11 Ways To Insulate A Tent For Winter Camping

Insulate A Tent For Winter Camping

Winter camping can be a great experience if you are perfectly prepared for that. It is a good way to experience and enjoy some fresh air and snowy wonderland. If you are ready for a winter camp, keeping yourself warm is important. You will need a sturdy tent, a warm sleeping bag, warmer clothing, etc.

Throughout this post numerous tips and suggestions are given, so you can enjoy your camping in winter comfortably and safely. Among the many ways of insulating the camp tents, here the best options are mentioned.

In the above, we mentioned the best ways to insulate your camp tent easily. So, let’s explore how to do them perfectly.

Bring your smallest tent

Bring your smallest tent

Smaller is warmer. The less space you have to heat gives an idea that the more heat stays near you. If you camp year-round, you will understand the breezy, big tent used in summer is not suitable for winter. Maybe you can invest in a smaller tent for winter to hold the heat in.

Also if you like to have more rooms in your tent, then there are many more tents in the market specially designed for winter camping. Inside that tent, you are allowed to have a stove which will keep you warm.  There are some tent products for winter.

  • Hilleberg Jannu 2
  • Mountain Hardwear Trango 2
  • Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2 tent
  • The North Face summit series Assault
  • MSR Access 2

Hilleberg Jannu 2

Hilleberg Jannu 2

  •  Can separate inner and outer tents
  • Great in high wind and snow
  • It has a simple setup
  • Different color choices
  • Designed for 2 person

There are some interesting features. This tent is designed for heavy snow. It has cross-pole construction to prevent cave-ins. There are no two rooms. It has 34.4 square feet inside and is for keeping things. Vestibule adds an extra 12.9 square feet and you will need to separate it.

Mountain Hardwear Trango

Mountain Hardwear Trango

  • Roomy and has 40 square feet
  • Snow flaps
  • Lots of pockets for small items
  • Spacious vestibule for gear

This has 40 square feet of living space and you will have some legroom. The vestibule adds 12 square feet. This tent is going to be too heavy for some backpackers. If you don’t mind extra weight this is best.

Some features included are direct connection points, a vestibule snow flap, and an internal guy system to add strength. 

Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2 Tent

Big Agnes Battle Mountain 2 Tent

  • It’s 4.5 lbs
  • 4.2 inches peak height
  • Oversized stake outlook
  • Fully Taped Seams

Big Agnes makes a tent for every season. There is a bit different from a traditional winter tent because it’s designed and freestanding. 

This is a tow single-wall tent and has great wind resistance. When you use this in winter the large stake-out loops make it easy and you will appreciate the Mega X stake. According to the single wall plan, this tent will warm you.

This has no vestibule. There is not that much space and it will help you to warm. It’s good for two campers, but only 28 square feet, things can get tight. 

The North Face Summit Series Assault

The North Face Summit Series Assault

  • Escape hatch in the back
  • Plenty of tabs
  • Large vestibule
  • Great ventilation
  • Height is average at 40 inches

This is a wind resistance tent. It’s very light and easy to set up. This tent is not without drawbacks, and it’s missing one critical competent. 

This one will leak like a sieve, so you can hardly be described as waterproof.

Black Diamond Firstlight Tent

Black Diamond Firstlight Tent

  • Breathability
  • Shades snow like a champ
  • Price
  • Only 3.5lbs packed

The Black Diamond Firstlight is easy to pitch and will keep you warm and dry in bad weather. Generally, when a tent is light, there are going to be a few backward.  So the living area is only 27 square feet. This is a 2 person tent.

Ground insulation

Ground insulation

Ground insulation is a very important fact for a winter camp. You can use a ground mat, rug, blankets, or even a big towel if you have nothing else. This will help you to keep warm and comfortable all over the night.

Successful ground  insulation depends on the following;

  • Insulative base material either inside or outside the tent.
  • Avoiding moisture buildup from proper location selection or otherwise 
  • Ensuring adequate insulation coverage

There are specially designed sleeping mats for this. They will put a great buffer between you and the cold winter ground.TNH outdoors has half-inch-thick self-inflating sleeping mats.

Sleeping pads provide essential insulation. If you don’t have an idea about how to use it, for winter camping use two full-length pads to keep from losing body from the snowy surface.  Use a closed-cell foam pad next to the ground and a self-inflating pad on top to get the best insulation from the cold ground.

Insulate the ground floor is not that much difficult. Below you will find a step-by-step guide on that. 

Step 1: Choose your material- While some campers use foam pads and blankets, others have used Reflectix or emergency blankets. If you don’t consider the budget and camping style,  some materials will fit your needs. 

