Winter camping is an activity that presents a number of challenges. Therefore, anyone going for a winter camping trip should have experience in dealing with extreme weather conditions. It requires endurance, physical fitness, mental toughness, teamwork, responsibility, devotion, and determination. There are a variety of items and techniques that you should include in the list to keep yourself and your team safe.
Take appropriate steps to winterize your shelter. To keep everyone warm in harsh weather, make sure you have all the necessary gear at hand. It is absolutely necessary that you make a list of pieces and items and pick out the right type of tent prior to going out on your trip. You should be fit to withstand the rigors of winter camping and do everything properly.
It is better to draw up a list of expedition items and start packing several days before the date of departure, so you can collect your gear without rushing and missing an important item. You can check Winterial, North Face, RBM, etc. – renowned brands that offer a variety of items for cold-season camping and recreation.
Choose a 4-season tent
A four-season tent should be a number one in your winter camping list. They are already winterized, as they feature a canvas and frame that are made of more rigid materials than those in three-season shelters. Some feature a stove jack – a device that holds the flue pipe of a stove stable and runs it through the ceiling or wall. Also, these shelters feature a stove area, where the floor and walls are lined with a heat-resistant material that won’t catch fire even if a chunk of the burning wood does fall out of the stove. If you are a novice winter camper, you should be aware that 4-season tents are heavier than 3-season shelters. Take this into account when packing for your expedition. Please, be sure you are physically fit to carry some good weight over a long distance: most likely, your vehicle won’t have the maneuverability to get you to a remote spot high up in the mountains. Expedition tents are well winterized and insulated. It is estimated that they can keep the inside 15 F warmer than the outside. There are several reputable brands that produce high-quality winter tents: Winterial, RBM, North Face, Trango, etc.
Winterial teepee tents
Winterial offers a range of 6/7-person teepee tents for camping. These shelters showcase Native Americans’ historical experience of using air convection for keeping the inside warm in winter and cool in summer: Winterial teepees have openings at the top, as did old-time tribesmen’s huts, which maintain a stable air flow and can keep the inside ventilated without cooling the air in winter. Second, Winterial teepees demonstrate attractive aerodynamic characteristics thanks to their conic shape that keeps them stable in high winds. Last but not least, Winterial teepees are relatively compact and more lightweight than other cold-season shelters, so they are easier to transport over cross-country and mountainous areas. Along with teepees, Winterial presents a compact winterized single-person tent with exceptional weather protection.
Winterized RBM Four-Season Camping Tents
RBM offers a lineup of unique winterized 4-season shelters that can hide you away from a blizzard or hard frost. They come in different shapes and sizes: Cuboid, Pentagon, Hexagon, teepee, etc. can accommodate 3 to 8 campers. RBM tents feature double-layer canopies made of Oxford PU 4000 (the outer layer) and Oxford PU 2000 (the lower layer) polyurethane material. The air between the layers is a great insulator, and it prevents condensation. The canvas has a water-repellent coating, and all seams are glued properly.
Compared to many all-season shelters, these are well ventilated and can keep you comfortable in summer as well. All RBM shelters feature stove jacks and are well fitted for use in extreme weather. There is a gap between the stove area and the wall that minimizes the risk of fire. Frames are made of high-profile AA7075 aluminum that withstands physical load and remains strong after years of use in harsh conditions. Most RBM camping tents feature umbrella-type frames that are very sturdy and user-friendly.
Winterized North Face Four-Season Camping Tents
North Face is a Swedish brand, and the nation’s geographic location does contribute to the manufacturer’s expertise in what a winterized 4-season tent should be like.
North Face presents a lineup of shelters that are made of sturdy and long-lasting materials designed to withstand high winds, pelting snow, and freezing cold. Just like RBM, North Face uses double-layer canvases that prevent condensation and provide superb insulation.
Some North Face tents use a nylon and silicon-nylon fly that demonstrates exceptional weather resistance and longevity. During the tests, the material was exposed to a temperature of -60 Fahrenheit and remained undamaged.
North Face camps demonstrate effective ventilation, much thanks to a relatively thin and breathable inner layer. The two-layer approach provides a smoother transition from the temperature inside to the temperature outside and thus eliminates the main condensation factor.
Tent floors and sleeping bags
Heat insulation is crucial for winter camping in all aspects. Apart from keeping the air warm inside your shelter, you should take care about keeping the floor just as warm, so you can sit and sleep comfortably in your shelter. That is a good reason to provide a high-quality heat-insulated floor when packing for a trip or expedition. For example, RBM and Winterial offer highly insulated three-layer floors. They won’t let the cold from the ground inside and won’t let the snow beneath the floor melt even if you are going to use a stove. Your shelter won’t freeze into the snow or get damaged when you take it down. It is strongly recommended to choose tent floors and sleeping pads with an R-value (a value measuring an item’s insulation performance) of at least 4. There are lots of attractive options for sale with acceptable R-values that are lightweight and compact and therefore good for long-distance expeditions.
Please include a well-insulated sleeping bag in your camping packing list. It will secure you against a sudden temperature drop and keep you warm through the night. Winterial sleeping bags have several advantages. They are compact yet spacious, so you can crawl into one and sleep comfortably. Second, you can arrange several sleeping bags on the floor and accommodate a good-sized team in your tent, so everyone can sleep without bothering each other during the night. Please select a high-quality sleeping bag that fits your body size and can add at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit of warmth. Particularly, you can try Winterial Mummy Sleeping Bag Youth for children. Besides, Winterial offers unique inflatable sleeping pads.
