How to Insulate A Tent for Winter Camping

How to Insulate A Tent for Winter Camping and with what to insulate a tent in winter: what do experienced fishermen advise? In this article we will describe how to insulate the tent with your own hands. If you love winter camping, then you will definitely enjoy this procedure.

It is possible to do without insulation of the tent only when the air temperature is down to – 5 ° C, if the temperature drops below, then in a strong wind, it will be unbearable to fish. Experienced fishermen shared with us how they usually insulate their tents and how they set them up depending on the direction of the wind.

Correct location

First, the shelter needs to be fixed on ice, into which large screws are screwed or metal pins are driven in. The tent is fixed to them by means of tension for special loops.

The winter fishing tent should be positioned to protect it from the cold air as much as possible. Before installation, determine the direction of the wind. The shelter is positioned so that the entrance to it and the ventilation opening area on the leeward side. The lower part of the tent is covered with snow for stability.

This will provide preliminary protection from the cold.

Insulation methods and materials for insulation

The tent needs to be insulated around the inside and outside. Materials are available and inexpensive. Now on the market there are winter options for tents, but if it already exists, why buy a new one if you can insulate it yourself.

Insulation of the upper part of the tent

The tent is insulated from above to additionally protect it from precipitation and blowing. The easiest way is to use plastic wrap. It should be tight. Cover the tent with the material and secure it with clerical clips. From below, you need to press down the polyethylene with snow or pieces of ice. The film cover makes the tent 3-4 times warmer.

The second popular material is the fabric of an old Soviet tent. It is breathable and tight. It is better to sew a cover out of it and put it on top of the dome. Tarpaulin or oxford is well protected from the wind. With such a heater, the tent will not blow through and it will not get wet. Both of these methods increase the thermal insulation properties of the shelter by 4-6 times.

How to Insulate A Tent for Winter Camping Insulation Material
How to Insulate A Tent for Winter Camping Insulation Material

The film cover makes the tent 3-4 times warmer.

It is not difficult to insulate with an awning, the main thing is that it covers a single-layer tent by at least 70%. It is preferable to make a cover that is simply put on the structure.

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Internal insulation

Insulation of a winter tent from the inside is mandatory for a harsh climate. This prevents condensation from building up and turning into ice. You can purchase a special material or make a do-it-yourself covering for insulating a tent.

The easiest method is to insulate the walls with an old blanket. This option will not be enough for a long time, but for a slight frost, together with external insulation, it is quite enough.

A budgetary way is to take a synthetic winterizer or batting and fix the foil on it with a stapler. Quilting the material in this way should be done as often as possible so that the foil adheres securely to the base. The result is a fabric with heat-reflecting properties. Fastened to the frame with stationery clips. The foil layer should be placed facing the inside of the tent so that the heat from the person and the heater does not go anywhere.

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To achieve the maximum warming effect in winter, it is better to take a ready-made specialized material – Izolon. The minimum thickness is 2mm. It is flexible, durable, does not rot, which guarantees its reusable use as a winter tent insulation. The material is made of foamed polymer foam. An analogue is Penofol, which also has reflective properties. They have one drawback – the high price.

Izolon – inner insulation of the tent

The inner insulation of the tent will save 6-8 times more heat.

The choice of material depends on the planned time of winter fishing. If it is planned for several days, then you need to buy professional thermal insulation.

Floor insulation

Thermal insulation for the floor of the tent can be selected from the following materials: camping mats, izolon or thick felt. They can be easily transported in a rolled-up car. The insulation is simply laid in one or more layers. Rugs and izolon are based on a foamed polymer that keeps heat well. Felt warms with wool.

Including solid wall insulation is a great way to save on your energy bills. You could qualify for solid wall insulation if you are a homeowner. To find out more about insulation grants read the Warma UK full guide on how to qualify for a free grant.

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You can insulate the floor with thick felt.

It should be taken into account that from prolonged operation, snow and ice under the heat insulator will melt and a puddle will form. Therefore, you need to put polyethylene as the bottom layer.

