How to stay warm while camping

© Destination NSW
© Destination NSW

As we head into the cold months of winter, the temperature dwindles but our desire to camp does not. Fortunately, with the right equipment (and mindset) it is possible to keep warm while camping and enjoy the great outdoors as much as you did in the warmer months.

We’ve listed our best tips for keeping warm while camping.


Double your mattress pad

Your mattress is the barrier that sits between you and the ground, which in essence is between you and the chill of the floor. Although it results in more to pack in your vehicle, two mattress pads are going to create better insulation and warmth than just one. It also may allow for a comfier night’s rest: it’s a win-win scenario.

Pack a hot water bottle

As long as you’ve got access to water, a campfire and your billy can, a hot water bottle should absolutely be on your must-pack list. Although it’s tempting to place it on your cold extremities, instead of the hands and feet, place the hot water bottle at your groin. This   will heat the blood that travels through your body and you’ll feel warm a lot quicker.

Make sure to use caution and check there aren’t any leaks in your hot water bottle before you place it in bed with you. The last thing you want is a scolding hot burn.

Bring a smaller tent

As tempting as it is to bring a spacious tent, the smaller the area the warmer it will be as there’s less space to cover. It also helps if your tent is made of canvas –  the material is typically better at minimising heat loss because the heat from the inside is insulated from escaping outside.


Invest in the right type of sleeping bag

With sleeping bags you get what you pay for, therefore a thin, saggy and cheap sleeping bag is unlikely to keep the cold out. Without mummifying yourself, you do want a sleeping bag that hugs more snug to your body such as a mummy tapered design. In addition to this, a duck down filling can assist in keeping you cosy and warm due to its natural ability to insulate. 

Wear a beanie to bed

Did you know that you lose a significant amount of heat from your head? Although the old wives tale we were told as children (that 50 per cent of heat is lost via your noggin) has been disproven, your head is more sensitive to a change in temperature. Covering your head and/or face will make you feel warmer, even if your body temperature hasn’t actually risen. The other reason is that there’s less insulating subcutaneous fat on your head, therefore it’ll feel cold faster. Sleeping with a beanie on is one way to keep your head feeling warm while you lay on your pillow for your slumber.

Light up a campfire

Perhaps one of the most common sources of heat at a campsite is the campfire. The heat of your fire does depend on various elements such as the type of wood used, the size and its oxygen flow. A nice, controlled fire is one way to stay warm while all campers gather to eat and chat before you call it a night.

Whether you enjoy the cold or dread it, avid campers don’t need to worry about the winter season limiting their adventures. All you need to do is adapt to your surroundings and stock up on the gear that’s going to keep you warm and cosy in your swag or tent.




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