What Temperature is Too Cold for Camping? Camping (20,30 40 degrees)

Every year 1 million new families in the U.S. start camping. Camping is usually a summer activity for fun. But there are some people who love camping so much that they are willing to camp in the Winter season too. Tent camping in winter can be an amazing way to spend your Christmas vacation. However, as a beginner, you should take precautions if you want to camp in cold temperatures. For example, you should take enough camping gear that can keep you warm on your camping trip, or there is enough heat inside your tent when the night is too cold. 

However, there are some weather conditions when you should not go camping at all because they might be life-threatening. So, what temperature is too cold for camping? Keep on reading this article to find out. 

What temperature is too cold for camping?

There are some pro campers who love to take challenges and can camp any time of the year. And they think that no season or no temperature is too cold for camping when you have the right camping gear

According to the camping experts, campers especially those who are beginners should not go camping when the temperature is below -1 to 4 degrees Celsius or 30 degrees to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of 30 degrees is quite cold for camping. 

Make sure to take extra warm layers and waterproof clothing when you are tent camping in cold weather. This is only normal to protect yourself from the very cold weather. 

What temperature do you consider cold

How cold is too cold for tent camping?

You might think of enjoying your winter vacation by spending nights under the stars in a tent in a winter camp tent and waking up each morning with a mug full of coffee to chill beside the lakes or mountains. But you should know if you do that in too cold weather, there are chances to get frostbites. 

Inexperienced campers with light camping gear should not attempt tent camping in chilly temperatures down to the mid-thirties or low-forties Fahrenheit. Camping is most comfortable at temperatures between 50°F and 65°F at night. So, if you are an inexperienced camper you should go camping in 50°F and 65°F temperatures if you want to enjoy winter tent camping. 

What temperature is dangerous to sleep outside?

If you are interested in camping because a night under the stars excites you, then you should remember that you can not just sleep outside camping anytime anywhere. There are some precautions you need to follow while sleeping in a hammock or tent, especially in the cold temperature. 

30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or -1 to 4 degrees Celsius are too cold to sleep outside. However, some campers who are experienced and know what gears can save them from the cold, can camp in the coldest weather too. But for an amateur or inexperienced camper, they should not camp below -1 to – 4 degrees celsius as the weather might drop below anytime at night. And that will be life-threatening. 

How cold is too cold to camp with a baby?

Just because you have a baby does not mean that you will have to stop having fun experiences like camping. However, you do need to be careful with the baby so that he/she does not get harmed in any way. 

In the winter, babies have a hard time coping with the cold. So, it is best if you avoid tent camping in cold weather with one. But if you live in a country where it is always cold and even snows in summer (e.g. Australia, South America, New Zealand, etc.), that leaves you no other choice but to take your baby with you camping even in the cold weather.

Below 40 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold to camp with a baby. It is most comfortable to camp when the nighttime temperature ranges between 50°F and 65°F. So, if the cold rises, you need to take action for that. In the mild cold, you might take your baby and you can put your baby camping crib, cot, or even their own sleeping pad inside the cold weather tent. But in too cold weather your baby would need a co-partner to sleep with to stay warm. 

When you take babies camping, you will need to carry many extra things, especially in winter. So do not forget to take tons of extra warm clothes for your babies to keep them warm and safe. 

How much warmer is it in a tent than outside?

It is very obvious that it is warmer inside a tent than it is outside. So, if you go camping in the cold weather, sleeping outside might not be a good idea as the temperature might fall at night and it gets chilly before you know it. 

There are some specialized tents that are called cold weather camping tent. Cold weather camping tents protect you from too much cold. They are also called winter tents. There is another tent that comes with protection from cold which is called the 4 season tent. 

A tent designed for winter camping or four-season camping is designed to stand up to high winds and heavy snowfall when conditions are frosty. The inside of winter tents is typically 10-15 degrees warmer because they are better designed to trap heat. Tents for three seasons tend to be about five degrees warmer inside than the outside of the tent in cold weather.

