Here are the best picks for Texas winter camping essentials in 2020.
It may be hard to believe for some, but Texas does indeed have a winter. In fact, Texas can also get cold in the summer. Texas is so huge that it can snow in one part of the state and be 90 degrees in another, but one thing is for sure; it’s better to be prepared for cold temperatures when camping. So take a look at these winter camping essentials for 2020.
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Tents are the first line of defense from the cold temps
The tent seems like the most basic option, and for cold weather it can be. Most tents aren’t going to give you optimum warmth, so you just need to make sure that you can close the door flaps and windows.
It’s important to look at season ratings for tents, and really all of the other gear. All season, or 3-4, etc. will give you a great idea on temperature rating, and help give you a good idea on items that will withstand the colder temps as well.
A proper sleeping bag will give you the most comfort overnight. You just need to decide regular or mummy style
When it comes to sleeping bags, temperature rating is what you want to look for. While Texas can definitely go below freezing, most of the time you’re going to be in the 40-50 degree range. I’ve slept in a hammock in summer, (hammock camping in another post), and the temps got really cold.
Right now I’m using this flannel-lined sleeping bag for my car camping adventures. Comfy, cozy, and a great investment at under $40.
You also have a choice in how you want the sleeping bag to fit. Are you a side sleeper? Do you want the bag to nearly enclose your full body? There are multiple widths and styles, regular or mummy, that one should also consider when purchasing a sleeping bag. While this isn’t an all encompassing sleeping bag guide, those are important details.
By lifting your sleeping bag off the ground, you help control the body heat
As important as the sleeping bag is to staying warm, the sleeping pad is just as important for just basic comfort. I happen to feel like most sleeping pads are as advanced for car camping as backpacking, but by all means, if you just plan on packing your car only get an air mattress. Otherwise, this ultralight option will do you just fine.
If the ground is already cold the last thing you want to do is sleep on it. A mattress pad will elevate your bag and create an additional layer for comfort. If you prefer to sleep with a pillow, NEMO makes fantastic products to rest your head.
Dress for temps
Winter clothing is engineered to trap in body warm and breathe when necessary
In Texas it’s tricky during the winter time. If you have the space it’s a good idea to just pack a few extra goodies to help stay warm while you’re sleeping. But good items need to be packable as well. Look for items that will smush down to save space, but able to keep you warm. Primaloft is a great material for warmth without the weight.
Good gloves, a good light-weight jacket, and jogger pants are a good start. If it gets really cold I’ve slept with my jacket on, and I’ll definitely use a thinner jogger pant as a base layer while sleeping for sure.
You also want to think about where you’re heading, and the change in temperature throughout the day. Layering looks will provide optimum comfort, but allow for adapting to various changes from hot to cold or vice versa.
Pay attention to items that provide ‘body mapping’ technology. These items will expel additional heat from your body when necessary to keep you comfortable.
This hiking boot from Columbia is made for men and women, and it’s not necessarily a snow boot, or a hiking boot. One thing I do know is when it gets cold in Texas ice is a bigger issue than snow. These boots, and any boot you’ll need in the winter, really need to have good grip for traction. This is also the only time I’d recommend a boot over a trail runner.Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks | REI Co-op $24.95
Socks are one of the most important factors in maintaining body heat. If I know it’s going to be chilly at night I’m definitely sleeping in some socks. These socks from Smartwool are going to give you that extra comfort while wearing them for hiking, but also ensure you maintain better temps during those cold overnights.
Getting warm doesn’t always mean clothing either. Sometimes you need to create a fire at unexpected times. These SOL All-Weather fire cubes will help you in a bind.
What’s your go-to for winter wear? Add your suggestions for Texas winter camping in the comment section and share your knowledge.