Winter camping is really enticing, but it requires some specific winter camping essentials to make it a success. Otherwise, if you go under-prepared, the snowy trip might turn out really uncomfortable and unsafe for you.
To ensure nothing bad happens to you, you must know what to bring along. If you’re not well-familiar with these then, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in this article. So, without any further chit chat, let’s dig into the details –
The Complete Winter Camping Packing List of 2021
Winter camping requires you to take in some extras besides the basic camping gear. To up your game, we’ll now take you through each and every item that you should include in your winter backpacking checklist. So, guys giddy up and keep reading –
1. Winter Tent with Stove Jack
A tent is apparently the very first thing you need to pack for camping, but when it comes to camping in lower temperatures, having a regular tent is just not enough. As winter is all about shivering cold winds and snowfalls, therefore the tent must have the ability to protect you from these extreme weather conditions.
According to our research, any 4-season tent can withstand blustery and snow attacks pretty well. Then again, while ensuring the model is weatherproof also confirm that it comes with at least one stove jack. The model PRESELF Hot Tent is a premium option that includes both said amenities. Also, you can opt for the model DANCHEL OUTDOOR Tent to get two stove jacks in your tent rather than just one.
2. Waterproof Tent Groundsheet
Keeping your tent floor dry during winter camping is crucial yet pretty challenging due to the icy ground underneath, right? Guess what comes to the rescue here. Yes, a waterproof groundsheet! We lay this sheet under the tent as a partition between the cold harsh ground and tent floor to halt the earth’s coldness and wetness to penetrate to the tent floor.
However, finding the right groundsheet can be challenging since the current market has so many options available. But, according to our research, the model Amazon Basics Waterproof Tent Groundsheet has to be the best of its kind. Yet again, if you have any color or size preference then you’re better off with the model Azarxis Tent Floor Saver Groundsheet. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
3. Cold Weather Sleeping Bag
Sleeping bags are another indispensable gear for the winter camping checklist. Notably, these bags are designed to keep you fully wrapped up so that neither the outside cold air can crawl down to your body nor the body heat can escape from your surroundings. This insulated condition aids to keep you toasty warm while you sleep.
The model TETON Sports Queen-Size Sleeping Bag can get you perfect warmth, up to the temperature +20°F/-7°C. Nevertheless, when you expect to undergo even lower temperatures then we’ll suggest you to go for Coleman Sleeping Bag, which works wonders even in the 0°F/-18°C temperature.
4. Sleeping Bag Liners
When the weather is colder, why not turn the sleeping bag warmer? But, how to do that? Luckily, sleeping bag liners are here for this job. This is just adding an extra layer with your sleeping bag to combat the extreme coolness.
Tough Outdoors Sleeping Bag Liner is one of the ultralight options out there and works superbly to bring extra warmth to your sleeping bag. However, if you have a color in mind, then Vumos Sleeping Bag Liner is here to get you exactly what you want.
5. Insulated Sleeping Pad
The next item on our cold weather checklist is none other than the insulated sleeping pads. These pads not only give a comfy sleeping surface but also halts the ground coldness to sneak into your sleeping space. Thus, on lower temperature days, the importance of having an insulated sleeping pad is unavoidable.
You can go for the very flexible model Outdoorsman Sleeping Pad, which comes with a great temperature rating and also is abrasion-resistant and exceptionally lightweight. If you’re on a tight budget, then this amazing model KLYMIT Static Camping Sleeping Pad should live up to your mind.
6. Rainfly/Waterproof Tarp
Although you can’t stop the shivery wind or the snow falling, you can stop the coolness from permeating your tent instead. And, clothing up your tent with an additional rainfly or waterproof trap is the way to go.
This Arcturus Insulated Thermal Reflective Tarp is simply a wonder and comes in handy all season. But, for better coverage check out this model, KING-A-MA-JIGS Waterproof Tarp.
