A navy blue teardrop camper parked in a winter landscape.

Guide to Winter Camping

By Jess VernonJanuary 03, 2023

Are you an outdoor enthusiast who lives to get outside as much as possible but aren’t sure how to navigate the winter months? Well, taking a winter camping trip might be the answer! There are far fewer campers to encounter and even fewer bugs! You’ll have a winter wonderland to explore all to yourself! To pull it off, you'll want to follow the camping tips in our guide to winter camping.

Read on to learn how to prep your sleeping space, stay nourished, pack the right winter camping gear & clothing, and have some fun in the backcountry snow!

Prepare Your Sleeping Quarters

Car Camping

Car camping in the winter can be a great way to get out and enjoy the winter months, without much additional cost to you! The main task will be to outfit your vehicle to keep you warm.

Most cars will lose their heat through the windows, so you’ll want to purchase a thick reflective sun shade for the windshield and then get crafty and cut covers to use as liners out of Reflectix wrap for the remaining windows.

Next, you’ll want to build a bed that is going to keep you warm and comfortable.

  • Lay down the seats
  • Throw in a mattress or a sleeping pad rated for winter camping
  • Bring your sleeping bag
  • A few thick down comforters to layer

Additional Tips:

  • Before bed, blast the heater in your vehicle so you are able to crawl into warm blankets
  • Crack a window! This sounds counterintuitive, but this will prevent condensation on your sleeping bag. So that when you wake up the next day, you won’t have to shatter a sheet of ice off your bag.

Tent Camping

Tent camping is up next! First things first with tent camping, spring for the four-season tent, it will be well worth it. A four-season tent is designed to maximize warmth and be able to withstand conditions like high winds and frozen grounds.

When setting up your tent, work quickly. The more time your tent can sit in the sun before nightfall, the better. Another factor that can help with heating up your tent, will be the location you pick. You’ll want to pick a spot that gets good sunlight and is protected from high winds.

With the ground being frozen, you’ll want to bring a hammer and sturdy stakes to help pitch your tent. If you aren’t able to get your stakes in the frozen ground, use objects like heavy rocks or bury your guy lines in snow so they can freeze!

Since you the main way you’ll lose body heat, you’ll want to create a barrier between you and the ground. It’s recommended to lay down a closed-cell foam sleeping pad with a high r-value rating, then throw down a self-inflating mattress, and then you and your sleeping bag on top!

Additional Tips:

  • Reduce space in the tent to create extra insulation. If you have a buddy, put your sleeping pads close together and place your gear around the tent’s perimeter.
  • Keep your mouth and nose out of your sleeping bag! The moisture from your breath will get trapped and freeze.

RV or Trailer Camping

Lastly, if car or tent camping doesn’t seem like a good fit for your winter camping adventure. It could be time to invest in a trailer. Most RVs and trailers can have a propane or electric heater added to be comfortable year-round.

Many RVs and trailers will require winterization during the winter months since the water tanks are generally exposed. The TOPO2 Voyager, by Escapod Trailers, is different. For the TOPO2 Voyager, winterization is not required as long as the trailer is stored indoors at a temperature of at least 40 degrees when not in use. The r-value of the TOPO2 Voyager ensures that heat is retained within the trailer. Think about it like living in a house through those cold winter months: if you don’t keep the heat on, your pipes can (and will) freeze! This is the same for TOPO2 Voyager. As long as you keep it stored indoors while not in use or keep that heater running when you leave your camper during your winter adventures, you can utilize running hot water in all seasons!

Trailer Accessories

While all Escapod TOPO2 Voyagers are fully insulated and come standard with a Aqua-Hot Gen1 hydronic heating system (dual-purpose water heater and cabin heater), it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of other tricks to keep your cabin as cozy as possible in the cold weather. For starters, you could opt for our blackout-insulated window covers to help increase insulation and reduce potential heat loss from your Escapod. They also help keep condensation on the windows to a minimum.

In addition to your regular bedding, it might be a good idea to purchase a sleeping bag or Rumpl blanket for some extra warmth. When choosing a sleeping bag, make sure it has some sort of insulating material. This could be either goose down or a synthetic insulated material. With the TOPO2, you won’t need a sleeping pad because it comes standard with a 6” memory foam mattress.

Additional Tip:

A navy teardrop camper pulled off the side of the road with winter landscape behind it.

Stay Nourished


Even in colder temperatures, you need to bring plenty of water for your trip! Staying hydrated is essential to enjoying your winter adventures. In the winter, it’s easier to forget that you’re still losing water through perspiration and breathing. If you’re car camping, we recommend carrying water in jerry cans in your tow vehicle. If you get into a pinch, you could melt snow for drinking water, but be sure to bring it to a rolling boil for at least 3 minutes in order to kill all possible bacteria!

Pro tip: filling your water bottle with warm water also helps ensure that it doesn’t freeze.


Eating is always a necessary act, but for winter camping, it does more than fill your stomach. Food can also be used as a source to warm your body up! Try to eat throughout the day and make hot meals to generate a little extra heat.

One thing you can do to make cooking in the cold easier is a meal plan and partially prep your food before you leave the house. A great time-saver is to chop up your veggies or meats and store them in water-tight containers so you can just throw them on the stove when you’re ready to cook!