Nuances of forced heating

When the tent is insulated from the outside and from the inside, you need to think about heating. Variants of devices used:

  • Alcohol burner. It is lightweight and economical, but produces little heat.
  • Paraffin candle. It will help in a small single tent in a mild frost. The flame is directed upward, and all the heat is concentrated there. For normal heating, 10 candles are required. Minus in high fire hazard. You will have to watch the candles all the time so that they do not fall and set fire to the tent.
  • Dry fuel. There are so-called “dry alcohol tablets”. They can be used, but you will have to be distracted every 15 minutes by setting fire to a new pill. Pros – in the absence of smell and soot.
  • Gas lamp. Charged with propane. It gives little heat, suitable only for light frosts.
  • Gas heater. There are many different modifications. The simplest one is the Pathfinder with a capacity of up to 2 kW and a flow rate of up to 110 g / h. It weighs only 370 grams and can heat a room up to 20 sq. M.
  • Infrared gas burner. It is connected to a gas cylinder with a capacity of 5-50 liters. Power from 1.45 kW, consumption from 100 g / h. You can cook food on this device.
  • Catalytic heating pad for individual heating. Placed on clothes. A portable device charged with highly refined gasoline. Safe device with a minimum flow rate of 20 ml / hour. Battery life -16 hours.
  • Gas infrared heater “Solyrogaz”. A budget device of good power. Heats up a small area of ​​the tent quickly.
  • Tourist gasoline kerosene stove. Allows you to cook food and heat water, while heating the tent. Not applicable separately for heating.
  • Mini – solid fuel furnace. Powered by coal or wood. The pipe needs to be taken out of the tent. Application for short-term winter fishing is not justified. You have to carry fuel with you, build an outlet for the pipe.

When using any type of heater, there is a prerequisite – the tent must have a ventilation hole. Otherwise, there is a risk of poisoning by combustion products.

Gas appliances have a big drawback – in severe frost, the gas freezes, so the tent must be properly insulated. In addition, you must take a gas cylinder with you.

In addition to modern ones, there are old ways that fishermen have used since ancient times:

  • Hot stone. A large stone is warmed up over a fire, wrapped in several layers of foil and placed on a board in a tent. The generated heat will last for about 6 hours. Difficulties – you need to make a fire and look for a stone.
  • Boiling water. A bucket of water is heated, closed tightly and placed on a stand. Heating is enough for 4 hours. The main thing is not to forget about the dangerous object and not get burned.

Of course, there will not be enough improvised heaters for the whole frosty night. For a short time, you can get by with these improvised means.

How to Insulate A Tent for Winter Camping

In general, if you plan to go to a place where the temperature can drop below zero Celsius, then it is better to choose in advance for yourself an insulated tent, which is made of a material that allows air to pass through, otherwise condensation will form on the walls, and this affects your well-being. And if you are traveling alone or with a small company, then it is better to choose smaller tents – these keep warm better.

How to Insulate A Tent for Winter Camping DIY
How to Insulate A Tent for Winter Camping DIY
  1. The first thing to remember before setting up camp is to determine which side the wind is blowing from and position the tent with the entrance and all vents in the opposite direction. Thus, your temporary home will be protected from gusts of cold wind, and such an arrangement will make it a little more stable.
  2. And one more thing – arrange to lodge for the night away from dry trees, otherwise, the tent may catch fire when making a fire.

Well, now the insulation itself.

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Heating is the most common method, but it does not have a long lasting effect. That is why the heat source must always be in working order. These include:

  • Candles. Regular wax or paraffin candles are the cheapest heater, but can only help in warm weather.
  • Gas stove. Small gas stoves are a reliable source of heat for several hours, and they can also be used to prepare tea or hot soup. But for such tiles you will have to stock up on gas cylinders.
  • Dry fuel. A tablet that can be put in a regular tin can with several holes made with a knife. But such a heater cannot be used for a long time due to the evaporation of gases.

