Snow, cold and wind don't have to put a damper on your plans to go camping this winter, and you also don't have to suffer through the wintry weather just to have some fun. If you're looking to plan a camping trip, don't let the winter months stop you - we'll let you in on a couple secrets to staying warm when winter camping.
This one should be fairly obvious but try not to pick a campground that's going to land you in feet of snow. Some places such as our favorite Old Forge Camping Resort in New York for example sit right within the landing zone of potential lake effect snow so you may just wake up to a few feet of snow that wasn't there when you went to bed - not always a welcome surprise. Been there, done that. Pick someplace that's not close to larger bodies of water, and of course the further south you go the better so you can avoid too much of the winter weather.
Hands down one of the better pieces of advice I'm going to give you here, invest in a heater, trust me, you will thank me later. Our go to heater is the Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe heater, which uses a can of propane for fuel and is indoor safe, so you can use it inside your tent to keep things nice and toasty over night. This little heater always goes with us when camping during winter months, and I don't think I could go without it any more.
One of the better features of this little heater is that it shuts off if it detects any movement, so if you accidently trip over it in the middle of the night it will shut itself off so you don't have to worry about burning the tent down. Don't be that guy.
You may think you don't need these little gems, or you may think you can tough it out, but trust me on this one too, for the couple dollars you'll spend on them, if you spend any amount of time outside the tent and campfire, throwing a hand warmer in your gloves will help keep the blood flowing in your hands. And if you don't use them, they usually last for a few years so you can always save them for a future trip.
If you're fortunate enough to have a couple tents to choose from in your arsenal, pick the smallest one that can comfortably fit you and your gear. The larger the tent, the larger the area you have to warm up, so in this case smaller is better.
If all else fails, book a cabin! I can't tell you how often we deal with this issue, people think that camping has to happen only in a tent, but some of the best winter camping happens in cabins. A cabin will give you a bit more insulation to keep you warm, but you'll still need to visit the bath house and cook outside over a fire in most cases, so you can grab the best of both worlds.