Camping in winter casts snow-dusted vistas before your eyes. Shimmering lakes mirror the icy sky. And toasting your hands over a fire is a feeling no one should miss.
To enjoy winter to the fullest, we need the right gear. Cold weather can be risky. But armed with the best winter camping gear, you might enjoy it more than summer.
So read on and see what you need.
A Tent and Sleeping Mat
A four-season tent will shelter you in winter. Practice putting it up before you leave. This ensures you can manage it on the trail.
An insulated sleeping mat keeps cold ground away from your bones. Ultralight, inflatable sleeping mats cost more, but they keep weight down. A worthy winter investment.
Base layers: The Best Winter Camping Gear You Can Buy
Okay, that’s quite a statement. But choose merino wool or synthetic long-sleeve uppers and pair them with leggings.
This combo will keep heat as close to your body as possible.
Middle Layers: Shirts, Jumpers, and Fleeces
Thermal pullovers, thick shirts, and fleeces belong with your winter camping gear. They work.
Wool and synthetics are best. They stay warm even when wet.
Soft-Shell or Micro-Down Jacket
A softshell keeps the heat from your base and middle layers inside your outfit. Zip it down to vent heat fast.
Micro-down jackets give you more warmth. And they pack down small for travel. Avoid water though. They can take a long time to dry.
Hardshell or Waterproof Jacket
This will seal you from the elements. It needs to be wind and waterproof. Your hardshell stops water and wind from stealing your hard-earned heat.
Arm-pit zips let you vent heat and moisture. And a well-fitted hood will keep your hat dry.
Hat, Gloves, and Shades
A thermal hat that covers your ears is essential. You lose a lot of heat from your head. And you can take it off if you get too hot.
Gloves should be wind and waterproof. Some gloves even let you use touchscreens without taking them off.
You need shades in bright, snowy environments. Choose a polarized pair to protect you from refracted light.
Waterproof Boots and Thermal Socks
Ever wondered why sleeping with your feet out keeps you cool? You lose a lot of heat from your feet. More so if they get wet.
Merino wool resists odors for days. You can buy waterproof socks, often synthetic, which give you a backup if water gets inside your shoes.
Choose boots a half-size up. Your feet will swell if you walk a lot. And tight-fitting boots are the worst companions.
Torches and Electronics
Head torches keep your hands free. And electronic lanterns can light your camping gear in winter twilight.
Electric stoves are safer than gas. You can even warm your tents with heaters. Be sure to pack some lithium batteries for camping to power your campsite.
Pack some emergency foil blankets too. They weigh nothing, take up little space, and they save lives.
Got a Taste for Outdoor Entertainment?
We hope we got you kitted out with the best winter camping gear. Winter can be the perfect time to head out. And you might have the place to yourself.
Before you go off-grid, check out the rest of our travel and lifestyle features. Happy trails.