While it might sound like punishment to some winter camping gets right to the essence of why we love the outdoors. In cold weather, the bugs and the crowds are gone, and where they do exist, a short jaunt in snowshoes can take you to a place where silence reigns. Even if you’re just car camping, there’s a sense of accomplishment that comes from setting up in the snow and surviving a night (or more) away from the safety of the thermostat. But to do so, you need the right clothing, plus a sleeping bag and tent that can survive severe weather and help you deal with the fewer daylight hours. Luckily, the newest gear makes it easier than ever before to stay both warm and dry. When the sun sets, you’ll be glad you packed these essentials.