Hypothermia is no joke. Nor is frostbite, lost digits or the literal freezing of your blood.

But as grotesque as these conditions may sound, they are very real possibilities when the unprotected human body is faced with frigid, sub-zero temperatures.

No matter if one is experiencing a normal winter, hiking high up in the snow-capped mountains or caught in an unexpected blizzard, the results will be all be the same; certain death if you’re not shielded from the extreme cold and icy winds.

Ready to battle Mother Nature’s cold heart is a wide variety of clothing and accessories specifically designed to stand up to harsh winter weather and keep you warm. With this protection, you’ll have a fighting chance when Jack Frost does much more than just nip at your nose.

Tru-Spec H2O PROOF Gen2 ECWCS Parka

Enjoy protection from not only the cold, but also wind and rain with this comfortable and superbly functional ECWCS parka. Featuring adjustable sleeves, nylon-reinforced elbows, drawstring waist with cord lock, Dintex inner lining and more, this parka lets you spend more time in the outdoors no matter the temperature or the conditions. Add to all this an H20 PROOF warranty and a variety of colors and camo patterns to suit your style, and you get the complete package when it comes to winter-ready jackets!


  • Three-layer windproof, waterproof and breathable material
  • Seams are taped for waterproof protection
  • Non-freezing two-way zipper with double storm flap
  • Compatible with the Tru-Spec Polar Fleece Jacket (not included)

MSRP  $155.95

Snugpak MML-9 Smock

Whether you are a hard-core outdoorsman or someone living in the harsh snowbound north, you’ll be glad you have the MML-9 Smock ready to protect you from the deadly elements. This garment offers thermal protection against wind, snow and cold while not bogging you down with extra weight or bulk. Extremely lightweight and durable, making it perfect for when weight and space need to be conserved.


  • Waterproof, windproof and highly breathable
  • Quarter-length water-resistant YKK zipper
  • Large chest map pocket with D-rings
  • Available in olive or MultiCam

MSRP  Starting at $449

Snugpak Torrent Waterproof Jacket

Mother Nature will have a tough time taking this jacket down with its totally waterproof exterior and warm insulation inside. The Torrent features a detachable insulated hood with dual adjusters on the side and rear, deep hand pockets and hidden chest pocket for storage. Thermal linings keep your hands toasty in the frigid conditions, while underarm ventilation allows you to vent and regulate your temperature during warmer spells.


  • Paratex Dry 700x160D 228D nylon shell
  • Paratex Light, 68D 210T, nylon lining
  • Softie polyester insulation
  • Available in electric blue, forest green or black

MSRP  $199

Snugpak SJ-6 Softie Jacket

When the cool weather hits, you’ll be glad you have an SJ-6 Jacket in your closet. This garment features everything you need to battle an unexpected shower, sudden breeze or a quick drop in temperature. With an adjustable waist and neck and elasticated cuffs, you’ll create the ultimate fit with its streamlined design. Zippered inside chest pocket keeps small essentials handy.


  • Unisex design offers comfort and style
  • Water-resistant main zip for greater insulation and dryness
  • Convenient, roll-away hood
  • Choose from several colors

MSRP  Starting at $299

Snugpak Enhanced Patrol Poncho

Discarding the idea that a poncho is a throwaway piece of clear plastic, this Enhanced Patrol Poncho takes rain protection to the upper tier of performance. Created for practicality when the elements pound you from above, you’ll enjoy dedicated sleeves that allow great arm mobility, an adjustable hood, and a generously cut design that covers not only you, but your backpack as well. Fully taped seams and a snug, but comfortable fit keep your body dry underneath at all times. Can also be used as a bivvi in a pinch!


  • Easily fits over most people and gear
  • Adjustable hood and thumb loops create a comfortable, snug and warm fit
  • Integrated chest map pocket for easy accessibility
  • 100 percent waterproof
  • Includes stuff sack for carrying

MSRP  $49

Snugpak Poncho Liner

Don’t underestimate the chilling effects of ice-cold winds. They can rip through you and put you at risk for hypothermia. Help reduce your chances with this protective poncho liner. With a snug fit, the poncho liner will help insulate and shield the body when used in conjunction with almost any other poncho on the market (or use Snugpak’s Enhanced Patrol Poncho). When not in use, the poncho liner can be reduced to a small size, easily stored or carried on your next outdoor adventure.


