10 Easy Ways to Stay Warm During Your Winter Camping Trip

Person sitting outside next to a tentThe excitement of a winter camping trip can turn into fear when you’re out in the open air and realize you haven’t prepared for frigid temperatures. Staying warm outdoors in the winter is a constant challenge because your body gives off so many different sensations that it can be difficult to know exactly what you need to remain safe.

You’ll be cold, but then you’ll engage in some sort of activity and start sweating, only to have your body and clothes get damp, which leads to feeling cold. If you’re planning a camping trip this winter, here are ten tips that will allow you to remain comfortable during your time outdoors:

  1. Follow the 3-layer rule to stay both warm and dry. The base layer, closest to your skin should be a fabric like synthetic and merino wool because they dry quickly and prevent the other two layers from getting very damp. Use down or fleece for your middle layer for insulation to retain body heat. The outer layer should be waterproof, windproof, and breathable so that sweat can escape instead of getting trapped underneath the fabric.
  2. Warm up gloves and boots before putting them on. Take a portable propane heater from the Buddy Heaters Series by Mr. Heater and use it for various purposes including warming these items.
  3. Shake your sleeping bag to achieve maximum insulation. Most sleeping bags work by trapping pockets of air that absorb heat from your body to keep you well insulated. Making sure your gear is full of air before getting in will keep you more comfortable.
  4. It’s pointless bedding down if you are already freezing. Get warm before going to bed by doing jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, etc.
  5. Pack food that will provide your body with energy. Jerky, dehydrated eggs, nuts, breads, oatmeal, and dried fruits are good examples. Backpackers who are constantly on the move may consider snacking on food throughout the day instead of taking long lunch breaks to keep your body from cooling down too much.
  6. Eat your last meal of the day late so your body can take the fuel to generate heat. Make the meal hot and fatty as fat is metabolized more slowly than carbs and will last longer as you sleep.
  7. Drinks a lot of water. You probably don’t feel too thirsty in the cold but dry winter air dehydrates faster than warmer air. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, stay hydrated because the water allows your body to generate heat.
  8. If your camping trip involves hunting, use your hood. Almost all jackets come with a hood built in and since you may be standing for long periods of time, it will keep rain and snow from going down your neck and back. Outdoor camouflage accessories like glasses and gloves can also protect you from blisters and frostbite if you have to remain in one position for long stretches of time.
  9. Beware of frosty fuel. Spill it on your hands and you’ll have instant frostbite so wear thick rubber gloves as a precaution.
  10. Add warmth to your sleeping bag or tent by bringing fresh snow to a boil. Fill a water bottle with the hot liquid and enjoy hours of extra heat.