Safety tips for comfortable cold-weather camping (20,30 40 degrees)

If you are a seasonal camper, looking for a new experience you might try cold-weather camping. When it is the off-season for camping, you can experience the calmness of nature without the hustle of other people. Additionally, you will see snow-capped mountains against a clear sky filled with stars.

cold weather camping

However, a chilly night with frostbite might just destroy the thrilling experience if you go unprepared. So, here are some safety tips for comfortable cold-weather camping: 

Make sure to use cold weather tents

Regular tents can not keep your body warm as winter tents can. Winter tents are made with synthetic and polyester etc. breathable fabric materials that trap your body heat from going outside the tent. It also keeps the inside of the tent warm and warmer from the outside weather. So, you must take cold weather camping tents for tent camping in winter. 

Create a Windbreak

You can easily make a windbreak by setting up your tent beside trees and bushes in the cold weather camping. By setting up your tent beside trees and buses, you will be able to block some wind. As a result, your tent will be warmer as there will be very little wind. Additionally, it will reduce the risk of your tent being blown over by the fire if you make a campfire.

Wear and keep enough warm clothes

Even if you take a winter camping tent or three-season tent, it will not be adequate for cold weather camping if you are not dressed properly. You should at least wear three layers of clothing while camping in the winter as well as hand warmers, heated gloves, and heated boots.

Wool or polyester are good choices for the base layer since they are moisture-wicking. Then you can wear a puffy fleece over that for protecting body heat. Lastly, you can wear a waterproof jacket that can save you from rain and snow. However, if you sweat and your clothes get wet, change them asap. Also, do not forget to take extra blankets in case nighttime temperatures go below freezing. 

Eat and drink hot beverages

You should keep on drinking hot beverages like -hot water, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, soup etc to keep yourself warm. In order to stay warm, your body burns calories constantly. Therefore, constantly snacking keeps your internal furnace running. Fats and proteins burn at a slower rate than carbs at night and keep you warm for a longer time.

Do not go too far

It is true that sometimes you want to get away from everything and everyone and spend some alone time in nature and in winter camping you get a chance to do that. However, you should not move too far away from other people or grounds where there is no one to be found when you need any help. Also, many people do not realize that humans are social creatures and they will need to socialize with each other in order to live if you have no one to talk to or no one to seek help from on a cold chilly night while camping, depression will heat you and might affect your mental state. Also, without any help, you might fall into any kind of danger. 

Know when to call it quits

It is fine to camp in the 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit or even 20, but if the temperature falls below that, you should not take life risks to finish your camping challenge. 

You need to stay inside the network zone to check weather updates to see if there is any sudden fall in the nighttime weather. Also, if things get worse, you might even need to call an ambulance. So, it is better to stay close to an area where help is reachable. 

Related: How To Wash Hair While Camping?

7 Way Winterize Your Tent from Cold Weather Camping

Your tent might not be the best shield to protect you from the cold claws of winter while cold weather camping. That is when you need to winterize your tent. Winterizing will give you a warmer tent to save yourself when the temperature falls down during camping in the cold weather. 

Cold Weather Camping

Here are 7 ways you can winterize your tent if you are going camping in cold weather:

1. Pick the proper tent

Even though it is said that 3 season tents protect you from the cold weather, it is best if you take the four-season tent as that ensures more safety. The cost may be higher, but it is more resistant to snow. Also, pick a smaller tent so there is less space for cold wind to float inside the tent. Also, a smaller tent is easier and faster to warm up. 

2. Use a tent cover or Tarp

The best way to conserve heat and keep snow out of your tent is to cover it with a tarp. In addition, you can also prevent frost from forming on your tent. During camping, you can also use it as a tarp, tent, shelter or emergency blanket. And if you do not have a tarp you can use an all-weather lightweight blanket instead of it. Depending on the size of the tarp, the standard size tarp maybe 5′ x 7′ or even 170′ x 170′.