Tent stove and cookware
A stove will be your faithful buddy throughout your winter camping adventure. It should keep you warm and fed if you handle it properly and get everything ready beforehand. Some tents (e.g. RBM) are tailored for the use of a woodstove and feature stove jacks. RBM offers superb quality woodstoves that are made of high-profile AISI 420 stainless steel and feature doors with fire-resistant glass. An RBM woodstove gives you the warmth to your body and heart as you sit around with your friends at night and listen to the crackling of fire at night. If your shelter is tailored for the use of a woodstove, include it in your packing list.
For those who would like to avoid the hassle of installing a woodstove, chipping wood, and feeding it to the stove from time to time, a liquid-fuel canister stove can be okay. These stoves are compact, easy to ignite and burn, and they feature burners that can get water to boil in less than a few minutes. Depending on the size of your team, you can take along a few 8-ounce isobutane or propane canisters. Be sure to take a couple of extra canisters in case your trip has to last longer than planned.
If you are using a liquid-fuel stove, make sure you have a stove platform. It will help you solve the problem of snow melting beneath your stove and keep it stable when cooking.
Your winter camping packing list should include items, which you think are necessary for your expedition: a pot, pan, forks, spoons, sporks, knives, a cutting board, etc., depending on the type of food and the number of companions. For example, Winterial offers a cookware set, which includes a large pot, frying pan, tea kettle, personal bowl, serving ladle, spoon, spatula, sponge, and a carry bag. Besides, Winterial produces a stainless-steel water bottle that is good for storing water and drinks for a while.
Cold-weather clothing should be a number-one in your packing list! There are a variety of options for campers and mountaineers, which can do you a lot of good during your trip. Consider a hardshell, softshell, backcountry ski shell coats, jackets, and pants, and other options that are apt to protect you against heavy snow and gusty wind. These are much better at protecting you against extreme weather than regular hiking coats and pants. It should be noted that hardshell clothing is a stronger shield against weather influences than softshell clothing. On the other hand, softshell coats and pants are more breathable, and they will be less stifling as you move over long distances or climb high up in the mountains.
If you are or packing for a lengthy trip, you should have a set of baselayers. They come in handy when temperature drops below 20 Fahrenheit. They are a little heavyweight, but you cannot do without them when it gets that cold, especially if you are going to stay out for more than a couple of days.
Midlayer is another must-have element for your winter camping packing list. It takes the space between the baselayer and shell, so it is designed to provide breathability, ease of movement, comfort, and proper fitting. There are various types of base- and midlayers made of natural and synthetic materials, which you should choose individually based on your preferences, goals, and budget.
It is advisable to include an extra pair of gloves in your winter camping packing list. Gloves are something you cannot do without in cold weather. Waterproof ski gloves will be okay for a variety of activities, and you can take a pair of liner gloves as well, so you will be okay when pitching your camp, setting up the stove, cooking, or working with metal parts.
Winter nights are long and dark, and that is a good reason to have a reliable source of light at hand. When packing your gear, don’t forget to put several lamps in your bag. You can hang them out inside and keep your place lit at night. Most likely, you are going to explore the surroundings and have to come back late, when it is already dark. Be sure to have a good-quality headlamp. Many campers believe that 400 lumen lights are optimal for winter nights. Some consider them way too bright, so you can take dimmer lights if you wish.
Because lamps take power, your packing list must include a sufficient stock of rechargeable batteries and well-functioning power banks. Calculate the time you are going to spend away from home and the number of batteries you need. You must be aware that batteries go down pretty fast in cold weather, so don’t hesitate to take as many batteries as you can carry.
Skis and mountaineering stuff
When traveling across remote snow-drifted and mountainous areas, you are going to have to fight with deep snow and move uphill and downhill a lot. If you are an experienced skier, a pair of skis with bindings will be great for you. Make sure you have climbing skins, which will help you ski uphill without sliding back down. A pair of snow goggles from Winterial will be a great addition to your list of items if you go skiing or snowboarding.
If you are not okay with skiing, take a pair of high-quality snowshoes and waterproof hiking or mountaineering boots, depending on the type of location you are heading for Winterial offers attractive 30-inch snowshoes with a pair of poles for extra balance and traction in deep snow. Please consider these options when packing for an expedition.
Track your routes!
Navigation is your faithful assistant and lifesaver in extreme mountain environments. Losing the path back to your warm teepee tent in an unfamiliar place is the worst-case scenario for any camper. Be sure that you have a smartphone in your packing list with needed apps installed and GPS activated, and a stock of batteries and power banks. Keep the batteries close to your body, so they won’t go down too soon in frost.
It is strongly recommended to have a transceiver strapped to a traveler’s belt when you are away, especially if you are traveling across an area where avalanches occur from time to time. The beacon will help your companions locate you if you get trapped. Include a probe and shovels in your packing list, so you can dig out the victim as soon as possible.
🏕 Does camping in winter require preparation?
Yes, it does. Like any activity in extreme weather, winter camping poses a number of risks. Particularly, you have to take appropriate steps to keep yourself and your companions warm, fed, and safe for one or several days.
📦 Should I make a list of items before setting out on a winter camping trip?
Yes, you should. Your list of items should include a good quality four-season tent, clothes, cookware, sources of heat, skis, poles, batteries, power banks, etc. Winterial offers a range of items, which you can pick out based on your plans and preferences.
💡 What kind of tent should I use in winter?
If you are planning to camp in hard frost or go high up in the mountains, buy a four-season tent. These shelters feature sturdy canopies and heavy-duty frames that withstand extreme temperatures and snow loads and protect you against high winds.