Cold-Weather Camping Tips to Keep You Warm While You Sleep
Purchases of $100 or more at the Outside Shop, where you’ll discover gear for all of your outdoor excursions, will earn you $50 off your purchase. Sign up for Outside+ as soon as possible. There’s nothing quite like the aroma of pine in the stillness of an alpine lake, or a brilliant sky dotted with stars against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, to put it mildly. Even the most stunning scenery, however, will not make up for a horrible night spent camping in subzero temperatures or in frigid weather.
Get the clothing and equipment you’ll need to remain warm and survive the subzero temperatures of winter.
Essential Cold-Weather Camping Gear Checklist
- Sleeping pad made of closed-cell foam
- Coupler strap (as well as a buddy)
- A sleeping bag with a temperature rating that is acceptable for the lower-limit temperature
- Base layers made of synthetic or wool
- Socks, gloves, and a hat made specifically for cold weather
- Tent posts with grooves for wind resistance
- Snacks that are high in nutrients
- Straw that may be reused
- Tent brush for the females, a female urinary device (FUD)
- Insulator for bottles
- Bottle of water made of stainless steel
Camp Like a Cold-Weather Pro
1. Always Check Weather Conditions and Hazards
Know what you’re getting into before you go. The golden rule for any outside activity is to always check the weather conditions first. Aside from being aware of the severe temperatures you may encounter (think cold-winter desert swings), you need also be aware of impending weather systems and weather trends for the season and location, as well as recent changes in topography, trail closures, and other risks. If you want to keep up to date, consider calling the nearest ranger station. Always have a strategy for your vacation and notify those who need to know about your absence and projected return timeframe.
2. Secure Your Campsite and Flatten Your Sleeping Surface
Set up your tent as soon as you’ve found a spot that’s generally dry, flat, and shielded from the wind and weather conditions. If the weather permits, remove away any snow to reveal the earth and smooth the area with your tools or boots if the conditions permit. As you get inside your tent, use your knees to smooth down the area where you’ll be sleeping so that you may sleep comfortably. In the words of arctic explorer and all-around cold specialist Eric Larsen, “don’t put it off any longer.” “Once the snow melts and then refreezes, it becomes difficult to handle.
This shaping approach serves to limit the amount of ambient space and potential heat loss from cold exposure, which might make for an uncomfortable night or subject an individual to the early stages of hypothermia or frostbite, depending on the severity of the exposure.
How Does Your Body Lose Heat?
- Evaporation: Evaporation has a cooling impact on the environment. Excessive perspiration causes the body to lose up to 85 percent of its heat during severe activity. Wet garments from perspiration, as well as increased respiration, cause a decrease in body temperature. Radiation is the process through which heat is transferred out from the body. It is possible for the body to lose more than 50% of its heat by radiation when the temperature is lower than 68°F (20°C). Transfer of heat through conduction occurs when two objects come into touch with each other. Conduction occurs at 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) and is responsible for the loss of body heat that happens when sleeping on the chilly ground. It is possible to experience convection when a heated fluid (liquid or gas) flows away from a source of heat. Consider the case of a steaming cup of tea. Hot water transforms into gaseous water (wet steam), and the rising steam coming off of the cup illustrates the passage of heat.
3. Bring an Insulated, Closed-Cell Foam Sleeping Pad
Because of conduction, heat loss happens when lying on the cold ground, and even a “warm” cold-weather sleeping bag is a chilly bag if it is not placed on top of an excellent, insulated pad below it. If you want your self-inflating air mattress to be comfortable, first lay down a closed-cell foam pad (also known as a CCF pad), such as the Therm-a-Rest Ridgerest SOLite Solar, before inflating it (Figure A). This aluminized, coated cushion is extremely durable and lightweight (we’re talking about 19 oz), and its R-3.5 rating (described below) ensures that you’ll stay warm and comfortable.
Simply place your self-inflating mattress on top of the box spring. According to some backcountry experts, you should even stack the CCF cushion on top of your air mattress to maximize comfort.
Sleeping Pad Ratings: What Is an R-Value?
The capacity of an insulated material to resist the conduction of heat is represented by its R-value. The greater the R-value rating of a sleeping pad, the more successful it is in providing heat insulation. When it comes to backcountry gear, field testing is the only approach that has been proven time and time again. Take into consideration important characteristics such as the weight, compressibility, and comfort of a sleeping mat before making your selection.
4. Insulate Your Tent by Reducing Ambient Space
- Put your partner’s sleeping pad near to yours, or better yet, limit ambient space even more by connecting your sleeping pads with theBig Agnes Sleeping Pad Coupler Strap (Figure B—$10). Consider Yourself a Pack Rat: Place your stuff sacks and other items around the inside perimeter of the tent to provide additional insulation. Radiant Barrier Made at Home: Create a radiant barrier by duct-taping a space blanket (also known as a Mylar blanket, emergency blanket, or shock blanket) to the inside of your tent’s ceiling using electrical tape. They’re inexpensive and can actually save your life when you need it the most. If, on the other hand, you suffer significant condensation inside your tent in the mornings, you may want to skip the space blanket suggestion. Excessive dampness is the death knell for any camping equipment.
Check out some other basicwinterizing ideas for camping in the snow below!
Does Body-to-Body Warming Work?
The use of body-to-body warming is unquestionably efficient for remaining warm in cold weather situations and preventing heat loss from occurring. Let’s take a look at thermodynamics for a minute: The bigger the temperature differential between two points, the greater the rate of heat transfer. Two people can reduce the pace at which they lose body heat by lowering the surface area of their bodies that is exposed to cold air and increasing the surface area of their bodies that is exposed to warmth (a camping companion).
