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10 Winter Camping Hacks - How to Stay Warm in Any Weather

Camping in winter can be a truly special experience. You get to enjoy quieter campsites and hiking trails, take in gorgeous frosty landscapes, and while away the long evenings in front of the heat of your campfire with your loved ones.

Preparation is key when it comes to cold-weather camping, which is why we’ve compiled the list below full of winter camping hacks to make your getaway a success. Let’s get right to it!

1. Choose the right tent

Choosing a smaller tent will help keep your sleeping space toastier. When your bodies take up more space, your tent will warm up faster. Huddling closer together with your camping companions will also help keep you all warmer. 

While we’re on the subject of tents, you should consider if you need a four-season tent. Most of the tents on the market are only really three-season tents. A three-season tent can withstand regular weather, some wind and perhaps a bit of snow, while a four-season tent will hold even in extreme weather. However, they’re also more expensive and heavier. Here’s a guide for more information on choosing your tent for winter camping.

2. Be mindful of condensation

Condensation can turn things chilly in no time. You might want to bring an extra towel with you and wipe down the walls of your tent in the mornings. This will help to keep your stuff dry and prevent mildew from growing. You might also want to vent your tent in the morning for the same reasons - even on the coldest days. Also, in order to avoid condensation inside your sleeping bag, resist the urge to burrow deep into it, covering your face. Instead, wear a nice warm hat and cinch down the hood of your sleeping bag.

3. Bring extra blankets

Not only will these come in handy for a bit of extra heat while sleeping, you can also wrap up in them while sitting at your campfire for extra cosy points. You can also lay down blankets on the floor of your tent at night for an extra layer of insulation.

4. Cover your tent with a tarp

It’s like a blanket for your tent! This winter camping hack means you not only have extra protection against rain and snow but also helps insulate your tent a bit more, keeping you warmer in the process. A tarp beneath your tent can also be a helpful way to insulate yourself against the cold of the ground.

5. Be smart when using heaters

A space heater can sound dreamy when thinking of braving the outdoors in winter, but you have to be very mindful with these, and remember that no heater is 100% safe. Gas heaters are very effective and portable, but produce carbon monoxide while depleting oxygen. Meanwhile, electric heaters require a power outlet and a heavy-duty extension cord.

Even with an electric heater, we recommend only running it before you go to bed and when you wake up rather than leaving it on all night - just to be safe. This in-depth safety guide can teach you more if you would like to use a heater.

6. Be mindful of your batteries

Cold weather saps the batteries of your gear, so you might want to put your head torch and other battery-operated gear as well as your phone inside your sleeping bag at night to keep it warm. You might also want to bring an extra power bank to recharge your phone.

7. Use rocks to stake your tent

It can be hard (literally) to drive stakes into the ground when it’s frosty out. Instead, you could use rocks the size of your fists. First, you tie the line around a smaller rock and then place a larger rock on top to keep it secure. This Youtube video shows you how to do this.

8. Stuff tomorrow’s outfit in your sleeping bag

Starting your day by wriggling out of your cosy sleeping bag when it’s chilly to change into cold clothing is not ideal. Instead, choose tomorrow’s clothes the night before and stuff them in your sleeping bag as you go to bed. This will keep your clothes warm and with some impressive wriggling, you might even be able to get dressed in the morning without having to leave your sleeping bag!

9. Choose your pitch carefully

You’d be surprised by how much protection something like trees provide from the elements. Camping under some trees or next to a small hill, bushes or a fence means your tent won’t have to withstand quite as much wind. Just avoid camping under snow-covered branches in case they snap and fal in the night. You should also point the door of your tent downhill to avoid cold air entering your tent when you need to leave your tent.

10. Choose glamping instead of camping

Hold on, you might be thinking, what kind of a winter camping hack is this? Well, depending on what kind of glamping you choose, going glamping doesn’t have to be too much of a departure from your usual camping routine. 

The benefit of choosing glamping is that you can choose a heated, insulated structure so there’s no chance of waking up freezing in the middle of the night. While you can choose a camping pod with mod-cons like kitchenettes, ensuite bathrooms and even hot tubs, you can choose a more bare-bones model for a more “authentic” experience, too.

Winter glamping breaks with Wigwam® Holidays

When you choose Wigwam® Holidays for your winter camping break, you benefit from staying in a heated, insulated and safe camping pod without having to pack a whole bunch of gear. You simply need to bring some weather-appropriate clothing, bedsheets or sleeping bags as well as ingredients for your meals. 

You’ll get to spend your nights on a comfy, proper bed and stay cosy even if the winds are raging outside. 

If you’d like to find out more about the cosy camping experience with Wigwam® Holidays, visit our Inspire Me page. For more winter camping hacks, you can find all our cold weather camping articles here.