Camping in the fall/winter months is much like camping in warmer months, but with a few adjustments like warmer clothing and bedding. Top benefits to camping in the off-season include less annoying insects, less annoying campers (har har) and of course mother nature’s winter beauty, in all her glory.
An since camping requires planning, here’s not just any camping checklist, this is especially tailored for a winter camping checklist.
Winter Camping Checklist
Winter Camp Shelter
- 4-Season dome tent, with increased insulation thickness, and designed to shed snow.
- Tent pegs & fly
- Tent repair kit
- Snow shovel to help clear snow around your vehicle or tent.
- Grount sheet
- Duct Tape
Winter Camping Sleep System
- Insulated sleeping bag (rated to -20°C)
- Sleeping Pad to insulate from the cold earth (inflatables are better at doing this than close cell foam type).
- Fleece liner
- Stuff sack and waterproofing system (garbage bag)
- Yellow foam
- Thermal blanket/tarp
- Hat to sleep in
- Emergency long johns – top and bottom
- Emergency socks
- Sturdy pair of hiking boots. The boots should be waterproof.
- Wear a thermal shirt and pants along with socks that are made from wool or synthetic materials as your base layer. Do not wear clothing made of cotton, as it dries slowly and will make it difficult to remain warm if it rains or snows. I recommend packing at least 2 thermal shirts and 2 pairs of thermal pants. It’s always a good idea to have extra!
- Wear a layer of fleece clothing as the second layer.
- Wear a waterproof and windproof outer layer. You can always ask an employee at a sporting goods store for such clothing if you are unsure of what will work.
- Wear a winter hat and gloves. Again, pack extras if you can.
Wearing layers will help create insulation to keep you warm, and it will also give you the flexibility you need to make adjustments based on weather fluctuations and energy output throughout the day.
- The base layer is the layer that rests against your skin and helps to keep you dry. Clothing made with Merino wool helps to wick or transfer the moisture from your skin.
- The insulating layer fights against the cold by helping you retain heat through insulation. Fleece is a great fabric for insulation, and it comes in three different weights (lightweight, midweight, and expedition-weight).
- The shell layer protects you against wind and wet weather, and when those shells are waterproof and breathable, they help keep you dry inside and out.
Don’t forget accessories like hats to keep your body heat from escaping through the top of your head, gloves to keep your hands warm and dry, and socks to do the same for your feet. When it comes to socks, it’s not a bad idea to wear a thin layer (to wick the moisture) beneath a thicker layer. And if your boots are waterproof and breathable, just be sure to bring an extra pair of to be safe.
Winter Camp Gear
- Internal or external frame backpack
- Trekking poles
- Thite-gas stove and fuel bottles
- Lighter and waterproof matches
- Dish cloth
- 1L pot
- Camp soap
- Eating utensils, bowl, and insulated mug
- Headlamp w/extra batteries and bulb
- 32-oz. water bottles (2)
- Vacuum-insulated bottle for hot drinks
- Pocketknife or multitool
- Compass or GPS (and map)
- First-aid kit with personal medications
- Chemical heat packs
- Assorted zipper-lock bags
Winter Camping Hygene:
- Sunscreen (SPF 45+)
- Lip balm (SPF 15+)
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
Winter Camping Safety:
- Personal first aid kit
- Compass Headlamp and spare batteries
- Trip plan / Emergency Response Plan
- Repair kit (zip ties, matches, needle & thread, etc.)
While you may want to add or subtract to suite your particular needs, this winter camping checklist will give you a solid framework to build from. We hope this save you some time, and if you think we left off something essential let us know!