5. Warm Up With a Hot Water Bottle
Put a hot, non-insulated stainless steel water bottle in your sleeping bag at night, and it will radiate heat like a sauna stone, creating an uncomfortable environment (Figure I). Try nestling your homemade warmer close to one of these important areas: your core, your inner thigh (near your femoral artery), or the back of your neck for maximum comfort (near your jugular). Don’t like the look or feel of stainless steel? Choose a material that is free of BPA. Unfortunately, when a material is heated, dangerous compounds can seep into the water, which is why stainless steel bottles are favored over other materials.
Look for stainless steel that is 304 or 18/8 food-grade.
6. Stash Your Boot Liners in Your Bag
Nothing, perhaps with the exception of foregoing your daily coffee, is more painful than shoving your feet into cold boots first thing in the morning. Maintain the warmth of your hands and feet to preserve energy since your body prioritizes warming your core. In order to reduce moisture and odor, invest in a pair of synthetic mix or high-quality wool socks. (Don’t forget to bring your gloves!)
7. Don’t Breathe or Burrow Deep Into Your Bag
As Larsen explains, “the moisture from your breath will become trapped in the bag.” “Instead, tighten the draft collar and pull the hood down over your mouth and nose, allowing you to breathe via a blowhole” (Figure D). This is especially true if you are using a down sleeping bag for the first time. Keep in mind that condensation is the demise of a down bag. In addition to losing considerable insulation, a wet pack takes a long time to dry, which will undoubtedly put a damper on your excursion.
By using this approach, the down is redirected to the top portion of the bag near your core, which is where heat retention is most important.
8. Wear the Right Clothes for Sleeping in Cold Temperatures
It’s been said that sleeping nude in a sleeping bag will keep you warmer.
Others disagree. This simply isn’t accurate in any way. Remember to dress appropriately for temperatures below 30°F by wearing the following basic layers:
- Avoid wearing clothes that is too tight (socks, undergarments, gloves) since this might cause blood flow to your extremities to be restricted. Avoid jogging too hot (moisture will collect in your bag and cause an overall decline in body temperature as you cool down)
- Avoid running too fast. Wear synthetic textiles or wool to keep warm. Warm socks, fingered gloves, and a warm hat are all good ideas.
If you have a tendency to perspire a lot, you may want to consider using a vapor barrier to keep your sweat from reaching the down in your bag. A little hole on the side of your tent might help you sleep better if you wake up to persistent moisture. Whatever you do, whether it’s hot or cold, dress appropriately for the weather and leave your cotton apparel at home.
Why Is Cotton Clothing Bad for Camping?
Cotton is said to be lethal by backcountry specialists, but why? Cotton clothing does not drain moisture away from the body, and it may cause your body temperature to decrease. It also acts as a breeding ground for bacteria. Capillary action is used by moisture-wicking fabrics such as merino wool, polyester, and polypropylene to disperse moisture, whereas cotton absorbs moisture quickly and becomes saturated, much like a sponge. To remain warm, stay away from silk and cellulose fibers such as cotton, layer strategically, and choose synthetic clothes instead of natural textiles.
9. How to Manage Tent Camping on High-Wind Nights
Is there a lot of wind? Sleep in shifts to save money. “Someone will have to inspect the rigging of the tent every few hours,” adds Finnegan, a cold-weather specialist. “If you put off tightening a line for too long, the damage to the structure will become hard to contain.” Consider the following: More surface area means less surface area against which gusty, chilly air and wind may press on your rigging, which is healthier for you. If you want to go on adventures in areas where the wind might be unexpected, choose a tent with a maximum wind rating.
If wind gusts are a significant worry, you might want to consider carrying grooved, wind-resistant stakes.
10. Munch on a High-Calorie Midnight Snack
“If I wake up chilly in the middle of the night, I eat Strawberry Clif Shot Bloks ($2 for six) to keep my motor running,” Larsen explains. ” Your body operates on fuel, so give it enough of it. Sugars, lipids, and carbs should be prioritized. Ideally, you should have your meal as soon to bedtime as possible, especially if it contains a lot of fat. Because your body metabolizes protein before fat and takes longer to metabolize fat than carbs, choose high-calorie meals such as chocolate (Item E), cheese, and nuts to satisfy your want for sweetness.
11. Prevent Spills on Your Dry Gear—Try a Reusable Straw
If there is anything more frustrating than pouring fluids on your dry gear, it would be this (second to dehydration). Drinking enough of water is essential, so put a reusable straw by your water bottle for no-mess drinking in the middle of the night (Item F). Consider using a material that is both extremely robust and simple to sanitize, such as stainless steel. Some travellers even use straws to transport spices for their cooking requirements, which is a common practice in Asia.
Simply fill the straw with the spice of your choice, seal the ends, and you’re done! You’ll be whipping up delectable gourmet dinners in no time. (Note: Before attempting to drink through the straw, remove the cayenne pepper from the straw.) Photograph courtesy of Dawn Endico/Flickr
12. Remove Morning Frost From Your Tent
Water vapor frequently condenses on the inside wall of a tent, even when the door is left open. Once the ice melts, it will seep into your clothing and equipment. Control frost by keeping your items covered or inside garbage bags, and sweep ice crystals into collected mounds (with a tent brush) before they melt to prevent them from melting. Remember to dry out your stuff on a daily basis if the weather permits it. If you’re going to be out for the day, invert your tent and let any sunshine or dry breeze to help eliminate any excess moisture from the air.
