Winter Camping Gear Checklist

Winter Camping Gear Checklist
Pavlo Lysyy November 06, 2022 9 mins read time

Before you go camping in winter, you need to carefully think through a list of winter camping gear that you can't do without in nature. Improperly chosen clothing or shoes will lead to discomfort and colds and worsen the impression of the activity. You should take care of a sufficient level of warmth and comfort during the trip to have only positive emotions.

Each thing should help keep you warm. Try to choose appropriate cold-weather clothing made of materials that do not let the cold in and wick away moisture well. Get glasses that will protect your eyes from harmful rays - snowy plains look beautiful, but it is undesirable to look at them. Don't forget a sleeping bag and mat, a comfortable backpack, and a tent where you can rest and recover.


Winter Camping Equipment

Winter tent

A winter pop-up snow tent is the first thing you need to start packing. If the winter is warm enough, a 3-season version will be suitable, but for the fierce cold, you should use only 4-season tents. Some of the main characteristics of a tent are durability and water resistance. It should have double walls so that the wind and snowfall could not spoil your weekend.


Pop-up snow tent is offered in several sizes and can accommodate from one to four tourists. Classic tents for spring or summer can be enlarged, but camping gear for winter should be as small as possible to not let the warm air out.

You can find a quality model in the catalog on our website, which is ideal for your hiking. It can be an all-season option or a model with a stove. These tents are ideal for people who can keep warm in the winter cold. They provide good air exchange, and there is a stove pipe that quickly removes harmful fumes, keeping the air in your temporary home clean and fresh.


Sleeping bag

When it is a subzero temperature outside, it is worth putting an effort into creating maximum warmth while sleeping. Winter sleeping bag, which you choose to hike in addition to the pop-up snow tent, should keep you warm and cozy regardless of the weather.

The optimal way to improve insulation is to choose the shape of the bag. The rectangular variant will not help keep you as warm in cold weather as a bag that fits the body more closely. To get warm even easier, you should choose a model with a hood, ties and collar, which will prevent the entry of cold air.

Sleeping mat

Another important thing that comes in handy during winter camping in a pop-up snow tent is a special mat. It serves as an additional layer of insulation during sleep. It should be placed between the ground and the sleeping bag to avoid hypothermia. The best choice for winter camping gear:

  • it has a high R-value (resistance to heat loss);
  • made of foam material;
  • an alternative is a self-inflating air pillow.

If you do not like the cold and prefer the highest possible temperature, use several mats at once. This way, you will not freeze while sleeping, even in very cold temperatures.

Heat Source

There is nothing more important than a reliable heat source for a successful winter camping trip. It can become your lifeline, especially in the frigid wilderness. That’s why it is recommended to consider bringing a suitable heat source. Depending on the type of this source, you can be sure that you’ll be warm while camping in winter. However, the best options for you to choose from would be:

  • a traditional stove;
  • a portable camp stove;
  • wood-burning stove;
  • electric tent heaters;
  • etc.


Make sure that the option you select will not only keep your pop-up snow tent cozy but also enable you to warm up, cook, and taste hot beverages in the middle of cold landscapes. Important things to remember: use them safely and provide adequate ventilation.

Utensils and Cookware

The choice of utensils and cookware is another essential part of the cold-weather camping list. Basically, they are instruments of survival. Our main advice is to opt for lightweight yet durable pots, pans, and utensils. They should also withstand cold winter temperatures. If you want to feel comfortable when drinking some hot water or warm beverages, try investing in an insulated thermos. When choosing the right cookware, you can savor warm meals and beverages while enjoying your winter camping experience.


When camping in the winter, you should remember that the night comes early, and you can’t just switch on the lights. If you want to be able to navigate safely and comfortably during these extended nights, a reliable headlamp is your steadfast friend! What do we recommend? Choose a headlamp with adjustable brightness and width settings, long battery life, and extra batteries.


Warm clothing

It is as important to choose the right clothes as it is to find the best pop-up snow tent. You need to make a multi-layered closet that is perfect for specific weather conditions. If the clothes are making you hot, you can get rid of one layer and continue to hike in comfort.

Base Layer

The base layer of winter camping gear is no less important. Its purpose is to wick away moisture and keep the body dry. During winter hiking, it is important not to let moisture on the skin because it leads to hypothermia.

