Cold Weather Gear

Updated: Jun 17

Note: This post is a work in progress, more to come later!

I'm a big proponent of fair-weather travel, but if you plan on or unexpectedly encounter cold weather on your travels, here are a few things to keep in mind..

1) If you're traveling long-term, you may want to consider buying a cheap jacket on the fly, it'll be less expensive than buying it in the States, and you won't feel as tied to it when you get back to warmer weather; you can always donate your unused clothes, many hostels have a donation box or you can ask a local where to go.

2) If it's really that cold, you'll be wearing your heavier clothes or jacket all the time, so you won't have to worry about bag space; in fact, you'll likely be washing the same amount of clothes on a regular basis, since you'll be layering the heavier items over your socks, underwear and undershirts.

3) A set of thermal underwear doesn't take up much space, and it may be all you need to get through those chillier days; consider packing thermal underwear and a semi-thick long-sleeve hoodie, instead of a jacket, to get you through the colder months.

4) Lastly, if you do decide you need a jacket, look for an inexpensive, compressible, nano-puff jacket that packs down into nothing; Amazon's Bare Essentials brand is about the cheapest I could find, and I'd advise against packing anything super nice or expensive for long-term travel.

Electrically Heated Clothing and Gear

This may sound ridiculous if you're not familiar with rechargeable, heated clothing (especially coming from a minimalist), but as a Minnesota native (with freeeeezing winters) and Colorado resident (cold-ish winters), I can tell you, these are fairly common and great for long periods outdoors (skiing, hunting, snowshoeing, etc.).

Unfortunately, I can't vouch for the effectiveness of any particular brand, so you'll have to rely on reviews and at-home testing.

Heated insoles and socks will run you anywhere from $40 to $100 dollars per pair, but if you're willing to recharge and wash them every day, then one or two pairs may be incredibly beneficial on a long, cold trip - and they don't take up too much space.

Rechargeable Heated Gloves fall in a similar range, $50-150 per pair, and you'll only need one set; search "rechargeable heated gloves" on Amazon for options.

Rechargeable Hand Warmers are even better, I use them all the time while snowboarding, skiing or camping. I used Beskar brand handwarmers, but there are a ton of options on Amazon, just search "rechargeable hand warmers" and find a pair that fits your style.

It's easy to go down a rabbit hole on rechargeable clothing, so I'll spare you the pain, but if you're really going all-out on a cold-weather trip, there are plenty of options for heated pants and jackets as well.

More to come soon!


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