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How to Go Winter Camping

Explore the great outdoors this winter by popping a tent and going camping.


  • Step 1: Dress in layers Prepare for the cold conditions by dressing in layers. Thermal underwear, insulated fleece, and water- and windproof outerwear are a must.
  • Step 2: Keep feet and hands warm Keep your feet and hands warm by wearing insulated boots and gloves that have a waterproof outer shell.
  • Step 3: Protect face, neck, and head Protect your face, neck, and head from the cold by wearing a balaclava.
  • Step 4: Bring water and food Bring plenty of water and carbohydrate-rich food that is easy to prepare. Carbohydrates will provide fuel for hiking as well as keep your body warm.
  • TIP: Keep the water bottles in a wool sock to prevent them from freezing.
  • Step 5: Select a tent Select a tent that is sturdy and that will protect you from high winds and snow buildup. Use snow flukes or snow stakes to anchor your tent. Bring a tarp to set on the floor to help keep snow and ice out.
  • Step 6: Find a campsite Find a campsite that is sheltered from the wind. Bring a closed-cell foam pad to sit on and to use beneath your sleeping bag to keep you further insulated from the ground.
  • TIP: Vent your tent as much as possible to deter condensation from forming on the tent walls.
  • Step 7: Relax and have fun Stay warm during the day by taking advantage of all the activities the great outdoors have to offer: hiking, cross-country skiing, or fishing. At night, sit back, relax, and star gaze under the winter sky.
  • FACT: The average American family takes an estimated 4 1/2 trips a year.

You Will Need

  • Waterproof
  • insulated clothing
  • Boots and gloves
  • Balaclava
  • Water
  • Carbohydrates
  • Tent
  • Snow flukes or snow stakes
  • Sheltered campsite
  • Closed-cell foam pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Wool sock (optional)

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