Winter Hiking Guide – The Definitive Guide to Hiking in Winter

The chance to escape into a winter wonderland certainly has its appeal, but the inherent beauty of the landscape is also its main danger. Cold kills folks. We decided to put together our definitive winter hiking guide to help you start exploring safely.  From winter hiking gear recommendations, identification of cold related illnesses, to proper food and hydration you’ll have everything you need for a successful hike.

We know the thought of hiking in winter can sound absurd to some people. Who would want to go freeze their butts off for hours, in the snow, with only a few chances of seeing anything cool (stinking clouds)? Strangely enough, we would. We love the solitude, the chance to see wild landscapes blanketed and unspoiled under pillows of snow. Sure, winter hiking isn’t always glamorous— get snow in your boots and you’ll know exactly what I mean— but man oh man is it worth it.

If you’re feeling extra generous, please shoot this post a like and a share and, as always, enjoy! One last thing before you get too far, remember to…

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Winter Hiking Clothing and Gear

Staying comfortable consistently on a cold hike is probably the hardest part about hiking in winter. There are three main factors to consider when choosing clothing: layering, material, exposure. Gear is all about covering your bases. It’s not entirely a “better to have and not need” situation but it’s close. Odds are (and hopefully) you will carry items you won’t ever use. If you wonder why I say hopefully, I’m pretty sure no one wants to use their first aid kit but you sure as heck want it when you need it.

How to Pick Your Winter Hiking Clothing and Gear

Layering is actually a pretty simple process that makes winter hiking so much more comfortable. Each layer has a unique purpose in the goal of keeping you warm. The idea is that you add and remove layers as necessary to stay comfortable throughout your hike. Sweating means you’re too warm and need to remove a layer, whereas, shivering means you need to add one. Ideally, you realize what you need to do before you’re actually sweating or shivering 😊 Your base layer should wick moisture away from your body, the middle layer is the nice warm insulation layer, and the outermost layer is simply a shell to keep out rain, wind, snow, etc. Pretty simple

Choosing the correct material for your clothing is another simple way to stay warm. First and foremost, ditch the cotton. Cotton is a notoriously slow drying material, meaning once you get wet, you’ll more than likely stay wet. That sounds like a good way to be miserable the whole hike to us. Look towards synthetic or wool clothing instead, not only does it wick moisture away but it also comparable thermal conductivity.

Exposure is also a very basic concept. If you can see the skin, its going to get cold. Extremities like your nose, ears, cheeks, fingers, and toes are extremely prone to frostbite and need to be covered accordingly. Additionally, that pesky half inch between the base of your glove and the end of your coat will quickly freeze up if not covered. Basically, if you can see it, cover it!

Winter Hiking Clothing and Gear Recommendations

Now that we’ve covered how you should bundle up we’ve compiled a list of our favorite winter hiking gear. We’ve broken it down into clothing and gear by body part and use. In the sake of honesty: this page contains affiliate links. In the event of a sale, as an Amazon Associate we will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost for you).  This allows us to continue to produce great content, so thank you!

Warm Winter Hiking Boots

Look for winter hiking boots rated for 20 below zero Fahrenheit at a minimum. This should cover the majority of day hikes you’ll go on. If you plan on venturing above tree-line look for even heavier duty boots. Plan on buying between a half and full size larger boot. This will allow you to wear multiple or thick socks and still fit comfortably within your boot. Our favorite insulated hiking boot is the Keen Summit County Boot.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Warm Socks

There are a couple approaches to socks for winter hikes, some choose layers others a thicker wool pair. Personally, I love a single pair of wool socks. Extra pairs just seem to lay funny in my boots. Whichever approach you choose make sure there is enough room left in your boots to wiggle your toes. Why? Partially for comfort and partially for warmth. Blood flow is a good thing! EchoGorge makes some amazing wool socks, I even wear them skiing!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Waterproof Gaiters

Gaiters are those really cute (not) puffy things that run from below your knee and over the boots. What they lack in style they make up for in practicality. They do an excellent job of keeping cold wet snow out of your boots and socks. Look for Velcro gaiters instead of zippers. The Velcro holds up to the constant cold and flexing much better than their zipped counterparts. I personally don’t use Gaiters but I’ve heard the best are Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters. Again, practicality not style my friends.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Winter Hiking Traction Systems