  • Dedicated sleeves allow for greater arm mobility and warmth
  • Pack size: 6×7 inches
  • Antibacterial and antimicrobial treatment minimizes bacteria
  • Incredibly lightweight and water-repellent

MSRP  $49

Minus 33 Kancamagus Men’s  Midweight Wool Bottom

An amalgamation of a cozy blanket and practical pants, these wool bottoms will keep you warm when the cold, nasty winter rears its ugly head. Comfortable for all-day use, they fit easily under normal pants. The bottoms are available in a variety of colors and . Ideal for long days outside while hiking, skiing, exploring or any outdoor activity.


  • Constructed of 100 percent midweight Merino wool
  • Flatlock seams allow for ultimate comfort
  • Integrated fly opening
  • Won’t fade, bleed, shrink or lose its shape
  • Totally machine washable and suitable for tumble drying

MSRP  Starting at $74.99

Minus 33 Ridge Cuff Wool Beanie

Whether hitting the town at night or roughing it in the backwoods, this beanie exhibits both style and functionality. With a double layer of fabric to keep precious body heat from escaping, you’ll stay warm, comfortable and well when the temperatures dip. When the day warms, this beanie is easy to store and pack. Choose from a variety of colors.


  • Four-season compatible
  • 100 percent Australian Merino wool
  • Double-layered for added warmth
  • Machine washable and safe to tumble dry

MSRP  $22.99

Woolx Women’s Marcy Vest

Ideal for the backcountry or walking the chilly city streets, this vest offers not only extreme warmth and comfort, but style that complements nearly any outfit. Its ultra-heavy Merino wool is soft, yet substantial enough to block wind and rain from reaching you. The vest is non-bulky, offers a tweed-like knit style, and makes a great “emergency” garment when Mother Nature throws unexpected colder temperatures your way.


  • Three-season vest can be worn under or over other clothes
  • Deep zipper pockets hold personal items
  • Stand-up collar blocks wind and cold
  • Princess seams offer slim lines and a sporty fit
  • 93 percent 440-gram Merino wool, 7 percent polyester

MSRP  $145

ColdAvenger Classic Fleece Mask

A facemask that actually warms the air you inhale? Yes, and it sports extreme comfort for all-day wintertime use as well. The ColdAvenger Fleece mask offers a patented design that will transform -72 (F) outside air to an average of 59 (F) air inside the ventilator. An internal support structure ensures a custom fit, while the entire unit protects a wearer’s neck, head and face. Perfect for everything from a nighttime stroll in the snow to a full-blown, frigid survival situation.


  • Made with micro fleece fabric
  • Comfortable and easy to wear
  • Patented design allows free breathing while warming the inhaled air
  • Customizable fit with hidden nose wire and suspension system
  • Transports excess moisture away from face

MSRP  $35

Camcon Shemagh

Extreme versatility is the name of the game when using a shemagh. From full head coverage to neck protection, to using it as a sling, bandage, camo covering, water filter or blanket, you’ll get full use out of this seemingly basic piece of clothing no matter where you are in the world. When cold weather hits, the shemagh works great as a base layer for outer clothing or by wrapping it around uncovered parts of your body. Used by military units around the world, no gear bag should be without this valuable and unique garment.


  • Multiple configurations
  • Use it as a scarf to protect your neck from wind
  • Compact, fast-drying and thick enough for all-day protection
  • Protects eyes, nose, mouth and neck
  • Made of 100 percent cotton

MSRP  $11.99

Snugpak Sleeka Elite Reversible Jacket

Rough, tough and ready to take on nearly any hostile winter environment, the Sleeka features a fully reversible design with reinforcement patches at shoulders, elbows and cuffs. Its adjustable elastic drawstrings at the collar and bottom hem allow greater warmth by shutting off any area where cold winds, snow or sleet might get in. The entire interior is stuffed with Snugpak’s Softie insulation while a compression sack keeps the jacket packed and handy when not in use without any loss of thermal protection.


  • Lightweight, windproof and water repellant
  • Adjustable collar and waist openings
  • Breathable material with moisture-wicking properties
  • Elasticated cuffs for extra protection from the elements

MSRP  $139

WeatherWool Al’s Anorak

This pullover takes wool winter clothing far beyond what’s expected and pleases on so many levels. Numerous beneficial features include oversized sleeves for hand protection, side zips for belt-level accessibility, a hood large enough for a microclimate around the head and generous front and side pockets for numerous storage options. Al’s Anorak is truly the Rolls Royce of wool pullovers. Ideal for the deep woods or even a very cold night on the town.


