Cold weather camping tips – how to stay warm.

Anyone considering camping in cold weather needs to spend some time planning for warmth. It’s key to comfort, enjoyment and safety so here are some tips on how to stay warm.

Start with your body, from the inside.

The average optimal body temperature is 37ºC. Maintaining it will take more energy in very cold conditions and if you’re burning more calories, you need to eat more.

Foods that take longer to digest can raise body temperature so eat food that is high in healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates.  This includes but is not exclusive to root vegetables, nuts, red meat, cheese and bananas.

Soup and hot drinks also warm from the inside. Because your body uses water to regulate your internal temperature, it’s important to to keep hydrated with water too. Plus even if you’re sweating less, you’ll probably be exhaling water vapour.

Cold weather camping clothes.

Keeping the heat in is vital so winter camping clothes need to act as insulation in the form of layers.

The layer next to your skin should be tight to trap air next to the body, warm, and made from a material that will wick away any sweat or moisture. It’s a personal choice to opt for a base layer in merino wool or one of the synthetic materials. Taking a spare base layer or two means you have something dry and clean to change into if you need it.

Wool and polyester in the form of sweaters, fleeces and sweatshirts are good choices for middle layers.

A waterproof and hooded outer layer will protect you from the wind as well as cold wet weather.

From balaclava to beanie, there’s a big choice of hat styles but wearing one makes a huge difference, even under a hood and sometimes also in bed! Gloves and plenty of pairs of socks are also winter camping essentials.

Keep your feet dry in waterproof walking boots.

How to stay warm at night.

Insulation and layering at night is even more important.

Whilst not particularly designed to keep you warm, at the very least your tent needs to be waterproof.  We have a 4-season tent but there’s a lot of information online about different tent options.

As the ground will be colder than the air at night, if possible add several layers of ground sheets. If you’re using a mat, an old blanket under it and another on top will provide more insulation from the ground.

A camp bed such as LayBakPak has the advantage of keeping you further away from the ground. In very cold weather, an insulating layer can be created by packing the space between bed and ground with a blanket, towels or even your backpack. A blanket on top of the bed is another option.

Finally you can add an internal layer such as a silk liner to your sleeping bag and maybe even a blanket on top to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep. Silk liners and space blankets are lighter choices if weight is an issue.

Staying warm when camping in cold weather means you can fully enjoy the peace and beauty of your surroundings. It’s time to get out there!

LayBakPak combines a 65 litre multi-featured backpack with a recliner camp bed. More information can be found on our homepage  or shop

Photo by Nathan Karsgaard

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