Traction on the trails is critical. Ideally, you’d get to hike in an inch or so of fresh snow over a soft pack base every time you hike. Unfortunately, we’re not usually that lucky. For hardpack and slick conditions we turn to Hillsound Trail Crampons. They’re lightweight, easy to pack (watch the spikes though), and work well in most snowpack conditions.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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If you venture further out or find a nice powder stash you may also be in the market for some snowshoes. For mountainous hiking look for heels with a lift. The lift makes climbing hills so much easier— just don’t ask me how it actually works. Also evaluate the binding system, if you think you’ll need to take off your gloves to adjust them look elsewhere. We have a couple pairs of Tubbs snowshoes by K2 and they work spectacularly.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Waterproof Hard Shell Pants

Hard shell pants are like a nice raincoat for your legs. They keep all the water (snow and rain) and wind on the outside. They aren’t quite as warm as a softshell so most winter hikers recommend wearing long underwear underneath. Try to buy a pair you can zip down the side to take off so you can leave your boots on when you’re too warm. KAILAS makes an amazing pair of hard shell pants. They’re fairly light, extremely durable, and pretty easy to slip in and out of.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Warm Softshell Pants

For those of you who run a little more cold blooded softshell pants are a lifesaver. Think of them as superpowered long underwear. They fit a little more snugly but boy do they pack the heat. Pack a pair of hard shells to keep the wind off your legs. Again, KAILAS makes some amazing pants, their soft shells are just as packable, rugged, and user friendly.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Insulated Jacket

I know that the beauty of layering is that you’ll always have a certain combination that should be the right warmth. That all works fine and dandy for when you’re hiking but what about when you stop and take a break? That’s when you need the big, fluffy, puffy jacket with a hoody. Something all about comfort and heat. This is where Kestra immediately screams, “Get a parka!!” and she’s right. They’re long enough to keep your legs and core warm, comfy, and extra puffy. I really like the look of the Western Mountaineering Meltdown Down Parka.  Avoid anything much lighter weight because those are better served as mid layers.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Hard Shell Coat (Outermost Layer)

These guys are not meant to be warm or really even that comfy. They serve the same purpose as a nice hard shell pant, they keep you bone dry and the wind off of you. Look for one with a built in hood that you can put up when its really coming down. Non-hooded jackets are nice but do you really want a drain circling water around your neck? We recommend looking for jackets with armpit zippers (you can thank us later) and a couple exterior pocket to store hats and gloves. The Outdoor Research Panorama Point Jacket is really the perfect epitome of those sentiments.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Mid Layer Insulation

Almost everyone has a mid layer they swear by. That’s all fine we just recommend you try out a few options and see which fits you and your budget best. The three main schools of though are jackets, pullovers, or vests, depending on how warm you run. Additionally, most people look towards fleece, wool, or synthetic (polyester) for the material. All are warm and good at pulling moisture away from the body. I love and use the North Face’s Glacier fleece, in fact I wear it around the house because it’s so comfy.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Base Layer Shirts

There are two main key to base layers. First, ALWAYS avoid cotton. Again cotton absorbs but doesn’t wick away moisture. Second, believe in wickability! Wicking removes any moisture or sweat away from your skin, and since you’ll have your base layer on all day it’s very important you aren’t wet. The Patagonia Capilene Lightweight is a great choice. They run as jerseys (loose) or as long underwear (tight). I used to wear the long underwear version to school all the time back when Under Armor and other tight shirts were cool.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Warm Hats

For winter hiking most people will recommend bringing at least two hats. One is a lighter “day” hat, the sun is up and you’re working hard so not as much insulation is needed. The other “night/sunrise/sunset” hat is much thicker and keeps you warm when you’re sitting still or as the temperature plunges. Mountain Hardware makes a phenomenal lightweight “day” and heavy “night” hat. Perfect from piling on or switching in between. Personally, I use the hand knitted Grandma Hardware version but I may have to switch over soon if they’re as great as everyone says!

Lots of people also carry a neck warmer and reinvent its use as a hat, or face mask, or even the trusty neck warming option. I’d recommend the SmartWool Merino 250 Gaiter. Double the insulation, machine washable, wicking so you don’t get that awful water buildup on your chin.

