The best time to go on an adventurous journey is during the early spring. But as many people enjoy the snow and go on a trip during winter vacations, So, here is our guide on how to stay warm camping.

How well you camp and how comfortable you sleep during your winter expeditions decide how much you are going to enjoy it. According to Statista, young people aged 18 to 29 years have gone camping in the last 24 months.

I am not exaggerating the necessity of having a camp or the usage of the down sleeping bag, but rather explaining it on behalf of my personal experience. If cold nights are not well spent, sunny days can’t bring any good to you.

Here you will get an illustrative view of some of the wonderful tips for camping that will keep you staying warm and safe from the wind. From what to wear and how to make camps to what to eat and what you can use to have heat in a tent are all explained here.

These tips are going to prevent you from cold weather by benefiting you with staying warm during the freezing temperatures of winter camping.

Also Read: What to Do If Bitten By A Rattlesnake While Hiking?

12 Tips on How to Stay Warm Camping

Do complete homework

Do complete homework - How to Stay Warm Camping?

Always keep a complete guide of the route you are going to follow on your terrain and the kind of weather you are going to encounter. Warmer weather gets you to sweat and heat while colder weather gets you snow and wind. Going on without reading the weather and ground state is a bad idea to start your journey. Things you know can save you from every harm, and things you don’t know can get you killed.

Nobody wants to be impromptu on the unknown trek and meet awful circumstances that are hard to tackle. Knowing what you are heading onto, though, won’t help you stay warm in a tent but surely keeps you ahead of time and is a pro safety tip.

Choosing the right campsite

How to Stay Warm Camping?

The first thing to keep in mind while choosing a site for camping is the pattern of air. Warm air rises, and cool air sinks. So camping out on top as well as being down in the valley are both not good notions. So, the premises that are at moderate height and provide you with enough shelter from the wind is an ideal place to camp out.

If it’s possible, place your tent at a slightly inclined spot. Cover the underneath of your tent with tart. It puts the cold moisture away from you and helps you get warm in a tent. So, I think choosing the right campsite will help you understand how to stay warm camping.

Being an itinerary, the toughest part that came along my way was when it was all snow on the ground, and there was no clear patch where I could tent my camp. So save my tip for one of those times if you are up for hiking on a snowy mountain, flatten the snow before you start putting down a tent.

In ideal situations, you should clear away all the snow. If it’s not workable, at least try to level up the surface and make it as smooth as possible. Remove the snow from your sleeping area by rubbing your tent floor. One thing to keep in mind is you have to work fast when it comes to snow because it starts melting quickly and reforms under the cold surface to freeze you in the form of ice.

Share your tent with your fellows

How to Stay Warm Camping?

The more you insulate your tent, the more it will stay warm in a tent. For this reason, you should have an appropriate-sized tent for camping. The tent should be a 3 or 4 seasons tent and can work according to the weather’s needs. As your tent is the only accessory you are going to have to shield against the wind, spend some extra bucks to get a good one.

The more crowded your tent is, the more insulated it will be. So, if you have a 3-person tent, never camp solo in it when it’s cold. The free space in your tent will not be empty. It’ll be covered with the air. So fill up the tent as much as possible, if not with the people, then with your gear. So, sharing your tent will fellows can also help you with how to stay warm camping.

Choosing right kit

How to Stay Warm Camping?

I had a chance to meet a few campers who chose the low-budget kit that won’t help them stay warm and maintain their core body temperature during cold weather. They sat there wishing to have spent some extra pennies on buying a good sleeping bag/ hot tent/ air mattress/ space blanket and other sorts of things that can help them warm in a tent during winter camping.

This observation helped me set goals for my camping gear. Because I got to understand that a good sleeping bag is what makes all the difference, I assemble my camping kit based on the kind of weather I am going to counter.

The kind of cold grounds I will be lying on, and whether I will need a tent heater or camp stove or hot water bottles or not. As the camping season sets in, my two sleeping pads are all set to start the journey. Well, long story short, the right kit for you is the one that supports you in maintaining your body temperature. 

Managing body heat by removing or adding layers

Managing body heat by removing or adding layers - How to Stay Warm Camping?