In order to keep the tent warm, there are various ways to keep it warm:

  • Infrared film. Quite an expensive pleasure, moreover, it requires electricity, so this option is not in great demand among tourists. But it works like a real heater.
  • Foil insulation. The foil retains heat well, so you can lay the insulation on the floor of the tent and cover the walls with it, then the cold will not penetrate outside, and the heat from the heating will last longer.
  • Moss. If you do not have any insulation or any special devices, then you can get by with improvised means. Collect the moss in the afternoon (a condition, because the moss is wet in the morning) and lay it in layers on the floor of the tent. Straight to the bottom. You can cover it with a blanket or carpet, but if you don’t have one, feel free to put sleeping bags and mattresses on top.
  • Soviet tent. If you scrape along the bottom, then, probably, many people will find in their attic or in the pantry an old Soviet tent from the Soviet period. It can be used to cover your tent from above, and the thickness of the material will provide insulation by 4-6 times.

These are the basic methods of how to insulate your tent, which can be useful if you are thinking of going with a company on a camping or fishing trip.

Shelter types while camping in winter

Open shelter

Snow trench

Such a shelter is dug out in snow with a depth of at least 1.5 meters. As a shovel, you can use skis, a bowl, a piece of plywood.

A very good refuge is obtained in ravines and hollows. In fact, this is just a slit-like hole one and a half or 2 meters deep and covered with a cloth or polyethylene on top. The roof is made from trunks and branches of trees or skis and poles (if you are in a treeless area). The roof can be covered with snow from above (additional thermal insulation).

Snow trench Open Shelter Camp for Winter Camping
Snow trench Open Shelter Camp for Winter Camping Type 1

In the taiga, you can build a similar cave near the trunk of fluffy spruce, cedar. Paws if they are a kind of roof. Clean the snow from the area near the trunk in a circle. In such an impromptu hut, you can even make a small fire.

Snow trench Open Shelter Camp for Winter Camping
Snow trench Open Shelter Camp for Winter Camping Type 2

Snow pit

This structure is very similar to a burrow. As a rule, it consists of a pit tunnel and a burrow itself. The minimum thickness of the ceiling should be 20-30 cm. Otherwise, it may collapse. If the snow is loose, then it is almost impossible to build a snow pit.

Snow Pit Open Shelter Camp for Winter Camping
Snow Pit Open Shelter Camp for Winter Camping

Gated Shelters

Snow cave

A snow cave is digging on the slope. Take off excess clothing so that it does not get wet, fasten all cuffs, buttons, locks.

Snow cave of classic type
Algorithm for constructing a cave
  1. First, a hole is made
  2. A narrow tunnel breaks through
  3. The end of the tunnel is expanded upward to the size you need
Snow Cave Gated Shelter Camp for Winter Camping
Snow Cave Gated Shelter Camp for Winter Camping
  1. The entrance should be no more than 60 cm (so that the cold does not pass)
  2. The horizontal manhole should go to a depth of one and a half meters
  3. The ceiling of the cave must be vaulted
  4. The caves can be classic 1 and non-classic. Non-classical caves may not have a front wall and may be closed with polyethylene or snow blocks
  5. if you start a fire in the cave, then provide ventilation (necessarily) this also applies to snow trenches
  • Non-classical snow cave type 1
  • Non-classical snow cave type 2
Snow Cave Gated Shelter Camp for Winter Camping Classic

Snow Den

The snow den digs near windbreaks and debris in the taiga, there are very large accumulations of snow. The snow den is dug as well as the cave.

How to Insulate A Tent for Winter Camping
Snow Cave Gated Shelter Camp for Winter Camping Classic

Solitary snow hole

In cases of extreme necessity, you can wait out the night in a single burrow of small thickness. You need to dig a hole in such a way that the dead-end side is raised. In such a room it will be less comfortable than in an ordinary hole, but warmer than on the street. The idea is that the person who sleeps in it is above the level of the entrance and is in an air cushion, the bottom is lined with a layer spruce branches or sticks.