7. Fleece Blanket
Nothing beats the coziness and warmth of a blanket. However, carrying a heavy blanket all the way to your campsite may not be a good idea, which is why we’ve settled on a fleece blanket. Fleece blankets are lightweight yet great at warming you up.
If you don’t already have one of them at home, then you can opt for this KMUSET Fleece Blanket. It’s super lightweight and will take up the least space in your backpack. If you want to get a blanket for two-person, the Utopia Bedding Fleece Blanket is exactly what you need.
8. Winter Camping Clothes: Top
Regardless of the severity of the coldness, having the proper layering of clothes can keep you warm. However, for inner we’d suggest you to wear synthetic thermals. For the second layer, we’ll recommend you to put on a full zip fleece jacket.
A vest works fine too but if you go for it make sure to choose zipped ones. The last layer is to protect you from rain and wind. For this layer, it is best to use a Waterproof Shell Jacket. However, if the intensity of cold is too high then, you may wear a down or puffer jacket under the shell jacket.
9. Neck Scarf
Keeping your neck covered apparently keeps you warmer and saves your neck from cold neck soreness. Thus, even though the coats zip across the neck, we recommend that campers cover their necks. A woolen scarf can be used for this purpose.
You may already have some of them at home, but if not, you can easily obtain them from the winter clothes market. However, don’t just dangle the scarf around your neck, rather you should cover your neck tightly all the way up to your chin.
10. Neck Gaiters
Neck gaiters are designed to cover your neck and face together. They serve like life saviors when the temperature lowers severely. Wrapping it up keeps your face and neck from ice burn and fetches you perfect warmth.
Doerix Neck Gaiter is the number one best-selling neck gaiter model of the current time. Other than that offering 8 color choices, the model Dapaser Neck Gaiter is another lucrative option of the current time.
Regardless of how chilly it is outside, most campers ignore covering their heads, although it is just as vital as the rest of the clothing! You will never achieve perfect warmth if your head stays exposed.
However, the selection of headgear is pretty extensive, including a beanie, wool watch cap, Yukon hat, Akron hat, balaclavas, and the list goes on. Among them, whichever type suits you, make sure to add that to your winter camping packing list.
12. Hand Gloves
Covering your palms is also essential to keep you safe from frostbites. Wrapping up your hand with glove liner like Tough Outdoors Glove Liners should be enough for mild chilly weather.
However, if you’re going out while it’s snowing, then you need to put on another layer of ski gloves. Waterproof hand gloves, like the model G & F Waterproof Winter Glove, is another option.
13. Winter Camping Clothes: Bottom
The right layering is again crucial to get you the right amount of comfort and warmth. Since the first and foremost bottom layer will be touching your skin, so, once again, the best would be putting something made of synthetic thermals.
For the second layer, you can go with trekking pants. Besides, athletic or hiking pants are a good option as well. For the last layer, you should choose waterproof shell pants or snow pants. These pants will help you keep warm and dry as they are made of waterproof materials.
Here’s how you can take the best care of your feet by packing the right socks for winter camping. It’s best to layer your socks as well. Start with a pair of thin ankle-length or no-show socks.
Cue socks are best as a second or the top layer of socks. It is made out of wool, so you can wear these for several days without stinking as wool is antimicrobial. However, you run an errand for it make sure to get the padded ones to avoid heel discomfort from the boots.
15. Winter Shoes
Unlike summertime, the winter season demands full-coverage shoes. Any pair of boots or sport shoes will suffice, as long as they are well-ventilated and won’t cause your feet to sweat. Also, it should be waterproof and thermally insulated to keep the outside coolness away from your feet.
The model KEEN Men’s Waterproof Insulated Shoe is a top-notch choice for men, and on top of insulating those feet brings a stylish vibe to the overall look. And, for women, we would suggest the model KEEN Women’s Presidio Insulated Shoe.
16. Snow Boots
Walking over the snow is tougher than it seems, so don’t challenge your feet to cross those snowy paths with regular shoes. This attempt will only bring you frigid feet with chilblains. So, before heading to winter snow camping make sure to errand for snow boots.
