage for a little while, and these boots handled the winters there with no problem. They include an ActiveHeat insole with silver reflective film between insulating polyester layers which boosts heat-retention. If you are looking at getting some new boots, these just might be the right ones. T

Wilderness Technology Mountain Gaiter

If you’re not familiar with gaiters, they are similar to leggings but worn specifically to cover or protect the ankle and lower leg. These gaiters are made with a rugged ripstop waterproof-breathable poly fabric with stainless steel fittings. The Wilderness Technology Mountain Gaiter works great and will help keep your feet warm and dry as you participate in winter activities. For right around 20 dollars, you can’t beat the quality and the performance. Coupled with the Merrell Continuum Polartec Waterproof Boots, your feet will stay warm and dry, and you will be a happy camper!


I know camping out in the winter can require a bit more preparation, and that’s why I wanted to tell you about some of the best winter gear I’ve found. This gear has made my winter camping experience exceptional. I recommend using this gear for you and your Scout’s next winter adventure. Coming up next for Outdoor Gear Review Part 3, I will tell you how to build a Troop trailer for under $500. 

I hope you stayed nice and toasty this winter with all the right gear!

What winter gear has worked well for you this camping season? Let me know in the comments. I am always on the lookout for something new and nifty to try.

Andrew Olsen
covers gear for outdoor adventures and projects around the house and other interesting things. He worked professionally for the BSA for 10 years in Colorado, Nebraska, Alaska, and Utah and currently works for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is a DIY guy and loves to take on new challenges. He and his wife live in Utah and have two amazing kids.

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