Winter Camping Activities: 40+ Things to Do in Winter Camping

Winter Camping Activities: 40+ Things to Do in Winter Camping
Pavlo Lysyy May 02, 2022 9 mins read time

Enjoying an Exciting Winter Camping Experience

We all know that subnathing on the seashore, swimming, surfing, beach bowling, beach Frisbee golf, camping, hiking, and other summer games and activities are the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about a vacation. However, there are lot of things we can do in winter other than getting warm clothes on and heating our homes. A well-organized holiday can leave the brightest memories ever. Yes, winter camping can be a lot of fun too for both adults and children. No matter whether it is entertainment or a must-do activity (setting up the tent, cooking, etc.), it will keep you, your team and/or family thrilled and excited. Let’s see what we can do!

Setting up a camp in freezing cold

Winter camping is as exciting as it is challenging. If you are intent on spending more than one day in the wild, you should know how to face these challenges. If you do, you are going to have an absolutely wonderful experience. To start with, you are in for:

  • Finding a spot shielded from winds
  • Figuring out how to keep you and your loved ones warm during the night
  • Securing your place against wild animals

This means that settling outdoors on a frosty day alone is an extremely exciting activity. If you are hiking with children, they will be incredibly happy to do any job you offer them because most of them appreciate this kind of interactive learning. With so many extra helping hands, you will get things done in less than a few minutes!

winter camping activities

Build a campfire and keep yourself warm

A well-burning campfire is a must for a winter camping trip because there is hardly a better source of warmth for your body and soul! Setting wood on fire is very engaging. It takes a bit of teamwork to build a campfire quickly. You can send your kids to collect wood (they will be happy to do that!), while your mission will be to chop and split logs and eventually light the area.

Winter fishing

This is one of the most common reasons why men want to camp out in freezing cold. There is hardly a more exciting thing on earth than pulling out a good one after a few minutes of waiting. This appears to be one of the most motivating patience training practices. It involves a lot of other useful and bracing activities like cooking in the wild, keeping your place and, most importantly, your body warm as you have to spend hours sitting on ice.


Snowboarding is a popular winter camping activity that can bring a lot of fun to your vacation. Although it takes a bit of getting used to for newbies, it feels much easier as you learn the trick. Once you have mastered the basics of it, it won’t let you go! Not unlikely, it will brace you up for water surfing as well because both these sports use a remarkably similar balancing trick.

Sledding and dogsledding

If you are planning a little sledding tour, make sure you are going to a find a hilly location, so you can slide down the slopes. Sledding is a thrilling game for both adults and children. You need to be sure there is enough space in your vehicle. If not, you can consider a DIY slide or sled. A little work with an axe, saw, hammer, screws, etc. can turn a rough log into a slide or sled. Just be sure it is strong enough to handle your weight.

A dog-sledding tour sounds like an even more adventurous camping experience. It should involve a good-quality sled and a pack of dogs trained to do the job. They should be pulling the sled as you command them to. Draw the route, prepare yourself properly, and enjoy one of the brightest activities in your and your family members’ life!


This involves a motorized vehicle (a snowmobile) and quite a bit of skill and responsibility. Snowmobiling implies riding over a vast snow-drifted terrain, often without sticking to a fixed route. It is not always an affordable thing, but you can rent one at your local snowmobile rental company. Because it is a potentially dangerous activity, it is not recommended to take children on snowmobiling tours. Adults should take great care to ensure safe driving.

winter camping activities

Exploring the surroundings

Now that you have arrived at your camping site, you can take a walk around the area. No matter where you settle – near a razor-sharp rock cliff, on the top of a hill, or on the edge of a forest, there is always something to marvel at. Do not be shy to take your kids along: they are always eager to roam around a new area and get new impressions.

Bird watching

There seems to be less fauna during cold seasons. However, birds and animals are more visible on the white snow and among bare trees. Do not forget to take a pair of binoculars on a trip for yourself and your children. They would never miss a chance to view a piece of wildlife. Watching and tracking a wild bird or animal is a fun game that leaves a bright life-long memory. To back up the newly obtained knowledge, it is advisable to take a bird dictionary with you.

Tracking footprints

Winter is the best time to look for animal tracks in the woods. Although most animals are less active at this time than in summer, their footprints are quite visible. Get your kids and the whole family involved in the process. They won’t mind learning how to tell a bobcat’s track from a coyote’s. Finding a track near your tent early in the morning, which was not there yesterday, is a lot of fun and a very thrilling experience.


Snowshoeing is one of the healthiest activities that can brace you up for the next few days. Just put on your snowshoes and start out on a walk across the wildlife with your friend or loved one. Snowshoes are shaped in such a way as to evenly distribute the body weight over the snow and make your movement easier. Snowshoeing is popular among mature and elderly people.


Many people can hardly imagine winter camping without skiing. It is the easiest and most fun method of moving across a snow-covered landscape. You can ski along an existing ski track or explore the place and make your own route. Cross-country skiing is great for people from all walks of life and of all ages. Kids are particularly excited to ski across the woods and marvel at scenic frost-bitten landscapes. Skiing requires some practice, so you can make your trip into a breathtaking lesson for yourself and your companions.

Watching the sun go down

There is hardly a more soothing thing to do than watching the sun slowly sink below the horizon. Now that you have put up your tent and put all things in their places, you need a little rest. This kind of rest at the end of a quiet and clear-sky day will be second to none, especially for lovers and spouses. Just go to a vantage point, from which the horizon is clearly visible and start counting seconds until the last tiny swath of the sun disc will disappear behind the edge of the earth!

