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Thursday, October 6, 2022
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Camping Gear for Cold Weather

Photo by SimonSkafar via iStock

With summer nearing its end, it’s now time to start preparing for cold weather adventures. 

Cold weather camping is often criticized; however, with the correct gear, we’re sure you will have the time of your life.

The snow-peaked mountains, muddy trails, and moody scenery will make for lifelong memories! You just need camping gear for cold weather to get you started.

Table of Contents

Camping Gear for Cold Weather – Diesel Heater

diesel heaters are ideal for overlanding

You’ve heard us talk about diesel heaters a lot, but they transform the way you sleep during a cold night. 

Granted, heated blankets and a good sleeping bag can also make a difference; however, they will not change the ambient temperature in a tent. This means that you still breathe the cold air while sleeping. 

With a diesel heater, this changes. As the name suggests, a diesel heater will heat your sleeping area using the heat from a diesel-powered engine.

diesel heaters for overlanding

This means that regardless of how low the temperature outside is (well, within reason!), you will be able to sleep comfortably.

Be cautious, though, because you need to go with a good quality product to ensure it works as it should even in the coldest of temperatures. 

Our diesel heater of choice is the Portable Diesel heater by Planar Heaters.

Diesel Heater next to an SUV in the snow

Planar is one of the leading manufacturers of diesel heaters, and their experience is obvious. 

This heater is a 4kw self-contained unit that comes in a crushproof rain-resistant case. It runs on diesel or kerosene and 12v DC power.

To ensure it stays relatively quiet at night and to protect the engine, it comes equipped with a silencer and air intake filter. There’s also a remote wired controller so you can adjust the heater’s settings from the comfort of your warm bed.

planar heater

Fuel consumption is rated at about 3-4 liters for every 8 hours. It can operate to altitudes of up to 8,200ft, and it’s the ideal solution for heating campers, vans, camp tents, motor homes, ice fishing huts, and even 30-foot boats.

If you have a look at the market, you will find other cheaper options. However, you must keep in mind that this is a device that must be able to run all night long in extremely cold temperatures.

Planar Heater

Furthermore, it’s based on an internal combustion engine. The last thing you want is a cheap knock-off example to catch fire in the woods or to self-destruct within a month of use. 

I’ve used this heater for a couple of camping seasons now, and I couldn’t be happier with it. The portability, reliability, and quiet performance make it one of the best additions to my camping kit that I’ve made in quite some time!

Camping Gear for Cold Weather – Propane Generator

alp-propane-generator-with-jeep

Speaking of buying quality products, a portable generator is also something you don’t want to go cheap on. 

Such a device can keep you connected and your trailer systems up and running with ample amounts of energy. You can run your small appliances, charge your phone or laptop, or any other device in the most remote of areas in the country. 

Our generator of choice is the ALP 1000W propane generator. As the name suggests, this generator can provide an AC max wattage of 1000W and a rated wattage of 850W.

alp propane generator

It’s EPA and CARB approved and can run up to 60 hours on a 20lb tank and 3 hours on a 1lb tank. Furthermore, it can power most refrigerators, offers double the power output if it’s paired to a second generator, and has multiple charging ports. It even comes with a 1-year limited warranty.  

Being a propane generator means that there is no need to carry gas inside your car, which eliminates issues such as bad smells or even spills. 

Better still, this generator is highly portable, so you won’t break your back moving it from the back of your truck to where you need it in camp.

alp-generator-in-use

Like the Planar Heater, I’ve had one of these generators for a couple of years, and it’s performed like a champ each time.

I’m a coffee guy, so I bring a coffee pot with me on every trip and run it off this generator. I also often work while I’m out in the wild, so having this power source to charge my phone, tablet, laptop, and camera batteries is a Godsend.

It’s the perfect amount of power output for my Turtleback Expedition Trailer, but if I ever need more power, I can run two of them in parallel for double the output – that’s a great feature for cold weather camping!

Camping Gear for Cold Weather – Heated Blankets

Sochow Sherpa Fleece

 

The heated blanket has become a cold-weather camping staple. You see them everywhere, and for good reason.

Just like the diesel heater, the heated blanket uses energy to provide heat; therefore, you must purchase a well-tested product just to ensure you stay safe.

The heated blanket we would go for is the Sochow Sherpa Fleece that can be found on Amazon. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 and 5150 ratings. 

Sochow Sherpa Fleece

It only costs around $22.00 and comes in a couple of different sizes and many different colors.

The material is polyester, and it has a double-sided design with one side being warm sherpa and the other soft flannel fleece. 

It’s machine washable in warm or cold water and will take very little space in your truck as it can be folded like a normal blanket. If you camp in a rooftop tent, it can even be left up there while you travel.

If the temperatures you’re camping in aren’t terribly cold, this is a great option.

How We Use This Camping Gear for Cold Weather

Camping organization Tips

Photo by hobo_018 via iStock

For extreme weather camping (less than 30 degrees Fahrenheit), we would combine the diesel heater with a good-quality sleeping bag. If you want, you can also purchase a solar generator to power a heated blanket just in case you want complete silence during a certain night or a bit of extra heat. 

Carrying both a propane generator and a diesel heater will not be efficient as they both take up a lot of space, and you will need both propane and diesel for fuel. 

For campers planning on camping in warmer areas (40 degrees or more), the propane generator along with a heated blanket should do the trick. At such temperatures, the air in the tent is not cold to the point that leads to sore throats and blocked noses. 

The diesel heater would be our option for extremely cold weather camping. The instant dry heat it produces can quickly warm up your tent and take the chill out of the air as you sleep comfortably despite the deep cold outside.

If you have any further questions regarding camping gear for cold weather or for anything else off-road or overland-related, head over to the forum section of our page. 

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