Here’s Your Winter Camping Checklist

There are two kinds of campers in America. One can hardly wait until spring so they can start camping again after at least three months away from it.

The other kind of camper doesn’t care which season it is. Camping is a passion for them. They’ll camp in the winter just as often – and with as much enthusiasm – as they will in the spring, summer or fall.

Obviously, staying warm is a challenge with winter camping. But there are advantages to camping during this season. Including solitude, quiet, more unused camping locations and a lack of pesky bugs. 

If you’re one of the latter group, or if you want to try winter camping for the first time, today I’m going to provide you with a checklist of items to include in your winter camping gear. And as I often do, I’m saving one of the most important items for last. 

Staying warm… awake or asleep

First and foremost, include plenty of warm clothing. Focus on layers. That means t-shirts, flannel shirts, waterproof jackets and a water-resistant down coat. And plenty of extra long underwear and thick socks. Plus a warm hat.

Waterproof boots and gloves are also essentials, of course. Your sleeping bags will probably have down insulation. It’s more expensive but is lighter, lasts longer and compresses smaller.

Sleeping pads are also very important. They’ll put an extra layer between the cold ground and you. Many people prefer inflatable pads to foam pads.

Needless to say, you’ll want to include plenty of blankets and pillows. Do your best to keep them dry.

More essentials 

Here are more items I haven’t mentioned yet. How many of these you take will depend on whether you’re roughing it or heading to a campground where some amenities are provided. It might also depend on how long you’ll be gone.

  •           Four-season tent, with footprints, stakes and mallet/hammer
  •           Ground cloth/tarp
  •           Backpack
  •           Headlamps, flashlights and extra batteries
  •           Camp table and chairs (if the site doesn’t have them)
  •           Lantern
  •           Snowshoes
  •           Toiletries
  •           First-aid kit including prescription meds
  •           Lip balm
  •           Sunglasses
  •           Bandanas
  •           Survival knife
  •           Multi-tool
  •           Duct tape
  •           Paracord or rope
  •           Saw or ax for cutting firewood
  •           Compass and GPS
  •           Binoculars
  •           Whistle
  •           Walkie-talkies
  •           NOAA emergency radio
  •           Disinfectant wipes
  •           Documents including vehicle registration, insurance, reservations, etc.

Food-related items

  •           Perishable food packed in a cooler or ice chest
  •           Non-perishable food for snacking
  •           Plenty of bottled water and other beverages
  •           Personal water purifier
  •           Fire starters
  •           Cooking, serving and eating utensils
  •           Cooking pots, pans, plates and cups
  •           Tongs and skewers
  •           Oven mitts
  •           Cutting board
  •           Canteen/thermos
  •           Coffee pot
  •           Can opener
  •           Heavy duty aluminum foil
  •           Dishwashing liquid and sponges
  •           Paper towels and napkins
  •           Tupperware
  •           Zip-top bags
  •           Trash and recycle bags

StarFire Camp Stove 

As promised, I saved one of the most crucial winter camping items for the end. It’s the StarFire Camp Stove from 4Patriots.

When you need to cook food or stay warm without electrical power and without gas or butane, this is your best choice. Made of stainless steel, it “runs” on twigs and leaves, which you can find for free just about anywhere.

This low-smoke device turns cold food into hot meals. It boils water in eight to 12 minutes. It can also provide light and warmth. And since it weighs only about one pound, it fits in just about any backpack or bug-out bag. That’s portability.

Best of all, if you purchase four, you receive more than $270 in free gifts. Including the Patriot Power Cell, two 72-Hour Survival Food Kits, a Freedom Flame Flexible Arc Lighter and more. Not to mention an easy payment plan if you want it.


  • Lorraine - January 04, 2022

    What are “with footprints” for a tent?

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