How to Winterize your tent for camping?

Camping in winter does have its rewards.

Warm food and drink whilst huddling around the campfire. Roasting marshmallows whilst chatting to your friends and family,

Unfortunately, you cannot hang around the campfire all night.

Although you might want to. At some stage, it will be time for bed.

Going to bed you do want to be warm.

There is nothing fun about waking up in the middle of the night or early morning shivering from the cold.

A poor night’s sleep is not only unenjoyable but also makes you feel tired and worn out the next day.

To help you keep warm i have put together some tips on how to winterize your tent for camping

How to Winterize your tent for camping?

Create a wind block

Cold wind hitting your tent will make the air inside the tent colder than it would otherwise be.

Blocking the wind can make a big difference to the temperature inside the tent.

To block the cold wind from hitting your tent place a tarp in the direction of the oncoming wind.

There are many different types of tarp configurations. Just use the configuration that works for you.

Another option for blocking wind is to set-up camp behind an object like a boulder, wall, or trees.

If you’re camping in the snow, build a wall made of ice bricks.

Use a tarp under the tent

Placing a tarp underneath the tent will provide some protection from the cold ground.

It will also keep the bottom of your tent dry.

Use a tarp over your tent

Placing a tarp over your tent will prevent the cold rain and snow from falling onto the tent.

By preventing the cold rain or snow on being on your tent, your tent and its air will not become cold. 

Leaving you warm inside.

Use the smallest tent

It goes without saying that the larger the tent the more air inside the tent is required to heat up.

You might be keen on taking your large spacious tent. However, consider taking your smallest tent camping.

By taking your smallest tent camping with the smallest tent the less air required to heat up.

Upgrade to a four-season rated tent

Most backpacking tents on the market place are rated for 3 seasons.

Which is fine as most backpackers venture out in the warmer months.

However, If you are planning on going backpacking and camping overnight in alpine areas or windy rough weather you should consider purchasing a four-season rated tent.

A four-season rated tent is made for harsh winter conditions, these tents are built to protect from snow, snow buildup, ice, hail, and high winds.

Use plenty of blankets

Blankets are ideal for improving the warmth of your tent.

When talking about blankets there are the normal blankets you have around your home.

Or there are special camping blankets used to cover 1 or 2 campers whilst sleeping in their sleeping bags.

An example is the SnugPak Jungle Survival Camping Blanket which is designed for colder conditions.

Blankets can also be placed as internal walls, between you and the tent.

Blankets, rugs can also be placed on the floor of the tent,

Winter rated sleeping bag

Buying a winter rated sleeping bag will help keep you warm throughout the night.

There are numerous winter rated sleeping bags on the marketplace.

Look for a sleeping bag rated for zero temperature and has high down-fill content.

Seek a sleeping bag with Greater than 700 loft. Downfill feathers are better at keeping you warm than synthetic.

Some popular winter sleeping bags are Western Mountaineering Kodiak MF and Western Mountaineering Versalite 10.

NEMO Sonic 0 is another good option. These sleeping bags will cost you less than $700.

Getting off the ground

Cold ground can transfer its cold to yourself.

Placing a sleeping mat between you and the cold ground will prevent the transfer.

If you sleep on a stretcher, place the mat on the top of the stretcher.

If you sleep on an inflatable mattress, place a mat under the mattress.

This should provide additional protection from the cold. 

Turn on a heater

The most obvious way to heat your tent is to place an electric heater plugged into an electrical source.

For this to happen you require electricity, this may not be an option in the outdoors.

Another heating option is using heaters that burn gas.

I do not recommend using any gas heaters inside a tent or any closed environment.

Not because they may cause a fire, because you can quietly die from carbon monoxide poising or asphyxiation. 

It is simply not worth the risk. 

We do however recommend using a camping heater outdoors. We have used them on a number of occasions at night or in the morning in a well-ventilated area.

If you are interested we have an article on the best winter heaters.

Hot Water Bottles

Hot water bottles are ideal for keeping warm. They are also inexpensive.

By simply heating up water and pouring it into the hot water bottle takes no time and is easy.

If the hot water is too hot, just wrap around a t-shirt or other clothing around it.

A hot water bottle will keep you warm for many hours.

Disposable heat warmers

Place disposable heat warmers in your pockets or at your feet. These little packets can keep your warm and cozy for many hours. 

Plastic Bags

Once you are comfortable, slipping a plastic bag over you will keep the warm air in and the cold air out.

The plastic bag adds additional protection and insulation. It is also a cheap option!

Wear thermals, beanies, and socks

Wearing thermal clothing will help you warm. If comfortable wear layers of clothing.

Recommend wearing a beanie to prevent body heat escaping and also woolen socks. 

Final Thoughts

Keeping warm in winter whilst camping is important if you are wanting to be comfortable and enjoy your trip away.

It’s also important if you are wanting to be safe.

Fortunately, there are a number of practical things you can do.

Making use of hot water bottles, use of blankets, and placing tarp blocking the wind.

Hopefully, our tips on this article will help you to enjoy and be safe on your next camping trip.

Further Information

If you have enjoyed this review, you will enjoy our other reviews.

Below are some of our other gear reviews and popular resources;

How to keep warm camping in winter

How to choose Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Best camping heaters for winter

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