The materials used are polyester, merino wool, or nylon. Many people prefer cotton products, but this option is better suited for city walks. During camping, such items will not be able to reliably protect you from the cold.

Mid Layer

You should have a quality sweater under the jacket that will help keep you warm. It is best to choose a warm pullover or vest. The materials used to make such clothing are:

  • fleece;
  • wool;
  • down;
  • synthetics.

Outer Layer

The outer clothing in camping gear for winter is a jacket and pants that have water-repellent properties. Hiking in cold weather can be accompanied by strong winds, so the outfit, as well as a pop-up snow tent, should also be well protected from draughts. Modern winter clothing is lightweight and provides good air circulation.

outer layer

Hat and gloves

If you do not like to wear a hat in winter, then this element of inter-camping gear is essential when traveling. It will help keep you warm and prevent unnecessary heat loss. It may be quite warm in the sun during the day, but at night, you can't do without a hat in a pop-up snow tent. It is important to stay in it during sleep to avoid heat loss. It is difficult to name a specific model, but it is better to choose a hat with the presence of wool or a layer of fleece fabric.

Hands and feet should also stay warm all the time. Therefore, you cannot do without quality mittens or waterproof gloves. Thermal insulation is one of the important factors in choosing the right model. But if you go to a river or if a heavy snowfall is expected, the gloves should not get wet. Choose a model made of waterproof material.


Socks are a vital part of your cold-weather camping gear. The proper warm socks keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable during your winter camping. Here's what you need to consider when it comes to socks for winter camping:

  • Material (wool or other insulating materials);
  • Layering (a thin moisture-wicking liner sock underneath a thicker insulating sock is a good choice);
  • Moistureproof (to draw sweat away from your feet and prevent dampness);
  • Thickness (pay attention to the boots you'll be wearing);
  • Proper fit (not too tight or too loose);
  • Spares (always have extra pairs of socks).

Winter shoes

The shoes are important no matter what the season is, but when it comes to camping boots, there are several factors to take into account when choosing:

  • whether your feet get cold while walking and resting;
  • whether moisture penetrates;
  • whether the sole does not slip.

At the same time, the shoes in winter camping gear must be perfectly sized. You will not only feel uncomfortable in shoes that are too big or too cold. Try to choose shoes that are comfortable to walk in with an extra pair of socks.

Socks should be warm - a model made of wool or with a woolen filling inside will be fine. There are lightweight sports models designed specifically for camping. They perfectly retain heat and help the rapid evaporation of moisture.


Many people do not pay proper attention to glasses when going on a winter adventure. But during snowfall, as well as trips in snowy terrain, sunglasses are very important. Snow reflects up to 80% of ultraviolet rays, so you need to protect your eyes by choosing quality glasses.


Winter Travel and Avalanche Safety Gear

In winter, you need winter camping gear which is lightweight. There are many lightweight models necessary for travelers - these are pop-up snow tents and warm sleeping bags. Let’s discover some cold-weather camp gear for your safety.

Backcountry Skis or Snowshoes

The choice is up to you. You should know that backcountry skis provide speed and efficiency over longer distances, while snowshoes offer versatility and accessibility in varied terrains, especially deep snow and steep slopes. Consider which works best for you.

Backcountry Ski Boots or Mountaineering Boots

The right footwear is a must! When choosing between backcountry ski boots or mountaineering boots, you have to choose the experience. The first ones optimize skiing performance, whereas the latter provide stability and support for snowshoeing or challenging terrain.


Backpack or Sled

Hiking backpacks in winter camping gear should have protection properties against moisture. Choose a model of large volume so that it holds all the necessary equipment, things, food, and other optional items.


If your journey takes place during the glaze of ice, don't forget your trekking poles. They will help keep you from slipping while walking or hiking through difficult parts of the trail until the pop-up snow tent is installed.

Navigation: Map, GPS, or App

You just must have reliable navigation tools. What do you need? Of course, maps! They are winter camping essentials, and paper ones never need to be charged. GPS devices offer precision, and navigation apps on smartphones provide convenience. The combination of all is the best choice.

