What To Wear While Sleeping When Winter Camping? | 3 Layers


Camping in winter is the perfect time to see different wildlife, explore snowy landscapes, or escape for some peace. It could be that the only thing holding you back is the worry that you’ll get cold at night. When you’re asleep, your body is inactive and loses heat. You’ve got to make sure you’re keeping as warm as possible.

You need to ensure you’ve got three layers covered; base, middle, and outer layer. These are your foundations for what to wear while you’re sleeping in cold camping conditions. You can also accessorize by wearing a scarf, hat, earmuffs, and socks, just to name a few.

We’ve created the perfect guide for what you should wear when sleeping in your tent in the winter. Read on for more information on which products we consider for each layer and other accessories that might help you get a warm and comfortable sleep on those chilly nights. 

Three Important Layers To Wear When Winter Camping

With a base, middle, and outer layer, you can ensure your body is as warm as possible when you sleep.

It could even be possible that these layers make you far hotter than you need to be, but they are made to be peeled off if you get too warm.

It never hurts to be over-prepared when it comes to staying warm.

1. Base Layer

The base layer should be your second skin. This layer should draw sweat or moisture away from your skin and move it towards the middle layer, where it will evaporate.

You want your base layer made of polyester or wool that can pass on moisture. Avoid cotton products as they retain moisture instead of transferring it, making you colder!

Any synthetic thermal or merino wool product is the best fabric choice. A great base layer would be long johns, which are snug, thin, and long-sleeved.

Make sure if you’re wearing underwear that it’s made of this material.

Base Layer

2. Warm Middle Layer

This is your insulating layer, so it should be thicker than your base layer. The better this layer traps your body heat, the warmer you’ll be. There is a range of products you could wear for a middle layer.

A fleece or fleece-lined jacket is a great middle layer that will keep you toasty throughout the night. Fleece remains warm, dries quickly, and is breathable even if it gets wet.

You could also try down insulated or synthetic insulated jackets. Generally speaking, the puffier, the warmer!

3. Waterproof Outer Layer

Your waterproof outer layer is likely to be your sleeping bag. When camping in winter, you want to ensure your middle and base layers are protected from any water in your tent.

If any snow or condensation gets through to those layers, you will likely be freezing all night long. Make sure you purchase a breathable sleeping bag and shielding.

It sounds crazy, but you need both for your body to let out moisture while stopping any from getting in.

If you are winter camping without a sleeping bag, a waterproof coat is suggested to supplement this layer.

Accessories For Extra Warmth and Comfort

Accessories are the best. You can mix and match which accessories best suit your personal preference. Perhaps you prefer scarves to neck gaiters, or you like balaclavas instead of hats.

We talk you through the best accessories to wear while sleeping on your winter camping trip. 

1. Blanket

You may consider using an extra blanket on your sleeping bag if it’s seriously cold or if you prefer extra comfort.

You can get blankets that are thick fleece-lined or others that are made of thinner merino wool fabric.

2. Hat

If you’re camping in winter, you never want to forget a hat.

This doesn’t only guarantee you a cozy sleep but will keep you warm throughout your slumber, especially if you tend to sleep with your head outside your sleeping bag.  

3. Gloves

Wearing thin gloves while you sleep can help keep your hands warm throughout the night, especially when it gets cold in the early morning hours. It’s important to cover all parts of your body.

I prefer thinner gloves when I’m sleeping because my hand can get clammy inside a tent, but it might be that thicker gloves work best for you. 

4. Earmuffs

Earmuffs or ear warmers are great if you get chilly ears when you sleep or if your head is likely to pop out the top of your sleeping bag in the middle of the night.

There is a diverse range of earmuffs to choose from; fluffy, adjustable, or even bandless.

5. Hand Warmers

If your gloves or mittens aren’t doing the trick, you can always add some hand warmers in your gloves.

We believe these are essential for any winter camping trip because they are lightweight, super easy to use, and get you warm quickly.

They are also great for slipping into your sleeping bag if you need a heat boost.

Hand Warmers

6. Scarf

This is sure to be a piece of winter equipment you shouldn’t leave home without. The versatility of a scarf makes it a helpful add-on to make your winter sleeping warmer.

You can keep your neck warm, but you can also wrap a scarf around other parts of your body to keep it snug.

7. Neck Gaiter

If a scarf isn’t for you, then the neck gaiter is! This ingenious product is a tube of fabric that covers your face and neck. It’s the scarf for people that are sick of scarfs coming loose.

Especially during your winter sleep, you don’t want to be tangled in your winter scarf. You need the neck gaiter, which is simple and effective.     

8. Balaclava

A balaclava mask is a great solution if your hat keeps falling off while you sleep. A balaclava mask is a great equipment that covers your head and face, leaving your eyes free.

We recommend a balaclava made from wool or fleece that provides good insulation. For sleep, it’s best to avoid tight balaclavas on your face. Opt for comfort.

9. Socks

Your sleeping socks should be separate from your day socks. This ensures they are dry when you pop them on.

A huge selection of socks can keep your feet warm throughout the winter nights, from merino wool hiking to waterproof hytherm.

Like your base and middle layer, you want to ensure the moisture from your feet is drawn out, so avoid cotton-based socks that will trap it.

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide on what to wear while you sleep on your winter camping trip has helped you figure out what to pack.

It’s always important to consider the three layers and ensure you purchase breathable material while insulating.

Regarding accessories, we’ve given you plenty of options, whether you’re into earmuffs or prefer a scarf. There are plenty of ways you can tailor your winter camping trip to your personal needs to stay warm!

Shailen Vandeyar

A camping geek who loves to watch sitcoms and plant trees when not out in the woods, exploring the infinite beauty of mother nature.

Recent Posts