Can You Go Camping in The Winter? (Read This First)

Can You Go Camping in the Winter

When it’s winter, most campers will put away their camping gear till a warmer season.

However, winter is mostly free time to have fun, and skipping camps in winter means missing some fantastic experiences. 

Fortunately, winter camping is familiar to some people, such as climate researchers and extreme adventurers. But is it a good idea for anyone to go winter camping?

You can go camping in winter with the right camping gear to survive the cold. So, camping in winter depends on your preparation; otherwise, it’ll be challenging. However, Winter camping is more peaceful because few campers are around, and you can still enjoy various winter activities.

If you have winter camping in mind and want more understanding, this article has more to share.

You’ll get to know if it’s a good idea to winter camp and how cold is too cold for winter camping. You’ll learn helpful tips for winter camping, so read to the end.

Is Camping in Winter a Good Idea?

Can You Go Camping in the Winter

Camping in winter is a good idea as it’s more exciting and fun but with the proper knowledge and winter gear

However, winter camping is cold, dark, and more complex than regular camping.

Camping in winter allows you to have a great time outdoors with few people around. And the views in winter are even more impressive than in spring and summer.

Again, your place of accommodation while winter camping is essential. Tents or Rv camping are more difficult to camp in winter than lodges or cabins in your camping area.

Winter can make outdoor activities, especially camping, an exciting experience. 

However, most campgrounds that encourage tent or Rv camping usually close during the winter. And campgrounds with lodges or cabins for rent are open all year round.

Regardless, outdoor camping generally is an all-seasoned experience with the proper planning and equipment. 

Temperature is a significant factor to consider before you go camping. The cold is dangerous and can worsen anytime, like falling below freezing. 

So it would be best if you had more knowledge and planning on how to stay warm, dry, and able to deal with the freezing weather.

It’s always a good idea to plan/prepare for every situation to have a comfortable and good experience.

Again, Everyone camps differently; some camp in popular locations, a park, or an exciting location to carry out their favorite activities. 

However, to enjoy winter camping, search for locations that offer activities that are popular in winter. You can enjoy activities like skiing, snowboarding, etc.

In other words, winter could be a great time to experience nature in another fantastic way. But lousy planning will mean a significant risk of illness and discomfort.

However, if you are one of the campers who want to risk camping in winter, below is a table comparing winter camping to other camping seasons.

Winter CampingRegular Camping
Low or no insect and bug disturbance. Disturbance of insects like mosquitoes and other bugs in camp areas.
More privacy due to few campers around.More people visit campgrounds.
You can have more rest time under the tent because the day is more relaxed.Under the tents, during the day, it is hot and uncomfortable to lie in.
You can make campfires with no restricting laws.Most campsites restrict campfires for safety.

How Cold Is Too Cold for Winter Camping?

30-40° Fahrenheit is too cold for winter camping. In contrast, an ideal temperature for comfortable camping is 50°F – 70°F.

Nonetheless, you can camp at any temperature if you pack along the right gears for such a temperature.

Being cold during camping is never fun, as it can sometimes get dangerous. However, the temperature will also determine what camping materials are suitable. 

Also, sleeping bags have temperature ratings suitable for different temperatures or weather. Hence there are bags of low-ends and high-ends.

Nevertheless, carrying high-end and low-end bags is a wise idea to face any circumstances.

Sometimes the accommodation during camping determines how cold your camping would be. Thus, Sleeping under a tent requires more severe planning, unlike staying in a lodge.

Can You Camp in Winter in Canada?

You can camp in winter in Canada, but there are better ideas for new or amateur campers. However, camping in winter is a good idea if you love adventure and the thrills of the winter.

Winter in Canada is usually extreme, and unsafe to stay outdoors. For this reason, most camp centers shut down during winter.

However, there are some friendly winter camping destinations in Canada you can try out.  

Equally important, winter camping in Canada will require extensive planning, such as getting more expensive and quality camp gear.   

Can You Bring Children to Winter Camping?

Yes, you can bring children to winter camping. Children tend to have more fun in winter camping than adults. 

You can enjoy a lot of experience with children around during winter camps. And have unique memories to live with.

The snow and ice around, the night campfires, and the coziness inside the tent are some of the thrills children enjoy. It’s a good idea to encourage children to go to winter camp.

However, your only concern as an adult is to make the experience comfortable, warm, and safe.

Also, if you’re introducing children to winter camping, it should be the close-by location (set a camp tent in the backyard). And take them to familiar locations.

Alternatively, there are several winter camps for children you can try out. Children participate in educational, fun, and beneficial activities in such children’s winter camps.

5 Tips To Avoid Freezing to Death While Winter Camping 

Planning your camping trip for winter camping is the first step to enjoying and surviving the experience. But how to survive the cold while camping is essential.

