Top 17 Essentials for Better Winter Camping

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Winter camping is a time to get outside in the cold weather and experience the great outdoors. But winter camping can be dangerous because you don’t have all of your gear. 

Whether you’re a seasoned winter camper or just getting started, there are some important things to keep in mind when you hit the trail in search of a fun weekend outdoors.

A good list of necessary equipment will ensure that you have a great time regardless of what weather you’re caught in. So to help with those preparations we’ve put together a list of 17 essential items for winter camping.

The 17 Essentials Gear for Winter Camping

1. Your backpack

You can’t have your winter camp without a good pack, that’s why you need to prepare it well before you head out. For example, make sure you have all the gear in your pack so that it’s easy to find and so that you don’t end up looking like a lost camper shouldering everything from your tent to your food. We recommend the Eureka! Backpack for its versatility, breathable ventilation and shoulder straps for comfortable carrying.

2. A Hot Tent with stove jack

No matter how well prepared you are, it’s probably not enough. Hot tent with a stove jack is the right shelter for camping in winter and cold weather conditions. It will help you to stay warm and cozy in the campsite, even if the temperature outside is -20 degrees. And the best part of winter camping is a hot tent. If you don’t have hot tent you can make it your general tent to hot tent, but you have to learn how to do that.

3. A Sleeping Bag

Although a sleeping bag is an essential piece of equipment, selecting the right one can be tricky. The right one can keep you warm and comfortable in chilly temperatures, as well as make you feel cozy and secure at night. Furthermore, it will also prevent your sleep from being interrupted by the cold, while still being light enough to carry.

4. A Sleeping Pad

Sleeping pads provide insulation to keep you warm at night, but they’re also essential for providing comfort during cold weather. They are a great way to keep your tent warm and comfortable. To find a good one, look for one constructed from foam or air cells that make it both warm and lightweight.

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5. Campfire Cooking Mess Kit

Campfire cooking is typically done over an open fire, leaving you exposed to the elements. A set of campfire cooking kit is a part of the best winter camping gear because it can keep you safe and warm. It is a must have for any campers for winter and summer camping. If you are looking for a durable set you can choose a cast iron cookware set.

6. A Warm Jacket

Every winter camper should have a jacket or vest that is both waterproof and windproof for use around camp. We recommend the Patagonia Men’s Nano Puff Jacket in a size large and the Patagonia Nano Puff Vest. Their light weight and classic style give this tech-savvy vest an edge over other models on the market.

7. Snow shoes

If you’re going on a winter camping trip you’re definitely going to need a pair of snow shoes. Snowshoes offer much better traction than hiking boots and give your legs extra support when walking on soft or deep snow. If you have any doubts about the necessity of snowshoes, consider this: if the temperature is -20°C with strong winds, you’ll be able to walk only a few feet before realizing that your boots are no longer protecting your feet from the cold wind.

8. Winter Boots

Boots come in a wide range of styles and prices. Many winter boots are designed to help you move easily in both dry and icy conditions, and also to provide traction. Because it’s so important to have good snow boots, we suggest buying high quality ones with a lot of padding that goes up the calf. You can also use inexpensive waxed canvas snow boots for basic wintery adventures like day hiking and afternoon hikes if you don’t want to spend too much money on a pair of quality snow boots.

9. Warm Socks

If you’ve gone shopping for your winter camping gear yet you haven’t thought about socks, then we’d like to point out something very important – your toes need to be warm and cozy the whole time you’re outside. And this is especially true in the winter, because you might be going on a hike, climbing or trekking, and your feet need to be protected. Otherwise, you’re just asking for cold feet.

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10. Warm Hats

It’s not enough that your toes are warm – now your head needs protection as well. A warm hat will provide you with the necessary warmth and keep you from having to use extra wool socks.

11. Warmth gloves

For the same reasons as you’ll need warm hats, you’ll also need warmth gloves. Your fingers are very vulnerable to the cold and a nice, thick pair of gloves will help keep them warm.

You’ve spent your hard earned money on this camping gear so it’s important for you to protect it well. If you are looking for winter gear and accessories, you should read reviews for choosing right gear for your outdoor adventures.

12. Foods and Water

You’ve already got your backpack with everything you need, now it’s time to load up on the food! Pack plenty of extra food and water so that you don’t have to worry about running out. You might have to prepare for unplanned delays due to weather, animals or other unforeseen circumstances. Since you don’t have easy access to stores or fuel sources, having extra food is important and even necessary for your trip’s success.

13. Snacks

Sometimes, snacking is exactly what you need to give your feet a break. Whether you are going for a hike or trekking on snow shoes, it’s good to have some snacks with you: granola bars, gummies, dried fruits or nuts can be eaten on the go. This will allow your body to digest them slowly and keep your energy from dropping too fast.

14. Camping Knives

The most useful thing about camping knives is that they can do anything that a normal knife can do and you don’t have to worry about your hand getting cut while cutting a rope. You need to keep in mind that these knives are not made for day to day use, but rather for heavy duty tasks and outdoor use only.

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15. Snow shovel

If you’re out camping in the snowy mountains and have snow falling on your head all the time, you don’t want to go out there looking for a snow shovel. That’s why it’s important for you to get one before heading out on your trips.

16. Navigation: Map, GPS

No matter how many eyes you have, they will all be useless if there is a white blanket of snow covering anything that could show your whereabouts. Save yourself from embarrassment and learn to do your own navigation with the help of a map and a compass. If you want to feel extra safe, then add a GPS receiver to your gear.

As for the map, make sure it is large enough for your purposes (if you are not in the mountains but in open terrain – e.g. snowboarding) and has a few key details (name of the mountains, lakes and other landmarks).

17. Emergency First Aid Kit

In case of accident you will need to provide first aid to any injured person. It may be your tent buddy or a fellow camper. So if something bad happens during your trip, remember to take out at least some amount of first-aid materials from your bag and have them on hand. At least a bandage, adhesive tape and an antiseptic cream is a must for any kit.


If you are planning on going out on a camping trip this winter and you haven’t yet purchased any winter camping gear, then it is time to finish your preparations. Take into account all the conditions that can affect your trip – weather, terrain, other people and also the health of your body. The purpose of spending money on good cold weather gear is to ensure that you are able to enjoy the great outdoors in all its glory no matter what the weather might bring with it.

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Michelle Gram Smith
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