Winter is here.

The wood stove is installed and working perfectly. Now that we know the stove will keep us warm, it’s time to gear up for winter.

I kept my hopes in check on the Cubic Mini. I wasn’t sure whether we would get it installed correctly, or if it would produce enough heat, use too much wood etc.

After a couple weeks of use, I couldn’t be more impressed. The amount of heat this thing puts out is amazing. It’s efficient too, we are going through about 2 logs (the size you get with campfire bundles) per day. We will go through more wood as the temps drop, but thus far it’s amazing how little wood we need.

Now that we know the stove is solid, it’s time to finish our winter kit.

Gomboy 240 Medium Teeth


Hand Saw

We need a good saw. I’m going to be cutting up lots of hard woods into small chunks. The old, dull wood saw I have currently makes this quite a chore.

Silky Saws are the most versatile and compact handsaws I’ve found. They’re mega sharp, made in Japan and they cut on the pull, so the wood is chunked off as you pull the saw toward you.

After lots of research, I landed on the Gomboy 240 with medium teeth. The Gomboy is a capable size, and it folds up for storage.

I’m going with the medium teeth because I will be processing both soft and hard woods. Smaller teeth take smaller chunks, better for hard woods; and large teeth take big chunks, better for soft wood. The medium sits right in the middle, so I can cut it all.

The straight blade makes most sense for us. Curved blades are designed to cut tree branches overhead and at weird angles. Since I’ll just be cutting up logs on the ground, the straight blade will provide the simplest motion and cleanest cut.

Eventually an electric chain saw may make more sense, but doing all this by hand will be a good workout.

Lifeline Utility Shovel

Snow Shovel

We want to be in snowy areas this winter, so a solid shovel is a necessity. Since we’ll be storing these tools all year long in the Scamp, we need them to be compact. I started looking at avalanche shovels, but they’re pricy.

I found this Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel on Amazon. It’s big enough for scooping snow, and small enough to keep in the car in case we get stuck.

Leatherman Skeletool

Leatherman Skeletool

I find myself needing pliers, screw drivers and knives often. Whenever we need a tool, we have to move the stuff around on the bench, lift it up, then search the compartments for the tool needed. This sucks.

With a multitool, we can always keep it out and ready to go. Like everything else, I researched multitools a lot. The ones that stick out to me are the Wave (saw & micro screw driver), Signal (fire starter, saw, & stake pounder), and the Skeletool.

For now, we’re going to get a Leatherman Skeletool. It comes equipped with a multi-bit screw driver, solid knife, full size pliers and a carabiner. Even if we eventually need a more capable toolset, the Skeletool will always be useful due to its compact, pocketable size.


Down Comforter

This thing is a game changer. It traps all of our body heat and keeps us toasty in freezing weather.

We went with this rather than sleeping bags because it packs up tiny, sleeping bag zippers are annoying, and we don’t want to be sleeping in bags all the time. With the three of us, our cumulative body heat is substantial.

The down comforter we ended up getting is made by Rumple. It’s a light sleeping bag material filled with down to trap heat. We went with the throw size and fits our little bed perfectly.

The pattern we chose is what sold us. The design is by a fellow KC native, Jeremy Collins. Jeremy is a badass, even if you’re not familiar, you’ve most likely seen his art around. He’s one of the most inspiring Kansas Citians we know of and we’re willingly support his art. This pattern is only available at REI stores.

We had considered electric blankets, and still may go that route eventually. For now the simplicity of a down blanket is preferable, and this solution won’t tank our power overnight.

We’re geared up and stoked to experience winter in the backcountry. If you have any ideas or suggestions for winter survival, please share in the comments. 😬🏔