Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Few Cold Weather Camping Tips

I'm known to stretch my camping season at both ends, going out in the chilly start of spring and camping on through November or later--until slippery roads get the upper hand.

Even with a heater, a vintage trailer can have cold spots due to incoming drafts. Here are a few tips to share about upping your comfort level.

1. Insulate the roof vent. Heat rises, so you know what happens when your heater's work hits the roof--it's pulled right out from that uninsulated plastic or aluminum vent cover. Basically, you have a hole in the roof. To block the hole, cut a piece of foam to fit, or spend about $12 to buy a covered foam
vent insert from an RV supply store.

2. Drape the door. I have an old woolen serape that I use for this purpose, using clip rings on a rod to hold it up. I leave a few extra inches at the bottom to block drafts at the lower edge of the door. Use your imagination to come up with something similar that will work in your trailer. You may with to do something similar for your trailer's larger windows.

3. Bolster the bed. A trailer bed always ends up somewhere along an outside wall, and if it's over a cubby space, it's also resting atop trapped cold air. To cut the draft/chill factor, bolster the bed with rolled-up blankets and extra pillows.

4. Use a good sleeping bag. The whole glamping thing is great, with adorable bedding, ready for magazine pages…but when the camera's back in the case, warm is where it's at. I've never, ever been cold in my sleeping bag, even with no external heat whatsoever, even below zero. For cold weather camping, it comes along.

Note of caution: If you heat your trailer with propane, don't seal it up too tightly, and keep a carbon monoxide detector inside.


  1. Good ideas, especially a carbon monoxide detector. I got some bubble wrap, plan to put it between the screen and windows in cold weather.

  2. Such good information! I've found no matter how much warmth is on top of me at night, I needed to add an insulator under me to help that keep that cold out and my body heat in! A down blanket to snuggle into, or a wool mattress pad really helps!

  3. If you have access to power, nothing beats an electric mattress pad! If the bed is over a storage area (translate: over a box of cold air), it also really helps to add insulation inside that storage area. Cut pieces to fit and tack them up--quick and easy, and it really makes a difference. A 4x8 sheet of hard-foam insulation costs about $20 and can be cut to fit in a matter of minutes!

  4. Love my 12 volt heated mattress pad, I use it in the summer as well.

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  6. I found if you put a piece of plastic under the mattress, the cold air from below doesn't come up thru it. Can be an old table cloth, any kind of plastic, or I even used a rain poncho, I had with me the first time. Made all the difference, when it was cold. I do this when I tent camp on a cot as well.

  7. Great tips to make camping more comfortable! Thanks for this and I also make sure to have a good and snuggly down sleeping bag for more warmth. Having layered clothing also makes a difference in keeping warm and cozy. Make sure to also check on the weather and plan your camping site well. For more tips, here's a great site to hop on to