Managing your body heat is done by choosing clothing that helps you stay warm and keep your tent warm. Sleeping naked on cold nights is out of the question. And never go to sleep with wet clothing on as it will get you cold. So, dress according to your needs.

Keeping warm the body by putting on multiple layers, including a base layer, mid layer, jackets, and raincoats, to not get bed cold during cold temperatures and help regulate the body heat. The important aspect to keep in mind while dressing in multiple layers is to avoid sweating.

Keep on removing or adding layers to avoid sweat, as sweat causes a cooling effect. During the daytime, you work through the activities, managing work and hiking, and the core temperature increases with the sun, so subtracting layers of clothing helps you remove excess moisture and prevent sweating.

While during the night, the temperature lowers, zero activities, and blood flow decrease, so adding layers helps you stay warm. It is really important to regulate your body temperature to deal with issues like how to stay warm camping.

A good sleeping bag for cold weather

A good sleeping bag for cold weather

Only if you are accustomed to sleeping on the ground, a sleeping bag is not crucial to you. Otherwise, in all the camping seasons, you must have to carry your gear with you. Most sleeping bags nowadays are not what we need for a cold rainy day. 

A well-built sleeping bag provides you not only insulation but also the warmth for falling asleep immediately and makes a big difference in your comfort. Here are the reasons why you should have a cold weather sleeping bag with you. The importance of having a warm bag can only be understood by a person having experience with a down bag that was too thin.  

If you don’t keep a sleeping pad with you while camping, chances are that you have to sleep in woods where the ground is uneven and usually covered with pebbles. Here, you can’t get a comfortable night and will wake up with aching body parts or soreness.

Your bag is going to prevent you from cold air and keep you warm by insulating you from the ground and helping you have a more comfortable night.

A good night’s sleep is critical to having energy for the adventures of the following day. If you do not have an adequate sleep during the night, fatigue and tiredness will likely cause you to sustain an injury on rough terrain.

Use two sleeping bags

Use two sleeping bags - How to Stay Warm Camping?

I highly refer my fellow campers to use two sleeping bags instead of one. When you move into your down sleeping bag, it provides you insulation against cold ground and snow. Using two sleeping bags results in adding up their R-value to deliver you combined warmth and insulation. They act as insurance against the cold sleeping surface and deliver heat retention.

Layering up your sleeping pad with a featherweight quilt proves to be a game changer in cold weather. It not only provides you warmth but also remains lightweight and compact. A modern material quilt that is all warm and lightweight provides enough insulation from the cold ground.

Even during warm weather, the Valley floor draws out heat from the body through conduction. In these circumstances, the lightweight quilt causes heat retention through the sleeping pad and helps it stay warm in a tent. If you use two sleeping bags, they will definitely help you to understand how to stay warm camping.

Adding a hot water bottle and sleep warm

Adding a hot water bottle and sleep warm

Having a water bottle is a necessity during your expedition. I see campers taking a hot water bottle and placing it on their toes to keep their feet warm. Here, I recommend they put a hot water bottle on their groin instead of their feet as it’s the core region and radiates heat throughout the body.

When you place the hot water bottle on that core position, it’ll heat the blood that travels throughout your body and reach extremities like toes and fingers that warm your whole body faster. But whenever you are dealing with hot water, be cautious with it and crank up the lid carefully so it won’t leak and burn you. 

Warm hat keeping warm 

Warm hat keeping warm 

During your camping trip, cold temps hit you the most on your head. So whenever you are moving down a sleeping bag to have a good night’s rest, make sure to cover your head completely as it’s one of the best ways to increase your body heat.

Jackets and hoodies tend to slip off easily while sleeping, so it’s best to put on a warm hat or balaclava. Balaclava provides a ventilation hole for breathing, and it’s the first choice to wear under jackets to prevent yourself from cold air. It helps you stay warm while you are falling asleep. Wearing a warm hat can also help you with how to stay warm camping.

Keep your tent ventilated

Keep your tent ventilated

One of the most common mistakes that most campers make is closing their tents completely to get warm in a tent. This attempt of getting a hot tent usually ends up in getting frosted in an ice box.