Watch the stars

Now that you have seen the sun off, you can wait until the sky gets completely dark and watch the stars. There is hardly a more romantic experience for a couple than staring up at the sky and view constellations. If you are planning to stargaze during your trip, read a chapter in an astronomy textbook on how to find the Polar Star, the Little Dipper, the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia… Chances are you will fall asleep well past midnight!

Cook together

Cooking in the wild with your friends, family or soul mate is a kind of fun game that is nowhere near cooking at home. It is dozens of times more exciting and mouth-watering. It always helps people build a stronger bond. The process involves a handful of activities, including picking up kindling wood, setting a campfire, preparing ingredients. These imply an effective and exciting cooperation. Last, but not least is enjoying the delicious result together.

Telling stories

Now that the day is over and you are finished with your games and other activities, it is time to have a quiet yet merry conversation in your tent. This activity is an attraction for kids, who are naturally fond of telling stories. Sunset and quietness around your campsite will inspire their young minds to conjure up funny, maybe somewhat absurd, sidesplitting, and ghost stories. Or, they may find it fun to tell true stories from their lives and share them with you, and they may sound great to you.

Singing songs

Singing songs together can be a heart-warming and entertaining experience for kids and the rest of the family. Although taking a guitar with you on a chilly day is not a promising idea (a temperature fall can cause the wood to warp), you can use a portable karaoke system (be sure it is charged properly) or sing your favorite songs without any backing tracks.

winter camping activities

Make your tent comfortable

If you have set up your tent, you can concentrate on the inside of it. You and your camping mates can arrange sleeping bags in a comfortable way. If your group is not big and your tent is spacious and strong, you can build hammocks. Make sure all your bags and packs are in their right places, so you do not need to look for one when you need it.

Burn your stove

If you have a tent stove, you are in for installing and burning it. You do want to keep your tent warm during the night. You must have browsed a dozen of websites on how to fix it in your tent, keep it safe, and how to feed wood into it. Your kid(s) will be thrilled about the new experience and will have fun learning the trick (but do not trust him/her to do it alone!). Please be cautious and ventilate your tent to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not leave it burning without supervision.

Heat up your tent

There are several methods you can use to heat up your tent for the night. Some of them require a bit of experience and hard work. But things come easier to you when you team up and share in the common cause of having fun in the wild. You have prepared bottles for hot water and a pot, haven’t you? Now get your pot ready, fill it with snow, build a campfire, melt the snow, and boil the water. Then pour the water into the plastic bottles and arrange them inside your tent. Now you have a DIY heater radiator system in your newly erected home. Enjoy the effect and have a good sleep!

Play a treasure hunting game

If you are traveling with your large family or a bunch of friends, you can add a thrilling and exciting activity to your experience by playing a treasure hunting game. You must have prepared objects you are going to hide and clues that will be helping you locate them. Treasure hunting in winter is tricky in its own way. Although covering up an object under the snow does not seem like a great challenge, it can be hard to cover up your footprints and traces of work you have done and make the snowdrift look natural. This makes treasure hunting in winter really fun.

Play board or card games

No matter where you are going, you and your companions will need a minute of peace and to escape from the freezing cold. After a long trip, active game, and a lot of physical work, a board game (chess, checkers, monopoly, etc.) can get you through the remaining part of the day. A card game would be a clever idea too. As you play, you feel the excitement of wanting to follow through without backing off for a second. You can enjoy whatever type of fun game you and your friends or family appreciate, so discuss it before you start out on your camping trip.

Make snow sculptures

Fresh air and plenty of snow can be ample ground for your imagination and creativity. Snow sculpturing allows you to exploit your potential ranging from a simple snowman to a complex figure with a lot of details. There are no age limits, and children are particularly excited to do some creative work.

Go for a snowball fight

No good winter holiday goes without a snowball fight. This game does not have age limits either, and sharing the joy with your kids would be the best possible choice. Pelting each other with snow is an excellent time passer. Besides, constant movement will be forcing blood throughout the body, keeping it warm. It is one of the best ways to have fun and stay warm outside even when it gets really cold.

Summing it up

As follows from the above, there are countless ways to have a fun time when camping in winter. No matter how big your team is, there is always entertainment out there. What you have read is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are planning a trip with your family or friends, get everything ready beforehand and discuss various options and activities with them. Make this the brightest experience in your lifetime!



🏕  How do I make this winter camping game memorable and exciting?

There are scores of activities that can bring you a lot of fun and leave the brightest memories. Since there is no universal method, all you can do is go for your most favorable activities, games, work, etc. Have an enjoyable time with your friends and loved ones as you see fit!

📦  How do I secure myself at night when camping out and having fun in winter?

Pitch your tent a safe place. Enjoy games and have fun safely away from highways, power poles, old trees, rocks, wild predators’ lairs, etc. Put reflective tape on your tent for drivers to be able to see your camp from a distance. Follow precautions when using a tent stove.

💡  How can I keep my tent warm throughout a winter camping trip?

This is a must-do activity for a cold season. There are several ways to go. For example, you can use a wood burning stove or fill plastic bottles with hot water and place them around the sleeping area. Use warm sleeping bags and wear warm clothes.


Charles O'Neil

Charles O'Neil said:

Wow, half of these activities have never even crossed my mind

Chandler Holmes

Chandler Holmes said:

Winter camping is so much more than sleeping in the snow, that’s for sure

Matei Sheldon

Matei Sheldon said:

I’m a fan of snowboarding!

Roosevelt Baker

Roosevelt Baker said:

Winter fishing requires special gear though.

Kay Farrington

Kay Farrington said:

You can store your snowmobile in a vestibule. There’s one available on this website, if I’m not mistaken

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