How to camp in your car in winter-A complete guide revealed

How to camp in your car in winter

Winter car camping is a fun pastime that everyone enjoys, whether they do it alone or in a group. It allows us to go out into the woods and explore, live without modern technology and home comfort for a while, and, most significantly, it allows us to live outside our work/responsibilities lives. Nowadays, people tend to camp in their cars, and it has started to become a new trend. But most of us do not know how to camp in your car in winter.

In addition to that, you can either do it alone or with your family members and friends, but then, the more, the merrier. Now, I know that this is going to be your first-time car camping or having a bitter experience in previous during the snow season, but worry not and buckle up, as we are going to guide you throughout the article on how to camp in your car in winter.

Before going to further details of how to camp in your car in winter, you must know why you will choose winter for your car camping, so let’s dig into the valuable quest here –

Why camp in your car in winter?

There are many reasons why you might want to camp in your car during the winter. Perhaps you don’t have access to a traditional camping spot, or you want to save money on camping fees. Maybe you just enjoy the convenience of being able to pack up and go whenever you feel like it. Whatever your reasons, camping in your car can be a fun and affordable way to enjoy the great outdoors during the winter. Here are a few tips that help your car camping in a winter trip succeed:

  • Make sure your car is in good condition and has been serviced recently
  • Make sure the location and get the details of it as many as possible
  • As it winters, then check the weather forecast and make sure there is no winter storm
  • If you book the camping spot online, please make sure about the safety protocol.
Car in good shape

By reading our comprehensive article on how to camp in your car in the summer, you can also learn more about camping in your car in the summer.

How to camp in your car in winter

Now let’s jump into the further step by step of how to camp in your car in winter. No worries, we are here with you to make the whole journey more easy and clear for you.

Tip #1: Packing up all sorts of necessary gears:

Camping in the snowy season is no joke, so you need to be prepared for all kinds of setbacks. Now, let us discuss the necessary gears that you will be needing for camping.

  • Clothing:

Now when it comes to winter camping, clothing is one of the most important aspects to be considered. The best type of clothes to wear would be cotton as they can trap heat the most and for a longer period of time. Make sure to wear thick layers of cotton clothes to prevent yourself from freezing up and catching a cold. If you were unable to get cotton clothes, then the next best option would be polyester as they work efficiently like cotton but just slightly less.

  • Lighting system

Since you will be camping out in the middle of nowhere, you can’t expect streetlights to provide you lightly over there. Therefore, you need to get your own torches and lantern for your lighting situation. You might ask, why not use the lights on the car ceiling? While they do provide light, it isn’t enough if you are going to need to for a long period of time. The perfect combination would be 4 torches and 3 lanterns and if you own a bigger car, then you can throw a few more torches and lanterns to your shopping list.

If you want, you can also get ahead torch, as they are very useful in this type of situation. Besides, keeping your car ceiling lights on for a long period of time can drain your car battery, and then you might be stuck in the middle of nowhere forever, possibly.

  • Car Camping Heater

When you’re camping, there are a lot of things you need to think about in order to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Now you have started thinking about how to keep the car warm in winter overnight? To do that, you must have to have a good car heater for camping otherwise, it would be impossible for you to sustain in cold. Now you have started thinking again about how to find a good heater for car camping?

No worries, we are here to help you find out a good heater for you by analyzing a couple of factors. Let’s jump into finding the good one here –

On the market, there are a few distinct types of car camping heaters available. The propane heater is the most prevalent. These warmers are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for camping vacations. They operate by burning propane gas, which heats a metal element, which in turn warms the air around it.

Electric heaters are another form of car camping heater. They, too, are compact and portable, and they function by heating an electric coil, which heats the surrounding air. Electric heaters are pricier than gas heaters, but they are more efficient and generate less waste heat.

The kerosene heater is the last form of automobile camping heater. These heaters are bigger and heavier than the others, but they create more heat.

One thing to keep in mind is that sleeping in your in the winter is very challenging. As you have to consider so many facts and solutions before going to have a very good sleep.

  • Heating pads:

Given the fact that you will be camping in the snowy season, the most important task on the agenda would be to keep yourself warm and comfortable. There is no fun in winter camping if you aren’t warm and comfortable. Well, to make sure that you can stay warm at most times, you can get a thermal pad and just lay it open, and you are all set up.

