Camping in Winter: A Comprehensive Guide to What to Wear

Winter camping can be an exhilarating and rewarding outdoor adventure. However, facing cold temperatures requires proper clothing to ensure your comfort and safety. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential clothing items to wear camping during winter.

What to Wear for Winter Camping

Dressing appropriately can make all the difference between a memorable trip and a freezing one when camping in winter. Below is a simple guide on what to wear during your winter camping trip:

1) Start by Layering


woman with winter wear in the snow
Credit: Envato Elements/ StiahailoAnastasiia

Layering is essential for staying warm during cold weather camping. This method allows you to adjust your outfit as the temperature outside changes Here's how to layer your clothing:

Base Layer: Start with a moisture-wicking base layer. This might include thermal undergarments or full-coverage tops and bottoms crafted from synthetic fabrics such as polyester.

Insulating Layer: Add an insulating layer on top of your base layer. Fleece pants, jackets, or sweaters are great options. They help to trap heat and provide additional warmth without adding too much bulk.

Outer Layer: Your outer layer should be a waterproof and breathable jacket. A sturdy winter jacket, waterproof rain jacket, and rain pants, along with insulating garments, will protect you from the elements. Look for garments with adjustable cuffs and hoods to keep out wind and snow.

2) Don't Forget Your Extremities


woman with yellow knit cap and braids walking in snow smiling
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Keeping your extremities warm is crucial for overall comfort when going cold weather camping. Consider wearing the following:

Head: Wear a warm, insulating hat that covers your ears. A beanie made of wool or fleece is ideal. It will prevent heat from escaping and protect your ears from frostbite.

Hands: Invest in quality waterproof and insulated gloves. Make sure they're not too tight, as air circulation helps keep your hands warm. If needed, consider wearing thin liner gloves under your main gloves for added warmth.

Feet: Choose moisture-wicking socks made of wool or polyester. Stay away from cotton, as it holds onto moisture. For footwear, opt for insulated and waterproof boots that provide enough room for thicker socks without restricting blood flow.

3) Protective Accessories


woman with winter wear holding multi color scarf
Credit: Envato Elements/ leszekglasner

Accessories can make a significant difference in your winter camping experience. Consider carrying along the following:

Neck Gaiter or Scarf: Keeping your neck covered can help prevent heat loss. A neck gaiter or scarf can also be pulled up to cover your face in extremely cold conditions.

Goggles or Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from harsh winds and snow glare with goggles or sunglasses designed for winter sports. This will enhance visibility and prevent eye discomfort.

4) Sleeping Essentials


woman wrapped around in orange sleeping bag
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Staying warm while you sleep is crucial. Invest in a good-quality cold-weather sleeping bag with a low-temperature rating. Consider a sleeping bag liner for added warmth. A sleeping pad with insulation or reflective material can prevent the cold ground from sapping your body heat.

Additional Tips for a Cozy Winter Camping Experience

When gearing up for winter camping, a warm and comfy outfit can make all the difference. Here are some additional winter camping tips to ensure your attire keeps you snug throughout your adventure:

1) Stay Away from Cotton


man standing next to campfire in jeans and shirt
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While cotton camping clothing might be a suitable choice for a summer camping trip, it's crucial to avoid it during the winter. This is because cotton tends to hold onto moisture, which can make you feel colder. Instead, opt for moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics or wool camping clothes to stay warm and toasty.

2) Stay Dry


man warming hands at campfire
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If you happen to get wet, don't hesitate to switch to dry clothes. Wet garments are quick to snatch away your body heat, so staying dry is a smart way to stay warm.

3) Warm Sleepwear


woman sleeping inside red sleeping bag
Credit: Envato Elements/ Sotnikov_Misha

Don't forget about nighttime comfort. Wear clean, dry base layers when sleeping, and consider adding a warm hat to keep your head cozy.

4) Hand and Foot Warmers


warming with pink socks warming feet at campfire
Credit: Envato Elements/ car camping clothes

For extra warmth, pack disposable hand and foot warmers. They can be placed in your gloves, boots, or pockets.

5) Pack Extras


woman in white winter clothes in snow
Credit: Envato Elements/ GalinkaZhi

Bring extra clothes in case you get wet or extremely cold. Having backup options can save you from discomfort.


Winter camping can be a rewarding and invigorating experience when you're properly dressed for the occasion. By following these simple guidelines, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy the wonders of the winter wilderness without the discomfort of feeling cold.

And when it comes to being prepared for any camping situation, don't forget to explore Emergency USA's range of essential products. From weather-resistant winter camping gear to first aid kits, Emergency USA has you covered. Shop with us today.