The difference between a great camping trip in cold weather and a miserable one rests in large part on whether you come prepared with the right gear. Check out the cold weather camping gear that can make or break your next outdoor adventure.
Cold Weather Camping Gear To Wear
(Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you click one of the links and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission that will help support this blog. Thanks so much.)
Layering is the key to staying warm when cold weather camping. Having the option to add or remove clothes makes it easy to adjust to changing weather conditions and physical demands.
For the base layer closest to your skin, Thermal Underwear is a great choice. Avoid cotton fabric and opt for synthetic, wool, or silk for better moisture wicking.
A fleece or wool jacket such as this OutdoorMaster Fleece Jacket – Waterproof & Stain Repellent will serve as a great middle layer. If you get hot and have to peel offer your outer layer, this jacket offers good insulating and water repellent qualities.
The outer layer is your true weather shield. Go for water and wind protection such as with this Waterproof Jacket Raincoat.
Also, don’t forget to add in Waterproof, Breathable Pants to ensure that you are protected from head to toe.
Cold weather head and face protection is a crucial part of layering, as well. A Balaclava Cold Weather Face Mask offers good protection from the elements.
For additional head warmth, add on a beanie. This Lighted Beanie Cap Winter Warm is handy.
And don’t forget your hands and feet.
Go for insulated and waterproof protection for your hands with these Carhartt Waterproof Insulated Gloves.
Several pairs of moisture wicking socks such as these Premium Merino Wool Crew Hiking Socks will serve you well.
Well-made, water resistant hiking boots will work fine if you aren’t planning to slog through snow or streams on your cold weather camping adventures. If you are planning to head to the back country or wade through snow, consider a pair of Sorel Boots.
HotHands Toe, Hand, & Body Warmers will provide that extra dose of warmth.
Cold Weather Camping Gear To Bring Along
Make sure that you bring plenty of light sources along for camping. Check out the GRDE Zoomable Super Bright LED Headlamp and the Etekcity 2 Pack Portable LED Camping Lanterns. Anytime you are cold weather camping, be sure to keep plenty of batteries on hand as they run down more quickly in the cold.
Also, carry along a Folding Multi Tool Trenching Shovel with Pickaxe and Saw to help prep your campsite by removing debris, tamping down snow, etc…
A Whisk Brush is handy, as well, for prepping an area for a tent or cleaning a tent on site.
If you plan to do repeated colder weather camping, invest in a four season tent. Consider how established campsite vs. back country camping that you will be doing when selecting your tent.
In your tent, make sure that there is a layer of insulation between your sleeping bag and tent floor to shield against the cold. The Whalek Self Inflating Sleeping Pad provides a cushioned barrier.
And when it comes to sleeping bags, carry one such as the Coleman North Rim Adult Mummy Sleeping Bagthat is made for warmth in cold temperatures.
For even more added warmth, a sleeping bag liner such as Coleman Stratus Adult Fleece Sleeping Bag Liner will work great.
More Cold Weather Camping Gear
The less dishes the better when it comes to cold weather camping cooking. Go for one pot meals with a Jetboil Cooking System.
Less is not more when it comes to hydration, though. Make sure that you drink plenty of water in cold weather because dehydration can sneak up on you. Carrying the Hydro Flask Insulated Wide Mouth Stainless Steel Water Bottle covered with a Nalgene Bottle Carrier Insulated can help keep your water handy and unfrozen.
If possible, pack a Dry Sack or two with items such as your socks and undergarments that you want to protect from moisture.
Personal Care Cold Weather Camping Gear
The sun can still cast some pretty harsh rays in cold weather, especially if it is bouncing off of snow. Wear a good pair of polarized sunglasses such as these Ray-Ban Predator 2 Polarized Sunglasses to protect your eyes.
And speaking of sun protection, it is still needed elsewhere, even in cold weather.
To handle any minor emergencies that arise, carry along a First Aid Kit.
Should you need to build a fire, bring a Stormproof Match Kit with Waterproof Case.
Finally, pack in some entertainment that is good in even damp conditions such as these Hoyle Waterproof Clear Playing Cards.
Have your own cold weather camping gear suggestions or advice? Please leave a comment below.
For more camping tips: