The Complete Guide to Winter Camping

Don’t be afraid to explore the winter terrain, just don’t get stuck unprepared. –Jeff Bartlett


With the right equipment and plenty of supply, winter camping is a breeze. Here’s everything you need to know about cold-weather camping.


  • Layer your clothing: You’ll want to have at least three layers. Your base layer should be wicking material, like Merino wool or capilene, so as not to not absorb water or perspiration. The second or mid-layer should insulate your body; fleece is usually a good choice for this. Finally, the third layer or shell should be waterproof, like a rain jacket or snow pants.
  • Shed layers when you sweat: If you start to warm up to the point that you’re sweating, make sure you shed layers immediately. The ultimate goal is to keep your clothing as dry as possible. Otherwise your sweat will cause you to shiver when you start to cool down.
  • Sleep with your water bottle: In below-freezing weather, you’ll want to make sure your fresh water supply doesn’t freeze. The best way to do this is to tuck your water bottle into your sleeping bag with you.
  • Know where the sun will rise: You’ll want to make note of the sun’s position when setting up camp. If you set up in line with the sunrise, you can expect a much warmer morning.
  • Bring sun protection: Although winter isn’t your typical season for direct sunlight, it does reflect off snow. Protect any exposed skin.
  • Pack the snow: Before setting up camp, you’ll want to firmly pack the snow under your tent. If you leave the snow soft, it will be uneven and could melt and leave the bottom of your tent soaking wet.
  • Choose the right sleeping bag: Take a sleeping bag rated for 10 degrees colder than the outdoor temperature in the forecast. A sleeping bag made from synthetic materials is heavier, while down is a better insulator and lasts longer. However, in wet conditions, down becomes virtually useless while synthetic insulation maintains 95 percent of its warmth-retention properties.



  • Near water: camping rests on water, and proximity is the first element in choosing a camp.Therefore, when choosing a camp, you should choose near streams, lakes and rivers to get water.But not to camp in the floodplain, some rivers upstream power plant, have wide, small water flow during filling the beach, once the water will be filled with the beach, including some of the streams, usually small, once under the heavy rain, are likely to flood and flash flood, must pay attention to prevent this kind of problem, especially in the rainy season and prewarning of mountain torrents.


  • Leeward: camping in the wild, it must to consider about the leeward problem, especially in some valleys, the river beach, should choose a place where the wind to camp.Also note the orientation of the tent door against the wind.Leeward is also considered to use fire safety and convenience.


  • Away from cliff: when camping, the camp cannot be placed under a cliff. It is very dangerous. When a strong wind is blowing on the mountain, it is possible to scrape the rocks and other things and cause casualties.


  • Near the village:you can ask the near village for help when emergency happen,especially absence of firewood,food,drink water. Near the village is also the near road, which is close to the road to facilitate the movement and transfer of the team.


  • Shadow: if it is a need to live more than two days of camp, under the condition of good weather should choose a shady place to camp, such as under the trees and mountains in the north, it is best to according to the sun, rather than the shafts of the sun.This way, if you rest during the day, the tent won’t be too hot.


  • Lightning protection: in the rainy season or in the area of thunder and lightning, the camp must not be placed on high ground, under tall trees or on isolated flat ground.It’s easy to get a lightning strike.


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