8 Tips for Camping in Freezing Weather

Camping can be a joyous activity to ground you and help you reconnect with loved ones, with yourself, and with nature. This can prove to be difficult at times, though, when you find you will be camping in freezing weather.

Questions may begin to flood your mind about how you will keep yourself and your campmates warm, how you will gather food, and how to best set up camp so you can make the best of it. Here are some tips to get you started.

What to wear when Winter camping?

Bring Extra Blankets and Coats

Dressing in layers when experiencing freezing temperatures can help save you a lot of grief. Layers allow you to take off clothes if you are working or by the fire and get too hot, but you can put more clothes on if you are feeling colder or are about to go to bed.

Just like your clothing, varying layers of blankets can help keep you warm at night. You can easily add or subtract the number of blankets on top of you when sleeping or when resting by the fire.

A bonus for having the blankets around is that you can easily insulate your tent or keep food warm a little longer by wrapping a blanket around the container.

Plan for Food

Planning for what you will eat may seem like second nature. How else are you going to survive anything if you do not have food? What I more so mean here is that you need to have a backup plan for food. Many campers enjoy bringing foods that they have either precooked or prepared to be cooked over a fire.

Things like steak or hamburgers are delicious, especially over an open fire, but what happens if those things spoil or are eaten by wildlife? You will want to be prepared to hunt and gather your own food. To be successful with this, you will want to be sure to bring a handgun on your trip.

Not only will a handgun help keep you safe in the event of a dangerous wild animal coming onto your camp, but it can also serve as your backup plan if you need to go hunting for your own food.

Purchase a High-Quality Shelter

Whether you plan to tent camp, bring an RV, or any type of pull behind trailer, you will want to be sure you have a high-quality shelter for camping in freezing weather. It can be tempting to skimp out on this due to expense, but you will thank yourself later when you have shelter from the snow or cold temperatures in general.

High-quality means that the shelter closes securely and is made from material that will help hold in heat. When shopping, be sure to look at reviews of whatever type of shelter you are wanting to purchase and ask around to see what other campers in your area recommend.

Be prepared for cold weather with quality camping gear.

Vent Your Tent

This may seem counterintuitive, but as temperatures drop throughout the day, condensation inside your tent can become a problem. The best way to combat this is to ensure there is good airflow going through. A tent that has a rainfly and a tent body is the easiest way to create a vent.

Alternatively, you could unzip windows in your tent or keep a small part of the entranceway unzipped.

Double up Your Mattresses

This may seem like a crazy thing to do but doubling up your mattresses can increase the warmth you feel throughout the night. Instead of simply having an air mattress or sleeping in a sleeping bag, put the two together to create insulation between you and the cold ground.

Keep Your Canisters Warm

If you bring canisters along with you to cook with or to keep yourself warm, you will want to ensure they remain warm. If they get cold, they will not work, and you will be stuck having to cook over an open fire (which may not be all that bad!).

It would be best to keep more than one on you, that way you can keep one in lukewarm water while using the other, then switch out as needed. Overnight, you can keep the canisters at the foot of your sleeping bag and your body heat will help keep them warm.

Fire is essential to Winter camping.


Eating is something you must do to survive, but few think about eating to keep yourself warm. More calories mean more warmth from your body! Snacking through the day and eating filling meals will provide your body with the calories needed to warm itself.

Foods that are high in fat and protein keep you satiated for longer, giving your body the fuel, it needs to keep you warm throughout the night.

Drink More Water

If you are dehydrated, your body must work overtime to compensate. This can burn more calories and in turn, take away your body’s internal heat source. Dehydration can also lead to fatigue, which can make you even colder. Plus, if you have sweat throughout the day, you will have lost electrolytes that your body needs to warm itself. In short, drink more water and stay hydrated.

These 8 tips can help you stay warm while camping in freezing weather. It may feel daunting at first, but with preparation, you will be able to enjoy camping no matter what the weather. If you bring a handgun with you for protection and as a backup option for acquiring food, you will be able to eat and keep yourself ready to produce heat.

Having a quality tent as well as extra blankets and coats and even having an extra sleeping bag or mattress to keep you off the ground will help, as well. Caring for yourself and your equipment by venting the tent, keeping your canisters warm, and remaining hydrated will all assist you in staying warm when temperatures drop.

Do not let the threat of freezing temperatures keep you from enjoying the great outdoors. Get out there and see the great creation surrounding you!