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Beat the freeze with these gadgets and gear for winter camping

As the temperature drops, you may be inclined to stay indoors and crank the heat up. For some adventurers, the first sign of snow might mean a camping trip.

You could argue that only the insane would venture out into cold outdoors, and, granted, it isn’t for everyone. We’re not talking about snowboarding or ski runs: Winter camping is real and doable, and while it requires some pre-planning and additional gear, it can be fun and enjoyable. There’s nothing like the crisp air and snowshoeing through quiet surroundings to make you feel really at one with nature.

Related: 5 tough-as-nails cameras ready for your vacation adventures (and mishaps)

If you don’t bring along the right gear, however, a winter camping or backpacking trip can go severely awry, even deadly. Naturally, you need to keep well insulated. The limited amount of light means you’ll need to bring along a capable flash, as well as a navigation tool to stay on track. Should the temperature drop unexpectedly or you spend more than a day’s backpacking, you’ll need shelter, not to mention sustenance and drinking water. Unlike the summer months, camping during winter can be highly unpredictable.

But should you heed the call of the wild, here are our picks for cold weather camping.

(Special thanks to our resident camping expert, Annie Bernstein.)

Tech

DeLorme inReach Explorer global satellite communicator ($380)

DeLorme-inReach-Explorer_

In the outdoors, the chance of getting a cell signal is very slim (although the smartphone compass can come in handy). If you’re venturing somewhere deep or off the beaten path, this portable GPS device offers navigation and routing to help keep you from getting lost. When in trouble, activate the SOS function which will connect you to a rescue center.

Buy it now from:

Amazon DeLorme REI

Outdoor Tech Kodiak Plus waterproof powerbank ($100)

Outdoor-Tech-Kodiak-Plus-waterproof-powerbank-($100)_

We know camping is about powering down, but who are we kidding – we’re attached to our tech. To keep a phone juiced up, we enjoy the large-capacity (10,000mAh) Kodiak Plus. There are plenty of portable USB chargers, but we like the rugged attributes of this one, and it’s waterproof. (If you’re crazy enough to bring along a laptop, you should consider something like Goal Zero’s $350 Sherpa 100.)

Buy it now from:

Amazon Outdoor Tech REI

Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp ($60)

Black-Diamond-ReVolt-headlamp-($60)_

In the winter months you don’t have that many hours of natural light. The ReVolt Headlamp’s LEDs provide 130-lumens of light, but we also like its longevity and power options. It can run off AAA batteries or rechargeable lithium-ion. You can get as much as 300 hours off a charge.

Buy it now from:

Amazon Black Diamond REI

Evrgrn Lowboy lantern ($30)

evrgrn-Lowboy-lantern_

This lantern is all about creating ambiance around the tent. A handle lets you hang it from above.

Buy it now from:

REI

UE Roll wireless Bluetooth speaker ($100)

UE-Roll-wireless-Bluetooth-speaker-($100)_

The UE Roll is a portable speaker with a 65-foot Bluetooth range and a nine-hour rechargeable battery. It’s covered in a fabric from Swiss textile manufacturer, Schoeller, making it water and stain resistant. Digital Trends’ audio expert, Caleb Denison, says, “You should never expect chest-pounding bass from a speaker this size, but what UE has managed to coax from the Roll is impressive.” Watch our video review here.

Buy it now from:

Amazon UE

Next page: Shelter

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