However, there is more to do besides checking the weather forecast and wearing warm clothing to ensure comfortable camping.

There are some tips to protect you from freezing to death while winter camping. 

Below are some tips to keep you warm while camping in winter.

  • Protective camping gear.
  • Choose a good camping spot.
  • Choose what you eat and drink.
  • Have a cuddle partner if possible. 
  • Warm yourself with the hot water bottle trick.

#1. Protective Camping Gears

Protective camping gear for the weather is an essential tip every camper should know. This camping gear includes; 

  • Tent for winter camping 
  • Sleeping bags
  • Warm clothing 
  • High R-value Sleeping pads

#1. Tent for Winter Camping

If you use a camping tent, get one that can withstand wind. 

So for winter camping, it’s ideal to use a double-wall tent like the slingfin Hotbox tent for more protection.

Shelters in camping, especially tents, are primarily meant to protect from the wind. However, tents cannot create warmth but block interferences such as snow, wind, etc. 

Lastly, while trying to avoid the cold within your tent, there should be a little vent space to avoid condensation. 

So a three-season or four-season tent is ideal for ventilation in this case against condensation.

#2. Sleeping Bag

A good sleeping bag and a reliable tent(maybe two seasons tent) are most moderate in winter camping.

When choosing a sleeping bag, go for bags with temperature ratings of 10°-20° warmer than the average.

Sometimes, Sleeping bags with a particular temperature rating are not accurate. Instead, they can only withstand that temperature but will hardly keep you warm. 

Another trick to add warmth to your sleeping bag is using a liner.

#3. Warm Clothing 

Aside from having a sleeping bag with a suitable temperature rating for winter, you should also try keeping yourself dry and warm

Wearing wool socks, overalls, and a good knit hat on your head before sleeping is an excellent way to fight the freezing temperature. 

Also, the clothing should be moderate and able to protect you from cold and, at the same time, prevent sweating. 

Nevertheless, dressing in three clothing layers is the best way to avoid sweating or being cold. 

These layers listing from the first on the skin include;

  • Base layer( clothes of wool or synthetic materials).
  • The middle layer( jackets or sweaters of synthetic or wool materials).
  • The outer layer (waterproof material to protect against snow or rain).

#4. Insulation With R-Value Sleeping Pads

Sleeping pads have their ratings in R-values, that is, resistivity level to heat flow. 

However, For winter camping, sleeping pads with a 2-3 R-value rating are what you need to face the freezing condition.

Nevertheless, getting a high R-value sleeping bag is expensive and heavier than a regular low R-value. 

So an alternative to getting warm is putting one pad over another under your sleeping bag. 

The base pad should be a closed-cell foam pad to prevent moisture intake, while the upper pad should be open-cell.

Additionally, other essential gear to survive winter camping include;

  • Headlamp
  • Water filters
  • Stoves and fuel for a campfire 

#2. Choose a Good Camping Spot

In every outdoor activity planning, location is a crucial factor to consider. While winter camping, choose the right spot to pitch your tent.

Under a tree, a good spot to pitch your tent in the cold. Trees trap some warmth during the winter.

However, look for a healthy tree to pitch your tent under. Dying or rotting trees may have weak branches that might come crashing on you unexpectedly.

When preparing for something, you should always prepare for the worst. Also, as the temperature during winter can change, it’s ideal to have a thermometer.

#3. Choose What You Eat and Drink

Do you know that your choice of drinks and food in winter can also affect the effect of the cold on your body? Well, yes, it does have an effect in cold weather.

Firstly, taking alcohol is not ideal during winter camping. Naturally, when you consume alcohol, you get a warm sensation, but that’s not true. 

The warm feeling results from blood cooling down on the skin’s surface. After cooling down on the surface, it returns colder into the body.

So avoid taking alcohol, caffeinated beverages, or coffee, as they have a similar effect. Instead, warm drinks like hot chocolate and decaf tea will keep you warm.

Lastly, you should also consume high-calorie foods during winter. 

Eating calories-filled foods keeps your system busy while trying to burn down the calories, hence producing heat.

#4. Have a Cuddle Partner if Possible 

A sleeping partner can also help create a warm space under your tent. When you cuddle with someone, there is an amount of heat to create warmth.

#5. Warm Yourself With the Hot Water Bottle Trick

At night, before sleeping, heat water and pour it into a plastic water bottle. Place it between your legs or toes, creating extra warmth in the sleeping bag.

And ensure the water is not too hot and the bottle is plastic. 

Sometimes your bottled water could freeze overnight. So keep your water bottles standing upside down to avoid freezing from the top.

Josh Matthews

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