Prepare for your next adventure and enjoy the perks of winter camping. Turn your frosty quest into a fun and warm journey with these 10 essential winter camping gear.
10 Must-Have Winter Camping Gear for Your Next Snow Trip
1. Winter Camping Tent
You can weather extreme conditions while winter camping with a tent that’s durable and water-resistant. This will serve as your shelter during your trip, so be sure that it’s made of good quality. Its size should also be enough to have a room for your other winter camping gear.
If you’re expecting stormy weather, a four-season tent is essential. It has strong poles and heavy fabrics to endure high winds and heavy snowfall or rain. Otherwise, a three-season tent can work under mild conditions.
2. Winter Sleeping Bag
This winter camping gear provides an additional layer of safety and comfort during cold nights. It should be rated at least 10 degrees lower than your expected coldest temperature and should weigh less than three pounds.
Instead of a rectangular bag, you might want to consider a mummy bag shape that has draft collars above the shoulders and hood with drawstrings. This helps improve heat retention and insulation. There are also sleeping bags with extra padding in the head and foot areas and bag liners to help increase warmth.
3. Camping Blanket
You should consider adding an extra blanket that’s made of cotton blend and soft wool to keep you warm when traveling. It also resists stain and can be cleaned up easily which makes it perfect for camping. Additionally, since it’s made of wood, it can still insulate even if it’s wet.
4. Winter Sleeping Pad
Aside from the comfort it brings, a sleeping pad also serves as an additional layer of warmth between your sleeping bag and the snowy ground. You can bring two kinds of full-length pads when winter camping for better insulation and cushioning. One is a closed-cell foam pad to be placed next to the surface and the other is a self-inflating air pad to be put on top.
Don’t forget to consider the R-value which is the measurement of insulating power. Ensure to use a sleeping pad with an R-value of 4.0 or higher for better insulation during below-freezing temperatures.
5. Winter Camping Clothing
Wearing the right set of clothes regulates your body temperature which makes it as important as bringing your other gear. These layers of clothing, which you can quickly add or remove depending on the weather condition, would help keep you warm while winter camping:
- Base layer: Aside from being partly responsible for providing warmth, this layer’s more significant purpose is to absorb moisture. Since it sits next to your skin, it keeps your body dry by wicking away moisture. This is extremely vital as you can develop hypothermia when winter camping if the perspiration would be left on your skin. Keep in mind to choose fabrics such as merino wool, nylon, or polyester so it would dry quickly.
- Mid-layer: This insulating layer over your base clothing is intended to help retain your body heat and allow proper circulation. You can select from vests, pullover sweaters, puffy jackets, and pants made of fleece, synthetic, or wool materials to keep you warm and cozy.
- Outer layer: Also called shell layer, this pertains to windproof, waterproof, breathable, and lightweight pants, jackets, and coats. It serves as your protection from rain and snow and prevents moisture from penetrating your inner layers.
6. Winter Camping Footwear
Just like winter clothes, your footwear should also be waterproof and must provide insulation. Take note of these items to dress properly for winter camping:
Heated insoles: You don’t want your toes to go numb while camping. Don’t forget about your feet and cover them with water-resistant insoles to keep them warm for hours.
Boots: Depending on the snow, you can wear traditional hiking or mountaineering boots. However, if you’re snowboarding or skiing, wear binding-compatible footwear. Make sure that they still fit well even with a pair of thick socks underneath.
7. Winter Camping Accessories
As simple as they may seem, these accessories can provide additional comfort during winter camping:
Goggles or Glasses: Your eyes are often the most overlooked part when doing outdoor activities. Like your body, they also need protection from wind and sun. Even on winter days, the sun can still shine brightly, and its reflection can cause sunburn, discomfort, and even snow blindness.
Gloves: It’s difficult to cook meals or grab your other gear with cold fingers. A good pair of fleece or insulated gloves can help your hands feel warm as they lose a lot of heat when winter camping. Be sure to bring an extra pair in case they get wet along the way.
Winter hat: Stay warm and retain your body heat with a knit hat or synthetic beanie. This winter camping gear can cover your ears and provide additional warmth during nighttime as you wrap yourself in your sleeping bag.
Socks: Prevent snow and ice from entering your footwear. Choose a pair of socks that’s comfortable, warm, and breathable to reduce the risk of frostbite and to avoid blisters. To help wick away moisture from your feet, you can add a pair of liner socks and ensure that they’re non-cotton. Don’t forget to check the thickness as well, as your boots might get too tight for your feet.
8. Winter Heater
This gear is helpful when dealing with the cold weather during camping. Get a little extra warmth from the following heaters:
Tent heater: For a more relaxing sleep, you can bring this portable gear. However, keep in mind that most are propane heaters so make sure that there’s proper ventilation in your tent.
Pocket warmer heat pack: Aside from wearing gloves, you can also keep your hands warm by using warmer packets. Some can be used over again and they even have different heat settings to give you the right amount of comfort you want.
9. Winter Backpacking Stove
In order to prepare your hot food and drinks throughout your winter adventure, you need to bring a camping stove. Apart from cooking your meals, this winter camping gear can also be used to provide heat and melt snow for drinking. It should be easy-to-use, durable, and reliable.
You can choose between the following:
Liquid fuel stove: This stove works well in cold weather but is slow to boil.
Canister stove: This gear is lightweight and quick to boil but doesn’t always perform well in below-freezing temperatures. Should you decide to bring this stove, make sure that it has a built-in pressure regulator to help produce a strong flame.
Don’t forget to create a base to secure your stove and bring extra fuel as well.
10. Insulated Camping Bottle
It’s important to stay hydrated when doing winter camping. With an insulated bottle, you don’t have to worry about keeping your coffee hot. Your liquid won’t freeze and your beverages will remain warm for several hours.
Whether you’re backpacking or skiing, you can survive the cold weather if you bring the right winter camping gear. Learn how to stay warm when you go on an adventure motorcycle ride during winter in this video by Rocky Mountain ATV MC:
Don’t let the freezing temperature stop you from pursuing outdoor activities. Include these essential winter camping gear in your checklist for a safe, comfortable, and warm venture during the cold season.
What other winter camping gear do you have in mind? Share them with us in the comments section below!