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Warm Gloves

Kind of like the hats most hikers use a two pair glove approach when it comes to hiking. Don’t be surprised to hear some people say they take along even more though. Again, this should be approached from the heavy duty and light duty perspective. Your heavy-duty gloves should be modular in design with a waterproof shell exterior and warm liner interior. This way you can ditch liners as your hand sweat throughout the day. As for mitts or gloves. Mitts are a bit warmer but gloves allow you to maneuver more freely, weigh what matters more to you! Outdoor Research Mt. Baker Modular Mitts are named after one of the snowiest peaks in the USA so can be sure they can handle a day of winter hiking!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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The lightweight pair of gloves is meant more for the strenuous sections of your hikes. Your blood should be pumping enough that a thin lightweight glove should be all you need. Personally we’d recommend thin softshell gloves over medium fleece gloves for your second pair. Typically, if you’re cold enough for the medium you should wear the heavy-duty anyway, and the snow is less prone to stick to the softshells. I’ve used the Marmot Glide Softshell Gloves on a couple runs and I think they’d be perfect softshell winter hiking gloves.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Spare Clothes

Spare clothes are a necessity plain and simple. It’s amazing how quickly winter hiking can go from fun and pretty to damp and miserable. Not changing between layers, a slip in deep snow, or even a quick dip in a stream will certainly put a damper on any hike. Plan accordingly, be sure to pack additional socks, underwear, a base layer, and some pant in case of an emergency. While those alone won’t allow you to finish your hike home, they will give you time to dry out your essential clothing and get on the move again.

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Additional Gear for Tree Line Hikes

Once you exit the tree line winter hiking grows exponentially more difficult. Windblown conditions mean you need to carefully consider wind protection and traction for ice and slides. Personally, we recommend a full-face balaclava and a pair of ski goggles. This will keep your eyes from freezing shut and protect any exposed skin on your face. The googles also will protect you from any blowing material and snow blindness (yes, it is real!). The Self Pro Balaclava is an integrated facemask and balaclava that’s super warm, windproof and wicking, perfect for above tree line hikes. Kestra has a pair of Zionor goggles that she uses and loves, plus they have a ton of cool colors 😉

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Back to the traction aids. The ice, snow slides, and windblown conditions will require extra traction. If you plan on venturing above tree line you’ll need to carry both an ice axe and a pair of heavy duty crampons. Ideally, you’ll visit a local Co-op or outdoor store where they can train you accordingly. If you’re properly trained and just looking for some recommendations, I’d check out the Yaktrax Summit Crampons and Black Diamond’s 505g Raven Ice Axe. Both are superb for intermediate level hikers looking to push the boundary a little further without breaking the bank.

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Backpack

As you’ve noticed, winter hiking means you’ll wear and carry a lot more stuff than normal. All this extra gear means you need a bag large enough to accommodate it. Anywhere between 30-50 liters should do the trick. Additionally, you should look for a bag with numerous attachment points. That way whatever doesn’t fit or doesn’t need to fit inside can hang out (think crampons, snowshoes, waterbottles, etc.). Always make sure your winter hiking pack has an easily sealable lid and several pockets to keep things tidy. I’m still using my summer pack for winter hikes and things can get a little tight. If I get a little more spending money, I’d get the Osprey Mutant 38, it has tons of colors options, a flap over seal to keep stuff dry, and its matches my summer pack 😉

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Water Bottles

I know this may seem goofy but hear me out. Your normal water bottle probably won’t work. Anything with a straw will freeze solid. Thin mouthed bottles will freeze shut. Reservoir hoses will freeze up. You need to carry a couple wide mouthed bottles. If you carry outside of your pack be sure to place an insulated sleeve. Kestra and I both love our Nalgene bottles, they’re wide mouthed, carry a ton of water, and have their own line of sleeves you can buy.

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The 10 Essentials

The ten essentials are basically ten items that you should always have on you when you go explore. They alone should be enough for you to spend multiple nights outside and survive, and be able to respond positively to an accident or emergency. There are two main schools of thought: the classic bare boned approach and the functional system approach. Personally, I subscribe to the bare boned school of thought. I carry enough to safely navigate the situation but don’t over-prep for every scenario. If you’re a little greener maybe try a mix of the two list.

The Classic List
  1. Map
  2. Compass
  3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
  4. Extra clothing
  5. Headlamp or flashlight
  6. First-aid supplies
  7. Firestarter
  8. Matches
  9. Knife
  10. Extra food
The Functional Systems List
  1. Navigation
  2. Headlamp
  3. Sun Protection
  4. First Aid
  5. Knife
  6. Fire
  7. Shelter
  8. Extra Food
  9. Extra Water
  10. Extra Clothes

If you’d like to read more about either list you should be sure to check out Mountaineers.org’s post here: What are the Ten Essentials. The do a phenomenal job highlighting the highs and lows of each system, the history of the list, and how to stay safe on the trail.