When you breathe and release hot vapors inside the tent, these water droplets gather at the surface and result in condensation. The cold temps outside the small tent results in the freezing of those water droplets. And if you don’t partially open your small tent for a vent, you will become wet when the frosted ice melts.

One thing here is to keep in your mind, remove your wet clothes as soon as possible and don’t let the water soak your tent floor. 

Don’t forget to eat and drink

Don't forget to eat and drink

When you are up for a tent camping or car camping in cold weather, staying hydrated and cranking up on high-fat and high-protein food is a key to sustaining longer.

Your body has a well-built system of burning calories to stay warm. During the cold night, high-fat-containing food burns slower and helps you stay sustained.

If you ask me for a recommendation, I always keep chocolates with me. Hot chocolate on a cold night is just the best combo you can ever get on a journey.

Similarly, always keep a water bottle with you. Or having a hot drink during cold weather is no less than a blessing. If you become dehydrated, chances are to get fatigued and strain your ability to perform various activities. Drinking plenty of water not only helps you stay hydrated but also keeps you active and warm. Your body uses a copious amount of energy to help you with how to stay warm camping.

Use pee bottle

Use pee bottle

It seems gross to talk about it, but it’s a natural phenomenon and happened to be a huge obstacle during winter camping. When it’s snow falling outside your tent, and you are shivering with cold, nobody wants to go out for a pee. For that time, it is advisable to use a wide-mouth empty bottle as a pee bottle.

Another good point here is that as more body heat is required in such weather, this pee bottle can help you get it. Save this tip for emergency cases, as sleeping with the bottles containing urine warm you and help you recycle the lost heat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to stay warm camping

How do you keep a tent warm without electricity?

There are so many ways of keeping warm in a tent. The most obvious is using a foam mat below your sleeping bag or wearing a balaclava and socks. Heating some stones and put them in your tent, or you can use hot water bottles to stay warm.

How cold is too cold to camp at night?

Technically, 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 to -4 degrees Celsius) is way too cold to camp in a tent at night. This is especially for beginners or for those who are not having the right gear with them.

Why is a hot water bottle good at sleeping warm in a bed?

Water has a high specific heat capacity. The drop of one-degree causes a release of an enormous amount of energy that helps increase the temperature of the bedding. Put hot water in your sleeping bag about 10 minutes before you plan to fall asleep. Your bag will be ready for you to cozy up in no time. So, now you know how to stay warm camping.

How do backpackers stay warm at night?

The backpacking sleeping bag comes up with a hood and a collar. When you synch down the hood and collar, all the warm air traps in, and even though you move back and forth, the warmth stays in your sleeping bag. 

How do you warm up a sleeping bag?

I warm up my sleeping bag by putting on a hot water bottle for about 10 minutes before going to sleep. I also use a double sleeping bag that doubles up the insulation and provides warmth.

Is there a safe way to heat a tent?

In the real world, no tent heater provides complete safety. There is always a risk associated with them in the form of a tent catching fire, leakage of poisonous gas, or some catastrophic failure while using a heating unit. But, still, if you are determined to use a heater, go for an electric one.

Can I put hand warmers in my sleeping bag?

Yeah, putting the hand warmers in the sleeping bag will help heat up your toes and keep you warm and cozy. It will also help you with how to stay warm camping.

How do you keep yourself warm when camping?

Wearing warm socks, a balaclava, and layering your clothes will keep you warm in a tent. Moreover, using disposable heat packs also proved to be fruitful if no heaters were available. 

Are 40 degrees at night too cold for camping?

If you are new to camping and are not equipped with the right gear, this temperature is way too cold for you to survive. 

How can I increase the warmth of my sleeping bag?

Layering up your sleeping bag with a featherweight quilt or putting a sleeping pad in your sleeping bag provides you with enough warmth. Using a mummy bag is also a good option. Another way is by using warm water to radiate heat in your tent. Wear socks and a balaclava while sleeping. 


We discussed the 12 helpful tips on how to stay warm camping. I hope you find them helpful and effective on your next camping trip. If you have some additional tips, feel free to let me know so I can add them to this list as well.