Columbia Men’s Snow Boot and KEEN Utility Waterproof Men’s Boot are really excellent alternatives for men. Both are reigning in the current market right now. And, with a touch of style and fur, both the model Kamik Women’s Snow Boot and Columbia Women’s Snow Boot are really classy and great options for any camping woman.
17. Leg Gaiters
Again, before hitting the snowy backcountry roads you need to add another layer of protection to your leg to keep it safe from freezing avalanches. And, that extra protection layer is known as leg gaiters. Leg gaiters are basically waterproof fabric tube that covers both feet and lower leg from sleet and loose gravel.
Many campers overlook its importance, but to be on the safer side we’d suggest you include it on your snow camping checklist. If you don’t already own any pair of them, we’d recommend you to pick one between the amazing models like Pike Trail Leg Gaiters and Azarxis Hiking Leg Gaiters.
18. Hand Warmers
Winter sometimes brings with it freezing coldness that cannot be alleviated just by laying on layers of clothes. This scenario necessitates the use of another miraculous remedy, which brings the one-of-a-kind item known as hand warmers.
Hand warmers are basically a complex element that emits heat when exposed to air. Putting it in your hand, between your toes, or inside your clothing can rapidly warm you up. This method can truly help you get through your icy adventure.
19. Camp Lantern
Camp lantern is again a must-have item for camping, but during winter camping, it has much more to offer than simply dispersing light. It helps to keep the inside warm and channels a homely ambiance within your tent.
Here are some recommendations for you. The model Eveready LED Camp Lantern with 4 different modes of light is so damn cool, and sure to level up your winter camping experience. Yet again, if you want a long survivor then nothing beats the model Energizer LED Camping Lantern.
20. Tent Safe Camp Stove
As said earlier, cooking outside during the chilly season is pretty dicey, hence cooking inside is clearly the wisest move. And, for this, you’ll be needing a tent-safe camp stove. The model TMS Portable Camping Wood Stove is surely a great option for it and is meant to make the task of cooking a breeze.
Now, if you’re wondering why would you spent on a camp stove when you already have one at home, then let us remind you, that we can’t just overlook the possibility of your tent catching fire. However, if you’re worried about carrying heavyweight, then the model US Portable Camp Stove will surely put your mind at ease.
21. Suitable Stove Platform
Along with the stove, you’ll be needing a suitable stove platform as well to avoid any potential risk. It is apparent that the campground floor won’t be as flat as a pancake, and so placing your stove on an unstable and uneven surface may result in uncalled accidents. A handy stove platform can save you here.
Also, when you light the stove, the entire body of the stove becomes fiery hot, which may burn the tent floor if a warm shield platform is not laid beneath the stove. So, you see, the stove platform is really vital. The good news is that you don’t have to spend any money on this as you can easily make one by yourself utilizing some simple DIY techniques.
22. Enough Fuel
After the stove and stove platform, fuel is the next important item on our winter camping gear list. Fuel is basically required to light up the stove. However, bear in mind that, unlike other seasons, during the winter you don’t just use the stove to cook.
Rather you need to use it to thaw out the food every time you eat or drink something. Hence, bringing extra fuel is super necessary. Otherwise, if you run out of fuel, you’ll have to get back from your trip straight away, and you don’t want that, right?
Again, how would you light the stove without a lighter? That’s why we crammed the lighter into our list. Not to mention, a lighter is also required to burn the wood in order to set up a campfire.
For that purpose, you certainly need a smart lighter that is waterproof, windproof, and burns instantly. The model SUPRUS Electric Lighter and Triple Arc Plasma Lighter are top-notch options in this regard.
24. Cookware and Utensils
Since winter backpacking checklist necessitates carrying more supplies than other seasons, you must pack them wisely to lighten the load on your shoulders. So, when it comes to cookware and utensils, we’d suggest you to go less.
Instead of hoarding multiple cookware, pick one or two versatile options that can be used to cook all varieties of recipes that you’re planning to cook. A medium-sized pan with a lid and a heat-resistant spatula might suffice.