Survival Gear

If you’re planning on winter hiking you need to account for the chance that something might happen on the trail that won’t allow you to return that night. Maybe it’s an injury, a storm, or maybe you just got lost, things happen and you need to be prepared. If you’re alone you’ll need to plan on a larger pack to accommodate the extra gear but if you’re in a group you can split it up as you see fit.

There are five main things (along with the Ten Essentials) every group should carry along on their hikes. A sleeping bag, sleeping bad, and bivy sack will keep you warm and dry if you have to sleep outside. You will also need a way to melt snow for drinking water to keep hydrated, look at liquid fuel stoves and collapsible pots. Personally, I like the Coleman Mummy Bag, the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite, and the Outdoor Research Helium Bivy for staying warm and dry. I turn to the MSR WhisperLite and the Sea to Summit 1.3L collapsible camp pot for staying hydrated.

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Food and Hydration Tips for Cold-Weather Hiking

You can practice good layering all you want but your body is your best chance at staying warm. Just like you feed fuel to a furnace you have to keep your body fed. This means consistently snacking and sipping water as you go.

Try packing you bag according to this philosophy. If you plan on eating, and pack smartly, you can easily reach food and water while you hike and won’t have to stop near as often to refuel. Also pack according to the snack and temperature. Avoid snacks with lots of pointless wrappers (you have to carry those out you know!) or snacks that become hard to eat as they get cold. Everyone loves a Milky Way until you break a tooth biting into one. Looks towards more natural snacks like nuts and cheese that hold up better to the cold temperatures and still pack some protein. No matter what you decide to bring the closer you keep it to your core the better chance there is you’ll be able to eat it.

The worst thing you could do is let your water supply freeze. I know we warned about reservoirs and thin mouthed bottles and if you said, “What do they know?” more power to you I guess. Regardless, If you decided to use a thin mouth or reservoir try searching for similar hose or bottle insulation. You should also sip often to prevent the water from freezing in the line and try blowing into your reservoir to keep the tube empty.

If you’re using a water bottle there are a couple more tips that can help you keep hydrated on the go. Think about a lake, what freezes first? The top or the bottom? Try flipping your bottle upside down to ensure your lids won’t freeze shut. Insulation sleeves also add an extra layer to protect your drinking water from the cold. Lastly, try packing warm drinks in vacuum bottles. This little bit of heat will go a long way to keeping your core temperature and spirits up. Plus, who doesn’t like hot chocolate? Just remember, don’t do it in your Nalgene or plastic versions.

Cold-Related Injuries and Illnesses

Being able to quickly identify cold-related injuries and illnesses is vital to your safety. Winter hiking exposes you to the elements like you haven’t experienced them before. Frostbite and hypothermia are both very real threats and your ability to identify and begin treating them can make a tremendous difference on their severity.

Frostbite

Frostbite is the freezing of healthy tissue due to exposure or extreme cold. It’s most likely to happen on small extremities like fingers, toes and nose or on exposed skin. Frozen tissue often dies and the surrounding tissue is damaged due to the lack of blood flow. It can cause extreme pain and even fester into gangrene. Frostbite afflictions are categorized in three ascending stages: frostnip, superficial frostbite, and deep frostbite. All three levels can look similar while frozen, so it can be difficult to assess the damage until after the skin has thawed.

Signs of Frostbite:

  • Skin is cold, pale, or even waxy
  • Red, white, bluish-white, or grayish-yellow skin
  • You may feel tingling, numbness or pain in the affected area
  • Clumsiness or muscle stiffness
  • Your skin can feel soft if partially frozen or hard if frozen
  • Blisters often form with superficial and deep frostbite after rewarming

Treatment of Frostbite:

Frostnip can be treated immediately by covering up exposed skin and slowly warming the affected areas. Try placing cold fingers in your armpits or use a partner to warm cold toes and other extremities. The consistent warm heat allows the affected regions to slowly be brought back up to temperature. Do not attempt to place affected areas under hot water and do not rub the cold skin. This violent and drastic change can damage the tissue.

If the initial treatment fails and skin blisters or peels it is time to see a doctor. It is likely you have superficial frostbite or deep frostbite and educated medical attention is your best chance at recovery. Again, avoid direct heat and rubbing of cold skin. Do not let any frostbitten areas refreeze, the tissue is very fragile and any chance of recovery can be mitigated.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is caused when the body loses heat faster than it is capable of replacing it. Hypothermia also comes in three ascending stages: mild, moderate, severe. It begins when the body drops below 95 F (35 C). Hypothermia does not only occur in winter. It can happen anytime and anywhere, even inside your home. Age, medical conditions, dehydration, and alcohol use can all have an affect or your susceptibility. Stay warm, use proper layering, and try to stay dry.

