How to Keep Warm on Your Winter Camping Trip

Camping has been a favorite family pastime for generations. But what started out as simply spending time in the great outdoors has turned into a $18 billion dollar industry. According to data from the American Camp Association, more than 14 million children and adults camp in the United States each year.

Though camping in the summer is more prevalent, there is something to be said for hitting the campground during the colder months, sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and keeping warm. And while fire is an effective way to warm up, campers rely on their sleeping bags and tents to stay cozy when it’s time for bed.

There are two main types of sleeping bag insulation to keep campers warm during those winter nights: natural and synthetic. Natural insulation generally consists of goose down, while synthetic is available in numerous blends.

When choosing a sleeping bag, it is important to pick a bag that is appropriate for the temperature you will be experiencing. Based on the temperature rating provided on most sleeping bags, you should select one with a rating slightly below the lowest temperature you anticipate encountering. Most camping bags feature a temperature rating between +15°F and +50°

Below is a quick explanation of how bags are typically categorized:

  • A summer season bag will have a temperature rating of +35° and higher.
  • A three-season bag will have a temperature rating of +10° to +35°.
  • A cold-weather bag will have a temperature rating of -10° to +10°.
  • A winter/extreme bag will have a temperature rating of -10° and lower.

With such a range in temperatures available, you should be able to find a bag suitable for your climate. There’s still two and half more months of winter, so why not test your mettle with a cold-weather camping trip? All you need is the right sleeping bag and plenty of marshmallows to keep you toasty.