November 01, 2023 3 min read
While winter may bring more powder days and dreamy hikes through the snow covered trees, it also means more variable conditions on the roads. Part of your winter car camping preparation should be getting a good set of snow tires or all-terrain tires. If you plan to camp at trailheads to enjoy dawn patrol, you’ll want to make sure your rig has AWD at the least or preferably 4WD to get there. There’s nothing like getting stuck in a foot of fresh snow to keep you from fulfilling your powder daydreams.
The R-valueindicates the insulating capability of your camping sleeping pad or mattress and how warm you’ll be when you’re sleeping. R-values usually range from 1 to 7 for sleeping pads, but when you get into memory foam mattresses the value goes up. Our highest r-value mattress is the HEST Sleep System, with an R-value of 11.8, your mattress will help keep you the warmest this winter.
When the temperature drops below freezing, typical memory foam mattresses can freeze and become hard as a rock and uncomfortable to sleep on. HEST enhanced memory foam is temperature resilient, so in winter conditions and temperatures, our mattresses will retain their shape and comfort due to the billions of microscopic air cells in the mattress. You’ll sleep warmer and better for wherever your winter adventure takes you the next morning.
Layering is key to staying warm in the winter. On the body we recommend a merino wool baselayer, a midlayer topped with an insulating down layer, so you can stay warm while cooking dinner and while falling asleep. When you crawl into bed you want your sleeping bag temperature rating to match with the lowest temperature of the night. In the middle of winter we recommend a bag that has a comfort rating around 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. If you don’t have a sleeping bag that is rated that low, we like to add our down comforteron top for an added layer.
While all the winter car camping tips above act as a great baseline, there are always ways to make your car, truck bed or camper warmer when it’s freezing outside. Adding a layer of insulation to your windows will stop heat from escaping your rig as quickly, especially if you are camping in a car or truck bed. If you have a camper and can install a heater - we highly suggest it. These can range from plugging in a space heater to installing a diesel fueled heater. An oldie but a goodie is boiling water right before bed and putting it in a non-insulated water bottle and placing it in your sleeping bag for an added temperature boost as you fall asleep.