13. Don’t Hold Your Pee in at Night
If nature summons you in the middle of the night, don’t put it off; doing so will make you cooler in the long term since your body will have to spend calories to maintain urine at a comfortable temperature. Is it too chilly to fish for trout? Guys should consider utilizing an urine bottle that is specialized for them (Item G) (mark it with tape or some other distinguishable feature). Check out our evaluation of the best pee funnels for women for more information on how contemporary relief gear may make walking outside in the cold a less chilly affair.
Make use of a jar with a large opening.
It is necessary to take drastic steps in difficult circumstances; your heated urine jar (as well as your lost body heat) may be utilized for passive warming; just be sure to secure the lid and check for leaks before using.
14. Insulate Your Water Bottles
It is more difficult to avoid dehydration when you are at a high elevation or in bad weather. It is harder to rehydrate when water is frozen since it lowers the body’s temperature. In order to keep his water from freezing at night, Larsen uses Granite Gear’s Air Coolers (Item H), which are available in a one-liter capacity for $22. These insulators will reflect 95 percent of radiant heat and will keep hot beverages and soups warm longer than normal. Drinking something warm can help you maintain a healthy core body temperature while also staying hydrated.
15. Protect Your Electronics From the Cold
Cold temperatures may quickly deplete battery power and, in the worst case scenario, irreparably destroy electrical devices. In the foot of your sleeping bag, tuck your gadgets, batteries, fuel canisters, and anything else you don’t want to freeze away. (See Figure C for an example) (buy a sleeping bagwith a little extra length for this purpose). Storage and operation temperatures for your devices have maximum and lowest values, so it’s a good idea to double-check these before stepping out into the wilderness.
Photograph courtesy of kellinahandbasket/flickr
Don’t Put Yourself at Risk of Hypothermia and Frostbite
You’re eager to get outside and explore, but there’s one more item you need to consider before you head out into the frigid wilderness: safety.
Everyone, including backcountry experts, knows that no one is immune to the effects of the cold. The importance of equipping oneself with the proper equipment for your objective, as well as with the required information for your safety and survival, cannot be overstated.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Moderate to Severe Hypothermia?
You’re an intense person who expects to feel chilly, but when is cold too cold for a person? Because our bodies regulate optimally around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (or 37 degrees Celsius), hypothermia is a genuine danger when our core temperature falls below a safe level. A person suffering from mild to severe hypothermia will exhibit the following signs and symptoms:
- Shaking that ultimately stops when the situation becomes more serious. Coordination is poor and getting worse
- Slurred speech, confusion, and poor cognition are all symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Pulse that is thready or feeble
- Drowsiness and lethargy are symptoms of depression. Bradypnea, often known as delayed breathing, or shallow breathing Apathy
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Frostbite?
Frostbite is most usually found on the fingers, toes, ears, nose, chin, and cheeks of the affected person. Frostbite is most common on skin that has been exposed to high wind or cold, although it can also occur on skin that has not been exposed to the elements.
- Frostbite in its Early Stages: The initial stage of frostbite, known as frostnip, is completely reversible and will not cause any significant harm to tissue. This stage is marked by pallor, moderate tingling, and numbness in the afflicted areas
- It can last for many days. The Interim Stage of Frostbite: The second stage of frostbite is known as superficial frostbite, and it is characterized by the presence of soft skin with only minor damage to the skin. It is possible to see skin discolouration and water blisters following rewarming in the first 24-48 hours
- However, this is rare. Extreme Frostbite is a medical emergency that manifests itself as hardened, cold skin, loss of feeling, lasting nerve damage, and cell death. Skin that has been affected may be blue or black in color. In severe situations, amputation of the afflicted parts may be necessary.
First Aid Treatment for Frostbite
- Get instant assistance
- Transport the individual to a medical facility as soon as possible. Shift your location to a place that is warm and protected
- Elevate the afflicted area to a safer level. Avoid walking on the toes or the soles of the feet that are afflicted. Remove all of your cold-weather clothing
- Do not massage the skin that has been affected. Provide the individual with a hot beverage (without alcohol)
- Apply a sterile, dry first aid dressing to the wound. To separate the damaged digits, use first aid dressing or cotton balls. If the damaged region is at risk of refreezing, avoid rewarming it. When it is safe to do so, rewarm the area with your body heat or warm water (not hot).
Bonus Tip: A Few Words of Encouragement to Get You Amped
You’re out there, cold-weather backcountry campers: you already know who you are. In your office, you shiver at the sight of a threatening mountain and gaze out the window at the woods, picturing pines and high height in your mind’s eye. Spending time watching rainbow trout jump at twilight, or listening to soft snowfall on a peaceful night, may be some of your fondest recollections. You are a naturalist’s child, and exploration is what keeps your spirit alive. Regardless of what you do or where you go, always be safe, always be wise, and always remember to follow your gut.
9 Tips for Staying Warm While Winter Camping
There’s no getting around it: chilly temperatures are a part and parcel of winter camping. But don’t allow the prospect of freezing fingers and toes deter you from going on that overnight ski excursion or snowshoe adventure. Using the correct techniques and methods, you can keep warm when winter camping while still getting the rest you need to be ready to go all out on the following day’s adventure. Lucas Canino captured this image.
1. Dress in Layers
First and foremost, when it comes to cold-weather camping, you should dress to impress. The ability to regulate your body temperature through the use of numerous layers (base layers, midlayers, puffies and shell jackets) provides you greater control over your clothing choices. As you go through your day’s activities, you’ll generate a lot of heat in your body. While doing so, it’s crucial to avoid sweating because perspiration cools as it dries, trapping you in a frigid cocoon as it wraps around you.
