Last Updated: December 18th, 2020

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Exhaling smoke, inhaling air…Fuming coffee and snow-covered trail. Tarp-ed Tents and CampfireIs this your idea of winter adventure? Oh! we love it.

Make sure you protect yourself with Mr. Heater

Also, learn to insulate your tent, which in any case you will learn here

So, without further ado, let’s find out How To Insulate A Tent For Winter Camping

How To Insulate A Tent For Winter Camping

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Plan Your Trip

This is the most essential step in having a successful trip.

Without a plan you will set yourself up for failure.

Since you will be under prepared to handle the situations you will go through a lot of heart burns.

Winter camping is challenging but has its own perks like you will not have to deal with bears or flies.

Spend some time in planning the camping and you will have the most rewarding experience.

First try to come up with a general plan, then you can go for a more specific one for insulation and all.

Find out details from friends and Family

Once you have decided on where to hike, it is time for finding out the specifics of that place.

What you are trying to find out is

  • What to Expect
  • Any special requirement

Start asking people questions who already have been to that area.

If your direct acquaintances cannot help you, then there are many online forums which can guide you.

You can check in Facebook Groups or Can post a question in Quora.

Collecting these details will make it much easier for you to come up with an accurate plan.

Study and Understand the Map

Learn the maps. Rather than going in the wild and struggling to understand it, its better to understand it beforehand.

You will be less stressed and will be able to understand it much easily.

If you don’t like a physical map, go for Google Maps or Bing Maps.

There are plenty of other online options as well.

However, I would still suggest that you get one physical map and on it mark the route of your hike.

You may not have access to Google when you are hiking in some remote mountain.

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Read the Weather Report

Failing to do this can be a fatal mistake.

Find out, how the weather will be during the time of your hike.

Most smartphones have this feature inbuilt.

However, if you want something more fancy, you can check out other apps that are available online.

Whatever, it is, prepare your backpack accordingly.

Also, if there is a prediction of a bad weather at that time, refrain from taking the hike.

What to Pack?

Winter hiking is a lot different than summer hiking. You need to be much more prepared.

Other than the regular stuffs, you would need:

  • Warm clothes
  • Heater
  • Insulation Materials, etc.

Inform others to watch your back

You may have prepared well, but you still need to be prepared for worst situation

Inform your friends and family about the trip and when they should expect you back.

God forbid, if they don’t hear back from you on time, they can take appropriate measure

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How to insulate a tent for winter camping?

Now that we have covered most of the basics, here comes the fun part.

You have to insulate your tent from winter.

Little planning can go a long way

Initially when you planned, you have already prepared the list of things that you need to carry.

Now, comes the hard part.

You have to plan about insulating the tent as well.

This starts with selecting a appropriate site for your tent.

With a proper selection, you can insulate a tent without much of a hassle.

Though the topic of selecting a winter tent site needs a seperate post in itself, here are some pointers:

How to Select A Winter Tent Site?

When selecting a tent site and setting up a tent in winter, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid Avalanche Zones
  • Avoid snow covered branches
  • Do not camp in Valley Floors Or Canyons as cold air flows downhill
  • Try to find natural wind breakers
  • Find a spot near running water
  • Check if your site gets morning sun
  • Can you flatten the snow at the tent site?
  • Point your tent door towards the downhill

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What you need to insulate?

Once you have selected the spot, you need to start insulating your tent.

For this, start by building your tent on a tarp. This will give the tent floor effective insulation against the cold.

Alternatively you can also use cardboard boxes as a cheap, yet effective solution.

You need to make sure that the Tarp stays in place by tucking it around the tent.

Use some sticks or snow if you need to.

Next, you need to prepare for sleep. Here an air-mattress is the best solution.

It will give you an effective insulation against the ground, as air is a bad conductor of heat.

Along with that, you should have a good sleeping pad/bag.

Another thing you need to consider is the buildup of condensation inside the tent.

This will turn into moisture and will eventually make you cold.

Hence, see to it that you have proper ventilation for the tent.

Get some kind of heater

Outside of the tent will be very cold. You somehow need to maintain a warm temperature inside the tent.

There are a lot of options for that.

Firstly, you can get some kind of a tent heater. But first check the tent specifications from the manufaturer.

If your tent allows that, you can go for tent heaters like Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy.

This is the best tent heater in the market and is the top choice of customers .

Second option will be to setup a campfire.

This can also effectively keep the tent warm. However, be careful about the placement.

Too close, and risk burning down the whole tent, too far, the temperature maintenance won’t be good.

Some of the people also say that heating up some water bottle also works, but I’ve never tried that. So, I cannot tell its effectiveness.

Learn to build a thermal shield

If you cannot find a camping spot as was outlined previously, you need to build some kind of thermal shield.

One way is to pack up some snow against the tent walls. They will provide effective insulation against the cold.

Just keep in mind not to overload as the tent may collapse due to weight.

In-case you don’t have snow to utilize as insulation, hang some waterproof tarp like Hanjet Tent Tarp to sheild the tent.

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Learn to deal with moist or wet items

By nature, wet or moist clothes will need more heat. This compromises the temperature inside the tent.

Hence, you should immediately remove any kind of wet clothes or items from the tent.

Also, make sure that they are completely dry before you reuse them

Remove the snow build up from the tent walls, time to time. This will ensure that the tent remains intact, throughout your trip.

Carry multiple set of clothes (Warm and Normal)

This is kind of obvious. With a lot of snow and damp weather, chances of getting wet is more.

Also, your clothes will retain moisture for a longer period of time and will not dry easily.

It is wise to carry multiple set of clothes and will help you to avoid such situations.

If not anything, carry at least multiple sets of warm clothes.

If the temperature you suspected falls below your expectation, you can always add additional layer of clothing to protect yourself.


If you follow the above guidelines, you will be in a good shape and will not have to worry much about “How To Insulate A Tent For Winter Camping”.

Other than that follow some of these guidelines:

  • Keep some extra poles, in-case some breaks
  • Keep a broom handy, to keep snow or other debris outside of your tent
  • Never cook in the tent. You will either burn the tent down, or will chock yourself
  • Always dress in layers
  • The gears you are using should be compatible with the climate you are hiking/camping in
  • Take ample light and batteries. Carry a solar battery also. If sun is bright, then you can utilize that
  • Carry a First-aid kit

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How do you insulate your tent in winter?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Also, share these tips and tricks with your adventuros friends. They will surely love you for that

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