Comprehensive Homesteader Winter Gear Guide

Baby it’s cold outside… baby you’ll freeze out there… Wait, no I won’t. In fact, we just finished shoveling our long driveway (by hand, although this should be the last year of that!), split a cord of wood, and did the farm chores. The wind was blowing, the temps are well below 0 deg F, the snow is falling, and I came in sweating.

Before I continue, a few quick points:

  • I was not paid to recommend any of this gear.
  • I was not given any of this gear to review, but purchased each item.
  • Being a lifetime resident of Minnesota (with the exception of a short stay for schooling in North Dakota), I have put many different pieces of winter gear to the test.  Each of these are items I personally use and trust.
  • Farm chores and homesteading chores are hard on clothing.
  • From winter fat-tire biking, ice fishing, to farm chores, I think this selection of winter gear will keep you toasty and will survive a beating that homesteading and farm living will throw at it.
  • While I do receive a small percentage off of any purchase made through Amazon using the links I provide, I do encourage you to shop local if you can and if the price difference is not out of line.  I personally have found the bibs listed below cheaper locally than on Amazon.

I hope this list helps you out as the frigid arctic weather settles in for the winter.  As is always recommended, layer up for maximum warmth.  You can always remove a layer if you start getting too warm!


Face/Head

Image Source: Amazon

Outdoor Research Ninjaclava Balaclava – I discovered this balaclava when looking for gear for my commute to the office, on bike, in the winter, in Minnesota.  This is my balaclava of choice for any outdoor cold weather work or recreation.  The beauty of the balaclava, you can wear it as a face mask,  hat, or neck warmer.


Hands

I have two go-to items here.  Which set I grab before leaving the house depends on the temperature and the task at hand. Quickly, two things I look for in a good winter work glove: proper insulation and leather exterior.  The leather serves two purposes, blocking wind and handling the harshness of the task at hand.

Image Source: Amazon

RefrigiWear Fleece Lined Insulated Leather Mitt Glove – These mittens are great for shoveling snow or splitting wood.  They also have a decent cuff to keep snow out. Unlike most socks and gloves, I found the sizing on these runs a little large.

 

Image Source: Amazon

Well Lamont Leather Winter Work Gloves – The classic winter work glove.  These provide good dexterity while still providing warmth.


Feet

Image Source: Amazon

DeFeet Woolie Boolie Lo Sock  – These are THE sock, summer or winter.  I love these wool socks!  I stumbled upon these when looking for the perfect cycling sock in all weather.  Summer heat, winter cold, and the wind and rain in between, these are the perfect sock.  They are a little on the expensive side, but they tend to outlast any cotton or polyester sock, hands-down.

 

Rocky Blizzard Boot- I have had these boots for almost 15 years now.  Great traction for pulling wood from the woods in the jet sled, cutting firewood, or fat biking through the snow.  They don’t sell the same model I have anymore, so you are on your own here to look for a suitable replacement.


Legs

Forget about your dad’s long (thermal) underwear!  With the popularity of winter running and cycling, we now have a decent selection of cold weather tights to choose from to use as our base layer. These are my favorite:

Image Source: Amazon

Baleaf Men’s Outdoor Thermal Cycling Running Tights – These are always used as my base layer when winter cycling.  They also work excellent as a base layer under jeans or slacks.  I have been really impressed at the quality of their build for their price point.

For the outer layer, I go with:

Image Source: Amazon

Carhartt Quilt Lined Zip To Thigh Bib Overalls – I picked up a pair of these and liked them so much, I bought a set for everyone in the family!  They are a farm/homesteader classic.

 


Abdomen

I have a really fancy $300+ North Face coat.  To be honest, my $50 Dickies keeps me just as warm, if not warmer.  I also don’t need to worry about ripping it while doing chores!

Image Source: Amazon

Dickies Men’s Sanded Duck Sherpa Lined Hooded Jacket

While the above recommendations won’t win you any fashion awards, you will stay toasty warm while tending to the animals or stacking firewood.  And trust me, the animals will be happy to see you no matter what you are wearing!


One more recommendation…..

Night Lighting

While you are at it, do yourself a favor and pick up a headlamp for those outdoor activities in the dark winter mornings/evenings.  My bike headlight doubles as a headlamp when attached to an inexpensive head strap.  For evening wood splitting, I also carry along my new favorite lantern:

Image Source: Amazon

Streamlight 44931 Siege 540 Lumen Ultra-Compact Work Lantern – This lantern is great.  It has an ingenious handle that allows it to hang from almost anything, including my jeans or Carhartt bibs pocket. My only complaint is this lantern takes “D” batteries, which I resolved by purchasing Eneloop D spacers for my Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries.

Do you have any suggestions?  Did I miss something?

-Jeremy

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