Complete Guide to Camping in 40 Degree Weather

Camping is the best outdoor activity you can experience without spending much money. Although it is mainly known as a summer activity, you can enjoy it at any time of the year if you are well prepared. Many people think camping is a ‘NO’ in winter, but winter can be great for camping too, only if you prepare with the right camping gear. 

40 degree weather is considered mild cold, and many people choose this weather for camping as it is off-season for camping, so the camping grounds are less crowded, and they can enjoy nature more peacefully. However, there are many preparations and precautions that you will need to maintain in a mild cold. This article will discuss camping at 40 degrees. 

Camping in 40 degree weather

Camping in 40 degree weather can be counted as winter camping, but it is not as cold as camping in 20 degrees or 30 degrees. You might survive in 40 degree weather even if you do not have all the winter camping trip gear. 40 degree temperatures at night time are pretty much comfortable to sleep in. It is not too cold nor warm but comfortable enough to put you to sleep without shivering or sweating. 

Sometimes, the weather can fall below at night time below 40, even though you have checked the weather forecast before your camping trip. If that happens, then the cheap gears might not always save you if you are a beginner and you only have the regular gear with you. So, it is better if you are prepared with winter camping gear like- sleeping pads, blankets, sleeping bags, etc., and that should be enough. 

The 40 degree weather might feel nice and cool till the weather is sunny, and the sky is clear at nighttime. However, if, unfortunately, there is rainfall or wind, the 40 degree temperature might even kill you without proper precautions and knowledge about winter camping. If there is any rain or wind, then the weather may go from unpleasant to dangerous. However, camping in 40 degrees weather can still be enjoyable if you have all the right camping gear with you.

Tent camping in 40 degree weather

For tent camping in 40 degree temperatures, you can take a 4 season tent with you. This tent is suitable for any season, especially in winter. Even if you are a beginner, you will have no problem setting up the tent as they are very easy to set up. Pro campers also use a 4 season tent for winter as the tent can tolerate all harsh weather, including low temperatures. 

Also, it is better to keep your tent small even if you go in a group of family members or friends. There can be a tent for every two person group. The smaller the tent is, the less time it will take to be warmer. And when you take winter tents with you, it can trap heat inside them, and it will feel 10-15 degrees warmer inside the tent. 

Car camping in 40 degree weather

Car camping in 40 degree weather

Car camping is usually warmer than tent camping, and it requires a lot less hassle if you are actually sleeping inside the car. Also, if you have a car with you, you can drive away anytime when the weather falls too much to handle. 

If you are planning to sleep inside the cars, then sleeping on the car seats is not a good idea, as most car seats are made of leather, and this will take a lot of time to warm up. Also, if you sleep sitting in your car, it might give you back pain and shoulder pain. 

So, the best way to enjoy car camping in colder weather is to stretch the seats flat so that you can lay on them properly. Place a sleeping pad on them, then grab a hot cocoa and look outside the window to enjoy nature. 

You can keep the windows slightly open to ensure proper airflow and not to make your car too stuffy. However, you can add 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.

Car camping is warmer than tent camping, so you do not need to wear many layers of clothing. A woolen base layer, woolen pants, and then a breathable and waterproof shell layer will be enough. Also, you can use a blanket or two if the night gets too chilly. 

Camping with baby in 40 degree weather

Camping with baby in 40 degree weather

While camping with a baby might not seem like a good idea at first, it can be a great adventure to spend with your partner and kids, away from the busy city life and smart gadgets. In this way, your baby will learn to connect more with the parents and nature. 

While 40 degree temperature might not be a big deal for an adult, it can be dangerous for kids and babies. For that, you need to keep the baby active and moving so that the baby stays busy for the day; they will become sleepless at night. So they can fall asleep early at night.

Camping with a baby in 40 degree weather is not easy. You will need to take more clothes and more food for your baby for yourself. Also, you might need to frequently change the baby’s clothes if the clothes get dirty or they begin to sweat. 

The clothes need to be comfortable and breathable, and also warm. Do not forget to cover your baby’s ears, head, hand, and feet at any cost. These are the most sensitive parts of a baby’s body that might get hurt if they are exposed to the cold. 

You do not need to put your baby in a separate sleeping bag if they are under 10 years old. You can just tuck them beside you for more warmth on the chilly nights. This way, your baby will be safe and warm, and they will be right beside you if you need to check on them. 

What to wear camping in 40 degree weather?

If you are camping at 40 degrees, then thermals, beanies, jackets, socks, etc., are the must-take warm clothes. You need to protect your feet at any cost. Avoid direct contact with the snow because it can give you frostbites. You can wear comfortable hand gloves so that your hands remain protected during the winter camping trip. 

Sweat pants over jeans will be the right clothing to keep you warm at night. You can wear the three layers of clothes to stay safe from any weather, and this will not make you sweat either. The layers are- the base layer which can be made of wool or synthetic, then the base layer made of the woolen sweater and fleece pants, and finally, the shell layer that should be waterproof.

Tips for camping in 40 degree weather

There are no shortcut tips for camping at 40 degree temperatures. With experience, you learn about it more and more every day. However, if you are a beginner, and do not know what to do in 40 degrees, then you can follow the steps below: 

  • Take a suitable 4 season and double-wall tent for two people which is small
  • Do not take many clothes camping, but the make sure to pack the three-layer clothes
  • Insulate your tent, car, RV whatever type of camping you are doing to avoid congestion 
  • Keep the tent door and windows slightly open so that there is enough airflow
  • Take a lot of dry snacks and liquid food with you. Eating snacks can raise body temperature. 
  • Do not hold your pee when you feel like it. You need to let it out so that your body releases heat and focuses on body heat. 
  • Take proper sleeping pads and sleeping bags to avoid direct contact with the ground. Direct contact with the ground absorbs body heat. 
  • Enjoy your camping in 40 degree weather with outdoor activities like- making snowmen, making fairies in snow, hiking, sightseeing and taking pictures, or just sitting by your tent and having a warm mug of coffee. 


Camping is a fun activity. It is affordable too. That is why more people are choosing off-season camping over traveling to hotels and expensive resorts. However, camping requires much more preparation, experience, and proper gear for anyone to enjoy fully in any weather. So, before going camping in 40 degree weather, check the weather forecast and double-check your camping gear list. 


Is 45 degrees too cold to sleep in the car?

45 degree weather is not too cold for camping. In fact, it is quite comfortable for camping. To stay warm at the 45 degrees, wae three layers of clothes that are breathable and warm. You need to keep your hands, feet, ear, and head protected from the direct grasp of cold. 

What should I pack for 40 degree weather?

You should pack a four-season tent, insulation gears, a warm layer of clothes, liquid food, dry snacks, extra blankets, a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, socks, gloves, etc., for camping at 40 degrees. These things will be enough to keep you warm at 40 degrees and make your winter camping experience fun and enjoyable. 

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