Winter camping is another name for a thrilling adventure, but that is when you exactly know how to stay warm in that freezing temperature. If you’re at a loss regarding how to keep yourself warm during winter camping, then to your delight you’re in the right place!
In this very article, we’ve covered 31 excellent winter camping tips to keep you warm and to take your winter camping experience to the next level. So, without further ado, let’s explore them –
How to Winter Camp without Freezing to Death
1. Buy the Right Tent
Getting yourself the right tent is definitely the first thing you need to do to ensure your comfortable stay while camping in cold weather. Now if you’re wondering how would you know if the tent is right for you or not, then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
For winter, you should opt for a four-season tent that comes seamlessly insulated. Also, you can go for three-season ones that may require a bit of insulating from your end. For fabric, you should get a tent made of canvas or cotton since these fabrics perform best at keeping the cold out of the tent.
Also, if the exterior section has a polyester or nylon covering, it will work even better. However, because you will most likely use a heater, so be sure that the tent is heater-safe before finally getting your hands on it. You can also go for a hot tent for winter camping.
2. Choose the Campsite Wisely
Because you want to stay warm as much as possible, you should avoid areas that may receive direct snowfall or gusty wind. So, look around and find a location that is less prone to get direct snowfall and is also wind-protected.
Word of Advice: before you pitch the tent, prepare the area by removing the dewdrops the place may have. Also, if you have an extra rainfly or tarp, place it beneath the tent so that no moisture from the ground ever seeps on your tent floor.
3. Get a Good Temperature Rated Sleeping Pad
Sleeping pads are an essential component for camping in cold weather. Not only do they provide you with a comfortable surface to sleep on but also aid in preventing your body warmth from conducting.
While sleeping at night you lose some of your body heat and, that might interrupt your peaceful sleep. A good temperature-rated sleeping pad acts as a good insulator that keeps you warm.
In rough cold weather, the importance of having a sleeping pad is irreplaceable. They do come in many types, shapes and, sizes. Therefore, choose the one that suits your needs the most while keeping an eye for the R rating.
4. Drape More Layers of Clothing
While you can’t control the outside heat, you can surely take charge of the inside heat. Layers of clothing allow you to control your body temperature. The layering technique can be cut off into sections including the base layers, the mid-layers, and the shell outside.
By altering these layers you can simply control the warmth inside your body. Not only that, it is quite essential to wear multiple layers if you are planning on doing some laborious work.
This will make you sweat, which will decrease your body temperature. So, don’t just wait for your body to get cold, wear those fashionista layers before the cold starts to get on you. Of course, you can add or put off the layers to your comfort level.
5. Don’t Forget to Put Up a Winter Cap
The majority of people always seem to care more about covering their hands, toes and, body than covering the head. It never seems important to them. But that’s a big mistake. To keep your entire body completely warm you will need to cover up your entire body.
A small hat can keep you safe from hypothermia and, even prevent frostbite. They also help in prevailing the process of conduction that will take away your body heat. We recommend that you keep the winter cap at your own body temperature so, that it doesn’t get cold.
6. Gloves Are a Must
As your hands and feet are kind of at a distance from your heart, therefore it’s difficult to keep them warm. And rubbing your hand to produce heat by friction doesn’t help in such cold weather. As you will touch numerous cold things, and you will perform tasks throughout the day.
It’s important to keep those lovely hands protected from the severe cold. Gloves are the most efficient way to accomplish this. They keep your hands from becoming numb keeping the body heat from conducting into the atmosphere.
7. Knee-High Socks Are Lifesavers
Now that we got your hands warmed, let’s get on to those feet. There’s no exaggeration to the point that socks are a must to keep your feet from becoming numb. Believe this, you don’t want to feel paralyzed! In order to make sure that you are not completely paralyzed, wear knee-high socks.
They will keep the circulation of blood to your legs to the maximum point. They will prevent your legs from becoming stiff. If you want to wear knee-high socks in winter then put on some tights at first.
8. Pre-Warm Your Gloves and Socks
As mentioned earlier, the feet and hands are quite far from the heart therefore, they tend to get cold easily. What can be done to prevent this?
Well, pre-warming your gloves and, socks are a great way to make your feet and, hands feel toasty. When you put your cold hand and, feet inside the gloves and, socks it’s most likely to take some time to warm them up or it might not even do anything!
Therefore, you should keep the gloves and socks in a warm spot where they will not get soggy. Before heading out, just get into those small ovens and, you will never have to step foot into another cold sock ever again!
