The most important thing to remember with winter camping is that winter weather is unpredictable, and that you should leave home prepared for a variety of different scenarios. This is where the gear comes in. By taking gear that is meant for winter conditions and by not trying to supplement summer camping gear, you will be far more prepared for everything that mother nature can throw at you in the outdoors.
Things like snow, rain and wind are perfectly fine, as long as you consulted a winter camping gear list before you set out.
Winter Camping Gear ListHere are a few essential items that are a must for any winter camping gear list. Most other camping items, such as stoves and water filters, will be fairly similar between summer and winter months.
- Winter Sleeping Bag - You should definitely not bring a summer sleeping bag when you go winter camping. A winter sleeping bag should be at the top of your winter camping gear list, because the temperatures will be drastically different than in summer, and a summer sleeping bag will be inadequate and will leave you shivering all night long. Do yourself a favor and bring a proper winter sleeping bag.
- Winter Sleeping Pad - Though it isn't totally necessary, you should at least consider bringing along a winter sleeping pad to go along with your winter sleeping bag. A winter sleeping pad will have an extra insulating layer along the top of the sleeping pad that will trap and reflect heat given off by your body. And contrary to what you might think, you do lose a lot of body heat in to the ground when you sleep.
- Winter Tent - Another essential item on any winter camping gear list is a winter tent. If you don't expect much wind or moisture then a summer tent will be passable, but if there is a chance you will experience some ugly weather while winter camping then it is a good idea to include a winter tent on your winter camping gear list. A winter tent will be stronger, and better able to stand up to wind. It should also be a bit more waterproof, to keep you drier than a lighter, summer tent would.
- Insulation - Spending time around the campfire or in camp can get chilly quickly, which is why a few insulating layers are a good addition to your winter camping gear list. Mont Bell makes some excellent down products, such as a jacket (women's) and a matching pair of pants (women's).
- Footwear - If you plan to spend most of your time in camp then footwear wont be such a big concern, but if you are planning on doing a little walking around while out winter camping, then good footwear should be at the top of your winter camping gear list. More specifically, a good pair of winter hiking boots and maybe even some hiking snowshoes.