Often, when it’s cold out, we just want to stay in. But we’ve also been staying in for a year now, so you might want to get out there and get some fresh air. If it’s more than a walk around the block, you might want some gear to, say, go camping. Yes, a lot of your warm weather gear will still work, but there are three items we’ve got here you might want to add in.
First off, if you’re going down the trails in your local park, you probably don’t need to worry about cell coverage. Heading out into the backcountry, or a remote cabin? Then you might want something like the $350 Somewear Global Communicator. Basically, it’s a small puck that you can think of as a satphone hotspot.
You connect your phone to it (via an app) and you can do all of these: SMS text, location sharing, mapping services, 7-day weather forecasts and SOS emergency services. Sure, not surfing the web, but you’ll stay in contact and be on top of the weather. And don’t worry – the Somewear is IP68 water resistant (for when the snow melts) and will work down to -4F (-20C).
Next, if you’re cruising around outdoors, you need to remember that it gets darker earlier. For that, you want a good headlamp, so you’re not dealing with gloved hands trying to handle a flashlight. For that, once of the cleverer packaging efforts comes courtesy of the BioLite Headlamp 330 ($60) comes into play. We wrote about it’s big brother before, and this 330 keeps the same slimmer-fit and run-forever mode (basically, you can pass-through an external battery pack).
The design of the BioLite Headlamp 330 is slick as the front, light-emitting portion is quite slim, with the battery pack around the back of your head. That means if you’re, say, jogging, the light will stay put on your head, not bouncing around, as it’s not so heavy. Wrap this around your beanie, and you’ll be set to head out and light up your path wherever it leads. And, by the way, we’ve got a sample on the way in, so we’ll be giving you a hands-on review later.
And last, but not least, after all of those outdoor adventures, you’re probably going to want to lay down. So long as you’re not backpacking, a nicely-padded mat is key. I’ve used closed-cell foam pads in my backpacking days, and now that we’ve gone to thicker, self-inflating pads for car camping, it’s night and day. Not only will something like the $200 Sea to Summit- Comfort Deluxe Self Inflating Mat give you plenty of cushion (at 4″ thick), it’ll insulate you from that cold ground (with a measured R value of 6.5), which is key.
And you know what? I’ve found that these thicker pads are also handy for visiting family, or even if the kids have an impromptu sleepover. In other words, the Sea to Summit- Comfort Deluxe Self Inflating Mat is useful in a lot of scenarios. Also worth noting? They’ve got a longer length (perfect for tall guys like me) as well as a double-width, perfect for you and someone else to share warmth together.
So, those are just a few options you’ve got to help your outdoor adventures in the cold weather. So long as you dress properly, something like tent camping is quite doable – just remember your layers, and plenty of extra wool socks, so you can swap out damp ones for dry ones. And, if you’ve got your own cold-weather favorites, comment below or drop us a line.