What You Need for Your Winter Emergency Kit

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from 2020, it’s to prepare for the worst. So maybe you’ve already gathered up your box of essential items in the unfortunate event that you get stranded this winter. But if you haven’t (or if you’re curious what items we at Elevation Outdoors consider to be must-haves), here are some suggestions, many of which you may already have as part of your camping kit. Stay safe out there!

Front Runner Wolf Packs

First things first: You’ll want some kind of bag or container to house your stockpile. We love the Front Runner Wolf Packs, which feature a clip-to-close locking mechanism to ensure your stuff stays put. Plus, they’re heavy-duty and stackable. $40 | frontrunneroutfitters.com

S.O.L. Fire Lite Fuel Free Rechargeable Lighter

Include a lighter in the emergency kit just in case you need to start a fire. You’ll get 45 uses out of the Fire Lite Fuel Free Rechargeable Lighter from S.O.L. (Survive Outdoors Longer), which also features a built-in LED light. Keep it powered up with a simple USB cord. $25 | surviveoutoorslonger.com

VSSL First Aid (with Light and Compass)

No emergency kit is complete without a collection of first aid items. We like VSSL’s compact carrier for bandages, multi-use tape, antibiotic cream, antiseptic towelettes, gauze pads, and so much more. There’s also a compass and 200-lumen LED light included. $125 | vsslgear.com

Hydro Flask 40 oz Wide Mouth

Water. It’s the elixir of life, and it’s a must-have item for any emergency kit. You likely have a slew of water bottles on hand that will do. If not, consider the Wide Mouth line-up from Hydro Flask. The 40-ounce bottle promises to keep liquids hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. $38 (on sale!) | hydroflask.com

ReadyWise Adventure Meals Favorites Kit

Food will be key for your just-in-case collection. And sure, you could toss in a few energy bars. But what about adding in those dehydrated camping meals you didn’t use last summer? We’re fans of the ReadyWise Adventure Meals Favorites Kit (includes nine meals total with six main courses and three breakfasts), especially the Treeline Teriyaki Chicken & Rice Pouch. Just add some hot water and eat it right out of the bag. $60 | readywise.com

Primus Essential Trail Kit Backpacking Kitchen

You’ll need something to heat up your dehydrated meals (or at least the water), so toss your backpacking stove into the bin too. The Primus Essential Trail Kit Backpacking Kitchen is perfect if you’re in the market for a stove. Compact and lightweight, the “kitchen” includes a pot, a frying pan that doubles as a pot lid, and two removable handles—all in addition to the actual stove. $60 | primus.us

Kelty Bestie Blanket

Blankets are handy on a regular day when you and your carmates can’t agree on a comfortable cabin temperature, but they can be lifesaving in an emergency. Kelty’s Bestie Blanket, filled with Cloudloft insulation and soft-brushed on both sides, comes with a stuff sack and rolls up to be slightly larger than a Nalgene. $25 | kelty.com

Black Diamond Transfer 3 Shovel

Take it from someone who once spent 10 hours digging a Chevy Blazer out of the snow (yes, mistakes were made), shovels are definitely a winter emergency essential item. Black Diamond’s sturdy Transfer 3 Shovel clocks in at 1 pound, 8 ounces, and its removable handle makes it easy to fit in your bin of emergency gear. $55 | blackdiamondequipment.com

Appalachian Gear Company All-Paca Fleece Beanie

You’ll want a hat on hand for an emergency situation—and it’s nice to have at the ready for an impromptu outdoor adventure. The All-Paca Fleece Beanie from Appalachian Gear Company is made entirely from Alpaca fibers and boasts breathability and moisture management functionality. $32 | appalachiangearcompany.com

Dakine Baron Gore-Tex Trigger Mitt

Be sure to stash a pair of gloves or mittens (and maybe some hand warmers too!) in your box. Our choice: Dakine’s burly Baron Gore-Tex Trigger Mitt, which is insulated with PrimaLoft Gold and features a waterproof-breathable Gore-Tex liner. Want something at a lower price point? At $34, Dakine’s Syncro Wool Liner Glove is a cozy poly/wool blend. $100 | dakine.com

Rapid Rope

The usefulness of rope cannot be overstated and this handy dispenser makes 120 feet of rope rated at 1,110 pounds easy to store and to access. A built-in cutter skips the need of a knife or scissors and if your’e not savvy with knots, four common knots—square, bowline, running bowline & trucker’s—are illustrated on the side of the refillable canister. Available in white, orange, green, or tan. $25 | rapidrope.com

Outdoor Research Face Mask Kits

Experts keep saying that we’ll be wearing masks for much of 2021, so add one mask per family member to your kit. Outdoor Research has a wide range of mask offerings, but we like their basic Face Mask Kits. Each one includes a reusable, adjustable mask and a three-pack of filters. They’re also available in children’s sizes. $20 | outdoorresearch.com

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