9. Try Insulating Your Tent
Now that we have got your body well insulated, it’s very important to keep your tent insulated in the cold nights too. They can be a source of losing your body heat.
You can insulate your tent in various ways. One of the easiest methods is to cover up your tent with a thermal blanket. This will prevent the hot air from rising and, the cold air from sinking down.
Moreover, you can also use insulating fabric, if the thermal blanket is not working for you. This insulating fabric can be placed on the top of the tent to provide extra insulation from the cold. You can find any type of insulating fabric at a near hardware store.
10. Nothing Can Beat The Warmth Of a Thick Blanket
The purpose of using a thick blanket is not only to provide you the comfort but also it allows to stay insulated. It aids in trapping your body heat. This body heat will be lost by convection if a thick blanket is not used.
The thicker the blanket, the more insulated it will be so the less heat loss will occur. It’s better to use two blankets instead of one. Traditionally, wool blankets are used in winter as they are the most insulating fabric.
11. Bring Two Sleeping Pads Instead of One
Like the thick comfortable blankets, the more the sleeping pads the greater the warmth. The sleeping pads are thermal resistant. If you add up two sleeping pads the thermal resistance will be more.
This will provide you with enough heat to stay warm. Most professional campers, use these two sleeping pads method to keep themselves from suffering in the severe cold weather.
12. Fluff those Sleeping Bags
Fluffing the sleeping bags actually means adding more layers to them. As you might have recognized by now, the more layers, the better your experience. You can simply cover up the sleeping bag with a quilt.
Your sleeping experience after a long day of exhausting activities will be more than comfortable by adding a feather-weighted quilt to the sleeping bag. Fluffing your bags in this way will provide you with more ultra-light warmth.
Now, it’s again difficult to find a light-weighted one. But it’s important for the layers to be light-weighted so that you don’t feel discomfort.
13. For Added Extra Warmth Use Sleeping Bag Liners
Most of the campers, don’t even bother about adding this extra layer of sleeping bag liners. But this can be of great benefit. They provide you with warmth and, also insulate your body from the cold and, damp weather outside.
Furthermore, they also act as a barrier. A barrier between your body and, the clean synthetic interior of the sleeping bag.
14. The Portable Heater Does a Great Job
Campers often opt for portable heaters as they are small in size which makes them easy to carry. They are great at providing you with heat. If you feel cold then just turn on that portable heater and, enjoy the warm air flowing around your body.
But with great benefit comes great responsibilities. A portable heater should be used with great caution. Without an appropriate ventilation system, this can become chaos. Therefore, before using one you should read the guidelines carefully.
15. Ensure that the Tent isn’t Covered with Snow
Morning frost that gets collected all over your tent can melt which will cause your tent to soak. Once your tent is soaked you will not be able to enjoy the warmth of a dry tent. In order to avoid this, you should constantly remove the snow that builds up on your tent before it starts to melt.
You can also cover up your tent with plastic covers to prevent any snow from sticking. When you will not be using a tent then you should just invert it. If the sun is in your favor then you can leave it out in the sunshine so that it dries off.
16. Clad Your Tent with Extra Layers
Tents tend to lose the heat even if they are supposed to be 4 season tents. You can’t avoid this fact. But you can surely try to prevail this from happening. Clothing up your tent is a great way to do so.
Put an additional layer of blanket or insulated fabric over the tent. This will trap the warmth within the tent therefore no heat loss will occur by the process of convection. This might not sound like a big deal yet when you are in a really cold and, rough situation this type of precaution is something that is not worth sacrificing.
17. Extra Groundsheets Should Also Be Laid
After getting the entire tent-covered all the way, the flooring almost remains unnoticed. That should not be the case as the flooring can take away much of your body warmth.
Again, the grounds mostly remain cold in winter weather, therefore, the cold air will, of course, be transferred to your body. To prevail this from happening people often use groundsheets. This is a great invention which comes at a really low cost.
They are mainly this blue-colored plastic tarp that creates this barrier between you, and the ground. There are other variations of groundsheets too, like the canvas tarp. No matter what type of groundsheets you will, it will surely benefit you!
18. Keep Yourself Dry, No Matter What
In cold weather, being drenched is the last thing you will desire. If your clothes get soggy, you will be covered with a layer of goosebumps which in the end will result in you facing hypothermia. Therefore, if your clothes get cold or soggy, change them immediately.
19. Try To Stay Completely Insulated
We talked about this before but there’s no way to actually signify the importance of being completely insulated.
If any part of your body is exposed to the cold, then the probability of you facing diseases. So, completely cover yourself up with gloves, socks, layers of clothing and, a hat.