2. Get Out of Sweaty Clothes (Pack an Extra Baselayer)
When you’ve finished setting up camp and are ready to retire for the evening, remove all of your sweaty garments as soon as possible. While it may be difficult to strip down under extreme weather conditions, you will be glad you did. Putting on dry clothing helps you to regain your warmth (this includes your socks). Then, add as many items as you need to feel comfortable in order to keep warm. Finally, a parka-quality puffy to cap it all off.
On the coldest evenings, layering a hardshell jacket over a huge puffy coat might be a wise decision because shell jackets are very effective at retaining heat. If it means getting a decent night’s sleep, there’s nothing wrong with sleeping in a hard shell.
3. Two Sleeping Pads are Better Than One
Your camping mattress keeps you warm and protected from the chilly ground and snow, and two pads provide more insulation and warmth than one pad alone. The R-value of a pad indicates how heated it is (technically, how much thermal resistance it has). The good news is that the R-values of two pads may be added together to provide a greater amount of insulating power. Using a winter-grade air sleeping pad with luminous fabric and layering it on top of a closed-cell foam sleeping pad with reflective fabric, you can get the classic two-pad setup.
4. Layer Up a Sleeping Bag + Quilt
It might be difficult to find clothing that provides winter warmth while being lightweight and compact in your overnight bag. It is at this point that layering your winter sleeping bag with a featherweight quilt may make all the difference. Today’s improved fabrics allow sleeping bags and blankets to be lighter and more efficient than they have ever been before. A featherweight blanket gives protection against the coldest of nights at the expense of only a little amount of weight, while also providing that extra layer of lightweight warmth that may make all the difference.
5. Put a Hot Water Bottle in Your Core Region (Not at Your Toes)
As an alternative to filling a Nalgene® bottle with hot water and inserting it between your toes, position it between your crotch and your thigh instead. By starting from that central point, it will heat the blood that circulates throughout your body, reaching all of your extremities and warming your entire body more quickly. The change is evident, and this small secret could well be the first one you teach to the next camper that comes along to your campsite. It is important to remember to exercise caution when working with hot water, as it is easy to burn oneself, and to crank down the lid to avoid leaks from occurring.
6. Wear a Balaclava to Bed
You lose a substantial quantity of heat through the top of your head and shoulders. When it comes to increasing your body heat, covering your dome is one of the most effective methods, yet beanies and jacket hoods are notorious for slipping off throughout the night. A balaclava, on the other hand, remains in place, retaining the heat that has been worked so hard for. In addition, it has a breathing hole for the purpose of ventilation. As you fall off to sleep, wear it under a beanie or a hood to keep your head as warm as possible.
7. Vent Your Tent
It is via your head that you lose a large quantity of heat. When it comes to increasing your body heat, covering your dome is one of the most effective methods, yet beanies and jacket hoods are notorious for slipping off during the nighttime hours. When worn over the mouth and nose, the balaclava retains the heat that has been worked so hard to achieve. A ventilation hole is also provided for the purpose of breathing. For optimal warmth as you go off to sleep, wear it under a beanie or a hat.
8. EatDrink—A Lot
Your body uses calories to keep warm, therefore eating on a regular basis helps to keep your internal furnace running smoothly. High-fat and high-protein diets burn more slowly at night than high-carb meals, allowing you to be maintained (and warmer) for a longer period of time. The ability of your body to function properly in the cold is also influenced by your level of hydration. Allowing oneself to get dehydrated just makes it more difficult to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Drinking enough of water might help you feel less fatigued.
Because your body expends energy to heat the liquid in your bladder, going outdoors is a worthwhile endeavor.
And, despite the fact that it may sound nasty, sleeping with a bottle of urine (with an exceptionally tight-fitting cap!) is a fantastic way to recycle the heat generated. Perhaps you should reserve that tiny piece of advice for an emergency.
9. Hand Warmers, Heated Gloves, Heated Boots
Even a small amount of additional assistance from technology goes a long way toward overcoming fear of the cold. While you won’t be able to bring a space heater, you will be able to bring compact solutions to keep your fingers and toes warm, well functioning, and ready to handle the tasks ahead of you.In the end, the more comfortable you are, the more rest and energy you will have to tackle your winter endeavors and enjoy the solitude of camping in the snow.In our quest to make you a more capable winter adventurer, we’ve covered a range of winter topics, including: Keeping your fingers and
- Snow camping tips from the pros
- How to choose a winter tent
- And more. Why Should You Use a Liquid Fuel Stove in the Winter? Our Favorite Winter Camping Equipment
- Avalanche Safety for Beginners
- Avalanche Safety for Beginners
- How to Dress for Winter Adventures
- What to Bring with You
Please have a look at the topics above to further your understanding about winter camping, and have a great time out there!
8 Tips for Cold-Weather Camping in the Fall
In addition to bringing stunning colors to the wilderness, the cooler temperatures of autumn provide welcome reprieve from the ever-present bugs of summer. Depending on where you live, fall may be a welcome respite from the summer heat or extra-cold evenings in the mountains. As a result of these modifications, we must reconsider our approach to gear. Here are a few expert ideas for cold-weather camping in the fall to help you get the most out of your shoulder-season excursions.