Signs of Mild Hypothermia:

  • Shaking, shivering, or chattering
  • Minor clumsiness (eg. zipping or clasping bag)
  • Slow thinking, confusion, mood swings

Signs of Moderate Hypothermia:

  • Intense shaking, shivering, or chattering
  • Obvious change in coordination (e.g. tripping, falling, stumbling)
  • Obvious change in mental state (e.g. forgetfulness, anger, irritability)

Severe Hypothermia:

  • Shaking may stop due to exhaustion
  • Extreme deterioration of mental state (e.g. disorientation, irrational behavior)
  • Pulse may be faint or week
  • Flushed skin in infants or young children

Treating Hypothermia:

To begin treating hypothermia you need to immediately change the environment. You need to move the person away from what is causing the cold stress. If you can get them inside do so immediately, if you cannot, get them off the snow (pine branches or even packs work) and out of the wind. Immediately swap any wet clothes for dry clothing and make sure they are well insulated. Keep them fed and make sure they drink water. They will need energy to shiver and make heat. Making sure they have the fuel to do so is part of the process.

Taking the proper steps, it is possible for hikers with mild hypothermia to recover and continue with the trip. If you or your partners exhibit symptoms of moderate or severe hypothermia immediately seek medical attention and evacuate them from the situation. Begin the same steps for treating mild hypothermia until help arrives.

Preventing Frostbite and Hypothermia

Prevention is always a better option than treatment. Actively looking out for yourself and your winter hiking partners is part of the process. Proper clothing, gear and technique can only go so far. Use common sense and think about the following:

Start Warm:

It is way easier to start and stay warm than to get warm later. Using the proper clothing and layering approach you can easily maintain a consistent temperature. This is much easier than trying to warm up once you’re too cold.

Don’t be Stupid:

If you start to feel yourself getting cold check on yourself. Take a break and warm up, switch clothes, rehydrate, refuel, you name it! Do what you need to take care of yourself and make sure you’re comfortable and if you feel somethings wrong speak up.

Look Out for Your Buddies:

A good winter hiking buddy always keeps an eye out for their friends. Talk and ask how others are doing often. Make sure your friends are dressed and prepared appropriately. Don’t let them attempt portions they aren’t equipped for and watch their backs.

We hope you have a blast out on the trail and found some value in our Winter Hiking Guide. Did we miss anything? Are you planning on trying winter hiking? Have any good trails we should try? Let us know in the comments! We hope you’ll continue to follow along and as always, God Bless!

Best Portable Wifi for Travelers – And a 10% Discount!

As travels take you further and further, and your phone data grows slower and slower, finding other portable connectivity options becomes more important. Today we’re going to look at our choice for the best portable wifi device. We’ll break down our choice, the pros and cons of our device, why you need portable wifi, and where you can get one! We even managed to squeeze out a 10% discount for you to enjoy the best portable wifi for travelers!

Anyone who’s been lost roaming foreign roads knows the utter fear of traveling without wifi. When we visited Iceland we had to print 34 pages of turn-by-turn directions for a 12 day road trip. It’s a definite downside of having no way to connect to the internet. After Iceland, we made mobile connectivity a priority for both our sanity and our safety on the go. We truly believe we have found the best portable wifi and it’s under $10 a day! So without further ado we give you our review of The World’s Best Portable Wifi for Travelers!

To be clear: this page contains affiliate links. In the event of a sale, we will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost for you).  This allows us to continue to produce great content, so thank you! As such, we are also able to offer you a 10% discount off your rental when you go through our link and use our discount code, read on to claim yours!

If you’re feeling extra stupendous, please shoot this post a like and a share and, as always, enjoy! One last thing before you get too far, remember to…

Pin our guide on The Best Portable Wifi for Travelers!

The Best Portable Wifi – Tep Wireless

Tep Wireless offers users a pocket-sized portable hotspot to stay connected while they travel. We won’t get into to much detail on it’s inner workings but instead of 100 SIM cards for 100 different countries, Tep uses a virtual SIM which can automatically detect, configure, and connect. This means no more having to purchase a new card or device for every country. Instead the little Tep device will do it all for you!

Tep offers seamless connectivity in over 100 countries worldwide. As you travel your Tep device will allow you (and up to 4 others) to browse and use the internet. With a unique name and secure password you can be sure your sessions are safe. All Tep devices include unlimited internet, a 6+ hour battery life, and incredible customer support. Like meet you at the airport to personally hand you your device customer support.

