During the winter, many people prefer to stay home rather than spending time outside. The most popular pastime in this season is watching TV or reading a book under a warm blanket, while a cup of coffee is warming your hands and the snow is falling outside.
However, nature becomes uniquely beautiful in winter. If you only go camping in summer, you will miss out on the incredible winter landscapes. Camping in winter requires extra preparation. You will need to protect yourself from the cold weather.*
Here, I will introduce to you some tips on how to winterize a tent for winter camping:
1. Use a Tarp Under the Tent
During winter, the ground becomes really cold. Especially if it is wet. So, you need to prevent heat loss to the ground. A simple way of doing so is isolating the bottom of your tent. A tarp sheet is ideal in this case since it keeps heat effectively and blocks moisture.
However, remember to get a tarp that is exactly the same size as the bottom of your tent. If it is larger, it can collect water. This tarp from Amazon will do the trick. It comes in 2 sizes.
2. Cover the Floor With Blankets
To further winterize the floor of your tent, cover it with blankets. It will be warmer and more comfortable to sit on.
You can use different types of blankets, but I advise using space blankets. They are very light and don’t take up much space.
Some can even fit your pocket when folded. Wool blankets are more comfortable, but they are also heavy and difficult to carry.
Check these space blanketson Amazon. They come in a 4 pack and many colors.
3. Cover the Outer Walls with Plastic Sheets
You can use plastic as a vapor barrier. Use a spray adhesive to cover the outer walls of your tent with plastic sheets.
They will also reduce heat loss considerably. Make sure not to get adhesive on the door zippers. It is a good idea to cover them when you are spraying the adhesive.
I personally don’t like this idea as it can ruin my tent so use it on your own risk.
4. Use Heating Sources
An effective way of staying warm while camping in the winter is using heating sources inside the tent.
No matter how good you upgrade your tent, still, some heat is going to be lost. You need to use a heating source to maintain the temperature at a sufficiently comfortable level.
The best options are propane radiant heaters, battery-powered heaters, and heat packs.
👉 Check the Mr. Heater portable propane heater that many people use. Be sure to check the manual and safety instructions.
Lighting a campfire near the tent will also raise the overall inside temperature. Take care not to light it too close or the tent might catch fire. Check this article I wrote on how to safely heat your tent when you camping.
5. Create a Windbreak
Chilly winds can lower the temperature inside the tent really fast. Using a windbreak is the solution to this problem.
The best windbreaks are the natural ones, like rows of trees and bushes. Try to set up your tent near a natural windbreak.
However, if none is available nearby, you can make your own windbreak with tarp sheets. Tie the corners of your sheet to two trees with strong ropes, and it will be enough to block the wind.
I think this tarp from Amazon is a great option and very useful in many situations.
6. Use Pads Under Your Sleeping Bag
During sleep, body temperature drops and the heart rate reduces. As a result, you are more vulnerable to cold weather while you are asleep. Also, when you are lying down, your body has the most contact with the ground and can lose heat fast.
Use thick pads under your sleeping bag to stay warm during sleep. Opt for rigid pads, rather than softer ones. Rigid foam pads are ideal. They trap air inside themselves, which keeps the heat.
👍 I recommend using a Therm-a-Rest Ultralight Self-Inflating Backpacking Pad (Amazon link), it is the best.
7. Make a Thermal Shield
Snow is an effective insulation and can be used to reduce heat loss from the tent. If you are camping in a snow-covered area, you can cover up your tent with it. Use a small shovel to place a thin layer of snow over your tent.
Make sure not to use too much of it, or it will get too heavy and your tent might collapse.
Leaves can also be used as a thermal shield if there is no snow around you. Just collect the leaves around the tent. Of course, it won’t work if it is windy.
To enjoy a winter holiday in the wilderness, you need to use a winterized tent to protect yourself from harsh winter weather.
The best way to do so is by using a four-season tent (Amazon link) However, if you don’t want to pay for that, you can use the tips provided here to effectively prepare your tent for winter camping.