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Nothing takes away the joy of camping like freezing your a** off in the middle of Winter, right!? However, it doesn’t need to be this way.
Providing you fix the ‘staying warm’ issue (which we will discuss towards the end of the article), there are numerous activities that make Winter camping fun.
After trying the activities below, you’ll be having too much fun to worry about the cold anyway!
I have split this article into 3 groups: Daytime activities, Nighttime activities, and activities for couples.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
The perfect conditions for some Ice fishing! In case you didn’t know, Ice fishing is when you catch fish through a hole in a frozen lake.
You can expect to catch Sunfish, Northern Pike, and Walleye.
In fact, I was recently ice fishing and caught a Crawdad (Crayfish) and Brown Trout. Not bad for a day’s work!
If you plan on ice fishing, make sure you wear enough layers. You won’t be moving much, so the cold weather will affect you more.
2.Put Your Ice Skating Skills To The Test
What’s the point of ice if you don’t skate on it!?
Not only does it keep you warm, but it’s also great fun…
Unless you can’t ice skate.
Then you might end up like this guy:
It’s also something the whole family (or large groups) can partake in. Of course, you’ll need to bring (or buy) some ice skating shoes before your trip.
You should also think about where you will be skating. Skiing on some frozen lakes can be dangerous, as it could break, causing you to fall in.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a frozen lake (Amount of people, water depth, temperature, and more); however, the Canadian Red Cross recommends a minimum thickness of 20cm. 
3.Winter Hiking Can Be Fun (If You’re Prepared!)
I’ve done my fair share of hiking. And I have to say – Winter Hiking holds some of my best memories.
But you must come prepared.
Otherwise, your experience will be ruined by the intense cold. Once you’ve sorted out your main clothing (coats & pants), the next most important thing is keeping your hands and feet warm.
Your hands and feet don’t get as much blood flow, so they get colder faster.
This leaves you more vulnerable to frostbite, so make sure you bring some gloves and multiple pairs of socks.
Now you’ve cold proofed your body, the fun begins.
Here are the benefits of Winter Hiking:
- You don’t need to worry about bugs
- Fewer people make for a more peaceful experience
- A change in scenery (when hiking in the snow)
4.Jump In Natures Hot Tub (Natural Hot Spring)
Winter camping wouldn’t be complete without experiencing nature’s jacuzzi, huh!?
Natural hot springs are found in many different states. Yet, they are most popular in Idaho, California, and Nevada. 
Not only will hot springs help you stay warm (until you get out!!), but also provide a certain relaxation that can’t be found anywhere else.
And there’s more…
Hot springs contain Magnesium, which up to 50% of the US population is deficient in. 
There’s never been a better way to stay warm and top up on magnesium when Winter camping!
5.Build Snow Sculptures
Are you a creative genius?
Then you should try your luck at building a snow sculpture.
But don’t get snow sculptures confused with a snowman – there’s a difference.
Rather than building a person, you’re sculpting an object. This can be an animal, car, airplane, or just about anything else you can think of.
Here’s a good example:
Just to be clear – I don’t expect you to build a whale that big!
Not only is building a snow sculpture exciting, but it also requires teamwork. Knowing you can work as part of a team when camping is important.
You need to know you can rely on the people around you in case something goes wrong.
6.Coffee & Calories
Who doesn’t love their morning coffee?
It’s a sure-fire way to stay warm when camping in harsh climates.
But even more important is calories. Because of the intense cold, your body burns more calories (not less!), so you need to be eating more.
Therefore, why not cook a meal in your campsite kitchen?
Nachos, bannock bread, and chili con carne are all excellent choices. Wash that down with a warm brew, and you’re golden!
7.Cross Country Skiing Never Goes Out Of Style
There’s something magical about skiing. If you’re an avid skier, you know what I’m talking about.
A certain relaxation washes over you.
So, it should definitely be on your list for Winter camping activities.
It’s best to go skiing when you’re camping in an RV. That way, you have easy access to the slopes.
1.Roast Some Marshmallows
Marshmallows and camping go hand-in-hand. However, this tradition doesn’t only apply to Summer camping.
Roasting marshmallows on the fire is an excellent way to bond with your camping buddies, friends, and family in Winter.
Not only that, but they taste amazing, right!?
2.Share Stories Around The Campfire
Part of camping is about bonding.
And one of the best ways to make friends is by sharing stories around the campfire on a cold winter evening.
It’s also nice to enjoy a few alcoholic beverages to increase the social mood.
However, beers and spirits are not ideal when Winter Camping.
After all, we’re trying to warm up, not cool down, right!?
Luckily, I’ve found an excellent alternative…
3.Stargaze Your Heart Away
Because there’s no light pollution, stargazing is the perfect nighttime activity when winter camping.