Tep Wireless offers affordable plans for both leisure and business travelers. You can easily rent a device for only $8.95/day, or you can buy one and connect for only $99/month! If you are looking for an easy and reliable way to connect on the go, go through our link here: https://mbsy.co/ql7jw and use code “THEAGAPECO” for 10% off your order!

 

The Pros and Cons of Tep Wireless

We strive to be honest in our reviews because we would like our readers to know exactly how we feel about products. We want to illuminate everything we loved about a product and everything that was just a bit off. In turn they can make a well-informed decision on the product. We hope this honest approach will allow us to build an open and trusting relationship with our readers. On that note, we’ll start with the cons of the Tep device.

The Cons of Tep

As with every device you’ve owned there will always be one or two things you would change. Even though it is our pick for the best portable wifi, the Tep device is no different. Tep currently sports a 4.3/5-Star average on just under 6,000 reviews. A common issue we personally noticed, as did several reviewers, was a mediocre connection speed. Sometimes the device was incredibly fast and other times it was just ok. The device never failed to load anything, sometimes we just wished it would load a little quicker. Another common note is that users wished the batter life was longer. The devices are rated for 6 or more hours. Personally, we don’t intend to be browsing the internet our whole day on vacation so this was never an issue for us. Additionally, the device does come with a USB and a wall outlet charger so recharging on the go is pretty easy!

The Pros of Tep

Ok now for the fun part, our favorite parts about Tep. First and foremost, their customer service is world class. I have never had trouble getting on the phone, touching base over email, or even live chatting with them through their site. They are extremely responsive, intelligent, and genuinely care for you as a customer. Another reason we chose Tep as the best portable wifi provider is the seamlessness of the connectivity. They offer several different plans (Global, European, Oceania, etc.) that allow you to easily connect anywhere you roam. Lastly, the device is secure. As personal security online continues to be more important having a device you can connect to that is safe will be more important than ever. Tep makes this easy with a unique SSID and password for every device.

Tep Wireless is easily the best “large” company I’ve ever worked with. They know the importance of keeping their customers happy, and it shows in their easy to use devices and customer service. If you would like to experience Tep’s unmatched quality go through our link here: https://mbsy.co/ql7jw and use code “THEAGAPECO” for 10% off your order!

 

Why You Need Tep Wireless

Whether you travel for business or pleasure their will come a time when a trip is more stressful than fun. Whether that’s because of some questionable seafood, a delayed flight, or an inability to load google maps, life on the road will be hard. You can take away some of those hardships by easily and reliably having an internet connection. Instead of the gas station seafood you could find a local joint with a 5-Star rating. Instead of meandering the airport for 6 hours you can stream a few of your favorite movies. Instead of ending up in Denver, Iowa (yes it’s a real place) you can load google maps and make your ski trip to Colorado a reality! These are just a few reasons we believe in and recommend Tep, it simply is the best portable wifi for travelers.

We know you may not be a seafood fan, or maybe you never fly anywhere, or maybe you don’t even use google maps, but there will come a time when you will need a wifi connection and won’t have one. For us it was in Iceland, and Costa Rica, but it won’t happen again! If you would like to relieve some of the stress of traveling go through our link here: https://mbsy.co/ql7jw and use code “THEAGAPECO” for 10% off your order!

 

Where to Get the Best Portable Wifi

Well folks, I was hoping we’d made this part clear already! If you want a secure, reliable, affordable way to get online on the go, look no further than Tep Wireless. They are an incredible company, with an incredible product, backed by thousands of happy customers. If you would like to give them a try and save 10% off your order, then go through our link here: https://mbsy.co/ql7jw and use code “THEAGAPECO”.

There ya have it everyone! We truly believe Tep Wireless is the best portable wifi for travelers. From its unmatched customer service, to its affordable rates, or even its seamless connectivity on the go, we are thrilled to use Tep on our travels. We hope the next time you’re in need you’ll give it a shot!

Be sure to let us know below in the comments what you thought of our review. Have you ever tried a mobile hotspot? Who did you use? Do you have a different opinion? Please remember to subscribe and share our blog on social media with your friends and family, God Bless!

