How To Dress For Winter Camping

How To Dress For Winter Camping: 9 Things You Should Think About

Winter camping can be fun, but only if you are prepared for sudden temperature drops. This guide helps you understand how to dress for winter camping.

Camping involves staying overnight in your tent or recreational vehicle. Summer camping is more common because people find that winter camping involves a lot of extreme weather conditions such as below-freezing temperatures, snow, and rain.

But in reality, if you have proper camping gear and the right clothes, you can have fun with your near and dear ones.

How To Dress For Winter Camping

A lot of our readers are unsure about how to dress for winter camping. I will strongly advise you to wear the clothes in layers while going winter camping. The layers will protect you from the chilly weather and keep your body warm and away from harm.

This article discusses some important things that you should consider in your wardrobe before heading off for winter camping. So, continue reading this article for more information.

How To Dress Up For Winter Camping?

The human body is an example of a heat engine, i.e., your body goes continuously through heat generation and heat loss. When you are actively doing some work like hiking or running, your body generates heat. On the other hand, when you are sleeping, your body loses heat. 

That’s why it is important to note that the clothes you wear during the day may not be sufficient clothing for the night, because not only is it colder outside, but your body is not generating as much heat either. So, you should choose the right clothes for staying safe in winter camping.

How To Dress For Winter Camping

But before selecting clothes, you need to make sure what you are going to do outside, i.e., whether you will relax outside or be hiking, spelunking, or anything else. 

If you have even the slightest chance of getting wet from rain, or any other reasons such as during rafting or from a waterfall, you need to make sure that the layers of cloth you will be wearing in winter camping should dry as soon as possible.

However, I will list here a few essential dress-ups you need to keep in your wardrobe before heading for winter camping. The list is as below.

How To Dress For Winter Camping & Layering

Inner Layer Or Wicking layer

I will recommend you to wear three layers of cloth while going winter camping. There should be a base layer, middle layer, and top layer. The base layer should act as a second skin of your body. It means it should fit your body properly but should not be too tight.

The inner layer should keep your body completely dry by absorbing the moisture from your body. You should not use cotton or plant-based material while choosing the inner layer for your winter camping. It draws the moisture from your body but is hard to evaporate. So don’t make this mistake. Always choose synthetic materials like polyester or animal-based materials like merino wool or silk for the inner layer.

The wool can react with the fluctuations of your body temperature better than any other material. The tiny pockets in the wool can keep you warm in chilly weather and cold in the dry season. So I will recommend preferring woolen material for the inner layer.

Middle Layer Or Warmth Layer

Now let’s talk about the middle layer. The middle layer should be thick but not as thick as the first layer. It should consist of fleece, wool, or synthetic insulation.

Final Layer Or Moisture And Bind barrier layer

The final layer should fit comfortably on the top of the two layers. Again, it should be waterproof to keep you warm in rain and snow. Simultaneously it should be windproof so that the cold air cannot enter your body. 

You can invest in a heated or down jacket while planning for winter camping which will keep you warm. But if you are planning to camp in extremely cold conditions, you need to prefer a thick hooded parka.

Some people may be confused about what pants to wear in winter camping. You can wear snow pants or fleece pants while going winter camping. They will provide you with warmth in cold weather.

How To Dress For Winter Camping & Body Extremities

You should not forget to protect your body parts exposed to cold air like hands, fingers, head, face, neck, and chin. Hypothermia and Frostbite happen far too often during winter camping, and in most cases, the reason is one of your exposed extremities.


You can prefer to use gloves or mittens to keep your hands and fingers protected in winter camping. But make sure they need to be waterproof to protect you from rain. Some people prefer to choose fingerless gloves while going winter camping. 

How To Dress For Winter Camping

That is also a good option because you can comfortably do cooking or other activities by wearing fingerless gloves. So, the choice of gloves on winter camping purely depends on your activities in winter camping.

Hat And Face mask

Wearing a hat with earflaps will prevent heat loss from your body in extremely cold conditions. Again, most people don’t like to cover their face and neck while going winter camping. But I will recommend you to wear a face mask while going winter camping. 

The face mask will indeed protect your skin from extremely cold temperatures. Thus, you can stay warm and feel comfortable in winter camping.

How To Dress For Winter Camping

Scarf And Neck Gaiters

Next, you need to think about the neck and chin area. They are also exposed to cold weather. So you can protect the neck and chin area by wearing scarfs and neck gaiters.

How To Dress For Winter Camping & Protection For Your Feet


You should not make the mistake of neglecting your feet while heading for winter camping. If your feet are cold, then you will not have a good sleep at night. You may not also feel comfortable while hiking in winter camping.

You can choose a pair of ankle socks, and then you can apply a pair of thicker socks over the ankle socks. The ankle socks need to be made of cotton material so that they can allow your feet to breathe while hiking in winter camping. But the thicker socks will keep you dry and warm your feet day and night.

How To Dress For Winter Camping

You need to take some extra socks while going winter camping because there is always a chance of the socks getting wet. If you wear wet socks all day, you may suffer from cold and fever which you may not like in winter camping.

Storing socks is also quite essential. You need to store the socks in a sleeping bag so that they will remain warm all day. You can remove one pair of socks from your sleeping bag at night and use them to protect your feet from the chill wind in winter camping.

Foot Wear

If there is a chance of a few inches of snow, you should prefer wearing hiking boots. But in deep snow, the hiking boots may not provide you warmth. So you can choose winter boots or mountaineering boots that are waterproof and insulating so that you will feel comfortable in winter camping.

How To Dress For Winter Camping

Again you need to maintain traction in slippery conditions while heading for winter camping. Staying upright will help to keep dry and warm in cold conditions. 

In reality, it is not always possible. So you need proper traction gear like snow boots with gaiters to remain upright in slippery conditions.

How To Dress For Winter Camping Frequently Asked Questions

#1. How cold is too cold to camp?

When the temperature falls within 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, most people are comfortable in winter camping. But when the temperature goes below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, then it’s too cold.

#2. What do I need for winter camping?

Here is a list of most items you will need for your winter camping. You can read in more detail in our complete guide.

  • Tent for shelter
  • Sleeping bad
  • Insulated sleeping pad
  • Stove and fuel
  • Headlamp
  • Synthetic jacket
  • Woolen socks
  • Snow boots
  • Gloves, scarves, face mask
  • Fleece pants

#3. What do you wear to camp to keep warm?

You need to dress up in multiple layers to keep warm in winter camping. It includes a base layer, middle layer, and jackets on the outer layer.

How To Dress For Winter Camping

#4. How do you keep a tent warm in winter?

A campfire near your tent can provide you warmth in winter camping. You can also keep a heated rock or hot water bottle to keep warm inside the tent overnight. Another way to stay warm is to insulate the tent with carpet or rugs.

How To Dress For Winter Camping Wrap Up

When you are camping, the fun is in exploring your campsite. You can combine camping with various adventurous activities like fishing, hiking, rafting, and rock climbing. 

But in extremely cold temperatures, you need to be prepared to face the weather before considering moving out of your tent. You can get Frostbite (freezing of tissues in your body ) or hypothermia (when body temperature drops below normal).

How To Dress For Winter Camping

But if you choose the right camping gear, you will feel comfortable in winter camping. You should not forget to add three layers of cloth to retain body heat in winter camping. Excluding the clothes, you have to take various other accessories like gloves, hats, scarves, socks, and snow boots to keep you warm in chilly weather.

I hope this article was informative, and please don’t forget to share your suggestions for this article. We would love to read your experience in winter camping or suggestions in the comment section.

Happy Camping!

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