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There’s no denying that camping is one of the most fun activities in the world. Whether you do it as a family, a couple, or as friends, nothing can really beat sitting around the campfire underneath the big open sky. Especially during colder months. It’s important to learn how to stay warm while camping in a tent, RV, Caravan and even while camping in your car.
One of the fun parts of camping is dealing with the elements. In other words, preparing for somewhat extreme conditions. For the sake of this article, the focus is going to be on how to keep warm when camping. Because even though camping can be great, it’s not so great when all you can think about how to stop yourself from freezing to death.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 Staying Warm Starts With The Tent
- 2 How To Keep Warm When Camping Starts With Your Campsite
- 3 Sleeping Warm Inside A Tent
- 4 Take Winter Proof Camping Gear
- 5 Use A Heater Inside The Tent To Stay Warm
Staying Warm Starts With The Tent
Depending on the severity of the extreme camping you wish to undertake, a cold weather camping tent may be required. These tents are better insulated to handle the colder weather and may even boast an indoors oven for warmth.
Special design and engineering goes into construction a high quality 4 season tent to withstand the coldest of temperatures. If you do plan to camp in sub zero temperatures, please to consider seeking further advice on extreme weather camping.
Stock Up On Calories & Keep The Body Warm
If you’re going camping, and you know it’s going to be cold, you might want to stock up on calories. That’s right, calories are like natural heating elements for your body, and they can keep you warm.
This means eating a few good meals before setting off on your trip and packing enough snacks to keep those calories going. Taking along a cast iron Dutch oven is simply the best way to cook hearty warm meals when camping. The amount of tasty foods this one dish can make is unbelievable. Plus it’s a great way to cook and stay warm at the same time. Naturally, if you’re following a strict diet, you’ll want to look at the other tips on how to keep warm when camping.
How To Keep Warm When Camping Starts With Your Campsite
Once again, preparation is key to surviving the elements on a camping trip, which is why you want to choose your camping site wisely. Take note what time of the year you’ll be going, and when is it most likely to reach cold temperatures in the chosen area. From there you can schedule a trip without sub zero temperatures.
Having a camp fire is a great way to keep many people warm at once. So think ahead of time and plan to pick a spot that firstly allows camp fires, and secondly has a good layout for holding a large fire. Look for areas with trees that can shelter you from the wind, but remember to make sure the fire is not in close proximity to the fire.
Trees make great wind barriers and also can give you shelter from rain and protection from the sun. So pay attention to the location of any surrounding trees and choose you base camp location accordingly.
While you might not feel too cold before going to bed, it doesn’t take long for the body to cool down during sleep. You can prolong your body heat by drinking hot fluids, or by doing some exercises outside the tent just before hopping into bed. This is a really good way to heat the body up immediately and then quickly fall asleep. Avoiding the cold while your awake anyways.
At the same time, you want to invest in a well-insulated camping bed of some sort to sleep on. The cold will strike you from below as well, so make sure you’re covered from top to bottom. This is why a raised off the ground camping bed is ideal for colder conditions.
Air Mattress Are Freezing To Sleep On
When you literally are sleeping on the ground, whether it be via a pad, sleeping bag, mattress etc. The cold from the ground absorbs the heat from your body. Making you even more colder than before. So consider sleeping as raised off the ground as possible.
Sleeping on top of an air mattress on a cold night that is in direct contact with the ground feels like you’re sleeping on a Popsicle. It can get very cold. So its important to try and put a barrier between the earth and your mattress. Whether this is an additional blanket or pad. A mattress topper on top of the air bed will help distance your body from the cold air inside the air mattress also.
Last but not least, think “layers”. Sleep with your socks and boots on if you have to because more layers mean more heat. Naturally I assume you know to bring warm blankets and winter sheets as well.
Take Winter Proof Camping Gear
It’s never a bad idea to invest in gear that can keep you warm and dry. For example, get boots that are waterproof, and always bring extra socks, because they tend to get wet first. You can bring gloves and long underwear too.
In terms of choosing the right clothes, pay attention to your body heat. If it feels like you’re about to start sweating, remove some of the layers because the moisture inside is vulnerable to a drop in temperature.
As for the tent, you’ll be using, always make sure it keeps as much wind out as possible. Your shelter for the night is never something you want to skimp over because it protects you in more ways than one.
If you are bringing the kids and plan to car camp which basically means camping on a camping grounds rather than out in the middle of nowhere, a family weather proof tent is recommended.
Various Tips On Keeping Warm When Camping In a Tent
There are many things you can bring along or use to create extra heat. For example, heating water on the campfire works well for a hot-water bottle, or you can use hot campfire rocks and put them in a sock.
Then, of course, you can get a few solar power products that can help keep the heat inside the tent. There is a solar powered air heater that can be hung in the campsite which will turn cold air into warm air. The SolarInfra Systems is a good solar powered heater just for this purpose. Hang it up and let the warmth come to you.
A simple and affordable way to keep heat inside the tent is take along an old rug or even an off cut of carpet. Use this as your floor inside the tent. Just like at home, the rug/carpet will insulate the tent better.
Use A Heater Inside The Tent To Stay Warm
When its cold at home, you simply turn the heater on to get warm, why not do the same when you’re camping. There are a couple of options you can take to stay warm inside a tent via the use of a portable heater. The option you take will depend greatly on the access to power.
Without power, there’s no way to tun the heater on, with the exception of the above solar heater. But not all heaters are built equally. Some are better then others and that’s just the way it is. So with that said, lets have a quick look at how you can use a heater to keep the inside of your tent warm this winter.
- Propane portable gas heaters are the #1 choice for a tent heater. This is because they produce the most amount of heat which is sufficient for space heating. Which is required inside a tent.
- Battery powered tent heaters are more of a dulled down version of the propane options. This is because they lack the amount of power needed to sufficiently warm up the inside of a tent, especially larger family size tents.
- Electric heaters can be used provided you have access to mains power.
It Doesn’t Hurt To Snuggle
This one is for the couples who love to go camping. Combined body heat is one of the most effective ways of staying warm, and for couples, it shouldn’t really be a problem.
But for everyone else who gets stuck in a very cold nature situation, don’t forget that snuggling just might keep your toes from falling off.
Passive Solar Heating From The Sun
Set up camp in a spot that will get a lot of sun for a long time. This is regarded as passive solar heating, and some equipment is specifically designed to capture passive solar heat. Do yourself a favor and research some of these options before going on that camping trip.
Now that you know how to keep warm when camping, all you have to do is prepare and take action.