12 Of The Best Tactics to Keep Warm When Camping in Winter

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Camping in winter can sometimes be tricky when one hasn’t prepared accordingly.

Staying warm while winter camping depends on various things, including; the sleeping system, tent, ground temperature, altitude, fatigue, air temperature, the wind, experience, metabolism, and age.

However, the good news is that there are effective tricks and tactics that you can easily implement to stay warm while camping in winter.

Keep Warm When Camping in Winter

Our Tactics

1. Pick a Strategic Camp Site

You should be picky when setting up your camping site to ensure that the area can favor you in terms of being warm. Avoid areas where cold air settles like valleys or low areas.

A good place to start is where the base is at least 50 feet above the valley floor. Don’t set up the tent facing uphill because cold air will flow into it. Instead, you should place the tent entrance facing downhill.

Avoid soft spots because you can easily rip a hole in the bottom of your tent. It is advisable that you pack it down hard.

Take your time to pack the floor down after choosing your site. You should do this if the base is filled with loose snow.

2. Pack Extra Heat

You can choose to make your own heater packs or purchase some for your next camping trip in winter. These heater packs play a great role in ensuring that you stay warm when you’re out in the cold for some outdoor activity.

We can’t resist the fun that comes with camping in winter, thus we have to look for awesome ways to keep ourselves warm.

Frozen shoes are often uncomfortable to put on, hence it is advisable to store your boots under your pack or clothes.

That’s if you decide to remove them for a long period of time. Also, you can prevent moisture build up by going for jackets that have pit zips (zippers in the armpits).

Always take care of your body’s temperature and know when it is right to remove or add layers.

3. Gear

The head lets a lot of heat escape from the body through it. Therefore, you should bring along a lot of socks and stay away from down fabrics and cotton. Go for synthetic and thick wool materials.

Always pack a waterproof outer jacket, a wind and insulation layer such as fleece. Shoot for a thin layer against the skin. Layers are obviously the best way to go when it comes to clothing.

You can consider keeping your toes dry and snug by topping off your booties with water-resistant over boots. You should invest in a pair of quality fibre-fill booties for moving around the campsite.

Remember, you can easily chase away the chills by bringing along a warm stocking hat. Also, bring along some long underwear and plenty of extra dry socks.

4. Bed Time

Going to bed in a cold area can sometimes be challenging but there are some tricks that can help keep you warm.

Raise the sleeping area above the ground to prevent your body from catching cold. The more layers, the better – don’t be afraid to sleep with your boots and socks on.

When it comes to keeping things heated up right, then what’s on top matters as much as what’s underneath you. Invest in a quality insulating pad to sleep on.

Before you go out in the morning, ensure that you start by drinking hot liquids, hiking, jogging, or even doing some jumping jacks. It’s surely one of the best ways to keep warm while having fun.

It’s crucial to prepare carefully for bed because the body cools down during sleep.

5. Drink Plenty of Water

You can melt snow to get clean drinking water that won’t decrease your inner temperature.

Just as it is easy to get dehydrated under a scorching sun, the same applies in the snow; because it’s not hot does not mean that you shouldn’t hydrate.

During the shivering nights, you can consider keeping snacks handy to consistently replenish calories. You can keep warm in the winter by consuming plenty of calories because they will always keep your body ready for action.

Fill up your winter camping trips with plenty of calories and hearty meals — forget watching that waistline.

6. Ensure That Your Sleeping Gear is Dry

You can prevent your sleeping gear from getting cold by keeping them in a dry place above the ground. Whenever you get the chance, ensure that you dry out your bag daily.

You can expel body moisture by squashing the air that is in your bag to empty it. No matter how tempting it might seem, avoid breathing inside your sleeping bag while sleeping.

7. Add Extra Layers Outside

Without squashing the air out of your sleeping bag, add a layer of thin metallic survival blankets over the torso area. You are allowed to use a waterproof jacket to create much comfort and increase warmth.

8. Ensure That Your Gear’s Insulation is Maximized

Before bedtime, consider pumping air into the sleeping bag to achieve maximum insulation. Actually, you might increase performance by removing some layers if it is too hot

9. Take Late Meals

Eat fatty foods before you go to sleep because fat will last longer while you sleep, given that it is metabolised slowly. Cheese has the added advantage of giving you clear dreams. Consume extra rations of olive oil or cheese.

10. Choose the Right Type of Clothes for Winter

You should choose selective clothes when camping in winter. Make sure you keep all your clothes dry to avoid catching moist. Add a neck warmer and a fleece or woollen hat.

Wear appropriate base layers, such as insulating synthetics or merino wool.

11. Cuddling with Friends

Cuddling is one of the best tactics to keep you warm while camping out in the winter. The trick works in a simple way.

You only need to look for a friend whom you can share body heat together. The shared heat does wonders because it radiates even through thick sleeping bags. So, next time you go out camping, make sure you find a friend to keep close.

12. Hot Bottle Trick

The hot bottle trick is pretty simple in the sense that it only involves filling hard plastic bottles with hot water then placing them where the body is susceptible to cold. It also helps to raise the body temperature.

Favorite Tips

  • Before falling asleep, make sure your feet, hair and skin are thoroughly dry.
  • Do a few jumping jacks before sleep to give off excess heat and trap in the warmth. Just do a light exercise – not enough to sweat.
  • Heat the bathroom right before bedtime and drink a little water about an hour before bed. This helps you avoid cold restroom in the middle of the night and it also hydrates your body keeping the blood evenly circulated in the body.

Conclusively, you can implement a lot of tricks to keep you warm when camping in winter, but the above tricks and tips are effective when implemented accordingly.

Photo of author

Sammy Garrard

I am the Founder and Chief Editor of outdoorsity.net and a prepper with over 15 years of experience. I’m excited to my knowledge and the things I learn while travelling in British Columbia, Canada where I live and around the world. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, Facebook!

2 thoughts on “12 Of The Best Tactics to Keep Warm When Camping in Winter”

  1. hello,
    Awesome post! I cherish open air outdoors my get-away. I am continually finding and looking best open air outdoors yet every time it no conceivable. i saw your post and i am intrigued need to make the most of your strategies. I’ll come and make the most of your administration.

  2. Cuddling with my friends I think would be the most effective idea. but for blankets do you have a specific brand to recommend like roadeavour? Thanks! Good read!


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