Winter Camping Hacks

The decision has been made: you're going winter camping. You're willing to lose feeling in your toes, carry an absurd amount of clothing, and hang out in your tent for an excessive period of time, all in the name of trying something new.

The catch? Winter camping has a steeper learning curve when compared to the normal variety. But never fear; we've got a few tips and tricks that will make you a winter camping pro in no time.

Winter Camping Hacks Photo by Will Rochfort

Keep Batteries Warm


In this era of connectedness, there is a good chance you're camping with a cell phone, digital camera, or other form of tech gear. Preserve battery life by keeping them stored in a warm place. Ideally, stash them in an interior pocket inside of your jacket. They will stay toasty from your body heat and will be ready to go when you need them.

Stow a Water Bottle of Boiling Water in Your Sleeping Bag


It seems counterintuitive: you want me to put water in my sleeping bag? But seriously, this tip will keep you warm in the coldest of weather. Boil water before bed and tightly seal it inside of a water bottle. Throw the water bottle in the bottom of your sleeping bag before climbing in for the night. Zip your bag up to the top and wait for the magic to happen! The heat will radiate throughout your sleeping bag and keep you toasty warm.

Forgot an extra water bottle but remembered spare hand warmers? Activate them and throw them in your bag too.

Don't Hold Your Pee


We know it's miserable to get out of your sleeping bag in the middle of the night to pee. However, the human body exerts a lot of effort to keep your urine warm. Wouldn't you rather it channeled that same energy towards keeping you toasty while you sleep?

Winter Camping in Yellowstone Photo by Will Rochfort

Tip Water Bottles Upside Down


You'll make this mistake once but hopefully dehydration prevents it from happening again! Store your water bottles upside down so that the bottom liquid freezes first. Hopefully, this will keep the drinkable contents near the mouthpiece so you can stay hydrated.

Ziploc Your Feet


Hopefully you're already planning on wearing waterproof boots to tromp through the snow. However, moisture can still sneak in, especially if it runs down your gaiters. Stick your bare feet in a plastic bag before pulling on your socks. This will keep all moisture away from your skin and thus, your toes will stay warmer.

Vent Your Tent At Night


Yet another counterintuitive tip, but trust us: this one is a must! Before going to sleep, open the vents in your tent, even if it is freezing outside. This will keep your breath from turning into condensation and moisture on the inside of your tent. Who wants that in the middle of a blizzard?!

Team Sierra

Bonus Winter Camping Hack -  Keep your fuel canister functioning properly with this cool tip.

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Winter Camping Hacks
Heather Balogh
posted by
Heather Balogh
Blogger at Just a Colorado Gal
Heather is a Colorado gal who believes adventure is part of her soul. She seeks adrenaline whenever possible, and can be found peak bagging high altitude summits, backpacking into off-the-grid locales with her pup, skiing powder stashes so deep the snow stings her face, or exploring new cultures in developing countries. (Team Sierra bloggers receive promotional consideration from Sierra Trading Post.) Will Rochfort is a Colorado-based writer and photographer who just happens to be married to A Colorado Gal, Heather Balogh. He is a contributing editor for Backpacker Magazine. See more of his work on Instagram.
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