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Solitary snow hole
Solitary snow hole

If your feet are frostbitten or shoes are lost, then you can spend the night in such a hole with your feet inward and close your head with plastic or wrap it in a cloth.

What kind of tent to take with you in the forest in winter for overnight

Tents vary in weight, capacity and water resistance that the awning can withstand.

The optimal capacity for a tent is considered to be three people. Large tents are not often bought. It is clear that in reality 2 times as many people can easily fit into such a tent. Of course it’s not on clamshells already.

Would you like to have winter camping with two or three friends? You will need to consider the space offered by your winter tent. Experience a store tent as everyone has different needs in terms of size and space.

Most transport tents are made from tightly woven nylon or polyester fibers. Each fiber has its own advantages and disadvantages. Nylon is more abrasion resistant, but polyester absorbs less water and reacts less to UV rays.

First, you must find the Resistance Index, which is calculated in denier. Choose a 70 denier tent if you want to camp this winter and stay safe from the weather. If your tent is not waterproofed, you can buy your plaster separately and treat your tent yourself.

When your tent is in the rain all night, sooner or later it will get wet. In order to spend the night and live in a tent in winter, it must withstand the necessary pressure of the water column. This water resistance is indicated by the letters PU and must not be less than 1500 mm. The tent for the night must have the necessary, sufficient water resistance. For example, many self-folding tents, I will not name their brands (in a typical round case), do not have much weight, but they get wet instantly.

With a stronger structure to withstand wind squalls, snow, ice and showers, a winter camping tent is heavier than a summer tent, but also more stable. It has more hoops to support and stabilize its structure, which will be a prey for the elements during your winter camping sessions. Usually made of aluminum, these hoops are designed to withstand changes in frost and temperature.

Double roof or single wall tent

If you want to go outside, no matter where you are, whether it is camping or in the mountains, you can choose between a double roof tent or a single wall tent. Those who make multiple expeditions throughout the year will tend to choose a single-walled tent, which has the advantage of being lighter than one with a double roof, so it is easier to carry over long distances.

A tent in the winter in the forest is often exposed to strong winds and frosts, when it comes to choosing a product, pay attention to the presence of a vestibule. Tambour will protect important things from getting wet in the rain

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This is the place where they store things, shoes, their backpack, hang clothes and even drive a snowmobile.

Have a transitional space between the inside and outside of the tent. Many winter camping tents have a lobby that provides ample space for storing your backpack and preparing food. There are also poles designed to make your winter camping easier. With these two technologies, you can set up your tent in less than 5 minutes without freezing your fingers.

Tested by the most fearless professional adventurers, they can accompany you to the end of the world and to the highest peaks. Now you’re ready to spend some time outdoors in the comfort of your winter tent! Winter is not always the best time for hiking – because in some areas the weather is not necessarily very accommodating with outdoor walks.

Well, we seem to have sorted out the tents. Rugs are also taken with them, everything is not important here. By the way, instead of a rug, a foil-type insulation of the foam type is perfect. In total, they are all the same, their properties do not differ significantly.

For some people, in winter or not in winter, this does not change much. For others, winter heralds the end of the season and a hiatus of several months. For others, winter is an opportunity to enjoy the snow and make beautiful snowshoes. Regardless of which category you belong to, you probably suspect that hiking in winter is a little more dangerous than in summer.

Of course, hiking in winter won’t include the same things depending on regions, countries and territories. In some places conditions, for example, are much more in winter in summer than elsewhere in winter. In the mountains, some summer hiking trails are not feasible in winter due to snow or are practiced in the form of mountaineering races.

Having dealt with the necessary tourist equipment, “let’s move on.” Let’s move on to the necessary knowledge.

We are adding 4 tents in the following section. Choose any of those which is best suited for your requirement.