3. Reinforce the tent poles

4 season tents usually have tent poles but you can add additional tent poles to strengthen them. This will hold down your tent in case of heavy wind or sudden snowstorms. Tent poles can be made out of aluminum, steel, or carbon fiber depending on the setting. You can get fiberglass tent poles for a cheap price, but they are not sturdy enough. So, it would be better to have strong aluminum or steel poles that can resist wind, hold the weight of snow, and withstand cold.

4. Make the tent floor warm and waterproof

Just like tarping on the tent, you can tarp on the ground too so that snow or cold can not enter your tent. In general, sleeping pads can do the job, but if you want something warmer, you can also use blankets. Otherwise, snow might melt and wet your tent making it harder to sleep and camp. 

5. Reduce ventilated areas

Ventilation is very important for camping but you should reduce it in cold weather camping in order to stay warmer. Because cold wind and snow can enter through the tent if you do not block them and make it colder inside the tent. But do not close all the tent windows. Because this will make the situation worse. 

6. Bring heat sources like a propane heater

Propane heaters reduce the chances of accidents because of carbon dioxide while keeping the tent warm. But for that, you will need a carbon monoxide detector. Make sure your propane heater is set inside the tent’s corner and the propane tank should be placed outside of the tent.

Next, you can then connect the tank to the heater with a hosepipe very tightly. Keep your tent closure a bit open once you have connected the pipe zip to both ends.

7. Bring additional camping gear

Guylines, warm sleeping bags, winter-specific stakes, etc. are some additional camping gear that you can use for tent camping in the cold weather. 

Guylines tighten the tent fabrics. Besides minimizing wind noise, it also prevents the wind from catching on the tent when it hits it. You still need a warm sleeping bag safety, even if your tent floor is waterproof you should not sleep on it because you might catch a cold if you have direct contact with the tent floor. Also, you would need tent stakes for holding the tent in the compacted snow. 

Related: How to pack meat for camping?

Is 14 degrees Celsius a good temperature for camping?

That’s a good temperature for camping, not cold, definitely not hot. The temperature, 14 C, is great for camping. I hope you will have a tent, cot, and sleeping bag. A sweatshirt should be handy to keep warm. Therma underwear can also be helpful. Athletic socks on your hands work great to keep your hands warm when sleeping or not needing to use your hands.

Is a 55 degree low too cold for camping in a tent?

Absolutely not, provided you pack the correct clothing for the weather/temperature conditions. I’ve been camping in the winter when the temperature got down to 2° F at night. I was comfortable because I had the right equipment and clothing for the weather.

Is a low of 32 degrees too cold to camp?

It all depends on your comfort level. 32°C is 89.6°F so the answer would be a hard no for being too cold. For 32°F it would be a bit of a reach for first-time campers. . In fact, you Can comfortably go camping in temps well below freezing, if you pack the right clothing and gear.

Is camping in 40 degrees temperature bad for my lungs?

That depends. -40f yes very bad. 40f no, not bad at all. -20 is when it starts to be bad. If you think 40 is bad, you need to camp more.

Will a camp fire burn out faster in cold weather?

The temperature is not a factor in the speed of which a fire burns its fuel. Moisture content and availability of fuel and air are.
All other things being equal, it’s a question of whether the denser cold air, containing more oxygen than warm air, will provide enough better combustion to overcome the extra heat required to raise the wood (and air) to the temperature required for ignition.

How dangerous is cold weather camping?

If you carry a hot tent and a wood stove, you can easily keep warm in cold weather.
With a bit of common sense and a look at the forecast, typically not that dangerous be sure to be prepared with clean dry socks, a warm sleeping bag and a thick sleeping pad.


We hope this article has helped you with your winter camping trip planning. Camping in the winter can be quite enjoyable if you have the right gears with you. However, you also need to follow some protocols while tent camping in winter for your own safety. However, make sure to check the weather before deciding if it is too cold for camping or not. 

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