Winter camping can be a really great experience if you are well-prepared. It’s also a good way to get some fresh air and enjoy the quiet that a snowy wonderland brings. Among the important elements to sleep under the wintery stars is a camping tent.
Thinking of going camping during the cold season? Check out our Winter Camping Guide for more tips on mattresses, winter tents, and how-to techniques.
Here are seven criteria to consider before selecting a winter camping tent.
1. Seasonality and protection against the cold
Offering more insulation that 3-season tents, 4-season tents (or winter tents), are designed to be airtight, limit condensation and protect from the cold caused by the wind factor. The fabric is entirely designed to stop the cold wind and will remain dry and waterproof despite the heavy snowfall. Note: if you buy a winter tent, it isn’t recommended that you use it during the summer. You’ll feel like you’re sleeping in a sauna as soon as the temperature goes above 15°C.
2. Living space and capacity
With how many people are you planning on going winter camping? You will need to consider the living space before shopping and consider the needs of the people you will be traveling with to determine the right size required. Do not choose a tent that is too large, as you will lose a lot of heat.
Also, make sure you have enough space in your tent to add a heater.
3. Winter tents: materials and waterproofing
Most tents are made of nylon or polyester woven together very tightly. Each fibre has its advantages and disadvantages. Nylon resists wear and tear, but polyester absorbs less water and reacts less to ultraviolet rays.
How can you get an idea about how resistant your tent material is? First, you can find your tent code. Select a tent that has a code of 70 if you want to camp outside this winter and be well-protected at all times.
In addition, make sure that your tent is treated with a DWR treatment (Durable Water Repellent). If your winter tent is not protected by a water-repellant formula, you may purchase one and do it yourself.
4. Camping tent weight
Possessing a more solid structure to resist the wind, weight of the snow, ice, and harsh temperatures, the winter camping tent is heavier than a summer camping tent, but also sturdier. It has extra poles to sustain and stabilize it. Usually made from aluminum, these poles are designed to resist freezing and temperature changes.
5. Additional coverage
If you want to camp outside, no matter where you go – campsite or mountains – you must choose a tent with a double-roof or a single-wall tent. Those who take several expeditions during the year will tend to choose the single-wall tent, which has the advantage of being lighter than the one with a double-roof, making it easier to transport over long distances.
How to protect yourself from the shocking change of temperature when going outside? Have a transition between the interior and the exterior of the tent. Most camping tents have a vestibule, which offers enough space to store your backpack and cook your meals.
For example, several winter tents are made of ripstop polyester fabric, which, combined with the StormShield™ coating, provides waterproofness and durability.
There are also poles designed to make your winter camping experience easier. The Feather Lite™ poles are made from a metal alloy and are much lighter than standard aluminum poles. The Press-Fit technology makes for an easier pole assembly, which can be very practical if you are putting up your tent in sub-zero temperatures. With these two technologies, you can put up your tent in less than 5 minutes without freezing your fingers.
How to assemble your winter tent quickly in 8 easy steps
- Dig a hole and build a snow barrier around it
- Place all necessary materials in front of you
- Put up the diagonal poles
- Put up the side poles
- Attach the roof so that the door opens the right way
- Put up the vestibule poles
- Put the ice picks in the snow
- Attach the tensor to the trees surrounding your tent
You are now ready to spend some time outdoors, in the comfort of your winter tent!