The Perfect Gifts for Travelers—21 Gift Ideas for Travelers They’ll LOVE

Ok, ok I admit it. I’m guilty. I. AM. HARD. TO. SHOP. FOR. Between stuffing all my belongings into suitcases and unpacking at home, I struggle to think of anything else I could want. This leads to a lot of stress for friends and family around Christmas or birthdays (sorry!). Coming up with gift ideas for travelers you know can feel equally as stressful, which is why Kestra and I have put together our list of 21 perfect gifts for travelers, full of items we couldn’t live without, are secretly wishing for, or just might go buy ourselves!

Our list of gift ideas for travelers is in no particular order so take your time exploring the options. These gifts for travelers are targeted to people who love to travel, dream of exploring the world more, or are actively looking to start. Finding gifts for travelers can be tough, so we made sure to include a wide range of products to be sure you can find the right gift for the right person!

To be clear: this page contains affiliate links. In the event of a sale, as an Amazon Associate we will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost for you).  This allows us to continue to produce great content, so thank you!

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Scratch-Off World Map

Kestra and I both have (and love!) our Scratch-Off World Maps. After our road trip this summer we were able to scrape off 12 states and it looks so much more colorful now! The only downside is the pick they provide you with isn’t the best, but if you use a dime it works just fine. It’s a great gift for travelers just starting their adventures or for those who don’t have many countries left! The map always brings back memories and if you frame it with pictures of your travels it becomes a great way to tell stories!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader

Long plane rides or endless hours in the car are made so much easier with Kindles of any kind but I LOVE my Kindle Paperwhite. I try to get through a few books a month and I never delete any, but I never run out of storage! Plus, I think I’ve charged the thing like 4 times— ever. It really is a great product and they even made the new ones waterproof! Many libraries now offer e-books so you can login online and check out books for free. Wicked!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Portable Power Bank-24,000 mAh

These are life savers! At first I bought a cheap portable charger at Walmart and could only half-charge one phone. I upgraded before getting more serious about camping and boy did it help. Anything you can charge via a USB is compatible and it holds between 10 and 15 “phone charges”. They are perfect for anyone serious about camping (but still wanting to take pictures) or for those running to catch their next flight.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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LifeStraw Water Bottle

The two-stage built in filter means no more endless pumping through your filter, you just fill and drink. Ponds, puddles, lakes, and streams— this hiker’s dream makes it possible to always have your water ready to go. I have a LifeStraw (not in water bottle form) that I can’t speak highly enough of. They say they get rid of all odors and for the most part they do, if you can stomach it you can drink it. To all the off the beaten path explorers, enjoy!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Bear Butt Hammock

I know it’s not an ENO. It’s better! I’ve had them both and can promise you Bear Butt is the way to go. They offer a double wide in great color choices and their Kodiak Straps are amazing. Seriously, for a reasonably priced hammock this thing outperforms even the name brands. Heck, its so good it might even be the name brand now. Be sure to “splurge” on those Kodiak Straps!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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DJI Phantom 3 Drone

Yeah I won’t lie this one’s expensive, but that’s why it’s a wish list so play along! Everyone is more and more familiar that drones changed the game when it comes to photography. DJI is essentially the GoPro of drones, they simply do it best. We personally don’t own one but if we did this is the direction we’d go. They also have slightly cheaper DJI models so feel free to check them out!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Travel Adapter-2000W

Kestra and I picked this up before our trip to Iceland and it is awesome! You just flip the switches and plug into the proper slots for the country you’re in. It even has temperature control and surge protection so if you accidentally screw up you don’t have to bury your electronics. This version is the perfect gift idea for travelers because it works in over 150 countries!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Men’s Toiletry Bag

These canvas bags are super handy and durable. Plus, for just over $10 they are a phenomenal value. They fit easily in a carry on and make separating out all of my extra junk so much easier. We highly recommend for anyone them for anyone you know who doesn’t want their toothbrush dragging over their underwear 😉

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Women’s Toiletry Bag

These toiletry bags are just a little larger than the men’s and cost just a little more. They come in great colors, have a built in hanger, and can fit full sized bottles of shampoo (if you can sneak it through TSA). Another great choice for any adventurers that like to brush their hair or use deodorant in the morning. Check them out!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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GoPro Hero 7

We mentioned GoPro is the standard when it comes to action cameras and it’s because their technology is simply unreal. Tired of watching shaky footage, clicking through confusing screens, and just want good action shots from your trip? GoPro is the way to go. Their image stabilization is incredible, making the bumpiest of rides fun to watch. Before mine took a prolonged swim in the Pacific Ocean I took it skiing, wakeboarding, white water rafting, you name it. So you can be sure this is back on any wish list I put together!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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23andMe Ancestry DNA Test

