Cold weather camping equipment includes completely different elements from those used for summer and fine weather camping.
So it is not surprising that a well-known question is increasingly being heard in the camping community: How do I get equipped for camping in cold weather?
Every camper “iced” at least once during camping until he learned how to get ready and equipped for camping in winter, or during colder days.
In order to avoid freezing without getting rheumatism or similar illnesses during camping, we have prepared tips for preparing for winter camping (or cold days), and in the following lines you can learn how to get equipped for cold weather camping.
Necessary winter camping equipment
In order for you to be ready to go camping in the colder weather, it is important that you bring the necessary equipment with you.
You will need the equipment for winter camping: a sponge pad for a sleeping bag, a cold-weather sleeping bag (with heat protection), woolen layers of clothing, as well as wool socks, warm gloves and a hat.
In addition, the tent you wear for camping should be windproof and the entire tent is better and warmer than the ones you use in the summer.
Here’s what you’ll need from your camper accessories:
- a nutritionally rich snack,
- reusable straws,
- a thermos and a stainless steel water bottle (which can withstand cold temperatures).
Cold-Weather Camping Tips
Checking the weather forecast before camping
It is not by accident that it is significantly better to prevent than cure. That is why the key to a good, winter camper experience is top-notch preparation.
Preparing for a cold weather camping should be based on a weather forecast that you will constantly check before you go camping.
This is the golden rule of all outdoor activities, especially camping, which includes all days, but also cold nights spent outside.
Start by checking the weather forecast when you start planning your campsite, and finish just before the day you go camping. Pack up according to the weather forecast and be aware of the weather ahead!
Good website for checking local weather is, by our experience, Foreca website
Secure your location before setting up your tent
When you arrive at a camping spot, it is important that you choose a location that is completely safe but also warm.
The safe location where you will set up your tent should not be wet (at least not much), or crooked.
Find as flat and dry a location as possible. With your knees you can flatten and soften the padding on which to place the padding pad and sleeping bag.
Experts say that a softer base will create a warmer sleeping environment in such conditions. If you can find a natural shelter from potential snow or rain – do it. You can then place a tent wing in a location like this.
Set up your tent properly and use the recommended equipment
Now that it’s time to set up your tent – our first and foremost advice is to do it the right way.
You certainly already know how to set up a tent as soon as you set off on a camping adventure in colder weather, but if you need a reminder – here you can learn how to set up a tent.
It is important that all camping equipment is adapted to the conditions, that is, to bring the one we recommended in the first paragraph.
Good thermal insulation, but also wind proof, will be extremely important to you in these conditions.
That is why in the quality of the equipment, adapted to the conditions, the key to successful and drowned camping during cold weather.
Layered dressing up for a warm camping adventure
In order not to get cold or get sick while camping in the colder weather, it is advisable to dress in a layered manner and maximize warmth.
However, the layers are not all that is needed – the wardrobe should also be of the highest quality materials.
Comfortable cotton underwear, with wool sweaters and socks, as well as warm pants, will do a great job.
A waterproof jacket and boots are the default.
Also, it is important not to wear clothes that tighten you up. It will thus adversely affect your circulation, which will also have an effect on changing the temperature of your body – you will be colder and also more uncomfortable.
A hat, scarf and gloves are always a good idea in a camper bag “just in case”, and in cold weather, they are not only a matter of choice but a must-have accessory!
The bag itself in which you will bring your wardrobe should be waterproof.
Nutritious foods and good hydration are extremely important
The food you consume while camping will also affect your overall experience. Rich snacks are a great way to satisfy your body’s internal need for nutrients and thus avoid the onset of camping hunger, which can also adversely affect the heat of your body.
Bring fruits – bananas and oranges will be a great ally in this endeavor.
Saving food for camping is certainly an important task, one that needs to be thoroughly dedicated.
There is no doubt that with these tips you will be able to spend your camping drowned and cared for in the best possible way.
Essentially, warming up on a camping trip does not make much difference to how you warm up during any time spent outside. Except it’s much cooler at camp.
So whatever you do to stay warm during the colder months, do it now – but more! We wish you a warm and wonderful camping trip!
Essential Cold-Weather Camping Gear Checklist
- Closed-cell foam sleeping pad
- Coupler strap (and a buddy)
- Sleeping bag with an appropriate lower-limit temperature rating
- Synthetic or wool base layers
- Socks, gloves, and a technical cold-weather hat
- Grooved wind-resistant tent stakes
- Nutrient-dense snacks
- Reusable straw
- Tent brush
- Urination device (FUD) for the ladies
- Bottle insulator
- Stainless steel water bottle
Cold-Weather Camping Tips
Warm Up With a Hot Water Bottle
If you put a hot, non-insulated stainless-steel water bottle in your sleeping bag at night, it will radiate heat like a sauna stone (Figure I). Try tucking your makeshift heater next to one of these critical areas: your core, your inner thigh (near your femoral artery), and your neck (near your jugular).
Not a fan of stainless steel? Opt for a BPA-free material. Unfortunately, harmful chemicals may leach into water when a material is heated, that’s why 100% stainless steel bottles are preferred. A word of caution: Not all metal water bottles are stainless steel, so check the tags.
Cold-Weather Camping Tips
Stash Your Boot Liners in Your Bag
With the possible exception of skipping your morning coffee, nothing hurts more than ramming your feet into frozen boots in the morning. Your body prioritizes warming your core, so keep your hands and feet warm to conserve energy. Invest in a synthetic blend or high-quality wool sock for moisture reduction and odor management. (Don’t forget the gloves!)
Don’t Breathe or Burrow Deep Into Your Bag
“Moisture from your breath will get trapped in the bag,” says Larsen. “Instead, cinch the draft collar and close the hood down around your mouth and nose so you have a blowhole to breathe through” (Figure D). This is especially true if you use a down sleeping bag. Remember: Condensation is the death of a down bag. A wet bag significantly loses its insulation and takes time to dry, which is sure to put a damper on your adventure. Achieve maximum loft or fluffiness by shaking your bag upside down. This technique redirects the down back to the upper half of the bag near your core where heat retention is most critical.
Protect Your Electronics From the Cold
Cold weather can drain battery power fast, or even worse, permanently damage electronics. Stow your electronics, batteries, fuel canisters, and anything else you don’t want to freeze in the foot of your sleeping bag (Figure C) (buy a sleeping bag with a little extra length for this purpose). Your electronics have maximum and minimum storage and operating temperatures, so it’s wise to check these out before heading into the wilderness. Operating or charging an electronic device outside of its specified temperature range can cause irreparable damage.