When camping with young kids, the early sunsets mean they will be awake when the stars are visible, making it an excellent family activity.
In addition, it’s a sure-fire way to spark your creativity. When we watch the stars, our minds quieten, putting us into a meditative state where creativity flows.
It’s also a great way to relax after a long day hiking.
Just make sure you have some kind of heat source, otherwise, you will be freezing.
Not how you want your camping trip to go, right!?
4.Glow In The Dark Frisbee Game
Did you know that you can now play frisbee in the dark?
All you need to do is buy a glow-in-the-dark frisbee.
And the best thing? It’s an excellent source of exercise and cardio. You can leave your camping trip feeling fit and ready to tackle any challenges that may arise.
5.Card And Board Games Are Your Best Friend…
If the weather is bad outside, board games are a great way to have fun.
Here are some games you can play…
- Play money poker
Card games also provide the perfect environment to bond, whether you’re camping with friends or family (or both!).
6.Play The Guitar
If you’re dreading your winter trip, it could actually be a blessing in disguise.
Rather than sitting around in the freezing cold, playing the guitar is a more favorable alternative.
Even if you don’t know how to play the guitar, being stuck inside a tent during the winter provides the perfect learning opportunity.
And the best thing?
You can soak up all the juicy benefits:
- Improved concentration
- Better memory
- Ability to express yourself
As you become a better guitarist, you can show everybody your newly acquired skill. That’s one way to keep your new camping buddies entertained around the campfire, right!?
Activities For Couples
If you’re camping as a couple, things are a little different. It’s all about partaking in activities that bring you closer together.
And I’ve compiled the perfect list below:
1.Watch A Movie
Watching a movie is not limited to your lounge or bedroom.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for campsites to offer Wi-Fi. Some of the time, you can connect completely free.
So why not watch a movie?
I understand camping is about spending time in nature and away from computer screens. However, your options are limited at night when it’s freezing cold outside.
Here are some romantic movies I recommend:
- A Star Is Born
- Letter To Juliet
- Friends With Benefits
I understand not everybody is into romantic movies, so here are some great alternatives…
- Focus (Comedy, crime, romance)
- The 5th Wave (Sci-Fi, Action)
- Shutter Island (Has the biggest plot twist ever!)
2.Crack Open The Red Wine
There’s nothing more romantic than sharing a bottle of red wine with your partner under the stars.
You can use the campfire for warmth, and even roast some marshmallows together.
3.Plan Your Next Camping Trip
Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here.
However, planning your next camping trip is a way to fill your time when snuggled into your sleeping bags.
You can also discuss your plans for the following day. If you’ve made it this far in the article, you should be filled with new and exciting activities!
4.Watch The Sunrise
Watching the sunrise is about as beautiful as it gets. The perfect way to start the day, in my opinion (especially for couples!).
If you’re camping in the snow, the experience is even better.
And that’s without all the benefits related to watching the sunrise.
In certain parts of the world, it’s not uncommon for people to wake up just to watch the sunrise. It’s believed that the sun has healing powers, making you feel more connected with nature and grateful.
Some people even say it’s a natural anti-depressant.
Therefore, I recommend watching the sunrise if you and your partner want to start the day on a positive note.
5.Capture Those Special Moments (And Scenery!)
Compared to Summer camping, winter tends to have more photographic scenery (especially in snowy conditions).
If you want to remember your camping trip, I recommend taking pictures and turning them into a slideshow video.
You can use your phone; however, a professional DSLR camera always seems to work better, as you can put it around your neck and snap pictures on the go.
When you return home, you can even get the pictures printed and put into an album.
I know. I know…
We’re in 2022, not 1999.
However, I always preferred looking at real pictures, rather than digital images.
Plus, digital media can be wiped out overnight if you don’t have it backed up!
6.Get Your Heartrate Up With Sledding
For those camping in snowy conditions, I have the perfect solution…
You only need 2 things – a hill and lots of snow!
However, be careful not to go for something too steep; otherwise, you may end up injuring yourself.
It’s best to start off with a smaller hill and build up as you get more confidence.
Who needs a rollercoaster, huh!?
Some Stuff To Know About Your Winter Camping Trip…
Is camping In Winter A Good Idea?
Camping in the winter is an excellent idea.
Beautiful views, fewer people, and stargazing are some of the benefits.
You’ll also be able to enjoy yourself without being attacked by bugs every 10 seconds, which is a lifesaver.
The only difference compared to summer camping is you need to keep warm. Wrap up with lots of layers, and ensure your hands and feet and well-protected.
I also recommend a tent heater.
Here’s What You Need For Winter Camping…
A Weatherproof Tent (4-Season)
With harsher weather comes greater responsibility. Your 2 season ultralight tent is not enough to keep you protected.
