7 Common First Time Winter Camping Mistakes Must Avoid

Many professionals in winter camping began as beginners, making many mistakes while camping in the cold weather and learning a lot from their mistakes.

Today, I’ve compiled a list of common Mistakes that beginners make while camping in the cold. Camping in the winter is enjoyable and worthwhile; I recommend a few winter camping activities to boost your enjoyment and help you create some wonderful memories.

There are numerous faults you should be aware of. Learn before embarking on your first winter camping trip. Simply because cold weather is hazardous to your health.

Let’s move now to our 7 Common First Time Winter Camping Mistakes Must Avoid Them.

Many campers don’t check the weather before starting their winter trip, but you should check the destination weather and see if it’s good to camp, and you can handle that weather using gears on your hands.

I remember years ago, I and my brother with a friend of us planned to climb the highest mountain in our country, it was the end of the winter season, the weather was clear and sunny. We start our trip. After a few days, we are under the highest mountain in my country, spend 2 nights there. 

Then we decided to start climbing next morning, till now everything was great, but in that evening a snowstorm comes and block us from reaching the mountain’s head. Not even that, I was not packing good gear for that situation, it was too cold, my fingers start swollen due to the Freeze weather. Thanks to my big brother who exchange gloves with me, his was better than mine. 

We were planning to sleep that night in our tent, but we were not able to, and we were forced by the weather to pick a hotel room for that night.

To sum up, you should check the destination place weather before starting your winter camping, camping at 10°C is not the same as camping at – 5°C.

This will give you an idea about the right gears to pack.


Many of you, including me, fall into this mistake from time to time, building your tent, collecting and cutting woods, starting your campfire, this action absolutely will make you get sweating.

I recommend you read this article, it will guide you to start your campfire easily and quickly using some great homemade campfire starter.

Just be cautious, and when you see that you start sweating, just stop doing what you do, relax for a while then back to your task, don’t push yourself hard to do everything at the same time to finish it as quickly as possible.

Not wearing many layers.

Wear many layers to increase your heat level and to insulate your body from cold air. Mainly you should take 3 layers to keep you warm and heat.

Base layer: wear this layer in an object to keep your skin dry, get underclothes that can trap sweat to escape as vapor.

Medium layer: the medium layer plays the role of keeping you warm and comfortable, Insulating your body from cold, for a high level of warm pick the right clothes in this layer as you know the main role the middle layer should do which is keeping you warm.

Outer layer: from the name, this layer is the out one, which means it’s the layer that has contact with circulation air outside, pick the right jackets that will protect you from wind, rain, and snow, to keep your base layer dry.

you want to stay warm don’t wear clothes that are too small, these kinds of clothes will leave air going inside your inner layer and steal your heat from you, then you will feel cold.

Believing in the sleeping bag.

Most beginners thought that If they pick a good sleeping bag, that is all that they need to sleep warm and comfortable, the case is not, to have a warm night you need a whole sleeping system equipment.

Don’t believe sleeping bag ratings from companies, they are just numbers, you can take with them when you buy a camping tent. But it’s better to test sleeping bags or any other gear before starting to use it. 

Insulating your sleeping bag is not enough in this situation. You also need a decent insulating system for your tent, a nice sleeping cot to keep you warm from the chilly ground, and an additional layer of a sleeping pad or an insulated air mattress to keep you warm while sleeping.

A minor recommendation for winter camping is to acquire a small thermometer to measure the heat in your tent. This offers you an indication of the weather temperature you can tolerate with the equipment you have.

Don’t use a little sleeping bag or a large sleeping bag. Simple advice will undoubtedly increase the worth of your sleeping bag; choose the appropriate sleeping bag size to keep you warm when sleeping in the cold.

A tiny trick you may or may not like, but I find it quite valuable: don’t sleep with your face inside your sleeping bag. I can’t sleep with my face inside my sleeping bag because I feel like I can’t breathe and overheat, which results in not sleeping.

use their mouth to inflate the sleeping pad.

One of the most common Mistakes that novices do that they are unaware of is inflating the sleeping pad with their mouth. I agree with you, is it the easy way, and the first idea that will come into your mind so as I am. But it is not that good idea.

Invest in a small pump and inflate your sleeping pad with fresh and dry air, this will increase your insulation and keep you warm while sleeping on the winter nights while camping outside.

mismatching your tent size. 

I’m sure that you know that if you have a small room at home, you feel warmer than you are in a bigger room, the same principle applies here. If you are camping alone in a tent made for four-person, I’m pretty sure that you will struggle to keep yourself warm.

Don’t go with a big tent if you want to get a good amount of heat when you insulate your tent, this way you will stay warm while camping in winter.

using an air pillow. 

Most campers try to reduce packaging volume by purchasing an air pillow, which is perfectly fine, but where is the problem? The problem is that insulating air cushions are difficult to insulate, making it difficult to keep the air inside hot.

In my opinion, a normal pillow is still great for this job, especially if it’s small and can be put inside the head of the sleeping bag. 

keep the water filter outside the tent. 

One of the beginner’s mistakes you should avoid while you are camping in winter is leaving your water filter outside your tent in the cold weather. 

Leaving the water filter outside in the cold weather will freeze it, not only that, it can be damaged at all if it is frozen it will be useless and even dangerous while you require your water filter to keep the water drinkable and save your health. 

In case you lose your water filter, A Great way to ensure that you can use outside water is to boil it before using it. In my opinion, it’s better than using a water filter which may not do the job as it is supposed.

over/under packing. 

As a beginner, you will find it hard to know what to pack and what not to pack, what gear you have to take with you, and what gear you will just increase your backpack with them. 

After camping a few times, you will be able to know what To pack and what to not, what you will need and what you will not need, but do your best to pack the winter camping essentials in your beginning. 

And learn some tips about how to insulate your tent camping to keep you warm, and have a great camping experience. The warmer you get, and the more comfortable your trip was, you will enjoy it as much as you can, here are some winter camping activities that will increase your winter camping joy. 


equipment testing. 

Backing to you camping gears and equipment, one of the most important things you should do when you get one is to test it, there some type of gears that you can test them at home, go forward and test them, build you tent at home to learn how to do it quickly, open and pack you sleeping bag to make that easy for you.

Other gears must use them, for example, the sleeping bag, how could you test it. Let’s assume that you bought a sleeping bag for a -5°C winter camping, go for a trip where the temperature is higher like 5 or 10°C, and see if it keeps you warm while sleeping in the night if you find it really comfortable and you didn’t feel any cold, then you can use it in hard weather.

This way, you can put your gear through its paces and go camping with confidence.


We come to the end of our beginner’s mistakes that made in winter camping, I tried to cover the common mistakes to give you that list of mistakes you should avoid and increase Your enjoyment in winter camping. 

I would be very happy hearing from you in the comment about mistakes you did in your start, to educate each other.