Last Updated: Jan 16, 2021

Tips for Tent Camping in 30 Degree Weather or Lower

  • BY Nick Bulanda

    Published January 15, 2021

Important Things to Remember for Tent Camping in 30 Degree Weather or Below

A camping trip can be a truly joyous experience. Whether you’re heading out to a campground with the family, or going out on a wild adventure with some friends, it’s a perfect opportunity to have fun and make some memories. While it’s obviously more popular during the warmer months, it is possible to go camping during the winter and have a good time. However, it is very important to carefully consider if that’s the kind of trip you’re looking for.

Tent camping in 30 degree weather isn’t easy, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. It can become a dangerous situation, but only if you go out there without proper equipment and knowledge. If you have your sights set on a winter camping trip, we’ve put together this guide to help. In it, we offer up some useful advice, hopefully helping you out with everything you’ll need for a good trip. Stick around and check out our list! When we’re through, we encourage you to leave more advice down in the comments section below.


Tent Camping in 30 Degree Weather
If you plan on heading out to the wilderness for some winter camping, there are a number of things to consider. Check out this guide so you can prepare before this next excursion. “Visitors Winter Camping” by GlacierNPS is marked with CC PDM 1.0

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

The most important thing you can do ahead of a winter camping trip is tons of preparation. Since you’re looking at this guide, hopefully you’re already aware of that. There are many different things you’ll need to prep, from clothing to food to shelter to other living supplies. A lot can go wrong out in the wild, and the only way to be ready for anything is through preparation. Look for some winter camping checklists online for inspiration and then make one of your own.

When the time finally comes to leave, hopefully you’ve done your homework and got together everything you need. The rest of our list will offer some more specifics, but we want to get the idea across that there’s no such thing as being too prepared. That’s especially true when you’re dealing with a potentially dangerous situation. However, as long as you know what you’re getting into, it’s very possible to have a good time while tent camping in 30 degree weather.

2. Use the Right Tent

One of the most important things to do ahead of a winter trip is to pick out the right tent. We don’t recommend heading out into the cold with any old flimsy tent you pick up. Instead, spend some time searching for the right tent for your needs. There are certain tents out there that have been specifically designed for use in the winter. Check out some of these, and find one that’s the right size for your family (or friend group). These winter tents will usually offer insulation as well as ventilation. Together, they’ll create the right conditions for you to stay warm and cozy through the night.

You should also find a wide variety of sizes and styles available. It’s all about figuring out which tent is best for your individual needs, and we can’t help you there. Just make sure to plan accordingly and choose a tent that suits you.

3. Dress in Plenty of Layers

Next, make sure you pack plenty of clothing. When you’re out in the cold, it’s best to dress in plenty of layers. You should also avoid cotton as much as possible, as it absorbs moisture. That’s something you want to avoid when tent camping in 30 degree weather. While it might seem like your favorite cotton clothes are nice and warm, as soon as they get damp from sweat or melting snow, you’ll start to regret that decision.

Pick out lots of layered clothing that’s water resistant and warm. It’s also never a bad idea to bring extra clothes just in case. Once again, if you’re camping out in the cold, there’s a potential for things to get dangerous if you’re caught off guard. If you bring extra clothing, you’ll have some backup options in case something happens to the clothes you were counting on. Additionally, the benefit of dressing in layers means you can add and take off clothes to suit your environment, and that’s never a bad thing.

Tent Camping in 30 Degree Weather
If you choose the right locale and come properly prepared, it’s not too hard to have a good time in the snow. It can even be a blast for the entire family! “Shoveling snow in Mammoth Campground after a spring snowstorm (2” by YellowstoneNPS is marked with CC PDM 1.0

4. Sleep Off the Ground

For tent camping in 30 degree weather, it’s usually not a great idea to sleep on the ground with a simple sleeping bag. At the very least, you’ll want to get a foam camping pad to sleep on top of. That’s because, well, the ground is cold. Obviously! By raising yourself off of it, even slightly, you’ll be doing a lot of the work to keep your body warm at night. If you decide to go even further, a cot can be a good idea, or even a hammock. A blow-up mattress is a good option too.

Whatever you choose, it’s just important to have something. This may seem like a small step, but it’ll do a lot to improve your camping experience. Hopefully you find that you sleep through the night easier when you have a little padding to rest on top of. It will also help ensure that you keep warm!

5. Use Your Camp Fire Often

Putting together a fire is one of the most important steps of winter camping. It shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out why, either. A fire will provide you with warmth, as well as a way to cook and boil water. However, there’s something important to be aware of. It can often be more difficult to build a fire in the cold, especially if there’s snow around. Before you head out on your trip, spend some time practicing building a fire. This skill will certainly come in handy once you get out in the wild. It’s something you will definitely be glad you had some practice with at home.

Once you have your fire going, you’ll have a constant source of warmth to stick close to. It can be easy to underestimate how important that is until you actually get out there and realize how cold things are. This is one step that you do not want to skip!

6. Choose the Right Trip for Your Group

Before finalizing your winter camping plans, make sure to consider who you’re traveling with. Is it a group of adventurous adults who are ready for a challenge? Sounds great! What about a young family full of kids? Maybe not so much. Going camping in the cold is no joke, and it can get dangerous out there. Carefully consider who you’re camping with, and decide if it might be better to head to a warmer place to camp, or to wait for the summer months.

We don’t want to discourage you if winter camping is something you’ve set your heart on. However, we do want to emphasize that it’s a challenge, and not one that everybody wants to undertake. Talk to your family to make sure they’re ready for an adventure like this. If so, go ahead and continue planning.

Tent Camping in 30 Degree Weather
With the right preparation, tent camping in 30 degree weather is not only possible, but even enjoyable. Make sure to plan ahead and you should be in the clear. “First Snow” by Jeff Pang is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In Conclusion – Tent Camping in 30 Degree Weather

Now that you’ve had a chance to look over our tips, are you feeling more ready for your trip? We hope so! At The Camping Chair, we believe that a winter camping trip can be a fantastic experience. It’s just very important that every is fully prepared for what lies ahead. As we said, it can be quite a challenge. By preparing yourself, you’ll be making sure that you’re up to it. Take our advice to heart, and make sure to continue doing research as your trip approaches.

Whether it’s bringing along the right equipment, or just having enough knowledge to survive out there for a few days, a little can go a long way. By going through a checklist, and maybe even double checking things, you can ensure you don’t leave any key pieces of gear or personal belongings behind. Also make sure you’re thinking about food, water and other essentials while you’re packing.

We hope that our guide was able to offer some assistance. The Camping Chair feels very confident that you’re going to have a good time, especially if you follow our advice. If you have any more advice of your own to offer, go ahead and share it with our readers in the comments down below! Good luck, and have a great time!

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