1. Choose a stove for wind and cold
Fall’s unpredictable weather may bring greater gusts and cooler temperatures, both of which can cause classic canister burners to splutter and spit loudly. Some stoves may struggle to keep a flame going when there is a strong breeze. Because cold air affects the pressure in their canister, their output falls when it is cold. Choose a stove that has a windproof construction, an inbuilt pressure regulator, or the ability to operate the canister inverted in “liquid-feed mode” to guarantee that it runs efficiently.
Liquid fuel stoves, on the other hand, continue to be the gold standard for cold-weather cooking.
2. Vent your tent
Because of the dip in temperature at night, condensation inside your tent becomes more of a concern. The most effective technique to decrease this natural occurrence that occurs while you sleep is to let air to circulate through your tent. In comparison to a single-wall tent in which the canopy of the tent simultaneously serves as the rainfly, a double-wall tent has a rainfly and a tent body (two walls), which makes it simpler to ventilate (a single wall).
3. Layer up ultralight mattresses, sleeping bags and quilts
When you’re camping, it’s not practical to lug about an overstuffed sleeping bag and an extra-thick mattress. However, if you are cold at night, you will not be able to sleep comfortably. By layering your clothing properly, you may usually attain appropriate warmth in most situations. Think about using a foam mattress under an air mattress to save money on your bedding expenses. Look for mattresses that have a heat-reflecting layer on the top layer. The two sleeping pads will work together to provide superior insulation from the ground.
It is possible that this combination will be lighter than a hefty zero-degree bag. Additionally, it is important to select a bag that is comfortable for you and does not have excessive inside capacity. The bigger the bag, the greater the amount of body heat required to warm it up.
4. Keep your canisters warm
Canister stoves rely on the pressure inside their fuel canisters to operate in order to be effective. Cold air, on the other hand, causes the pressure to drop. As a result, keeping your canisters warm is the most convenient method to keep your stove functioning efficiently. Overnight storage in your sleeping bag is one option for storing your canister. Another helpful method is to warm up at least two canisters at the same time so that when one canister begins to cool and fade during usage, you can change it out for a warm one and continue to cook without interrupting the process.
The liquid water will assist to keep the temperature of the canister above freezing, allowing you to keep your stove running longer.
5. Don’t let your water filter freeze
When the temperatures drop dramatically at night, it’s critical to protect your water filter from freezing. Some filters use media types such as hollow fiber membranes, which are prone to harm if water trapped inside their fibers freezes. Hollow fiber membranes are one such media type. In order to keep your water filter heated throughout the night, you may set it at the foot of your sleeping back. This will ensure that you have clean water for the rest of your journey.
6. Feed your internal furnace
Keeping your water filter from freezing is critical when the temperatures drop at night. Water trapped within the fibers of some filters’ media types, such as hollow fiber membranes, can cause harm if the water trapped within the fiber is allowed to freeze. In order to keep your water filter heated throughout the night, you may store it at the foot of your sleeping back. This will ensure that you have safe drinking water for the rest of your journey.
7. Position your tent for early morning sun
Nothing is more reassuring after a chilly night than the first rays of sunlight shining through your tent in the morning. As you set up your tent, keep an eye out for where the sun will rise in the east and attempt to arrange your shelter so that it will receive the first few rays of sunlight.
8. Stay warm with these tips
Being able to handle the day’s activities without shivering makes it much simpler to get things done. Here are some suggestions for staying warm as the days are getting shorter and the nights are becoming colder: Dress with several layers. Synthetic clothing layers—including baselayers, midlayers, puffies and shells—allow you to adjust your layering strategy as needed, allowing you to add and remove layers as needed. This helps to keep you from perspiring excessively during the day, which is vital for keeping you warm.
Ensure that you have a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag.
Alternatively, you may place it in your core area, which will warm the blood that circulates throughout your body.
Hand warmers are useful for a variety of reasons.
We believe that a little technology can go a long way. While you won’t be able to carry a space heater, you will be able to bring small alternatives such as hand warmers, heated gloves, and heated boots, which will provide a pleasant respite for your fingers. Posts related to this one:
- This article contains the following sections: Your Pre-Season Backpacking Gear Checklist
- The Best Weather Apps for Backpackers and Campers
- Which is better for you: a three-season or a four-season tent?
Cold Weather Camping Hacks
Kim Dinan, Friday, December 14th, 2018 However, just because the leaves are changing and the days are becoming cooler, does not imply that the camping season must come to a close. Camping may be a pleasurable experience even in the midst of terrible weather. These camping tricks for cold weather can help you stay comfortable no matter how low the temperature dips throughout your trip. Make a reservation at your favorite campground and then read on for our insider recommendations.
These are the ultimate cold weather camping hacks.
If you want to go tent camping on your winter camping expeditions, be sure that your tent is suitable for cold weather conditions. Many tents, particularly those offered at large box retailers, are only suitable for use during the summer months. That’s OK for the spring, summer, and fall, but you’ll need something a little more substantial for the chilly winter months ahead of you. A four-season tent is built to withstand all types of weather, including snow, and is extremely durable. The tent body is often composed of a more robust polyester or nylon material and does not include any netting.
The only option if you’re going to be camping in the cold is a 4-season tent.
2. Winterize your RV
In the event that you will be tent camping during your winter camping experiences, make certain that your tent is intended for cold-weather use. Several tents, particularly those offered at large box retailers, are only suitable for use during the three seasons. That’s OK for the spring, summer, and fall, but you’ll need something a little more substantial for the chilly winter months ahead. In order to withstand every form of weather, including snow, a 4-season tent is intended to be tough. When compared to mesh, the polyester or nylon used to construct the tent body is more robust.
A 4-season tent is the only option if you’re going camping in the cold.