  • Winter Socks and Boots

Just like how winter clothing is important to stay warm and comfortable, similarly, it is important to keep your feet warm and comfortable by wearing suitable winter boots. You can’t expect yourself to be wearing open sandals in the middle of the snow, right? Winter boots will protect your feet and your ankle from cold temperatures beneath the snow and prevent frostbites. Wearing winter boots isn’t enough, as you also need to get the proper heat-trapping socks to accompany your boots. Cotton socks would be an ideal option in this case. 

  • Snow Shovels:

They are one of the most important tools that you will need when it comes to camping in the middle of the snow. You will definitely pack it in your car whether you are going to a snowy location because it might even snow overnight and cover everything under snow. Snow shovels are greatly used to clear spaces around your surroundings. You can use it to create a border to prevent breezy winds hitting your car and turning it into an icicle. You can also use it to gather snow and form a pile near your car so that you can boil them and use them as water hence eliminating the need to bring water from home or look for water sources.

  • Water boiler:

You can take hundreds of bottles of water and fill up your car space, but then again, why waste such precious space when that space can be used for other important items including a water boiler. This could be an alternative instead to using a stove to boil hot water. With a water boiler, you can easily turn snow into fresh drinking water. They are portable and don’t weigh much and are more eco-friendly compared to stoves.

Tip #2: Choosing the most suitable location:

 While looking to set up camp in the snowy mountains, you need to make sure the levels of snow. Is the snow level on the ground too high or too low? You must avoid places where the snow levels are high as you might get covered in snow faster compared to other spots due to snowfall. More snow means colder spots, and you definitely need to avoid that. While a lower level where less snow is present on the ground might be better, it will still be frosty as cold air tends to sink and hot air rises up in the air.

Therefore, the perfect spot would be on an elevated ground but with less snow on and around it. That way, you won’t be cold as usual. Make sure to not choose a place where there’s a lot of breezy wind flow, as it will turn your car into an icicle without taking much time. Now, it won’t be easy to drive and park your car in the snow, which means you are going to need that snow shovel that you packed earlier and dig out snow to create the perfect spot.

Tip #3: Do you need a tent?

When someone talks about camping, the first and foremost thing that comes to anyone’s head would be, what kind of tent to get? Well, I’m here to demolish that thought, as you don’t need a camping tent in this situation. Well then, how are going to survive in the middle of snowy weather? Some might panic, but don’t worry. There’s a reason this trip is called car camping, as you will be using your car as a form of a tent.

Now, your car won’t be enough to provide everything a tent provides as tents that are created solely for winter camping has a lot of insulation in them but you won’t find them in your car. To fix that, insulate the interior of your car as much as possible and make sure to keep the windows open a bit to manage proper airflow in and out of the car.

Tip #4: Hydrate:

Hydration is very important factor whether you are camping during spring, summer, or winter. Always make sure to stay hydrated at all times. But why hydrate during winter camping? I’ll tell you why. By keeping your body hydrated at all times, you are letting the blood flow smoothly and due to more blood flow, your body will stay warm and comfortable as your body’s temperature is now being regulated properly.

Keeping yourself hydrated also has other perks such as keeping your joints lubricated making you more flexible, can pass nutrients more easily to other cells, and making sure that your body organs can function properly and don’t crash suddenly at any point.

Tip #5: Cooking food using a stove:

Eating is a regular task that is carried out by all creatures to stay healthy and fit. Unlike all creatures, humans tend to cook their food to make it more delicious and to make sure that all harmful bacteria and parasites are killed during the cooking process. So, when humans go camping they will take a portable mini stove with them to cook their food and enjoy their delicious meal

However, while car camping, it might not be entirely possible as there isn’t enough space to use a stove inside the car. Using a stove inside the car is possibly the riskiest move of all time you might end up lighting the entire car up in flames.

Furthermore, since you are planning on using a stove inside the car, you might suffocate yourself to death, as the stove will release massive amounts of Carbon Monoxide gas, which isn’t good for your respiratory system. Therefore, you can use the stove outside your car if you need to cook something. But then again, why go for lighting up stoves and cooking foods when you can eat all readymade and natural foods?

When it comes to ready made foods, you can pack milk, yogurt, cereal, chips, cookies, and all sorts of food that will both provide nutrients whilst reducing your efforts to prepare and cook foods. In addition to that, when it comes to natural foods, you can take apples, which is rich in fibers and nutrients and can greatly aid on your quest to camping in the car.

Bananas are also another good source of magnesium and also help in regulating your body temperature, which is a must during winter camping. Spinach also provides your body with massive amounts of vitamin A while also keeping your body temperature at optimum levels.

