Have you always wanted to go camping in the winter but can not seem to get your courage up, due to the cold? Well, you are not alone in that dilemma because I too used to be in the same situation. Due to the nature of my work, I only had time for recreational activities during the winter. But I dispelled my fear and learned various ways on how to stay warm in a tent.
Whatever you have decided to do with a tent during the winter period, it is important that you conserve as much heat as possible in order to stay warm. Your clothes, gear, and other equipment you pack, all determine how warm and comfortable you will be in your tent. Here are a few tips on how to stay and remain warm in a tent during winter.
7 Tips On How To Stay Warm In A Tent During Winter
1. Buy The Right Tent
If you have no expertise in this, you can end up buying the wrong tent. As a tip, tents with temperature specifications at 10°F are most appropriate. It is also important to note that, what may be warm for one may be cold for another, so it is important you find what works for you and get the right tent to keep warm.
2. Use The Right Sleeping Bag
This is another thing that most people could get wrong. Most specifications found on sleeping bags are almost irrelevant. A moderate sleeping bag temperature is around ~10°F. This should help you stay warm.
3. Don’t Wait Till You Get Cold
The best way to stay warm in a tent during winter is to prepare ahead of sudden temperature drops. Whenever I prepare for camping trips or any other activity that’d require me to use a tent as shelter, I make sure to pack extra layers of clothes, hot water bottles, and even thermals. You can never be too prepared for extra cold temperatures during winter.
4. Use Hot Water Bottles
Water bottles work magic on a camping trip. Most of us probably use it at home when it gets chilly. Before you retire to your sleeping bag for the night, boil water on your stove or campfire, fill up your water bottles, and place it inside your sleeping bag. This will help to let you stay warm on cold nights. Personally, I fill up my water bottles with hot water and put them in the sleeping bag 5 to 10 minutes before entering the sleeping bag. This allows me to get warm almost instantly.
Once you’re in the sleeping bag, put the hot water bottle at your feet. What works for me is that I place the water bottle on my belly or crotch(the feeling is ethereal) which helps to warm up my core. But, hey, whichever works for you, whether you put the hot water bottle by your head, feet or belly, the goal is to stay warm
5. Use The Appropriate Clothing
A camping trip is not a fashion runway, hence, you must pack up the right type of clothes. Always pack up clothes that have extra layers as these prove the warmest during cold nights. Woolen or synthetic fabrics are most appropriate for staying in a tent during winter as these retain heat more than cotton. These are more helpful because you definitely need something to help you retain body heat.
As much as it is important to have the right clothes, it is also mandatory to make sure your clothes are always dry. They should be spread out to dry properly during the night, and it is recommended you change all clothing before going to sleep. Damp clothes can easily act as a conduit for cold temperatures. You’d want to remain dry at all times to avoid catching a sudden cold.
6. Pack Warm Food and Beverages
Food containing high calories content helps the body preserve energy which converts to heat during cold nights. Warm food and beverages help in a lot of ways to keep you warm. It is important you stay hydrated all day, as this helps the body function properly. Hot milk, apple cider, decaf coffee, or even plain water are examples of drinks and beverages you can take any time while in a tent to keep out the cold.
You would be wise to stay away from drinks containing a high amount of caffeine. This would only make you sleepless, and also act as a diuretic, causing you to frequently go out and pee, thereby exposing your body to cold temperatures.
7. Make Use Of Tent Heaters
You’ll want to make sure your tent remains warm all through the night, and a heater could provide just that cozy feeling. Tent heaters vary, and whichever you decide to go for should suit your need.
Personally, I use the gas-powered heater. It is definitely more expensive than most, but very effective in keeping the tent warm. If you’re low on budget, an electric tent heater might just be adequate for you, but certain you’ll need a power source to make it work. The plus side is that it is very adjustable.
A third option you could also go for is the battery-powered tent heater. It is less effective than the gas and electric powered heaters, but could also serve your need. The goal is to do everything possible to stay warm in your tent during the winter.
Here’s a list of items you should equip yourself with before staying in a tent in the cold:
- Tent heater
- Hot water bottles
- Pajamas, socks, head warmers, gloves
- Snacks with high caloric content
- Stove or fuel for making fire
- Appropriate sleeping bag(s) and tent
- Warm clothes, most preferably wool and synthetic fabrics.
You can explore the world all year, even during extremely cold winter, as long as you’re adequately prepared for extreme weather conditions. When making plans to stay out or go camping, get equipped with appropriate gears and you’d do just fine. Have a checklist containing all the items you intend to camp with. If you can, talk to friends or relatives who’d gone camping during the winter if you’re a first-timer. Their advice could prove very valuable.