Some hot (and easy!) meal favorites we love include the following:

Breakfast: Hot Chai Tea followed by Oatmeal with seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and your favorite nut butter or a yummy Sweet Potato Hash is a definite yes for us! With sweet potatoes, veggies, eggs, and an avocado to top it off, this meal will provide plenty of fuel to start your day. Our past Sales Specialist, Shawna McGowan prepped this meal while out skiing in the pod, and you can check out the results here:

Cooking a camp meal at the base of Solitude, enjoying the perks of having a teardrop camper as a base camp.

Lunch: We love a good panini sandwich, like this deluxe grilled cheese and a side of tomato soup! Or, if you’d like to keep it simpler, you can always pack a picnic of trail mix, crackers, cheese, pepperoni, or summer sausage.

Pro-Tip: cut and package these up when you’re doing your meal prep so you can just throw them in your backpack and go!

A panini sandwich being split in half in a the galley of a teardrop camper.

Dinner: One-pot Chili is a classic favorite! If you want to add a side of carbs (and who doesn’t?), we recommend instant mashed potatoes or rice. They cook up a lot quicker and are just as tasty.

The perfect addition to any of these meals is a hot beverage or better known as liquid fuel, which can be provided with the help of a thermos. A thermos will insulate your beverage and keep it warm throughout your entire meal.

The galley of a teardrop trailer, with coffee ready to go.

Pack Cozy Clothes & Gear

To ensure comfort for your chilly trip, pack clothes to keep you cozy and safe. The most important thing about your clothing choices will be to stay dry and warm.


One of the best things you can do for yourself in winter camping to combat cold temperatures is to dress in layers, so let’s start with your base layer. Base layers wick sweat from your skin to help keep you dry. It’s important to stay away from cotton fabrics as they absorb moisture and trap it next to your skin. Synthetic long underwear or merino wool leggings work wonderfully.

Your middle layer is your insulator! There are a few different choices here that are really dependent on the activities you’re planning. You could do a fleece vest, a fleece pullover or full zip, or an insulated puffy jacket.

Next up is your outer layer, which will be your shell. Its purpose is to shield you from weather elements like that brisk winter wind. It can be a lighter layer, but you will want it to be waterproof!


Warm accessories are essential to maintaining your body heat. You want to keep your feet, hands, and noggin’ protected from the chill.

Lower Body

For socks, your activity level will determine the best thickness, but we recommend a wool sock, like these socks from DarnTough. Once you’ve got your socks, you’ll need a shoe to slide into!

Depending on personal preference, you may or may not need insulation. The most critical thing is to maintain circulation in your feet. Another important shoe option is your camp shoe. You’ll want something cozy, but also with a solid sole.

Upper Body

For gloves, we want to follow the same mentality. Layering is your friend! You’ll want a waterproof pair on top with a mitten or a cozy liner underneath. You’ll lose some dexterity with this, but it will keep your fingers nice and toasty.

You don’t have to go too crazy on your hat selection - basic wool or a synthetic beanie will do the job. Just ensure your hat covers your ears and you should be all set! If your face typically gets cold, it might be wise to consider a face mask or balaclava.

The interior of a teardrop trailer, fully stocked with clothing for a camping trip.

You don’t have to go too crazy on your hat selection - basic wool or a synthetic beanie will do the job. Just ensure your hat covers your ears and you should be all set! If your face typically gets cold, it might be wise to consider a face mask or balaclava.

If you’ll be taking up residence in a TOPO2 during your winter excursion, don’t forget to utilize the heated mudroom. This can dry your gear quickly and get it warm for the next activity outside. On the flip side, if you’ll be in the Original TOPO, a great addition to your build would be the ROAM Annex Room paired with a buddy heater. This can act as a heated room in addition to your pod where you can keep your gear warm or have additional space for more camp companions!

Winter Activities

Now that we’ve covered things to prepare for your journey, what about some fun things to do? There are many unique activities that you can only do in the snow.

A teardrop camper parked outside in the snow, with snowshoeing gear rested alongside it.


If the snow is only a few inches, you’ll probably be able to hike without any additional gear and use your regular hiking boots. If you’ve encountered heavy snow and you’re nervous you might slip on icy terrain, micro-spikes are a great way to ensure traction.


But, if the snow is a little deeper, snowshoeing might be the perfect activity to help you float above the snow and get you to where you hope to go. Just make sure to pick up a pair of gaiters to keep the snow out of your boots!

Cross-country Skiing

Another option to get around would be to hop on some cross-country skis! Though it can be intimidating if you’re new to the sport, most first-timers are surprised to find how much they enjoy the fresh air and exercise. You can go for as long as you want and make the most of the winter conditions.

“Indoor” Activities

Lastly, what about those times when the weather might be a little too much to go out and about? For some indoor pod activities, lower your middle cabinet and lock it into place to watch your favorite movies! You could also bring along some board games (such as Pendleton roll-up games), read a new book, or listen to your favorite podcast while you hunker down with your loved ones.

A cozy interior of a teardrop trailer during the winter months.

Hopefully, these cold weather camping tips help prepare you for a better experience while winter camping in your Escapod. No matter what you’re camping in, you can have so much fun out with your teardrop even in the coldest temperatures. Best wishes and happy trails to you. We can’t wait to see all the new terrain you experience in your Escapod in all four seasons of the year!

Want to add a TOPO2 Voyager to your setup? Get started here!

Looking to learn more? Check out these related blogs:

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