Advantages of camping in your car in winter:

  • In the winter, camping in your car can be a fun way to get outside and enjoy the weather. Being able to camp in your car means having all the conveniences of home with you when you’re away from home. This might be anything from a bed to a heater to a kitchen.
  • The biggest advantage of being able to camp in your car is that you can stay warm. Having a heater in your car means that you can keep warm even when it is cold outside. This can be a great way to stay comfortable while you are camping.
  • Car camping is where you can take your pets with you. They’ll love being able to run around and explore the great outdoors, and you’ll never have to worry about them being cooped up in a small hotel room. And if you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love having their own little space to sleep in.
  • Another advantage of camping in your car is that you have all the comforts of home with you. This includes a bed, which can be great for when you are tired after a long day of hiking or skiing. Having these comforts with you can make your camping trip much more enjoyable.

Disadvantages of camping in your car in winter:

  • The First One is that it can be difficult to stay warm. You may have to bundle up in a lot of clothes, and you may still feel cold.
  • Secondly, you will be running out your battery very fast as you will be using your electronics gadgets(phone, laptop, and room heater) to keep you busy.
  • The Third disadvantage is that it can be hard to get comfortable. You may not have enough space to move around, and you may not be able to sleep well.
  • Additionally, camping in your car during winter can be risky. There is a greater chance of having car trouble in the cold weather, and it can be more dangerous to drive in winter conditions.

More camping tips for staying warm while camping in your car in winter:

Camping in the wintertime can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to take some extra precautions to stay warm. Here are a few tips for keeping warm while camping in your car:

1. Make sure your car is properly insulated. The more insulation you have, the better your car will retain heat.

2. Park your car in a sunny spot. The sun will help to warm it up.

3. Put a thick blanket or sleeping bag over the backseat and front seats. This will help to keep you warm.

4. Wear lots of layers of clothes. This will help to keep you warm and cozy.

5. Drink plenty of hot drinks like coffee or tea. This will help to keep you warm from the inside out.

6. Use a space heater if necessary.


Q1:What is the winter camping essentials checklist?

Ans: A checklist for your car camping in winter, which is badly required. Let’s have the checklist here :

  • Take care of your car first, if it is needed servicing before camping, just do it .
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Proper insulation in car.
  • Lanterns
  • Portable room heater
  • Water boiler
  • Proper clothing

Q2:How to stop condensation when sleeping in a car?

Ans: When sleeping in a car, there are a few different techniques to prevent condensation from accumulating. A dehumidifier is one option. If you don’t have access to a dehumidifier, open the windows and doors as much as possible to allow for ventilation. You can also try to circulate the air with a fan. Another option is to drape towels or blankets over the windows to prevent moisture. If none of the above ways work, try parking your car in the sun to warm it up.

Q3:How to keep car warm in winter overnight?

Ans: There are a few various strategies you may utilize to keep your car warm during the winter. One popular method is to warm a blanket in the dryer before putting it in the car. You can also use a space heater or fill a thermos with boiling water and place it on the car floor. Whatever method you use, keep an eye on the temperature of your automobile to ensure it does not overheat.

Q4:What will happen if you don’t wear proper clothes?

Ans: You will be more prone to cold diseases and might end up suffering from Hypothermia.

Q5:What will happen if proper boots are not worn?

Ans: Your feet will get heavily damaged due to Frostbites, which slowly freezes up your toes and turn them purple due to blood not being able to pass properly.

Q6:Can I use candles as a source of light?

Ans: While candles are a great source of light, it isn’t advisable since your car might catch on fire due to candles heating up the interior of the car.

Q7) Can I use heaters to stay warm inside the car?

Ans: While that is a very good option, you can use it for a few minutes and then have to turn it off, as keeping it on for a long period of time can cause a fire to break out inside the car. 


With all being said and done, we can all pretty much agree that car camping during winter isn’t easy but then again “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny”. Following the steps mentioned above is very important if you plan on surviving out in the cold wild. You might think that if you skip one step, then it’s all-good, but trust me when I tell you that negligence will cost you dearly. Such as, not insulating your car properly will turn you and your car into an icicle overnight, and it will take time for you to recover.

So be careful, make sure you read the proper rules and regulations for winter car camping and get out there. We would request you to follow the steps of how to camp in your car in winter as mentioned above so that you can plan for yourself properly, moreover, it will help you to minimize your risk factors.

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