3. Don’t kill your batteries
Battery life in cold temperatures can be drastically reduced, therefore be aware of this possibility to avoid being without an essential piece of equipment. If you want to extend the life of your battery-operated equipment, like as your light, place it inside your sleeping bag before you retire for the night. Not only will you know where it is if you need it in the middle of the night, but your body heat will prevent the battery from running out of charge.
4. Hack your campfire
Campfires create ambience all year long, but they’re especially important on winter camping trips since they keep you warm. If it has been snowing recently, be in mind that the firewood may be damp or frozen. Before your travel, soak cotton balls in petroleum jelly to make it easier to build a fire no matter what the weather is like. Then, using the cotton balls as a fire starter, you’ll be up and running in no time. Also vital is to construct a fire that is as tall as it is broad in order to emit the greatest amount of heat possible from the flames.
For extra warmth, situate your tent as near to the fire as possible (but not so close that you risk catching your tent on fire!). If you want to keep your campfire going all night, bring your sleeping bag along.
5. Wave goodbye to air mattresses
During the warmer months, many campers use air mattresses to sleep on, but air mattresses are a no-no when it’s freezing outside. This is due to the fact that the air inside the mattress will become chilly and keep you chilled. Instead of sleeping on the ground in the cold, sleep on an insulated ground pad. The pad will hold in your body heat, creating an additional layer of insulation between you and the icy ground below you.
6. Stake your tent with rocks
Even on the coldest days of the year, driving a tent stake into the earth will be difficult or impossible. Instead of stressing about how you’re going to get that stake into the ground, think about the alternative options. Simple methods for staking your tent include wrapping the guy-lines of your tent around fist-sized boulders. The pebbles serve as above-ground anchors, ensuring that your tent remains upright in all but the most windy of circumstances.
7. Keep your clothes warm
No one enjoys waking up after a night of camping and having to change into shiver-inducing garments. To avoid getting that chilled feeling, tuck the clothing you intend to wear the next morning firmly inside your sleeping bag to keep them from freezing. With the warmth of your body, they’ll warm up and you’ll have more freedom in your clothing choices. Are you thinking of going camping? Make a reservation for a camping space.
8. Open tent vents to avoid condensation
It is possible that the warmth of your breath on a cold night can cause condensation to form in your tent, resulting in the interior of your tent being damp and freezing. Even on the coldest nights, keep the vents in your tent open to prevent excessive condensation from forming within the tent.
9. Avoid down sleeping bags
When down sleeping bags get wet, they lose their ability to retain heat, which is a formula for catastrophe in cold weather. When camping in the cold, choose a sleeping bag made of synthetic materials or water repellent down, which will keep you warm and dry even if you get wet in the process.
10. Use a small tent
When down sleeping bags become wet, they lose their ability to retain heat, which is a formula for catastrophe in the cold. Using a sleeping bag made of synthetic fabrics or water repellent down can keep you warm and dry even when it gets wet when you’re out camping in the winter.
11. Don’t wear cotton
When cotton clothing is wet, it gets heavy and takes a long time to dry. When camping in chilly weather, avoid wearing cotton clothes and instead go for synthetic fabrics that keep heat while drying rapidly. Check to see if your hats, gloves, and socks are also made of synthetic materials. All of your gear and accessories should be able to keep you warm even in the most extreme weather.
12. Sleep with a warm water bottle
A common camping technique is to boil water over a campfire and then pour the hot water into a reusable water bottle, which is a great way to conserve water. Afterwards, you may shut the water bottle firmly and store it in your sleeping bag twenty minutes before going to bed. This will provide you with a comfortable sleeping bag to curl up in.
13. Buy a new heater
As an RV camper, it is crucial to be aware that the propane furnaces that are factory installed in the majority of RVs are not particularly effective or efficient. If you’re going to be camping at a site with electrical hookups, you might consider purchasing an electric space heater that can be plugged in.
Alternatively, if you won’t have access to power, vent-free propane heaters are an alternative. They won’t require energy, so you’ll be able to use them virtually anyplace. Is it time for you to embark on an outdoor adventure? Make a plan for your camping excursion.
Make Cold-Weather Camping SO Much Warmer – 7 Tips
Camping in the cold is a wonderful experience. The benefits are numerous: uncrowded trails and parks, getting first pick of campsites wherever you go, and sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee while watching the morning fog lift just outside your tent. yep. However, there is one drawback to cold-weather camping that you should be aware of: the fact that you will be chilly. The fact that you’re too chilly to sleep through the night has the potential to have a negative influence on your trip: if you’re too weary the following day to trek for miles and miles, you’ll be too exhausted the next day to hike for miles and miles.
No matter if you’re going camping in the middle of December or merely pitching up your tent in a place where the temperature drops significantly at night, here’s our list of seven techniques to make cold-weather camping considerably more comfortable.
Stay warm with proper ventilation
We understand that sleeping in a tent with what effectively amounts to holes in it seems counter-intuitive — after all, why would you want to do so? To explain this one, we’ll have to get a little geeky (but only a little) with the science: as you sleep, the heat from your body combined with the chilliness of the air outside generates condensation – or, tiny droplets of water in your tent. If your tent does not have any vents, those tiny droplets will flow down the walls of your tent and soak into whatever is on the floor, even your sleeping bag, if you do not have any.
Get off the ground
When it comes to this one, there’s no need for science: the ground is cold, therefore don’t spend the night on it. The addition of an inflatable mattress pad to your camping setup accomplishes two goals: it prevents contact between your body and the cold tent floor and it creates a layer of warm air beneath your feet. When it comes to sleeping pads, the “r-value” is used to assess how warm the pad is; the greater this number is, the warmer the pad is and the better it will be for cold-weather camping.
