Sunshine and snow, frigid temps and icy trails, those never-ending patches of mud … Winter certainly isn’t the easiest time for hiking adventures on mountain trails, but with a little help from Mother Nature, and the right gear, it’s one of the most rewarding seasons to be a hiking enthusiast. Check out these 8 essential pieces of gear to sweeten up your cold weather hikes.

Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra 

When it comes to wintertime hiking, the most game-changing piece of gear on the trail is a good pair of crampons, like Hillsound’s Trail Crampon Ultra. This flexible and lightweight design easily and securely fits over your hiking boot of choice, creating necessary and unparalleled traction to keep you moving on the iciest of trails. The Trail Crampon Ultra also comes with a two-year warranty and a convenient carrying bag. $69.95; hillsound.com

Mountainsmith Halite 7075 Trekking Poles 

It’s easy to forget how helpful trekking poles can be until you absolutely need them, which more often than not, is only for brief stretches of rugged trail. Not only are Mountainsmith’s Halite 7075 trekking poles available in men’s and women’s-specific designs, they’re easy to adjust the fit to achieve maximum performance for different body types, and fold down to a mere 16 inches when not in use. $79.95; mountainsmith.com

Helly Hansen W Odin Muninn Pant 

Ideal hiking pants for winter excursions should be warm and functional, yet comfortable and easy to move in. For the ladies, Helly Hansen’s W Oden Muninn Pant are just that. Made with a durable 4-way stretch and water and wind repellant fabric, these pants provide protection from the elements, without slowing you down. $190; hellyhansen.com

Fjällräven Keb Eco-Shell Trouser 

For men looking for a great pair of pants to hit the trail in, Fjällräven’s Keb Eco-Shell Trouser is a technical three-layer trouser designed for year-round use. Made with a breathable and stretchy wind and water resistant eco shell fabric, the Keb Eco-Shell trousers are about as durable as they come. $400; fjallraven.us

 

Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer 

Warm, moisture-wicking base layers are essential for outdoor adventurers in the cold weather months, and Smartwool is making some of the most comfortable and technical base layers around. Smartwool’s warmest base layers are made with a soft Merino 250 fabric, and come in men’s and women’s sizes in a variety of colorful prints. $95-$130; smartwool.com

The Northface Ventrix Jacket 

Consistently layering up and delayering on the trail is a major buzzkill, but The Northface’s Ventrix Jacket eliminates the need for wardrobe changes every time the temperature changes. This jacket is warm, water-resistant, and made with a dynamic Ventrix temperature-regulating ventilation system that retains and dumps heat as you need it. Available in men’s a women’s version. $199; thenorthface.com

 

Fits Medium Hiking Socks 

A good pair of technical socks is important for any hiking adventure, but absolutely necessary when hitting the trails in the winter. For a cushiony, warm and comfortable sock that stays put on your foot during vigorous activity, check out Fits Medium Hiking Socks. $21.99; fitssock.com

TomTom Adventurer GPS Multisport Watch 

As the days get shorter, it’s even more important to monitor your location on the trail to make sure you don’t get caught lost on the trail after dark. TomTom’s Adventurer GPS Multisport Watch provides real-time GPS and barometer tracking information like altitude and 3D distance, and captures heart rate and calories burned while doing so. $349.99; tomtom.com