Winter Hot Tent Camping: What You Need to Bring

To go beyond 3 season camping you’ll need extra gear and some know-how.

Below are gear selections that I pack and sled in on winter camping trips. The listed items below have worked well for me and have proven successful after a few years and multiple trips.  This is the winter kit that I use now, overtime some items will be replaced with better quality, higher functioning gear.


On Person: Knife, Lighter/Firesteel, Whistle, Compass, Map, Cell Phone, Charger, Snack, Spikes Bait (keep em warm close to body).

Packs: 70 and 115 Waterproof Sealine Packs, Waxed Canvas Pack for Food and Cooking Kit.

Shelter: SnowTrekker EXP Shortwall Basecamp 8×10 (2+ person) & Kni-co Medium stove with Stove Hearth and Heat Reflector, Tent Pegs, Rutland Stove Thermometer, Stove Pipe Wire Holder Doohickey, Extra Wire, and Stove Gloves, Canvas Ground Tarp. 

Boots: Sorel 1964 Pack boot with Alpacca Wool Felt Inserts. Worn with insulated Vapor Barrier Socks, Gaitors and Kahoula microspikes.

Gloves & Hat: Egli’s Polar Mitts and Polar Hat, Fox River Wool Fingerless Ragg Gloves, Beige Wool Ear Flap Hat, Ball cap

Clothing: Wicking Smartwool base Layer long and short sleeve, Wool button down, wool vest, wool sweater, WeatherWool Anorak, Wool Pants or thick Waterproof Gore Tex Jacket and Pants if above freezing temps.

Other Clothing: Face Masks and Ski Goggles (if high winds predicted), Underwear, Two Pairs Heavy Duty Wool Socks, Neck Gaitor.

Sleeping Bag & Pad: 0 down Marmot Never Summer and MSS Bivy cover (other bags/liners added if temps predicted extra low), Exped Downmat 9m with option for extra thermarest pads and reflectix material to insulate and block wind drafts.

Transport: Large Eagle Claw Sled and drag rope with 3ft section of tube covering rope at point of pull/resistance. 

Snowshoes: Faber Snowshoes with Lampwick Binding or Modern Snowshoes with built in plastic binding.

Ice Fishing Gear:  Ice Picks, Spud Bar, 4 tip-ups setup with 25# backing line and 10# mono, a jig rod with 2-4# ultra-lite line, ice spoon, Mora ice Auger drill, Berkley gulp maggots, 10# fluorocarbon line for Lake Trout, 6″ metal leader for Pike. Mini Tackle Box with sounder, hooks, weights n jigs.    Buy Bait: (spikes, worms, live fish) on route to destination and keep hold of the receipt as some states require certified safe bait fish. Drop in water conditioning tablet so you can close it tight and not have to hear a power bubbles style battery pump.

Light Kit:  Coleman Propane Lantern with extra Mantles taped inside carry box, Luminoodle, Luci Light Solar Power, Beeswax candles (with aluminum can lantern), Headlamp and Flashlight with extra Batteries.

Fire Kit: Matches, Lighter and Firesteel, Waxed cotton fire starters or other sure fire method. 

Electronics Kit: Charger Cables, Extra charged batteries for Flashlight/Headlamp, Hand Warmers, Headphones.

First Aid Kit: First Aid and Emergency Supplies (air horn).

Cooking Kit: Metal Nalgene seated in metal cup in a wool sleeve pouch, Mors 1.8L/2qt Pot, 9″ Cold Handle Pan,  Wood Spoon n Spatula, Paper Towels, Antiseptic Alcohol Hand Sanitizer. (The metal bowls allow for boiling but also keep food warm next to the fire or it’ll be instantly cold after removing from heat.)

Other Misc. Gear: Bungees, Sunglasses, Reflective Ribbon, Square Milk Crate, Dry bag for Food, Leather Work Gloves, Adventure Sworn Buck Saw and blade replacement, Bahco or Silky style hand saw, Full-Size Wetterlings Forest Axe, Jute string for tie-outs, Zipties, Hand Sanitizer and TP, Whisk Broom, Aluminum Snow Shovel, Leatherman (with wire cutter)

Bring and Leave in Vehicle: Full Tank of Gas!, Firewood, Hard Edged Snow Shovel, Plastic Scoop Grain Shovel, Jumper Cables, Spare Tire, Wool Blanket, Back-up Sleeping Bag/Pad, Extra Food/Snacks, Change of Warm Clothes, Coleman Burner and Lantern


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