Winter Camping Checklist

Below is a basic camping checklist for winter camping. Winter camping requirements will vary based on the nature of the activity and may need additional equipment. Check with your troop leaders for additional information on the specific activity in which you will be participating.


  • Dress in layers, the trapped air helps keep you warm, and you can shed layers if you warm up.
  • STAY DRY!! If you get wet, make sure you change into dry clothes as soon as possible.
    • To do that, you must have more than 1 article of clothing with you.
    • For example, 3 pairs of wool socks, 2 pairs of pants, etc.
  • NO COTTON clothing as your primary clothing.
  • NO JEANS! Make sure you have snow pants, nylon wind pants, or wool pants, and polypropylene or wool long underwear


  • Tent
  • Waterproof ground sheet for under your tent
  • Sleeping pad (Therm-a-rest or closed-cell foam is recommended. Use 2 pads if they are thin, you want to be insulated from the cold ground.)
  • Sleeping bag, appropriate for the weather.
    • As someone once explained it to me, a sleeping bag rated for 20 degrees means you’ll survive 20 degrees, it doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortable doing it.
    • You can always add a liner or a blanket to a mid-weight bag to improve your comfort.


  • Wicking bottom layer, made of something other than cotton.
    • Recommend scout pants or similar.
  • Sweater/ long sleeved shirt
  • Fleece jacket/ pants/ vest
  • Socks/ wool or synthetic (3 pairs), NOT cotton sweat socks.
  • Winter shell jacket/ parka (layer with vest, sweater, tee shirt, etc.)
    • Outerwear Winter pants (ski or snowboard pants, bibs, shell) you may want to bring these as there may be snow on the ground
  • Gloves (leather or nylon covered for water resistance, NOT just fleece)
    • Mittens (warmer than gloves) with waterproof shells
  • Winter Hat (very important)
    • Balaclava and/or neck gaiter
  • Winter boots (Sorel’s or similar, NOT just summer weight hiking boots)
  • Miscellaneous Gear Day pack with the 10 essentials


  • Water bottle (Nalgene type)
  • Drinking cup
  • Mess kit (fork, spoon, bowl at a minimum) 

Other Essentials

  • Wool camping blanket
  • Toilet paper
  • Extra socks/liners
  • Personal items (toothbrush & paste at a minimum)