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Brave the Elements: Essential Gear and Techniques for Boondocking in the Winter

Kyle Arnold-profile-image
Kyle Arnold
April 23, 2023

Winter boondocking offers stunning beauty, solitude, and unique experiences like Northern Lights viewing. Stay warm with solar power, draft blocks, and cooking indoors. Gear up with insulated clothing, a rated sleeping bag, RV skirting, and a generator. Embrace winter's quiet with Harvest Hosts’ vast network of locations.

Brave the Elements: Essential Gear and Techniques for Boondocking in the Winter

_Looking for a way to get out of the house during those long cold spells? Nervous to try winter boondocking? Not sure if you can handle it? Harvest Hosts has tips and tricks to help. _Camping in the winter can be an incredible experience, but it can also be quite challenging—particularly if you are boondocking in your RV. However, you can overcome a lot with the right gear and techniques. Let Harvest Hosts help you brave the elements so you can enjoy everything the winter camping season has to offer.

Don’t Dismiss Winter Boondocking

Despite the challenges of winter, there are many reasons to brave the cold. Here are some of our favorite reasons.

  1. Winter Beauty: Winter can be a stunningly beautiful time of year, with snow-covered landscapes and sparkling ice formations.
  2. Solitude: Winter camping can offer a unique sense of solitude and quiet, with fewer crowds and distractions.
  3. Outdoor Activities: Many outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing, are best enjoyed in the winter.
  4. Unique Experiences: Winter RVing can offer unique experiences, such as watching the Northern Lights or soaking in a hot spring surrounded by snow.
  5. Personal Growth: Braving the winter elements can be a challenge, but it can also be an opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.

Great Techniques

There are several things you can do to help stay warm and comfortable this winter.

Use Solar Power Wisely

If you have solar panels, you’ll want to use that power wisely. Focus on things that generate heat and not unnecessary needs.

Block Cold Drafts

Use draft stoppers around your doors and windows, seal gaps, and cover your windows.

Keep Your Water Tank Full

Full water tanks take longer to freeze due to its mass. This won’t prevent it from happening, but prolongs it.

Cook Inside

Keep all of the cooking heat inside your RV. This goes a lot further than you think.

Top Gear for Winter Boondocking

When it comes to boondocking in the winter, the right gear is essential. Here are some items you’ll want to have on hand to make those circumstances possible—and maybe even enjoyable.

Insulated Clothing

Having the right clothing can make a big difference anytime of the year, but especially during those frigid winter months. A good base layer made of moisture-wicking material is essential this time of year. Add a middle layer—like a fleece—to help with warmth and comfort. Finally, you’ll want an outer layer to stop the winter winds from piercing through your clothing. In addition, you want to make sure your outer layer is waterproof—not just water resistant. These layers of insulated clothes will help while you are out of your RV enjoying the peace and quiet of winter camping, but also while sleeping. And don’t forget those thick socks.

Temperature Graded Sleeping Bag

Just because you are inside out of the snow it doesn’t mean you are escaping those freezing temperatures. Choose a sleeping bag that is rated for the coldest temperatures you will encounter on your trip. One thing to keep in mind when searching for a sleeping bag is the rating you see isn’t always the same across all sleeping bags. REI has a great piece explaining the differences between bags. In fact, men’s sleeping bags and women’s sleeping bags are rated differently.

Add RV Skirting

Adding an RV skirt can make a big difference in your winter boondocking experience. By insulating and protecting your RV’s undercarriage, you can stay warmer, prevent pipes from freezing, and enjoy your experience. Consider the Airskirt on your next winter RV trip.

Take A Generator

Even if you don’t use your generator, it is an essential tool for winter boondocking. It allows you to pull out an electric heater in the most severe times. You can look at your generator as the last resort before you pack it all in and cancel your trip. Check out this course to learn more about boondocking.

Don’t Be Afraid of Winter Boondocking

Don’t let those winter temperatures stop you from enjoying your favorite Harvest Hosts locations. Even with those cold temperatures outside, there are still farms, wineries, breweries, and more to experience all winter long with your Harvest Hosts All Access Membership.

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,657 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Kyle Arnold-profile-image
Kyle Arnold
I'm a freelance adventure travel copywriter. My wife, 2 dogs and I have been on many adventures together in either a big, blue bus or our camper van. While touring the country, we take advantage of checking out new towns, hikes and waterways. We are often found hiking, paddling or drinking coffee and love meeting new people.