Avalanche Beacon

Safety is crucial. So is an avalanche beacon. It gives signals that aid in locating individuals in trouble. Potentially, it can save your life. So remember to add it to your winter camping gear list.


In case an avalanche happens, a probe helps locate individuals quickly and accurately. It's a must for backcountry safety and rescue efforts.


Always take some compact and durable shovel to dig out things or people (hopefully, you’ll never need it for that!). It also helps create a snow shelter.

Equipment for your own safety

Weather conditions in winter change quite dramatically. While at home, it has no effect. When hiking, you will notice any change in wind or temperature. Try to take care of winter camping gear that will help ensure safety.


The first thing to pay attention to is avalanche safety. If your campsite is set up in the mountains or you're here to go snowboarding, you'll need:

  • an avalanche beacon;
  • shovel;
  • feeler gauge.

These items will not be enough if you do not know how to use them. Therefore, you should learn the rules before you travel so that you can quickly use important items in case of danger.

Additional Items


You will need a lot of energy. That is why pack nutritious and energy-rich food for your winter camping trip. Choose lightweight, easy-to-prepare meals with a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. You should also remember that snacks for quick energy are your companions during your cold-weather hikes.

Water Bottles

Even in the cold, staying hydrated is essential. Therefore, make sure you pack insulated water bottles. Hydration is a significant way to maintain energy levels and body warmth.


Thermos are not only for hot drinks but also for soup or hot chocolate. There is nothing more comforting than a sip of a hot beverage in the cold weather.

First Aid Kit

Everyone going on a winter hike has to add to a winter camping packing list a first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, fever pills, and any necessary prescription pills.

First Aid Kit


With the help of booties, you can give your feet a break. Let your feet feel warm and relaxed even on the coldest winter days.


Gaiters can protect your lower legs and boots from snow, ice, and cold winds. Moreover, they provide an extra layer of insulation.


Who does not want to capture the beauty of the winter landscape? Ensure you have a reliable camera to create lasting memories of the stunning experiences.

Additional ways to keep warm

Cold weather camping checklist includes not only gear and clothes. In addition to gear, there are essential strategies to stay warm:

  • Always wear multiple layers for insulation.
  • Try to keep active to generate body heat and get extra warmth.
  • Do your best to eat well-balanced meals for energy.
  • Regularly consume warm beverages and take a break.
  • Remember to change into dry clothes to avoid getting cold.

Camping in a hammock - crazy thing or comfort?

Winter camping in a hammock may seem like an incredible option for those who aren't used to camping in freezing temperatures without a pop-up snow tent. But if you choose the right equipment, a hammock will be a great alternative to a bed at home. You will need a raincoat, sleeping bag and mat, and a warm blanket. Such a set will provide comfortable conditions for sleeping and resting.

In addition, the hammock has a small weight. It is a portable model which will help you comfortably settle in any place during the hike. You will spend no more than a few minutes to set it up, and then you can relax and rest without feeling the cold of the frozen ground.

When you pick up all the winter camping gear you need, you can have an unforgettable weekend of outdoor adventure. You will remember the beautiful time on a snow-covered foothill or in the woods for a long time, and you will feel warm and comfortable.



🏕  What winter camping gear do you need for a winter weekend outdoors?

Start by choosing a pop-up tent that is not only comfortable to sleep in but also to relax with others.

📦  Will a tent help keep you warm on a winter camping trip?

A tent is the first element of winter camping gear, essential for every trip to the mountains or forest. A properly chosen and set-up tent will definitely keep you warm and safe.

💡  Which winter camping gear best protects you from the cold?

You will need warm clothes, a sleeping bag and a mat for it, glasses, dishes, trekking poles, and a quality tent (the best option is with a stove).


Ray Ray

Ray Ray said:

Choose your gear properly

Dylan Black

Dylan Black said:

Take care of your sleeping bag!!!!

Abby Sheeran

Abby Sheeran said:

An extra layer of clothes is a must on winter trips

Eben Mcarthur

Eben Mcarthur said:

An extra layer of clothes is a must on winter trips

Hayden Sullivan

Hayden Sullivan said:

This is an awesome checklist, will make sure to share with my friends

Steve Lawrence

Steve Lawrence said:

Winter camping is everything that i’ve ever imagined and more.

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