  • Full- or midweight Jacquard options
  • Cuffs adjust by securing “wrist flap” to one of three buttons
  • Super-long side zippers enable venting and easy on and off
  • Large hood offers versatility, with multiple configurations
  • Large, hidden zippered pocket offers concealment under kangaroo pouch

MSRP  Starting at $595

Sealskinz Waterproof  All Weather Camo Cap

Sometimes you just can’t give up your trusty cap. When winter hits that could be a major compromise; but not with this hat! Sporting three layers of protection from the cold, rain and sun, this piece of headgear can brave the cold weather and look stylish doing it. The Realtree Camo pattern blends into most environments, while the solid brim won’t bend or deform as you traverse through tough brush and tangled trees.


  • Waterproof, protects your head from heat loss
  • Three-layer construction provides warmth in harsh weather
  • Poly/cotton shell, weather-resistant membrane and polyester lining
  • Adjustable fit with Velcro closure

MSRP  $35

WeatherWool All-Around Jacket

This All-Around Jacket from WeatherWool provides style for any occasion and protection far beyond normal outdoor jackets. Constructed to withstand serious snow, sleet, rain and wind, it shields you from temperature extremes from 70 degrees (F) to far below freezing. Numerous pockets hold gear of all sizes, while the cuffs and waist cinch allow for on-the-spot adjustments. A top-tier essential for winter climate conditions.


  • Double yoke protects vitals from cold and wind
  • Large cargo pockets close with both zippers and flaps
  • Elbows and forearms protected with double thickness of full weight fabric
  • Integrated inside chest pockets with zippered closures
  • Full-weight Merino Jacquard fabric

MSRP  Starting at $850

Woolx Men’s Grizzly Hooded Sweatshirt

This sweatshirt has a stylish form-fitting design and Merino wool construction to handle warmth, wicking sweat away from your skin for all-around comfort. Innovative features such as an adjustable hood system, zipper guards and “hidden” pockets round out this amazing piece of must-have winter clothing. Available in black or charcoal heather.


  • Superior Merino wool wicks up to 30 percent faster than synthetics
  • Discreet cuffs with thumbholes keep hand and wrist war
  • 3-panel hood with adjustable cord system
  • Zippered internal phone/entertainment device pocket with cord portal

MSRP  $210

Sealskinz Camo Reversible Beanie

Stay warm, dry and either out of sight or highly visible with this reversible all-season beanie. Sporting moisture controlling materials, this cap can be a lifesaver by preventing heat loss through your head during long hunts or unpredictable survival situations in wintry weather. With a fully cotton outer shell and a polyester lining, this multi-layered beanie will keep you cozy even under the worst conditions that nature can throw at you.


  • Waterproof, windproof and breathable
  • Microfleece liner provides warmth and moisture control
  • Realtree Xtra camo print is ideal for fall and winter landscapes
  • Reverses to blaze orange interior for high visibility

MSRP  $35

Vertx Integrity Base Jacket

Lightweight, but incredibly warm and water-resistant, the Integrity Base Jacket can be worn alone or combined with the Integrity Shell Jacket for ultimate outdoor functionality. This cold weather garment features a 100 percent nylon exterior with an insulated interior providing dual protection from the elements and its hand-warmer pockets keep your digits always toasty and free from the dangers of frostbite. The jacket’s streamlined fit creates a tailored feel, yet still allows for ideal mobility.


  • 68 grams of PrimaLoft insulation for lightweight warmth
  • Wind and water resistant NanoSphere treated outer shell
  • Stylish Savoire Suede collar adds both comfort and warmth
  • Easy mobility with integrated gusseted sides

MSRP  Starting at $169.99

Vertx Integrity Shell Jacket

If you get wet while out in the cold weather, hypothermia won’t be far behind. Battle this deadly scenario with the Vertx Integrity Shell Jacket. This last line of defense delivers protection from blistering winds, falling snow or icy rains. An adjustable hood and visor keep your visibility clear, while ventilation flaps allow for a breathable fit while on the move. Numerous deep pockets keep essentials close by during all your wintertime activities.


  • 100% polyester with VaporCore
  • Snap-on, adjustable hood with built-in visor and hidden drawcord system
  • Right sleeve zippered pocket for added storage
  • Sealed seams and zippers reinforce waterproof protection
  • Strategically designed pockets provide easy access to gear

MSRP  Starting at $239.99


Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the January, 2020 print issue of American Survival Guide.


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Tactical Pete
Author: Tactical Pete

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