Don’t waste time making your fire
The most important thing to remember when camping in cold weather is to have your fire going before it gets dark. A fire may be a lengthy process, and you want yours to be roaring before the sun goes down so that it will be blazing before you feel too chilly in the evening. Always pack fire-starters that are simple to use and, ideally, waterproof with you on your adventure. In the winter, any firewood and kindling you come across is likely to be wet, either from snow and rain or from cold-weather dew – therefore you’ll want to have a firestarter with a lengthy burn time, since moist wood is difficult to light.
SweetfireFirestartersfromUCOare a terrific alternative since they feature a strike-able tip, which means they are just as simple to use as matchsticks.
Some alternatives can even burn for up to 15 minutes, giving you plenty of time to get that kindling going before the flames die out. Firestarters are a must-have piece of cold-weather camping equipment.
Embrace Duct Tape
Metal is preferable than plastic for cold-weather camping in the winter since plastic can break if the temperature drops too low. However, even handling metal equipment for a few seconds might cause your hands to get too chilly to be comfortable. Using duct tape, wrap everything metal that you will be taking on your next journey, such as cutlery, fuel containers, water bottles, and other such items. If you’re on the market for a new torch, UCOoffers an awesomebutane torch that comes wrapped in duct tape for your convenience.
Leave the cotton at home
Without a doubt, there’s nothing more relaxing than falling asleep in your favorite shirt and flannel trousers. When camping in cold weather, the objective is to keep the body warm, and cotton is an excellent choice for this purpose. We all know that cotton absorbs water, so the second you begin to sweat or perspire while sleeping, your shirt will begin to absorb the moisture – and as we all know, nothing makes you feel colder faster than wet clothes. In addition, anything you sleep in should be form-fitting and comfortable.
Make use of textiles that are specifically designed to wick moisture away from your skin and promote evaporation, which are often synthetic (i.e.
Merino wool is an organic fabric with qualities similar to synthetic fabrics, albeit it is often more costly than synthetic fabrics.
Choose the right campsite
A significant advantage of cold-weather camping is that you will almost certainly be able to choose from a large number of available locations. However, you do not want to make a decision only on the basis of the opinions expressed. Tall shrubs and bushes will assist to keep the wind at bay, resulting in a warmer environment in which to sleep or kindle a fire. In addition, the presence of sunlight might make a difference, so pay attention to where the light is when you arrive at the campground.
The coldest portion of the night is the brief period of time right before the sun rises.
Put your extra clothes to work
It can keep you warm even if you aren’t wearing any clothing at the time. Before snuggling into your sleeping bag at night, place any belongings you aren’t currently wearing in an easily accessible location. Put a hoodie or down jacket across your feet over your sleeping bag if you notice your feet are getting too cold throughout the night. For those of you who find their sleeping bag to be a bit too big, you may roll your clothing and stuff it into your sleeping bag. In turn, this decreases the amount of space available in your bag, which helps to better retain your body heat (and adds a little more insulation!) You’ll be prepared to conquer the trails at any time of year if you follow these cold-weather camping recommendations.
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8 Winter Tent Camping Tips for Keeping Warm
BannerOak, a firm with extensive experience in the field of headgear, has provided this article to you. Their women hats are the ideal accent to your next camping excursion. When the temperature dropped into the single digits, it was really cold. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph blasted across the plains, causing damage. Any exposed flesh felt like it was being burned by a cold blast of ice. However, it was also the night of the second blue moon of the year. We could howl at its wonderful fullness and brightness, admit what in our life was no longer serving us, and let it go when the moon began to fade and spring came ever-nearer to us.
It was as difficult as it sounded, but it was well worth the effort.
With Preparation, Winter Tent Camping Can Be Your Best Friend
In the midst of setting up our tent at Sage Creek Campground, my friend Steph and I decided not to discuss the elephant in the room with each other — that pesky elephant concealed in the chill that was trying to convince us that winter tent camping wasn’t such a good idea. We were certain that if we made the necessary preparations, we would be able to thoroughly enjoy our moon rites and the cold weather conditions throughout the night. There are several advantages to winter tent camping. By traveling during the off-season, you will be able to experience popular campgrounds with fewer people in tow.
Winter tent camping is also a great way to get out from the house and avoid cabin fever.
How to Set-Up a Campsite in the Winter
This photo was taken by camper Shannon C. of The Dyrt.
1. Speed through the Winter Tent Set-Up
The way you go about setting up camp in the cold will affect how warm you’ll be for the duration of your expedition. After arriving at Sage Creek Campground, we tried to get our tent as soon as we could up and ready for the night. Moreover, despite the fact that we did not anticipate any weather, we put on the rainfly. Following these two processes allowed our tent to stay in the sun for as long as possible while it was still up, allowing us to capture as much heat as possible.
2. Location, Location, Location
Another important factor in being prepared and having a good time during winter tent camping is the location. It was important to us to choose a location that was as protected from the wind as possible while yet being in view of the sun. When looking for a suitable location to pitch your tent, some things to ask yourself are as follows:
- What kinds of dangers are there in this area, such as probable avalanches or other sources of excessive snow accumulation
- If so, is this location well shielded from the elements? Are there any suitable areas where I could guy out my tent around here? Is this location going to provide adequate sunshine for the tent? Is it possible for me to make a level space in the snow for the tent here
For those of you who will be setting up your tent in the snow, you should start by stomping out a level area that is somewhat larger in size than your tent. As a result, you will be less likely to become buried in heavy snow when you enter your tent.