25. Food Items
After sorting out the stove-related items, let’s look at the food items. You should obviously bring the items that you’ve got an appetite for. Alongside that, pack enough snacks as the more you chew the more internal body heat will produce.
Try to bring plenty of dry food as they are ready to eat and entails no hassle of warming up. Also, it goes without saying that the craving for coffee doubles during the winter season, so don’t forget to bring enough coffee sashes with you.
Compromising with your thirst is again risky for your health, but what to do when you feel thirst in the middle of your hiking? You can’t just go back and thaw out the frozen water since drinking cold water might make you sick.
To get you out of this quandary, a thermos is over the top essential for winter camping. These two thermos model Thermoflask Insulated Thermos and Iron Flask Sports Thermos really caught our attention with their unbeatable quality and efficiency.
27. Absorbent Towels
Assume you got wet and came to wipe the dampness away; you take up the towel only to find it is wet as well. And because the sun isn’t shining, there’s no way to dry it, now what to do? This problem can be simply solved with an absorbent towel.
So, don’t forget to include this absorbent towel in your winter camping checklist to ensure you stay dry. If you’re wondering where to buy, then wait no longer and click any of these great options – AIDEA Microfiber Absorbent Towel, JML Super Absorbent Bath Towel to buy online.
28. Portable Camp Heater
The heaters are those magic wands that can vanish the intensity of winter cold without much effort. Yes, heaters can take away the chilling coldness of your tent and turn the icy hall into an oven in no time. Just make sure you’re buying the ones that are suitable for your tent and have the temperature regulating option.
Campers who have used heaters highly recommended the heater model Mr. Heater Portable LP Heater. Also, the model Texsport Sportsmate Portable Heater has been a favorite pick for the campers for years.
The winter season is full of mist, fog, and snowfall. These made the outside super blurry and you hardly see anything from far. Here a pair of binocular can set you right. Like, all the other items, we’ve also brought some ski googles suggestions for you. The models Occer 12×25 Compact Binoculars and Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Binoculars are the top-selling models of the current time.
Note that the hazy and fuzziness winter conditions might potentially lead to an unfortunate accident. But, with a headlamp, you’ve got nothing to worry about! This light source will make your outdoor movement safe regardless of the weather condition. To get a good deal, check out these superb models LHKNL Waterproof Headlamp ENERGIZER LED Waterproof Headlamp.
31. Ski Goggles
Even if it snows all day, you can’t just sit inside your tent and forego all of your planned camping activities. The irony is when you get out while it is snowing, the snow may get into your eyes and make you unable to see anything. This situation can drag you into any uncalled accident. Though, by donning a pair of ski goggles, you may entirely avoid this danger.
32. Trekking poles
If you are going trekking on those snowy days, trekking poles are vital for keeping your balance on the snowy and slippery track. However, when you errand for trekking poles, be sure there of great qualities.
Otherwise, they may snap and lead you to an unpleasant accident. To guarantee you don’t get doomed, here are two alternatives that will never let you down –Hiker Hunger Carbon Trekking Poles, Cascade Mountain Trekking Poles.
33. Slope Meter
Again, if you’re planning for snow trekking, a slope meter should be on your snow camping checklist. This tool will help you find adjacent slopes, ensuring that you trek safely and avoid falling into any danger.
Since there are many kinds of slope meters available, if you’re wondering which one would be great for your snow trekking endeavor – then without any second thought, go for this AvaGage Trekking and Snowboarding Slope Meter.
We all are familiar with a shovel, right? We use this tool for digging, lifting, and moving materials, so we’ll be needing this to shake off the gathered snow from the tent roof and shift the snow piles from our tent surroundings.
Otherwise, these will reinforce additional coldness within the tent, which is definitely not what we want. However, don’t go for the heavy options as this will only make the task harder.
