There's something about a winter car camping trip that makes me feel giddy and childlike. You know, like when you're wearing a giant coat and scarf on a snow day and you're too weak to trudge through the three feet of snow from your driveway to your mailbox, so you just stand there with your tongue stuck out and catch flakes for a few seconds before heading back inside? It has all the novelty of real camping without any of the blisters or bug bites. Still, it does help to be prepared—and with these seven essential items, even if Mother Nature decides to throw down some serious snowfall (or something worse), you'll be all set.
Sleeping pads are one of the most important parts of your car camping gear and are essential for staying warm in the winter. If you're not familiar with sleeping pads, they're anything from a thin layer between you and cold ground to large cushions that make it seem like you're sleeping on a cloud. A wide variety of sizes, shapes, materials and prices exist for sleeping pads so there's sure to be one that fits your needs and budget.
Sleeping pads can be stored easily in any vehicle—they don't take up much space at all! They also weigh very little compared to other types of camping equipment, making them easy to carry along without adding too much weight or bulkiness to your vehicle. Finally, most sleeping pad models are lightweight enough that they won't break if stepped upon by accident during an early morning walk around camp (or late night pee break).
The right clothing can make or break your winter car camping trip. The last thing you want to do is spend the night shivering in your tent, so be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes. I'd recommend bringing at least one pair of pants and two long-sleeve shirts made from wool or synthetic materials. Not only will these items keep you warm, but they also repel moisture and insulate from the cold—a must for any car camper who wants to avoid hypothermia. Wool and synthetic fabrics are typically waterproof as well; this is crucial for keeping yourself dry during wet winter weather (and avoiding frostbite).
If you're preparing for a particularly cold weekend trip, consider bringing an extra pair of socks or even hats! Like shoes, these items are easy to pack into an extra bag that fits right under your seat (or on top of it). Try to avoid cotton when shopping for new clothes—it's not very breathable and tends not to insulate well against extreme temperatures (especially when wet).
Sleeping bag liners.
Sleeping bag liners are an essential winter camping accessory. These thin blankets can be used to keep you warm on your next car camping trip, but they have other uses too. Sleeping bag liners come in a variety of sizes and materials, so it's important that you pick one that suits your needs best.
Choosing the right sleeping bag liner is all about finding the balance between warmth and weight, as well as durability and comfortability. Paracord is often used for these liners due to its strength characteristics—you don't have to worry about any tears or rips happening while you sleep! However, if you're looking for something a little more lightweight and breathable, cotton may be better suited for your needs.
Insulated water bottles.
Insulated water bottles are a must. Even if you're not planning on hiking or backpacking, insulated water bottles can still come in handy.
They keep your water cold and hot, even when it's freezing outside.
They keep your water from spilling, even when the car is rocking and rolling down the road.
They keep your hands from getting cold holding a metal bottle of ice-cold or scalding hot liquid for hours at a time.
Insulated bottles with soft silicone grips on both sides are great for carrying around in the car because they don't slip out of your hands like hard plastic ones do (and they're also easier to grip).
A portable heater is a must. It keeps you warm, and it keeps your tent warm so that your sleeping bag doesn't freeze while you're sleeping. This is especially important if you're camping in an unheated tent or in the snow, because the temperature can drop below freezing at night.
The best portable heaters are electric-powered and require no fuel or batteries to operate. You'll need to keep them plugged into a car outlet at all times, but they provide hours of warmth without having to constantly replenish fuel or search for new batteries when they run out.
Portable solar battery charger.
Portable solar battery chargers are one of the best ways to keep your phone, tablet and other devices powered while you’re camping.
Solar chargers are a bit more expensive than regular chargers, but they have some features that make them worth the extra cost. For example:
They can be charged by sunlight (or in some cases, by car lighter port). This means that if you don't have access to electricity at night or on cloudy days then you can still charge up your devices with this awesome gadget!
Most models come with an internal battery pack as well so that when it's not plugged into anything else it will still work just fine! You won't need an outlet at all! Just pop out your phone's charging cable from its case and plug it into one end of this baby then set out into nature (or wherever else) until nighttime comes around again when everything seems peaceful yet far away from home...and voila! Your phone will be fully charged up again ready for another day full of adventure over there in place where no one else has ever been before...but now they can follow along thanks entirely due to easy access thanks primarily due to availability thanks primarily because there wasn't anything better available today...
Down booties or slippers.
Down booties or slippers are a great way to keep your feet warm at night when the temperature drops. These lightweight and compact items can be easily rolled up and stored in the tent until needed. After you get into bed, just put them on before crawling under the covers! You'll have to try them for yourself to see how well they work but I've found that when my feet are warm, my whole body is warm—even if my hands are cold.
Stay warm this winter with these tips
The most important thing you can do to stay warm is to layer up. Wear long underwear, sweaters, jackets, hats and gloves!
A camping mattress makes a big difference in comfort level during cold nights out on the trail. It’s worth investing in one that will keep you warm while sleeping. If you have an extra blanket or two, they could serve as emergency ponchos if needed!
Insulated water bottles are a great way to keep your beverages hot or cold for hours at a time without ever having to heat them up on the stove or melt ice cubes down into water again at night. You can also use these handy devices when hiking or skiing by filling them up at a stream/pond then placing them back inside your backpack until you want some cold refreshment later on down the road!
Portable heaters allow campers who don’t enjoy being outside during winter months (or any season!) spend more time indoors by providing temporary warmth from chilly temperatures outside - even if only for an hour before bedtime each evening throughout their vacation away from home during which no one wanted them around anyway because everyone else knows what kind of person would want such things? Well...
Hopefully this list of items has given you some ideas for your own camping trips! At the end of the day, all it takes is a little preparation, and you’ll be set to go. Don’t worry about being too cold: a sleeping pad like this one will help keep you warm even in sub-zero temperatures. Finally, bring along some non-electronic entertainment with you (like a good book), and before long, you’ll be wishing that winter never ended. After all, there are only so many months in the year when we can enjoy camping like this, so let’s make the most of it!