  • Foam Tiles 
  • Wool or moving blankets
  • Reflectix
  • Emergency blankets

Step 2: Find A Dry Location-  Once you have selected your materials, now it’s time to select a dry place to pitch your tent.  First, find a place that has some sort of cover from the wind. For this, you can choose a tall tree or a small tree perhaps.  

Step 3: Lay Down a Trap-  placing a trap underneath your tent is an important step to both staying dry and trapping warm air inside your tent. If you expect rain or snow, make sure that the trap only covers the footprint of your tent.

Step 4: Cover the tent floor- After you have found the perfect place to pitch and have put down your trap, now it’s time to insulate the floor. Here you can cover the floor with mats, rugs, blankets, foam, or other material.

Step 5: Double up on Materials- If you laid down a foam pad or an air mattress, then you can put an extra blanket underneath your sleeping bag or pad. Adding an extra material acts as a barrier against the cold and also makes you comfortable.

Cover Up

Cover Up

Waterproofing a larger rain fly, trap, or cover and placing it over your tent will not only keep dew, and snow out but also help lock the heat in. 

You can cover it up with blankets to keep warm inside your tent. Space blankets, effectively reflect your body heat to you. You can even use duct tape to attach the space blanket to your tent’s ceiling to insulate the tent.

Make sure that you don’t cover up yourself too much and that will course for evaporation. Because you begin sweating and increase heat. 

Before you leave home set up your larger winter rain fly and test it by spraying it with the hose. If you see leaking, then re-waterproof it before your trip to help dew, fog, rain, or snow slide right off. 

Place a thermal Blanket on the top of the Tent 

Place a thermal Blanket on the top of the Tent 

Once inside and all zipped up for the night, duct-taping a thermal blanket across the top of your tent will give your body heat back to you helping to retain the heat you generate instead of scattering it through the walls.

With a little bit of cash and very little time, you can thermally insulate your tent. Below you will find step by step guide on how to insulate your tent with a thermal blanket.

Step 1: What you will need

  •  2 or more emergency blankets.- these blankets are 5’ by 7’ and should cost $10 and $15 – that is pricey, but they are well worth it.
  • 6 or more clamps- you can get these from the local hardware. How many blankets and clamps you will need depends on the size of your tent.

Step 2: Set up your tent

  • Set up your tent when it will not bother anyone.d
  • Don’t put the rainfly on your tent. The insulation is supposed to get between your tent and your rainfly.

Step 3: Lay the blankets on your tent

  • Every tent will be different so it’s up to you to lay the blankets on your tent. 

Step 4: Using clamps- Small clamps vs big clamps

  • As you try out various ways of laying the blankets on your tent, you will find that you need to overlap the blankets in various parts.
  • Use the clamps to clamps multiple blankets together onto the tent.

Step 5: Rotate clamps and add the rain fly

  • Rotate the clamps so that when you put the rain-fly on your tent, the clamps won’t poke through your rain-fly
  • Finally, add the rain-fly to your tent. Without a rain-fly, even moderate winds will strip the blankets off the tent.

Primacare foil thermal blankets are waterproof and perfect for keeping the heat in your tent.



The winter months bring strong winds, which can wreak havoc on your warmth at night. While camping in winter we worry about the cold air temperature and the wind.

You can set your tent near a natural windbreak, like shrubs or a large rock formation. This helps to reduce the icy winds.

As another choice, you can pull one side of your trap down and stake it into the ground so it acts like a lean-to creating a windbreak. This helps to keep heat and those icy winds at bay.

If there is no snow on the ground, there’s no reason to camp without a windbreak. A common method is simply to use a natural method as a cluster of bushes, a fallen tree, or even a mound of rocks as a natural windbreak.

This is also a good practice any time you go camping, but it becomes more important the further mercury drops.

Another famous method people use is to bring along a heavy-duty and sturdy rope. By using the rope they tie the trap up between two trees that are upwind of your tent. So that it forms a pyramid shape.  The trap is a powerful windbreak.

It has potential better than most natural windbreaks. This is why you will need a heavy-duty trap; because you want the toughest grommets possible.

Another tip is to make sure that the opening of your tent is facing away from the wind.

Heat Packs

Heat Packs

This is a good way to heat your sleeping bag and keep you warm at night. The wonderful thing is that they even get warmer when in your pocket or sleeping bag. If they start to lose heat just expose them to air, give them a shake and the warmth will return.

Also, as another choice, you can boil some water, put it inside a non-insulated stainless steel water bottle or a BPA-free plastic bottle. The water bottle radiates helps you to stay warm.  Just remember to make sure the lid is screwed in nice and tight so it doesn’t leak.