Kestra and I had wanted to do these tests for years and this last Christmas we finally did. It was so cool to see where our ancestors lived, different traits we’d inherited, and even different genetic markers to make sure we were healthy—we are! This is one of those absolutely perfect gifts for travelers because it renews a sense of wonder when you travel. You wonder who in your family line has walked where you are and you dream of visiting the places you come from.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Canon EOS Rebel T6 and Accessory Kit

What a steal! Kestra and I started taking photography a little more seriously and this is a great camera package to get started with. It come with two lenses, a tripod, two memory cards, telephoto and wide angle adapters, almost everything you need. Overall the camera performs greater than I expected, only downside is the tripod feels cheap and so does the bag. Compared to what you would pay for them all individually though this is a bargain!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Columbia Women’s Hiking Boots

These boots are incredible. Kestra wears them everywhere, and I do mean everywhere: Iceland, Costa Rica, the North Shore, and California, just to name a few places. They’re good boots that wear well, don’t eat up your toes on the downhill, keep water off your socks, and actually breathe some (as much as a hiking boot can). Size wise they run true so there are no worries there!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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The North Face Men’s Hiking Boots

If you could only ever buy one pair of boots again I’d make it these. Why? Because North Face has a great warranty repair program. Anytime I bust an eyelet or something just doesn’t feel right they help me out. They also are super comfortable, easy to put on, and I’ve never gotten a blister in them. Needless to say, I know what I’d buy!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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The North Face Women’s Weatherproof Jacket

Man these are handy. Kestra loves her rain jacket from her grandma so she doesn’t need a new one but this is what I’d get her if she did. They are completely wind and waterproof, have a cinch down hoody, and can be folded into their own pocket when you aren’t using them. Eddie Bauer also offers some amazing rain coats but they run for three times the amount for pretty much the same jacket. Plus, North Face has tons of pretty colors!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Marmot Men’s Weatherproof Jacket

These jackets are so nice. I have a friend who let me borrow his on the way to class a few years ago and I showed up completely dry. It has something like three layers of GoreTex (that’s the waterproofing stuff) so you can be sure that whatever you want to stay dry will. They also pack up into a coat pocket and come in four really cool colors. Check them out!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Bluetooth Speaker

With thousands of 5-Star reviews these guys are obviously doing something right! Their wireless, waterproof speakers are perfect gifts for travelers who love the great outdoors and don’t want to worry about what can’t get wet. We’d love to take them camping, and if you pack that portable charger you can play your music for hours!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Phone Tele-Photo Lens

For those not quite ready to lug around a camera all the time, this tele-photo lens for your phone is perfect. It is light and easily packable, not a pain to haul around all day, and can be fitted to most major phones. We all know most people are snapping pictures on their phones anyway, so why not invest and up the quality of them tremendously? This one is a wonderful gift idea for travelers who can’t seem to put their devices away (yeah, that might be me too).

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Leatherman Multi-Tool

This one is with me no matter where I go. It’s saved me countless headaches on many dirt bike trips, kept me from starving near the campfire because I can’t open the can, and even cut my hair one time—it was a chop job. The point is, though, when you’re in need it gets the job done, and with fourteen tools it’s bound to have the one you need. Or at least one that’s close enough!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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G-RO Luggage

This could use some explaining. I’ll preface it by saying, this is the Cadillac of suitcases. With built in power banks and USB chargers, Bluetooth luggage locators, oversized wheels to go over curbs and snow, these are built to last. For any serious travelers considering traveling more, they are well worth the investment. If it’s only a trip or two a year, then stick with the duffle. Check them out though because they are still cool!

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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Noise Canceling Headphones

Wowza these are incredible. If you’ve ever just wanted to sleep on an airplane, you know the struggle of all the incessant background noise. From the engine on your left to the motor mouth on your right, sometimes you just wish you could hear yourself think. These make that possible again! Bonus: they’re wireless so you don’t accidentally choke yourself in your sleep.

Buy it on Amazon HERE

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As you can see there are plenty of amazing gifts for travelers if you look hard enough. Some are more budget-friendly than others but all are guaranteed to deliver smiles! Be sure to let us know below in the comments which gift idea for travelers you liked the most. Do you know of any other good gifts? Please remember to subscribe and share our blog on social media with your friends and family, God Bless!

 

Want to see where all Kestra has worn her favorite boots? Check out:

What to do in Utah-12 Photos to Inspire you to Visit

What We’d Spend More Time Doing in Iceland

Costa Rica’s Best Waterfalls