Winter Camping Checklist

The Ten Essentials -- For safety, survival and basic comfort

1. Navigation

  • Map (with protective case)
  • Compass
  • GPS (optional)

2. Sun protection

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses, goggles or glacier glasses

3. Insulation

  • Jacket, vest, pants, gloves, hat (see Clothing)

4. Illumination

  • Headlamp or flashlight (plus spare)
  • Extra batteries (kept near body when cold)

5. First-aid supplies

  • First-aid kit (see our First-Aid Checklist)

6. Fire

  • Matches or lighter
  • Waterproof container
  • Fire starter (for emergency survival fire)

7. Repair kit and tools

  • Knife or multi-tool
  • Duct tape or other repair items

8. Nutrition

  • Extra day's supply of food

9. Hydration

  • Water bottles or hydration system (insulated)
  • Water treatment system

10. Emergency shelter

  • Tent, tarp, bivy or reflective blanket

Items to Consider Beyond the Ten Essentials

  • Backpack
  • Daypack or summit pack
  • 4-season tent or tarp or bivy sack
  • Snow or tent stakes and guylines
  • Tent-pole repair sleeve
  • Footprint (if needed for tent)
  • Sleeping bag (liner optional)
  • Stuff sack or compression sack
  • 2 sleeping pads per person (+ optional chair kit)
  • Pillow or stuffable pillowcase
  • Packable lantern
  • Snowshoes
  • Skis (with skins)
  • Crampons
  • Ice axe
  • Trekking poles (with snow baskets)
  • Multifunction watch with altimeter
  • Signaling mirror (often on compass)
  • Whistle
  • Personal locator beacon (PLB)
  • Avalanche transceiver (1 per person)
  • Avalanche probe (1 per person)
  • Snow shovel (1 per person)
  • Energy beverages or drink mixes
  • Slope meter
  • Snow saw
  • Meals
  • Energy food (bars, gels, chews, trail mix)
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Cookset with large pot (for melting snow)
  • Dishes or bowls
  • Utensils
  • Cups (measuring cups)
  • Pot grabber
  • Food-storage sacks or canister
  • 50' nylon cord
  • Backup water treatment (e.g., halogens)
  • Clothing
  • Base layer: wicking underwear
  • Mid layer: insulating jacket/vest/pants
  • Shell: rain jacket (or soft-shell jacket)
  • Rain pants (or soft-shell pants)
  • Dry clothing for camp
  • Insulating hat, cap or headband
  • Balaclava and/or face mask
  • Goggles
  • Gloves and/or mittens
  • Waterproof overmitts
  • Footwear; Assorted Personal Items
  • Boots
  • Main socks, liner socks, spare socks
  • Gaiters
  • Camp booties
  • Bandana or Buff
  • Hand warmers
  • Toilet paper + sanitation trowel
  • Hand sanitizer + quick-dry towel
  • Toothbrush and/or toiletry kit
  • Notebook and pen or pencil
  • Permits
  • Guidebook; interpretive field guide(s)
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Two-way radios
  • Cell or satellite phone
  • Music player with headphones
  • Small amount of cash or credit card
  • Trip itinerary left with friend + under car seat

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