20. Keep Your Water Bottle Insulated
In places where the temperature is really down, it is possible that your drinking water will be frozen. Then you won’t be able to keep yourself hydrated. If you don’t want to face dehydration then keep that water bottles warm as possible.
Use thermal flasks as they are quite efficient at keeping the heat from escaping through radiation. You can also wrap them up in insulating blankets or keep them close to your body so that they stay at your body temperature.
21. Get Some Hot Water Bags
Hot water bags instantly pop into your mind when you are talking about the cold. They can provide you with instant warmth. Keep your hot water bags on the places that get cold the most like your toes or fingers.
You can also leave the hot water bags during the cold night, which adds extra comfort to your peaceful sleep.
22. Let Hand Warmers Show Their Magic
Hand warmers are a complex element that reacts when exposed to air. This reaction is exothermic which means that it produces heat.
Most of the hand warmers are disposable which means that once all of the compounds in it has reacted, it has to be disposed of. They work like magic and are also easy to carry.
23. Lantern or Whatever Light Source You Have, Keep It On
Light sources radiate heat in the form of light. Though the amount of heat might be insufficient to keep you completely warm they surely contribute to keeping a warm atmosphere. On cold nights just keep the light source on, for some additional heat.
24. Ever Heard Of Candle Heaters?
Well, as the name suggests candle heaters use candles to keep the surroundings warm. Most of the campers are not known to this. Although, all it requires is a bunch of candles and, a clay pot.
Keep the clay pot inverted on the candles. This will make it work like an electric heater. The power might not be enough but it will surely provide some warmth during the dark cold nights.
25. Stay Active As Much As Possible
Stay active throughout the day to keep that heat building inside of you.
You may hike or go for a stroll; you may cook something or play around with your mates; you may climb a tree or swim in a nearby waterway; whatever you do make sure you’re not lying still for long hours. As you know, activity boosts our blood circulation and that heats up our bodies naturally.
26. Did you know, Overeating Keeps Us Warm?
The more calories you consume, the warmer you’ll stay! Wondering how? That is because our body spontaneously produces heat while digesting the food we’ve gorged on earlier.
So, the more you eat, the warmer your body will become! So, pack plenty of food for your frigid journey, and don’t mind munching on them every few hours to stay warm and happy in your chilly adventure.
27. Have Your Dinner Late
Since body heat has a huge impact on keeping you warm, here’s another trick to make the most of it. For this, we suggest you have a late meal or a snack before going to bed.
This will allow your digestion to continue working late at night while providing you with the ideal temperature for sleeping in comfort.
28. Drink Warm Liquids
Another real-life tip for raising your core body temperature is to drink warm liquids as much as you can. Just so you know, warm liquids like lukewarm water to boiling soup work like an internal furnace to increase the heat of your body.
So, make sure to include warm liquids in your meal plan to stay warm and comfy without doing a lot for it.
29. Sleep Snuggling Your Favorite One
So far we have been talking about the warmth growing inside the body, now let’s talk about the warmth that can form up outside the body! Confused?
Actually, we were talking about cuddling up, since staying real close to another person prevents body heat from escaping, keeping both of you warm and comfortable during that dark winter. So, sleep snuggling your favorite one: be it your partner or your pet, to stay warm and comfy during your sleep time.
30. Exercising Before Bed Works Wonder
Another way to ensure warmth and comfort during your sleep is to do a little exercise before hopping to bed. Light workouts will do, you don’t need to go for the hardest exercise in your fun camping.
Mark it, a few minutes of sit-ups, push-ups, squats, or jog in will be able to bring surprising warmth into your body. And, then when you’ll sneak into your sleeping pad right away, the warmth will lock in there, giving you the needed comfort the entire night.
31. Lighting a Campfire Can Also Be a Great Solution
Campfire is one of the charms of winter camping; you must light it at least once while being in your winter camp. If you don’t know what it is, then for your knowledge campfire involves lighting a fire with wood and sitting around it for enjoying the night beneath the open sky.
But, if you can relate, this fire also heats up both you and your tent. So, if you’re planning to arrange a campfire, make sure the fire burns well and longer to keep you stay comfy and warmer.
As you’ve read this far, we can bet, the fear of the frigid body, achy muscles, and sore throat won’t be able to reduce your winter camping fun anymore. To assure you make the most of your winter camping we’ve rounded up more than 30 winter camping tips to keep you warm during your chilly escapade.
For sure, this read has made you an expert winter camper, so share the tips with your friends and family and let them know how to handle the winter cold during camping to make the most fun out of this season.
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.