The Winter Toolkit

The Hand & Eye runs down a few critical tools to help get you through the winter. 

The Axe: Probably the most important winter tool there is. As noted on this blog before, we’re in a golden age of axe making, for whatever reason. And as much as I prefer a traditional wood-handled version like this, you can’t go wrong with the Fiskars splitting axe. 

The Socks: Wool socks with a lifetime guarantee that are made in Vermont. I’m on year three of a pair of these and they’re showing no signs of wear. Darn Toughs, all day every day.

The Shovel for the Car:  Because at some point, you’ll need to dig yourself out. Either your car will get buried by a plow, or you’ll slide into a snowbank, and it’s not worth calling for a tow and because yes, you can use your hands, but come on, that will take forever. Stash a small shovel in your car and be prepared for the inevitable. 

The Thermos: Often forgotten in the morning, always appreciated in the afternoon. Wherever your adventure takes you, bring a thermos with something hot in it and stay warm.

The Wool Blanket: The heavy wool blanket is as essential as a pair of thick wool socks in the winter. I’m partial to a Pendleton, and I have a blanket from my aunt’s sheep in Vermont that’s currently on my bed, but Hudson Bay, Faribault Mill are great choices too.   

The Dutch Oven: Whatever your preferred piece is here, having the ability to slow roast something is a crucial winter play. I got one of these last year for Christmas, and it’s become a critical part of my Sunday operation. Hours of roasting something in the oven keeps the house warm, is easy, and always satisfying.