Basic Survival Tips for Winter Camping

I admit I’m not brave enough to try winter camping, but if you are, there are some general considerations below for you.  Of course, if power goes out at your home due to a severe winter storm, you’ll want to keep these tidbits in mind because you’ll be on an unexpected campout imposed upon you.


Winter camping presents a different sort of challenge than camping in warmer weather.  Neglect can kill you.  Don’t take your circumstances lightly.


            Check the latest weather forecast.  Be sure you know the meaning of terms, such as winter weather advisory, etc.


            Be ready to change your plans to accommodate changing weather.  You may have to pack extra gear and supplies or move to another site.  Have enough gear and supplies to keep you for a week if necessary.  Know what to do if caught in a blizzard.


            Camp in a recognized camp site, or at least be in an area near other people, in case you need help.


Be sure someone knows your plans, including your intended location and anticipated time of return.


            Have good navigation tools and know how to use them, whether it’s a GPS unit or simple compass.  You could easily get lost in the snow.  Things will look much different with snow covering roads and trails.  Be sure to take note of significant landmarks and any posted signs.


            Make sure you have a sleeping bag made for cold weather.  Keeping warm will likely be your greatest challenge.


Dress warmly.  Wear several layers of clothing. Wear clothes that transfer moisture away from your skin,  provide adequate insulation, and offer protection against snow and wetness.  Also be sure you have adequate footwear for traveling in snow.


            Take along something for entertainment that doesn’t depend on electricity or batteries.  Bring books, cards, etc.


            Save batteries for more important uses, such as for lights.  You’ll need to have dependable light sources, since nights are longer.  For example, LED flashlights require less battery power and stay lit longer.


You’ll find more specific suggestions about surviving winter’s worst in my “Winter Storm Survival Basics” report.  Click here to get more info.  Or click here for general camping info from the Camping Guy.


            If you’re camping this winter, be safe and have fun.


2 Responses to “Basic Survival Tips for Winter Camping”

  • I have done some winter camping in the past. Know how to do it, got the gear, etc. To be honest it pretty much sucks. I currently avoid sleeping outside in the cold as much as possible.

  • John:

    I can’t say I’d be eager to camp in winter, but there are people who want to do it. However, anybody who goes through an ice or snow storm at home and doesn’t want to go to a shelter had better be ready.


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