winter camping essentials checklist
LAST UPDATED ON January 16, 2020

Winter camping can be one of the most rewarding experiences to have. With the advent of modern technology, it is easy for us to forget our roots and how we made it this far. Not too long ago, the humans who inhabited the Earth lived without luxuries such as heating and electricity. As a result, many people today choose to go winter camping to both practice their survival skills and to bond with friends and family.

Since winter camping can be considerably dangerous, it is important that you are well-prepared for the worst before choosing to camp in the tundra.

Our comprehensive winter camping essentials checklist will help you to pack the right equipment you ever need to combat the cold. With your survival skills, winter camping can be one of the most memorable experiences you can have. There aren’t too many feelings better than realizing that you can survive without all of the luxuries of the modern world.

Winter Camping Essentials

Winter camping essentials are the pieces of information which are important in helping your camping trip to be one that is both fun and a bonding experience. Here are some basic pieces of information that anybody serious about winter camping should consider

Learn About Your Destination

Before you embark to the middle of a winter wonderland, it is important that you know a lot about the surrounding region in case events take a turn for the worst. This includes a healthy knowledge of where the nearest city is, your surrounding landmarks, and where to go if an emergency develops.

Will there be cellphone service where you want to go? Sometimes a phone call can make the difference between life and death for winter campers. In any case, make sure that you have a healthy knowledge of your destination and what your plans are in case a life-or-death situation develops.

Don’t Camp by Yourself

winter-camping-with-wilson

Sure, there have been woodsmen and tradesmen who have lived by themselves for years at a time in the punishing cold climates of the world. However, unless you are an outdoors expert, camping in winter conditions can be a very dangerous thing to do. For best results, take at least one friend with you so that you can bounce ideas off each other if things take a turn for the worse. Anybody you bring with you should be strong enough to remain calm and diplomatic in a life-or-death situation.

Bring More Than Enough Layers

what-to-wear-for-winter-camping

Since the most dangerous aspect of winter camping is the outside weather, it’s important to stay warm. Although you will likely plan on building a fire for warmth, you should also make sure that you have plenty of clothing, blankets, and winter sleeping bags on your winter backpacking gear list.

If you want to make sure your trip is a success even if Mother Nature turns into an unforgiving arctic freezer, bring twice as much warm clothing than you think will be enough. There is nothing worse than trying to camp while wondering if you will make it through the night.

Check the Weather Report

Although the weather report isn’t always accurate, it will give you a general idea of

what you might be able to expect during your camping trip. Before leaving, make sure to note the high and low temperatures for each day that you are camping, and if there will be a chance of precipitation. The projected temperature and prospect of snow should be helpful in determining what supplies you need to bring.

Inform Friends and Family of Your Plans

Going on a winter camping trip for fun isn’t necessarily something that the world needs to be aware of. However, when you are taking a risk (yes, winter camping is a risk) then your friends and family should be aware. This way, if a bad situation develops you will quickly be able to receive assistance.

Tell somebody that you trust where you are going, how long you will be gone, and how they can help you in the event that you need help.

How to Stay Warm Camping in a Tent

Although much of the fun in winter camping is next to the campfire keeping yourself warm, there is also a point where the fire needs to go out and you sleep inside the tent. When it is time to go back to the tent, the layers of clothing and warm sleeping bag need to come out. For best results, have a sleeping bag that is rated at least for temperatures reaching -10°F.

Wear warm clothing inside the sleeping bag so that you stay warm while you sleep. It is better to wake up in the middle of the night sweating than to wake up with frostbite. Make sure your winter backpacking gear list includes plenty of warm clothing and a winter camping tent heater.

Cold Weather Camping Checklist

The proper gear can make the difference between a fun and successful camping trip and one dominated by cold hands and feet. If you do things correctly, winter camping can turn into one of the most eye-opening and memorable experiences in your lifetime.

For example, imagine using camping solar panels for electricity while a fire is blazing the cold weather away. You share stories and bond with your fellow campers while considering future expeditions together.

Here is our winter backpacking gear list:

  • A nice 4-season tent 
  • Sleeping bag for temperatures well below 0 degree Celcius
  • At least 3 layers of clothing
  • Waterproof exterior jacket
  • Waterproof exterior pants
  • Bulky winter hiking boots
  • Winter camping tent heater
  • Solar Panels for camping
  • Map, compass, and/or GPS
  • Plenty of food and warm drinks

Best Winter Camping Locations

Choosing the right location will help you to make responsible decisions and stay safe. Since winter camping is a relatively popular hobby, there are many destinations that have been safely camped at during punishing winter conditions. Here are some of the best winter camping locations:

1. Antarctica (Expensive $$$)

2. Hadrian’s Wall, United Kingdom

3. Siberian Tundra, Russia

4. Moab, Utah

5. Northern Yukon, Canada (Think Northern Lights)

Conclusion

Whether it's a solid tent or solar panels for camping, you'll need to have good equipment in order to have an enjoyable camping experience. The most important part is to make sure you're prepared in every possible way. While it's not likely an emergency will occur, you're going to be much safer during one if you're well prepared. Happy camping!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter James

Peter has been installing PV systems since 2016 as a volunteer participating in over 30 installations events in the Bay Area, California.  He has a mechanical engineering background and he has been involved in the solar industry since 2015. In his spare time, he likes to explore cool solar gears that make his camping trip more enjoyable and fun.

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