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Necessary equipment for spending the night in tents in the winter in the forest

The time when people go to the forest with an overnight stay is not that wild for a long time. Spending the night in the forest in winter in a tent on the snow also implies the presence of certain theoretical skills that have been applied in practice more than once. Many fishermen and hunters know that experience will help to keep warm.

To spend the night in a tent in the winter in the forest, on the snow, you need a certain amount of equipment. In general, a tent in the winter in the forest can be attributed to extreme types of tourism. The main thing is a sleeping bag, a rug and of course a tent.

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Initially, I would like to debunk a certain myth. Insulated tents themselves do not exist. In general, the fabric initially does not breathe well, as a result of this, tents are often made of two layers. Today, modern tents are most often made of very thin materials, the main task of which is not to let water through.

One of the main tasks is how to keep warm in the tent in winter and protect yourself from the water. For this, a warm floor is often used, we have already written about this earlier.

The second task is to protect yourself from the winds, as a result of which it always seems as if it is always warmer in the tents.

There is a category of people who heat the air inside the tent with a gas burner. Judging objectively, this is not only very dangerous, but relatively useless, since the air cools quickly, but you don’t want to set your own portable house on fire by inadvertently dropping a burner on your sleeping bag.

Moving on to the painful questions of many tourists – this is a sleeping bag. If you are not going to heat the tent, then a three-layer sleeping bag is required for sleeping in tents in winter. You can find out if you have a two- or three-layer sleeping bag only from the seller. There is still a difference, it will be a little colder and more uncomfortable. In shape, the sleeping bag resembles a fully unfastened blanket, it is very good if it has a headrest. This envelope is an almost insurmountable barrier to the cold.

Tips on what you need to know to sleep in tents in winter in cold weather

So, you are sitting by the fire, realizing that it is time to go to bed. Perhaps having drunk a sip of something “warming”, having taken food in advance, climb into the tent. Naturally, it is cold there, as we are discussing an overnight stay without a stove in winter frost.

However, with good preparation and adherence to some safety rules, it is quite possible to make winter safely and with pleasure in winter. In addition, it allows you to enjoy nature in a different way, with landscapes and flowers this season and with fewer people on the pistes.

Tip # 1: be careful, winter days are shorter

The purpose of this article is not to make you a mountaineer or polar adventurer, but rather to give you some tips for hiking in winter. This is something to consider when planning your hikes. We have less time per day, so consider this if you don’t want it to end at night.

Cover the floor in the tent with rugs completely, then the cold will not pass from the floor into the scarf. More precisely, the cold will be, but not so acutely felt. It is likely that two rugs will not be enough for the floor area. When there is nothing to cover the floor with, take things and clothes out of the bag and spread them in an even layer along the entire diameter of the tent. This will plug up the uncovered areas of the floor, This will protect you from the wind blowing under the awning. Thus, you can transform the tent, saddle it warmer and more comfortable.

Tip # 2: Garment Management

In the summer, it’s easy to plan for a good supply until the night. For example: for goals scheduled at 16, he leaves 5-6 hours. It is not a scoop, the temperature is colder in winter. In addition, the sun is not so intense that it is not so high in the sky in summer, and temperatures can drop quickly as darkness falls.

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So be sure to cover yourself and carry enough clothing with you, especially if you have no experience of going out in the cold. Always think about the safety margin. Do not forget about the usefulness of this in this case. There are already quite a few clothing resources on the blog. Don’t forget that the 3-layer system can fit anywhere other than your upper body. For the bottom, this can be, for example, synthetic tights, fleece trousers and waterproof and breathable trousers. In extreme cold, you can also propagate a second layer, but be careful not to get too tight in your clothes, in which case you may be cold.

There is a golden rule in winter – you cannot spend the night alone in a tent, not much. Another tourist tradition says that men are on the edge, the girl is given a place in the middle. Most often, people negotiate in advance who will spend the night where and with whom. When three people sleep in a tent (gender does not matter here), all three are relatively warm.

We hope we have been able to give you a clear idea on: How to Insulate A Tent for Winter Camping. If you have any further query please let us know in the comments section.