35. Ice Axe
If the stacked snow is too stubborn to be extracted with a shovel, then you’ll be needing an ice axe to do that. Although, it is very different from a shovel, yet proved to be more effective in this task.
These axes have sharp edges, and as you insert the edge into the heaped snow and move around, the snow stock starts to unsettle. Again, this tool isn’t too huge to squeeze into your bag, so carrying this extra piece of tool won’t be a problem at all.
36. Additional Stakes
If your tent started to tumble during a severe windstorm or blizzard, how it would be? To ensure nothing happens like that you have to be extra sure. For that, we would suggest you bring additional stakes on your extreme cold weather camping.
Pitching your tent with additional stakes can surely bring the stability and assurance you need to stay safe in the wilderness during such inclement weather. So, guys don’t forget to put it in on your winter camping gear checklist.
Who doesn’t love the slide game on a sled? During a severe snowfall, when hiking appears to be dangerous, you then have nothing to do except waiting for the snow to melt. But, your scenario is quite different when you have a sled with you, as this fun tool can instantly change your boring time into a super thrilling gaming time.
38. First aid kit
No matter what season you’re going camping in, a first aid kit should be brought with you. As even after remaining super cautious, you can face accidents. So, having an all-purpose first aid kit on hand might save your life in such a crisis.
Nevertheless, when it comes to camping in the chilly season, make sure to pack remedies that will help you heal your foot blisters, cold soreness, and any other irritations that the cold weather may cause.
39. Personal Items
In the worry of jotting down all the winter camping essentials on the checklist, don’t miss out on the most essential personal items. By personal items, we meant stuff like – cellphone, credit cards, cash, and ID.
Word of advice: when stuffing them inside the backpack, keep them in secure yet easily accessible places, so that you can easily get them whenever you need them. This trick will surely save you time while relieving you of the burden of rummaging through your entire bag for them.
When you’re camping with a group, keeping communication is crucial. However, most remote camping areas do not provide a stable network, which is why we recommend carrying a beacon.
Beacons are tiny wireless transmitters that use low-energy Bluetooth technology to deliver signals to other nearby connected phones. This gadget will make communication with your group easier and better.
Making and saving memories are the main mottos of trips. So, if you’re going on a camping trip, how can you not bring a camera? True, we all have cameras on our phones, but their resolution can never match that of a camera. So, if you have a camera, don’t miss adding it to your winter camping gear list.
42. Bluetooth Earbuds
What is fun without music? Tuning to your favorite music while trekking or randomly wandering or star-gazing definitely takes your experience to a whole new level. And, a perfect pair of Bluetooth Earbuds is what you need for this, so don’t miss grabbing your Bluetooth Earbuds before you head out.
43. Power Bank
We don’t need to exaggerate how important it is to keep your devices charged. Be it your phone, camera, or the Bluetooth Earbuds we were talking about, it needed to be charged to function at all. And, a power bank is such a blessing that lets you charge those devices on the go.
Navigational items like Maps, Compass, GPS and other relevant Apps are essential to keep you on track. Although, the GPS and some tour-related apps works wonder to keep you going, don’t trust the map your device shows you.
Since it never actually covers any area thoroughly. So, keep in mind to collect a physical map of the area you’re heading. The same goes for the compass, try to bring an actual one instead of trusting the one from your phone.
45. Necessary Toiletries
Last but not the least item on our winter backpacking checklist is toiletries, which are vital to keeping us right. Since it’s winter, be sure to pack your winter cream and lip bum to keep the smile on your face.
Also, pack soap that washes off easily with little water. You may also use hand sanitizer instead of frequently washing your hands with cold water. Also, carry sunscreen; the layer of protection sunscreen provides on your skin protects it against ice burn as well.
This article has meticulously covered everything that you need to include in your winter camping gear list. After going through the article by now we can bet you now clearly know what to bring in winter camping. So, campers, pack those up and get ready to enjoy your winter camping to the fullest.
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love for the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping and hiking allows him to feel refreshed.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allow him to de-stress and enjoy life, and he wants you to make the most of your life too.