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Backpacking in the winter involves much more commitment than traditional three-season backpacking, primarily due to weather conditions and the challenges that come along with them. Changing your shelter options to handle colder temperatures and, especially, snow is the first issue of winter backpacking. Most retailers will break up their shelters into “three-season” and “four-season” options. A “four-season” shelter really just means that it would primarily be used during the winter. Four-season tents usually come with stronger pole structures, stronger fabric that covers the entire tent (as opposed to mesh), additional guy line points so that the effects of the wind are lessened, and larger vestibules so that gear can be stored and cooking can be done without worrying too much about the elements. Some tents are even double walled in order to provide better cross ventilation and more warmth. Expect to spend more money on a four-season tent as opposed to a more traditional 3-season tent. A myth about hammocks is that they cannot be used to camp during the winter, but this is absolutely false. By utilizing a four-season backpacking hammock setup you can continue to enjoy your hammock throughout the colder weather. For insulation during the winter months,...

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