There’s a certain pioneering spirit associated with winter camping. In a world where everything has been explored and conquered, it’s the closest thing we have to venturing out into the unknown: hiking miles of snow-covered trails, setting up a tent against the desolate winter landscape, cooking dinner over a fire and, most importantly, spending a little time under the stars while the rest of the world stays inside bundled up by the fireplace. The idea was attractive enough for me to drag a friend and myself out for a camping trip along the New Jersey portion of the Appalachian Trail on a very chilly and windy February weekend. It was cold and the preparation could have been better, but we still managed to have a damn good time of it.

Woolpower 200G Zip Turtle Neck ($125)
Woolpower 200G Long John Pants ($89)
Snow Peak SWAU0020 Flexi Insulated Pullover ($230)
Snow Peak SW0030 Flexi Insulated Pants ($245)
Vasque Sundowner GTX ($189)
VUARNET 0002 Vuarnet Cat Eye Sunglasses ($270)
UCO Stormproof Matches ($7)
Mountain Hardwear HyperLamina Torch Sleeping Bag ($260)
Snow Peak Titanium Cafe Press ($56)
Snow Peak MG-043 Titanium Single Wall Cup 450 ($36)
Snow Peak Round Curved Titanium Flask ($150)
Snow Peak Titanium Cutlery Set ($35)
Black Diamond Trail Back Trekking Poles ($64)
Mountain Hardwear Returnia Cargo Ski Pants ($200)
Brooklyn Industries Nunaka Down Jacket ($100)
BioLite NanoGrid ($100)
Gregory Stout 45 Backpack ($169)
Product Spotlight: Biolite NanoGrid

Biolite-Nanogrid-GearPatrol


The Biolite NanoGrid is a portable system of off-the-grid lighting and power storage that was introduced at this year’s Outdoor Retailer. NanoGrid consists of a PowerLight — a lantern, torch and energy hub — and SiteLites, smaller lamps that can be daisy chained together with the PowerLight to create an ambiance much like you’d get in a bar lit by a string of Edison bulbs. We took them out in the woods on a weekend camping trip and found them easy to use, sufficiently bright and capable of providing light for around seven hours, even in weather that was cold enough to power down an iPhone.