8 Cold-Weather Hiking and Adventure Essentials
Looking to get outdoors this fall or winter? Here's what to bring with you.
Adobe Stock./By ladysuzi
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Mike Darling grew up on the outskirts of Wilmington, where he spent his youth lifeguarding at the local JCC pool. Now he’s saving lives through his work as executive editor of digital at Men’s Health magazine, where he helps readers commit to fitness and a healthy lifestyle. When he’s not logged in, he checks out in nature—running half-marathons, backpacking and camping. Here, he shows us the cold-weather adventure essentials he takes with him.
llustrations by Abby Musial
The Jacket (on Darling): Patagonia Nano Puff
It’s super light, super small, and yet somehow it’s kept me warm on the coldest nights when the fire starts dying down. $199, at Trail Creek Outfitters, Glen Mills and patagonia.com
The Coffeemaker: AeroPress
This press makes such a good cup that I often use it at home. On an overnight trip, it’s a must-have for getting my morning started—as long as someone else handles the kettle, a grinder and some beans. $29.99, at Bed Bath & Beyond
The Sleeping Bag: Eddie Bauer Airbender Sleeping Bag
It costs about as much as an iPad, but it’s far more indispensable thanks to the built-in sleeping pad. I’ve never slept more comfortably outside. $799, at eddiebauer.com
The Whiskey: Booker’s
Cold beers are great at the end of a long hike, but a flask filled with smooth bourbon is a much richer reward, and you won’t find many whiskeys better than Booker’s for the money. bookersbourbon.com
The Multi-Tool: LeatherMan Wave
It gives me peace of mind knowing that I’ve got a scissors, pliers, can opener and 16 other tools close by. $100, at Home Depot
The Water Bottle: Yeti Rambler
You ask only one thing of a water bottle—keep your drink ice-cold for hours, and Yeti stands alone. $50, at REI, Newark and rei.com
The Pack: Osprey Atmos AG 65
I’ve long been a fan of Osprey’s lightweight, super durable, no-fuss packs. I also love that this one is nicely ventilated, which helps when you’re grinding out those last few miles on a hot day. $270, at REI, Newark and rei.com
The Tent: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3 mtnGLO
Besides just looking cool, the LED lights sewn into the lining of this thing have kept many a card game going late into the night. $549.95, at REI, Newark and rei.com