Camping in your car in winter is a great way to cut down on expenses and eliminate the commute. But you’ll need a vehicle that’s equipped for four-season camping. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and comfortable trip.
Know When You Need To Stay Inside
Depending on your equipment and setup, this might be a challenge. But here are some tips to help prevent hypothermia and sleep deprivation.
When it comes to camping in winter, consider vehicles as your tent. If you’re planning on sleeping inside a vehicle, the lower limit is usually 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
A well-insulated cargo van is generally warm enough to sleep inside at around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also have a good mattress and a large down comforter. Two people inside the van typically feel comfortable at about 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
People who own four-season campers or vans equipped with electric or propane heaters will be fine in any weather. If you don’t have one, you can rent a vehicle from Escape Campers or Native Campervans.
Create an Alternative Plan
If you’re planning on camping in your vehicle in winter, you should have a backup plan. Remember that a nearby hotel might be closed, and you should pack a space blanket, a gas tank, and extra warm clothes. You can also run the heater briefly to keep the vehicle warm.
Insulate Your Car
Most of the heat that escapes from your car goes through its front windshield. To trap heat, you can use a thick reflective cover over your front windshield and cut insets for the other windows.
Add a Mattress
If you plan on camping inside your vehicle this winter, consider using a memory foam mattress. This mattress is about 6 to 8 inches thick and can be easily stored away. A sleeping pad that’s rated for winter camping should also work.
Layer Your Bedding
Before camping in winter, ensure you have the proper blankets and pillows. If you plan to camp in cold weather, you should use a sleeping bag rated at least 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Have the Right Clothes
For those who spend a lot of time sleeping inside their vehicle, some people wear thick socks and a hat. These items can help keep their feet warm and prevent them from shivering.
Turn On the Heater
Blast the car’s heater to ensure that you’ll have warm blankets. Before you get to sleep, make sure that the vehicle is turned off.
Open Your Windows
Even in winter, cars can still get stuffy. To help circulate air, you should only crack the front windows about an inch or so.