In addition, you may construct a small snow wall around your tent to serve as an extra wind barrier. If you are intending on camping on a hill, make sure to put up as far away from the steep side of the mountain as you reasonably can.
3. Tie Up Creatively
Make sure you include solid tent stakes as well as a small hammer to aid in the setting up of your tent on frozen ground. A well-staked tent will allow for enough ventilation, which will assist to avoid condensation buildup and keep you dry in the case of a storm. The usage of “deadmen” anchors is one of the most essential winter camping hacks if you’re having trouble getting your stakes into hard ground throughout the winter. The following steps were taken to construct these anchors:
- Tie the guy lines of your tent to a hefty item, such as a boulder, a small branch, or even a snow-filled stuff sack to keep them from slipping
- Pull out your line as you would normally to put up your tent, but instead of using a stake, just cover the item you’ve chosen with snow to complete the setup. Your tent will remain erect as a result of the snow freezing around the object and becoming a strong anchor.
Conduction can cause a significant amount of heat loss when sleeping on the ground, so you may want to consider setting up your tent with an extra ground cloth or looking into other camping arrangements that do not need you to lie directly on the ground.
Choosing the Right Gear for Winter Tent Camping
Jenny R. and Mikaela R., two Dyrt campers, shared their photos with us. Having the proper equipment for winter tent camping will substantially enhance your overall enjoyment of the trip. Winter tent camping became a regular activity for me as soon as I realized it was going to be a regular activity for me, so I began investing in equipment that would keep me warm and safe in the winter elements.
4. Spring for a Seasonal Tent
When my family and I were at Badlands National Park, I had my MSR Access 24-season tent with me. With heavy winds and frozen ground, this tent is intended to provide the most warmth while remaining as stable as possible. At night, Steph and I were happy for the ability to burrow inside this tent, where we felt well-protected from the bitter cold. If possible, choose the smallest size tent you can find, since it will be simpler to maintain a comfortable temperature within a compact space if there isn’t a lot of spare room.
5. Prepare your Gear for Sleeping Sound in the Snow
I slept soundly that night in the Feathered FriendsArctic Finch EX -10 women’s sleeping bag, which was warm and comfortable. There was not a single point during the chilly night that I was conscious of the fact that it was cold outside while I was in this sack. It is certainly worth the money if you are a winter camper who visits frequently. Furthermore, because it is made from down that has been properly obtained, it is able to pack down little but fluff up large. With the help of my Feathered Friends sleeping bag and the MSR Access 2, I’ve been able to stay warm enough to utilize my 3-season sleeping pad on this trip.
While I believe that investing in high-quality gear up front is a wise decision if you intend to go winter camping on a regular basis, there are certain winter camping tricks you can apply to keep your three-season gear warmer.
6. Pack a Stove for Extra Heat
In addition to the standard winter gear necessities, you should consider bringing a stove with you as well. Due to the fact that alternative filtering methods might slow down greatly in the cold, boiling snow can be the most effective method of acquiring your water. You’ll also want to have a way to store water that is properly insulated.
My water bottle was kept in my sleeping bag during our camping trip as an added layer of insulation for the cold nights. Because the plastic gallon jug I’d forgotten about in my van had frozen solid by the next morning, having my water bottle in the tent came in handy when I needed a drink.
Keeping Warm Both Inside and Outside of the Tent in the Winter
Preventing yourself from becoming cold or wet in the first place is, in many ways, the most crucial step to staying warm and dry during winter tent camping. Maintaining a comfortable temperature inside or outside of your tent requires following sound procedures.
7. Fill Up to Avoid Freezing
After Steph and I finished setting up our tent, we focused our attention on finding a place to eat. With the safety of one of the campground’s picnic spots, we cooked up a hefty lunch of jackfruit fajitas and ate it while snacking on cheese, crackers, carrots and hummus, as well as making plenty of cups of hot tea for ourselves. It is important to have a substantial meal for dinner and breakfast in order to keep your energy levels up as well as your body warm while camping in the cold. Warm drinks are also a rare piece of pleasure when the temperatures are plunging to dangerously low levels.
8. Layers, Layers, Layers
Making the right clothing selections is also important for staying warm both inside and outside of the tent. Make sure to dress in layers, including a mid-weight base layer, a cap that protects your ears, mittens, and thick socks, among other essential items. I’ve had the most results remaining warm by layering a couple of layers of wool under a down jacket and then a waterproof layer on top of that. I sleep with my winter hat on and keep the clothing for the next day in my sleeping bag with me so that I don’t have to deal with the discomfort of putting on a freezing outfit first thing in the morning.
Make every effort to keep the snow out of your tent and to keep it shut up.
Their snapback trucker hats are the ideal addition to your next winter camping trip.
- Winter Camping Gear
- Winter RV Living
- Winter camping near me (NYC)
- Boost Oxygen
In our Year in Review, you’ll find the most recent camping travel trends for 2020. How to Locate Free Camping in National Forests (with Pictures) The Checklist is a list of things to do. FindFree Camping with the Dyrt Map Layers is a must-have for every first-time RVer. The Ultimate Guide to Free Camping in the Backcountry Everything You Need to Know About Wifi for Your Recreational Vehicle 7 of the Best Overland Routes in North America, according to Travel + Leisure. 14 Wilderness Survival Tools You Should Have in Your Backpack When Hiking in the Backcountry Here’s what you should have on your checklist for primitive camping.