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Tips for Camping in the Cold

Updated on May 12, 2010
Redlands Caravan and Camping Park
Redlands Caravan and Camping Park

Camping in cold weather is fun - but not for people who are afraid of the cold! It can be challenging but with the right sleeping gear, equipment and clothing, camping in cold weather can be an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Pack the Right Clothing

Clothing is especially important when camping in cold weather - without the right clothing the camping experience may be extremely poor or even life-threatening.

The most important items of clothing to pack before going to your campsite are long underwear that is also thermal, wool or thermal socks, ski jackets, insulated gloves, wool hats, warm coats, thick sweaters and sweat pants. Jeans are not recommended, as they are poor at retaining body heat in cold weather.

Layering is a great idea when you're camping in cold weather, so take lots of extra clothing such as long and short sleeved shirts, fleece jackets, wool scarves, long pants, and extra socks. Clothing shouldn't be too tight when layering because loose fitting clothes will trap warm air and keep you warmer.

It's essential to make sure that all clothing worn is dry - damp or wet clothing should never be worn when camping in cold weather.

Shoes and Boots

All shoes should be insulated and waterproof and it's a good idea to avoid trainers because they will not provide much protection from the elements.

Hiking boots, or rubber boots worn over shoes are a good idea. Trousers should always be tucked down inside the boots and you can tape the trousers to your boots with duct tape for extra protection and to keep out the cold and snow.

If there is snow at the campsite, then sweep boots and shoes clean of snow before entering the tent, to make sure the inside of the tent stays dry.

Type of Tent and Bedding to Use

For camping in cold weather, you need a tent that is designed for use in all weather and in all seasons. The tent should also be waterproof. The inside of the tent should be kept warm with warmers.

When camping in cold weather at campsites, your bedding is very important. If sleeping on the ground, you need at least two layers between the sleeping bag and the ground.  Insulated padding should also be used underneath the sleeping bag.  The sleeping bag should be fleeced-lined for extra warmth, and in very cold weather, a wool blanket can be used inside the sleeping bag.

It is also vital to keep your head warm when camping in the cold, so always wear a hat when sleeping. Also wool socks and thermal underwear should be worn when going to bed.

Camping in cold weather is not for everyone but for those who relish a challenge and who have the proper clothing and gear, camping in the cold can actually be an enjoyable experience.


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