Hot Hands have a good range of hands and bodies for taking with you.

Winter-proof the tent itself

Winter-proof the tent itself

Four season tent can be expensive and as a result, most people use a three-season tent that is optimized for spring through summer weather. There are some things you should know. 

The most obvious is buying a four-season or winter-rated tent, but that can get a bit expensive, especially if you are only planning to go winter camping once or twice.

The other option is to lay a tarp under the tent, to help improve the ground insulation. When you use this it’s important that the tarp not extend past the edges of the tent. Otherwise, snow can get together on the tarp, melted, and penetrate underneath your tent. 

To improve the insulation of your tent, you can use duct tape to attach a space blanket to the inside of the canopy. This can trap a large amount of heat when used as an inner layer. But, if your tent is already rated for very cold weather, this is probably a bad idea. So, keep it in your mind.

If you have a trap, you can also cover the outside of your tent to provide a barrier to wind. By this, the tent will further be insulated. You can also push some leaves around the outside of your tent so that your tent will further be insulated. 

Use a tent heater

tent heater

If you have completely insulated the outside and inside the tent, but still feel cold winter conditions and you’re not just warm at night’ then you can consider a tent heater.

Tent heaters come in different sizes and shapes. So there are so plenty of options you can consider. Make sure to read the instruction and manufacture’s label to make sure the heater is suitable for the size of your tent, so that will heat the space without any doubt.

You can also choose gas-powdered models and electric-powered models. They will give you the flexibility to decide what power mode is the most preferred type for your winter camp. 

So, the tent heaters can be dangerous if you don’t use them better. These heaters can be very hot and gas powdered models have open flames, which pose both fire and carbon monoxide risk. Therefore a proper and safety precautions must need.

By the way, a camping stove is not a suitable option for a purpose-built tent heater.

Here are some products you will need;

  • Basic 500-Watt Ceramic small space personal Mini   heater
  • Portable Electric Space Heater with Thermostat,     1500W/750W                        
  • Sengoku HeatMate 10000-BTU Portable  indoor/outdoor Radiant Kerosene Heater,  HMN-110                             

Build a campfire

Build a campfire

Building a campfire is a traditional way of insulation. So, it’s important to plan a safe place to set the fire at night. You can bring matchsticks or a lighter. Then in the daytime find dry woods around your camp to set a campfire at night.

Maybe you want to make a campfire. An unorganized campfire will course your tent to catch fire. Arrange it safely so you can roasting, chatting, and have comfort in winter.

When you collect wood, try to collect them from rocky areas with better drainage, if there are any. Furthermore, you will need fuel, oxygen, and ignition. In winter dry fuel will be your biggest necessity. You can set a fire by using the following instruction;

  • Push a long piece of kindling into the ground. That is sticking out at an angle over the tinder, pointing into the wind.
  • Lay the kindling over the tinder in a shape of a teepee. Leaning them up against each other.
  • You can build up big pieces of kindling over the top.
  • Lean some extra smaller kindling pieces against the wind side of the fire.
  • After a few layers slowly building up the size, add some small and thin sticks to the structure and dig them to further support.

Pack a tent footprint

Pack a tent footprint

Besides the insulation of the tent, you have to pay attention to insulate the tent from the cold, wet ground. Also, a footprint will help to protect the lifetime of the tent. Most mornings you will not have time to dry out the morning dew before packing up your tent.

Your ground cloth will take on a lot of mud and dampness. It’s easier to clean and wipe down your footprint versus the entire tent body. 

A  way to insulate your tent from the ground is by using a tent footprint or a groundsheet. Tent footprints are large pieces of waterproof fabric that provide an extra layer of protection between you and the cold ground.

Most tent manufacturers are making and selling their products that are custom-cut to meet the exact layout of a specific tent. So, if you couldn’t find a suitable footprint for your tent, you can always use a traditional trap instead. 

Choose a 4 season tent

4 season tent

On winter camping it’s better to know that your gear is suitable for cold, snowy environments.  Packing a proper four-season tent for your winter adventures is one of the most important steps that you can take to staying warm at night.

Construction of the inner tent body is the main difference between the four-season tent and a three-season tent. In a three-season tent, you will find a canopy that’s made mostly from mesh, while great for breathability in the summer months. And this isn’t done too much for warm at night. 

Besides the four-season tents have thicker fabrics on the inner tent body, and that will show it can insulate you from the cold perfectly.

Find the best 4-season tents for camping

By considering all the above things you can greatly insulate your winter camp tent.               

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