Complete guide to Camping in 20 Degree Weather: RV with Car Camping

Camping is a fun and adventurous outdoor activity that you can enjoy anytime, especially when the weather is above 50-degree temperatures. Although most people prefer summer for Camping in 20 Degree Weather, some people want to experience camping in the winter too when there is no rush in camping spots so they can relax by themselves.

However, it is true that camping in cold seasons or camping in temperatures below 30 degrees is not recommended for beginners, but you can never be an experienced one without beginning. So, if you are passionate about camping and you want to have your first camping experience in 20-degree weather in the wintertime, we are going to guide you about that in this article.

Camping in 20-degree weather: Tips To Help You Stay Warm

Camping in 20-degree weather

Camping in 20-degree weather can be challenging if you are inexperienced and you do not have the right camping gear. This can even kill you with frostbites if you are not prepared. So, for camping in 20 degrees, the first thing you need to ensure is all the right gear like a camping tent, sleeping bag, warm clothes, etc., are there with you.

Although you might not have many food options for camping in the cold weather, make sure to keep a lot of water with you to stay hydrated, which is very vital in the cold temperatures. In addition, you can keep instant soup or hot cocoa to keep yourself warm.

If it gets too cold at night, you can light up the fire between all the tents. Usually, most camping spots that allow winter camping have fireplaces. The tents you take for cold weather camping should have double walls because single-wall tents can not keep you warm enough. Also, it helps to build up condensation if you do not keep the doors open.

Choosing the right sleeping bag is also an important task for camping in 20-degree weather as the sleeping bag’s temperature bags can be misleading in terms of the temperatures. That is why you need to focus on the comfort of a sleeping bag rather than the warmth. Also. Choosing the best air mattress for cold weather camping is essential to a warm night’s sleep.

If you sleep directly on the floor at night at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you will probably end up dead as the ground will consume all the heat. That is when a sleeping pad can come in handy.

Related: Which type of wood is suitable for firewood for camping?

RV Camping in 20-degree weather: Tips To Help You Stay Warm

RV Camping in 20-degree weather

You might be considering taking your RV in the 20 degrees for more protection from cold, but this might not be the best idea if you do not make the right preparations for it. Without any precautions, your RV might start having problems due to the cold weather, for example, the engine not starting, frozen fuel, etc.

Even when the temperature drops into the 0°F range, you can probably stay comfortable if you insulate the walls of your RV, invest in winterization solutions that actually work, and pack plenty of warm clothes and warm blankets.

The first thing to do when you take your RV to winter camping you should winterize it. You can start it by tucking insulation behind the RV walls. Also, make sure to check if the heater in your RV is working correctly. Because if the heater breaks down in the middle of the camping night at 20 degrees, then you might freeze to death.

Too cold weather can freeze the RV pipes and jam the toilet or water lines. This can get very troublesome for you on a camping trip and ruin the whole fun and chilly experience for you. So, even if you take your RV, it does not guarantee you total safety from the cold temperatures. Therefore, you should keep your RVs in a place where there is no chance of temperatures dropping below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, it is true that RV camping can protect you better than tent camping in 20-degree weather.

Car Camping in 20-degree weather: Tips To Help You Stay Warm

Car Camping in 20-degree weather

If you are taking your regular car for camping in winter, especially if it is 20 degrees or below, then you need to prepare your car fully so that the cold can not get you. Of course, you will take warm clothes, but sometimes this will not be enough to keep you from the cold.

You can start preparing for car camping at 20 degrees by adding insulation to your car windows as most of the cold enters your car through the windows. Insulation can trap the warmth in your car and prevents the cold from entering your car. You can do it by placing a reflective sun shield on your front windshield. Then you can cut out reflexive wraps that fit your car windows and then place them accordingly at night.

As car seats are not the perfect place to sleep in cold-weather camping, you can fully fold down your vehicle seats so that they are flat enough to lie down comfortably. Nonetheless, you can use a four-season sleeping bag or insulated pad on the folded seats to sleep on. But as an alternative to sleeping bags and pads, you can use a 6-8 inch memory foam to cut down according to the right size for camping in your car.

Make sure to wear the right clothes on your winter car camping trip. You should wear moisture-wicking clothing like- polyester, nylon, and merino wool. And make sure to wear socks at night so that you are not left with cold toes.

Finally, turn up the heater in the car so you can snuggle up in warm blankets. You can eat a snack and clean your teeth while you wait. Also, do not completely close your windows since cars might become congested. That is why you should leave your front windows open just an inch or two to allow air to circulate. Also, before going to bed, make sure the car is turned off.

Related: Can I Take My 12-Week-Old Puppy Camping?

How to stay warm camping in 20-degree weather?

How to stay warm camping in 20-degree weather

Camping in the cold temperatures can be challenging because it will be a struggle for you to stay warm if you do not have the right camping gear. However, you will need to buy amateur gear for winter to ensure warmth in colder temperatures.

You need to bring the right tent and sleeping bags for winter camping. Even when you are with your family and friends for winter camping, you should take separate small tents instead of large family tents because separate smaller tents ensure an extra insulation process that will trap the heat inside the tent.

For winter camping, it is not necessary to wear a lot of extra layers of clothes to keep you warm. Instead, you need to dress smart by dressing in inlayers, including a base layer made of merino wool or polyester clothes, a mid-layer that can be a puffy jacket, and an outer layer breathable, waterproof jacket and pants that will work as waterproof layers to protect you from sudden rain. Dressing like this will surely keep you warm while you camp at 20 degrees. And your sleeping bag will act as the additional layers for extra warmth.

Eating small snacks and beverages frequently will keep you warm in the coldest temperature. You can have hot drinks like- soup, hot cocoa, and tea. Also, when you need to pee, do not hold it because the bladder needs body warmth to keep the pee in your bladder for a long time, which might make you feel colder. You need to pee whenever you need to to stay warm. And if you lack mobile toilets, you can use a pee bottle.


Camping is known as a summer outing activity. But if you are passionate about it, you can do it in any season, regardless of the weather or temperature. However, you need to be safe in any weather, so you need to take the right camping gear and do research about the dos and don’ts of camping so that you can fully enjoy your camping experience even when you do it in 20 degrees weather.


What temp is too cold for camping?

Although, for many experienced campers, there is no weather that is too cold for camping. But 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or -1 to 4 degrees Celsius is known as too cold for camping for people who are inexperienced and have amateur gear. 

Is 20 degrees too cold to be outside?

Until temperatures drop below 20 degrees, it is safe to be outside while camping. But if you stay outside at 20 degrees for too long, then your skin might get frozen in 10 minutes, which is very risky. 

How do you stay warm in 20-degree weather?

You can stay warm in 20-degree weather by wearing three layers of clothing which are- the base layer, the mid-layer, and the waterproof layer. The base layers and mid-layers can be made of breathable woolen clothes. But the outer layer needs to be waterproof. Also, the tent and sleeping bags should be insulated to keep you warm. 

How cold is too cold to sleep?

There is no exact temperature that is too cold to sleep as this varies from person to person. However, most doctors recommend a temperature setting of 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit or 15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius for the best sleeping conditions. When the weather is too cold to sleep, you can apply things for staying warm, like dressing in the three layers of clothes and using extra blankets to sleep. 

How do you sleep in 20-degree weather?

If the weather is 20 degrees while camping, then you should get an insulated tent, sleeping pads, and a sleeping bag for sleeping. Because if you sleep on the ground just with a sleeping bag, the ground can absorb your body heat, and this will chill you to the bones. Also, it is advisable to wear layers of clothing at night and to use a low-ceiling tent to keep the warm air close to you.

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