9 Essential Tips for Comfortable Cold Weather Camping


Cold weather camping is a blast... unless you're freezing your butt off.

By using these easy tips on your cold weather camping adventure, you'll stay warm and toasty even when the mercury starts dropping. (Tips reviewed below the video if you missed one!).

Let's review the most important things to remember while cold weather camping so you'll be sure to remember them the next time you're in the woods in the middle of the night and your teeth start chattering.

  • Use a Ground Cloth - Using a waterproof ground cloth beneath your sleeping pad will help keep snow and moisture of you and your gear. It also adds another (small) layer of insulation.
  • Pack a Good Pad - While thin foam pads may be lighter, the weight you save will be the last thing on your mind when you are spending a cold night shivering in your sleeping bag.
  • Lay on Your Layers - Cold weather camping usually means that you'll be packing a bunch of extra layers. Use them to augment your sleeping pad for more insulation between you and the ground.
  • Use Enough Bag - Shooting for a sleeping bag that is rated for 15 degrees below the temperature you encounter is a good idea, but Mother Nature sometimes doesn't do what she's supposed to.
  • Cover Your Head - In the video, Hayes mentions wearing a stocking cap to bed. For even more warmth, make it a balaclava.
  • Layer Up - Don't throw all your layers on top of your sleeping pad. Wearing a base layer and possibly an insulating layer to bed can extend the temperature range of your bag.
  • Get Fired Up - Lightweight portable wood stoves like those made by Seek Outside and Kifaru can help you take the chill off and dry your clothing after a wet day afield. Just don't count on them for an all night burn.
  • From the Inside Out - Eating a hot dinner will warm you immediately and for hours after you've taken your last bite.
  • Keep Your Stuff Dry - Evaporating surfaces lose heat at a much greater rate than dry surfaces. Therefore, you should strive to keep all your important gear as dry as possible on your next cold weather camping trip.

Don't let old man winter stop you from spending a night in the outdoors. Use these tips to stay toasty warm as you get out and enjoy a night under the wintertime sky.


NEXT: Make Your Camping Trip That Much More Fun with Toasted Marshmallow Shot Glasses