You need something that provides insulation and protection from the elements.
Your best option is a 4-season tent.
4-season tents are designed to keep you protected in all conditions (rain, snow, and wind). It’s also best to find a tent with snow flaps.
Snow flaps stop snow and wind from blowing into your tent.
The Right Equipment
You can’t expect to use the same camping equipment as you do in the Summer.
You need equipment that preserves body heat.
The most important thing is your sleeping bag. I recommend getting something that’s designed for winter camping.
Of course, you will pay a little extra. However, nothing worse than a lack of sleep because of the cold weather.
Definitely not how you want to spend your camping trips, huh!?
Bringing a sleeping pad is also a good idea. Sleeping pads go underneath your sleeping bag, creating an insulated gap between yourself and the tent floor.
Lots of cold air seeps through the tent floor, so sleeping pads are excellent at keeping you warm when winter camping. They also provide great cushioning, which is perfect for people who struggle to get comfortable in a tent.
Don’t skip out on warm insulated clothing when winter camping.
It could be the difference between life and death if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.
I recommend having three layers: A inner, middle, and outdoor layer of clothing. Not only does this ensure you stay warm, but also comfortable.
You can’t go wrong with a pair of long johns.
For the middle layer, a wool jacket and pants are perfect.
Your outer layer should consist of a large insulated coat and snow pants.
It’s also very important to keep your hands and feet warm, as these areas are most prone to frostbite.
Insulated gloves, socks, and boot liners should do the trick.
When the going gets tough, it’s time to start up the heater!
You can also use a fire; however, it’s a little more difficult to start a fire in snowy and wet weather.
That’s not to say it’s impossible – far from it. But you will need to know what you’re doing, otherwise, you’ll just be wasting time.
It’s best to choose a heater with tip-over protection. That means that if it falls over, it automatically turns off.
This is super important, especially when camping in a tent.
What’s more, something small and compact is always favorable, in my opinion. Because who wants to be dragging around a heavy heater when winter camping!?
Alternatively, you can use a wood burner or firebox. However, these are more geared towards people camping for longer periods.
Water Is Key
Did you know that not drinking enough water makes us colder in Winter conditions?
Without getting all ‘scientific’ about it, our core temperature drops when we’re dehydrated, which can lead to the faster onset of hypothermia. 
You may not feel like drinking water; however, I strongly advise taking a few bottles with you when leaving the campsite.
The good thing is that you won’t need to drink as much as in the Summer.
Just enough to stay well-hydrated.
How Cold Is Too Cold For Camping?
You can camp in all types of weather. Nothing is ‘too cold’. It all depends on your camping experience and the type of equipment you’re using.
If you’re a complete beginner, camping in harsh conditions is not recommended. Trust me, it never ends well.
However, people with years of experience under their belt know how to handle the more difficult weather.
But to give you a more precise answer…
30-40 degrees is too cold for the inexperienced camper.
How Do You Live In A Tent In The Winter?
Living in a tent during the winter is more difficult than summertime camping.
However, it’s not impossible.
But you must be prepared.
If you’re planning to camp out all winter, you need a tent that’s spacious enough, well-insulated, and weather-proof.
If any of these things are missing, it may turn out to be a miserable experience.
A spacious tent gives you plenty of room to stand up and move around, which is essential when camping for long periods. It also means you have enough space for equipment, which comes by the bucketloads in winter camping!
Excellent insulation is also non-negotiable. Unless you want to spend the entire winter camping in the soul-piercing cold.
Finally, you’re bound to encounter some undesirable weather in the wintertime. While rain is likely, you also need to prepare for snow (depending on where you’re camping).
Some tents don’t hold up very well in snowy conditions. The added weight can crush some tents, leaving you with nowhere to sleep.
It’s always worth splashing a little extra money on something that’s snow-proof.
After all, we’re not talking about a weekend camping trip here, are we!?
Personally, I recommend the Big Anges Battle Mountain Tent.
With a name like that, you can only expect good things, wouldn’t you say!?
It’s not super big, but not many mountaineering tents are. Yet, there’s is enough space for your equipment and personal belongings. There is also a gear loft, so you can free up some living space for a more comfortable experience.
But most importantly…
It’s not fazed by rain and snow, so you’re in safe hands.
The only thing I would change is the headroom. It sits at a measly 54″, which is a little too small for my liking.
I would at least like to be able to stand up.
Read Also: What Is The Best Tent To Live In?
Summing It All Up…
Camping in fresh snow (or winter conditions) can still be lots of fun. Card games, ice fishing, and skiing are some great ways to stay entertained when it’s cold outside.
Plus, winter camping means fewer people, so you can enjoy a more peaceful experience.
Just make sure to wrap up and stay warm; otherwise, nothing will be enjoyable!
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