Family Winter Camping: What to Pack to Stay Warm
When the temperatures start to drop, most people retreat into their warm homes to sit out the winter. However, winter is actually one of the best times to experience camping. Campsites aren’t nearly as crowded as they are during the warmer months, traffic isn’t congested either, prices tend to be lower, and the dreaded bugs are often hiding away until spring.
While it’s not the same as camping in shorts and t-shirts, family winter camping is an entirely different adventure – one that brings young and old together. So, gas up the RV for some winter camping and pick one of those destinations you’ve had your eye on. We’re sharing some of our favorite items to pack for family winter camping to ensure you stay warm.
Winter Camping Tents
A tent is one of the best investments any camper can make. It is essentially your house when out in the elements, and as such, it should protect you just like a house would. The best tent for winter camping is designed to withstand all types of weather, is constructed from a durable material like polyester or nylon, and typically features some type of rain fly to better block the elements when entering and exiting.
North Shore 8-Person Cabin Tent
The North Shore 8-person cabin-style tent is big enough to fit the whole family. Designed with straight walls to maximize space for increased comfort, the North Shore Tent includes a room divider to separate spaces. Waterproof taped seams keep moisture out while the fiberglass and steel poles stand up to the winds of winter. The D-style door features an inside flap that, in combination with the screened porch, helps keep the outside out and the heat of the inside in. A convenient carrying case is included for easy storage.
Bushnell 12-Person Outdoorsman Instant Cabin Tent
The Bushnell 12-Person Instant Cabin Tent features instant setup technology that allows your camp to be set up in just mere minutes allowing you more time to check off that list of things to do. Water repellent fabric, fully taped waterproof seams, strong frame construction, and heavy-duty tie-downs stand up to winter’s weather keeping you and your family safe and dry. A special reflective coating on the underside of the rainfly and Heat Shield Technology blocks the sun’s UV rays resulting in a darker and cooler tent experience.
Winter Sleeping Bags
For comfort and warmth on those cold winter nights, a quality sleeping bag that’s rated for cold temperatures is imperative. In this instance, it’s better to choose a bag with plenty of insulation to keep you warm when the weather outside is borderline frightful. After all, you can always vent the bag if you get too hot.
Kelty Mistral 20-Degree Sleeping Bag
The Kelty Mistral 20-Degree Sleeping Bag is made up of three layers of CloudLoft insulation over the chest while a 2-layer offset quilted construction helps maximize warmth. A 2-way locking zipper extends the full length of the bag using a draft tube to ensure cold air stays out and warmth stays in. The temperature rating of 20-degrees Fahrenheit makes this bag a must-have when packing for your next family winter camping trip. Check out the women’s and kids’ versions as well, so the whole family stays warm through those cold winter nights.
Venture Forward Zion 3D 0-Degree Hooded Rectangular Sleeping Bag
Created specifically for late-season camping trips, the Venture Forward Zion 3D Sleeping Bag promises warmth and comfort down to 0-degrees Fahrenheit. The large rectangular design offers plenty of room, while an attached hood provides additional heat retention. A no-snag zipper makes opening and closing easy so you’re not fighting to get in or out. There’s also an interior security pocket to hold those essentials you reach for in the middle of the night (looking at you, Chapstick) to prevent you from having to open your bag to retrieve them.
Winter Camping Heaters
If you’re camping in the winter, then a quality tent heater is essential. While your sleeping bag and tent will do their best to provide as much warmth as possible, having a heater to help never hurts. The best camping heaters have auto shut-off features and are easy to carry.
Mr. Heater Little Buddy Heater
The perfect solution for heating small, enclosed spaces, such as tents, the Mr. Heater Little Buddy Heater can heat up to 95 square feet. Featuring an accidental tip-over safety shut-off and an automatic low oxygen shut-off system, this little heater packs a big punch when it comes to keeping you and your family warm while camping. The quiet, clean, odor-free operation uses a one-pound cylinder of propane (not included) and takes up very little room inside your tent.
Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy Propane Heater
The Hunting Buddy Propane Heater from Mr. Heater is powerful enough to heat spaces up to 300 square feet. It’s compact. It’s portable. It connects to a one-pound propane cylinder (not included) and has both a tip-over safety shut-off and automatic low oxygen shut-off system. As always, when using a heater in an enclosed space, it’s best to monitor the heat and to never leave it unattended.
Winter Fire Pits and Stove
When packing for a winter camping trip, you want to bring along only the essentials. An item that should make that list is a fire pit that can double as a stove. While having fun is always the objective when camping, staying warm tops the list during the winter months. By having a fire source, you ensure a constant stream of warmth and a quick, easy way to prepare food when your stomachs start growling.
Mr. Bar-B-Q Portable Outdoor Fire Pit
Delivering the warmth and ambiance of a fireplace but outdoors is the Mr. Bar-B-Q Portable Outdoor Fire Pit. At only 18.5” diameter and designed with lightweight steel, it’s perfect for those cold camping excursions when packing light is crucial. The lid locks for easy transit to and from the campsite. (Propane tank not included.)
Solo Stove Bonfire
Offering hot fire with minimal smoke, the Solo Stove is environmentally friendly while delivering all the warmth you’d expect from a roaring fire. It runs on firewood logs, large sticks, or woody debris instead of propane making it even lighter to carry to and from the campsite. It’s easy to clean, easy to carry, and easy to use which is enough to give you the warm fuzzies inside and out.
Where are some of your favorite family winter camping destinations? Tell us in the comments below.