6 Must Have Gear Essentials for Winter

Now that the leaves are changing, and there’s a crisp bite of fall in the air, it’s time to start planning ahead for winter adventures. One of the most fun parts of any outdoor expedition is coordinating the best gear to buy to stay warm, dry, and performing at your best. At Maine Huts & Trails, we are firm believers that even the most ambitious adventure shouldn’t compromise comfort. From providing healthy, home cooked meals, a soft leather couch in front of a crackling woodstove, or a hot shower, we set the stage for relaxation when you get to the huts, but you deserve to be just as happy on the trails.

After a thorough look at the latest outdoor adventure gadgets and gear, we’ve rounded up some of the best to add to your collection this winter:

Best Day Pack:

L.L. Bean Snowfield Day PackLL Bean Day PackThis hard working pack is loaded with serious backcountry features, but looks and feels like a more low profile day pack. With a place for everything, including skis and avalanche equipment, you’ll be able to bring all your gear and access it easily with either front or back entry. Best of all, there are two interior water bottle holsters and an insulated tube, so you can stay hydrated in even the coldest conditions.

“If you head off-piste to ski or snowboard, this pack will carry everything you need, including skis or snowboard, avalanche probe, shovel, extra layers, food and water. It will also serve as your go-to day pack for year-round adventure.” – L.L.Bean

Click here for details >>

Best Gloves:

Outdoor Research Afterburner gloves

Keeping your hands warm is crucial to staying comfortable in cold weather. In the past, we’ve had to choose between the warmth of a mitten, and the dexterity of a glove. Outdoor Research has finally combined the best of both worlds, with these gloves that are as warm as they are sleek and maneuverable.

“Made with breathable, wind- and water-resistant stretch nylon with a polyester back, the touch-screen-compatible Afterburner Gloves are insulated with lightweight, water-resistant EnduraLoft™. The palms are lined with a water-resistant synthetic suede with a warm fleece backer, and the molded neoprene cuffs have Lycra® gusset.” – Outdoor Research

Click here for details >>

Best Fat Bike:

Norco Bigfoot

Fat biking is still a pretty new sport, and this is a great bike if you’re just starting out. It’s relatively affordable at under $2000, has decent components and is suitable to ride year-round.

“Lightweight, Norco-designed aluminum frames balance efficiency with comfort, and are sturdy, stable and surprisingly maneuverable. Now with a 24” option for little ones, and an electric assist BionX model, anyone can find adventure in places where bikes rarely go.” – Norco

Click here for details >>

Best Snowshoes:

Tubbs Flex RDG snowshoes

These snowshoes are the perfect combination of comfort and performance. Easy to get on and off, and suitable for any conditions, these will be your go-to pair for years to come.

“Not only does the RDG ($190) have the most comfortable binding we’ve ever used; it’s also the easiest to put on. A twisting Boa knob snugs forefoot and heel simultaneously—there’s no fiddling with a heel strap and no floppy extra webbing to trip on. At the end of your hike, the Boa pops open for a quick getaway.” – Tubbs

Click here for details >>

Best Classic Cross Country Ski:

Atomic Redster Skintec

Typically, you can tell how serious someone is about their Nordic ski obsession by one thing: do they wax or not? Waxing is better for performance, since it enables you to customize your ski to any conditions. Waxless skis are just a lot easier to deal with- put them on and go in any conditions. Atomic has found a really cool solution with the Redster Skintec:

“The Skintec technology on Atomic’s Redster skis ($490) solves the wax-less conundrum by fitting the kick zone of the skis with removable mohair skins that can be swapped out for different snow types. Changing out the tread is simple with a small tool that can be carried as you ski for on the fly fine tuning.” – Atomic Click here for details >>

Best Safety Gadget:

DeLorme inReach:

There’s not much better than spending time off the grid- until you’re in trouble. The inReach device boasts a two-way SOS system, so you can send and receive messages anywhere in the world. You can also track your route and update social networks- all without an internet or cell connection. Also, if you’re a Maine Huts & Trails member, you’ll get a discount!

“Whether you worry less or whether your loved ones worry less, it enables you to go farther and to experience more without any wondering or second-guessing. And in an emergency, the inReach’s tracking and two-way SOS are the most valuable tools in your survival kit.” – DeLorme

Click here for details >>

If you’re thinking of adding to your gear arsenal this winter, these are some of the best new products out there to include. Did we miss one of your favorites? We’d love to hear about the gear you love, let us know in the comments!