Rotes Zelt im Winter auf Skitour, Wintercamping


Wintercamping: Equipment for the cold – my packing list

A night in the snow, in a tent, high up in the mountains: for some the epitome of peace and quiet, for others cold feet and freezing. And in fact it’s a little of both. If you still want to venture on this adventure and wonder what to pack, this information about equipment might help you. All mentioned products are listed and linked at the bottom of this page. If you are too impatient to read and prefer to have all the gram facts and product names in front of your eyes, you can download the whole packing list as an Excel sheet here: 

Dislaimer: The following products were purchased by myself and there is no connection between the brands and me.


What of course should not be missing – sleeping bag (or bags) and a sleeping pad. In winter thr Exped Synmat HL MW, which is rated to -18 °C, keeps me warm. Otherwise I am a fan of short pads up to 1.20m – but in winter I prefer the longer and especially wider version (hence MW in the name, medium = the length and wide = the width).

It is not inflated by mouth, but with the “Schnozzelbag”, which can be easily filled with air which is then pressed into the mat. This way no moisture gets into the mat. Since I carry every gram on my back, it is a nice side effect for me that the yellow inflatable bag also functions as a drybag. Multifunctionality, I love it! 

Regarding the sleeping bag I am an enthusiastic user of the Enlightened Equipment products. In summer as a quilt with buttons only, in winter with zipper they keep me warm in all situations. What is special about them – they can be completely customized in width, size, color, material etc. 

I have chosen the Conondrum sleeping bag for the winter in short length and regular width with the following options: Filling 950, temperature -23 degrees (although this is more of an extreme temperature and does not comply with European standards). If a really cold night is to be expected I combine it with a Revelation Quilt up to 10 degrees – both together come to a weight of just 1,18kg – who is talking about freezing?

tent or Bivy?

Finally, the question remains: bivybag or tent? So far I have always chosen the tent in winter, because it gives me protection even in changing weather conditions and allows me to store my equipment in a half dry place. It is also easier to cook, regardless of wind and weather, and is best done directly from the sleeping bag. Depending on who I am travelling with and what the destination is, there are two variants. Either I choose the one-person 4-season tent Vela Extreme from Exped or the two-person version in a beautiful red from Hilleberg – the Allak 2. The most important thing for me is the ventilation in the roof, through which the warm air can escape. Sounds counterproductive, but this way less moisture is formed inside. The lowered side walls prevent unpleasantly cold air being blown in from below – a good lesson from my excursions with my summer tent.

more tips against the cold

If you are still afraid of freezing, I recommend that you read the last section – my ultimate tips for coping better with the cold:

  • Going out before bed, jumping up and down, running around… The main thing is to get into your sleeping bag with a warm body 🙂
  • Fill the water bottle with hot water and put it into the sleeping bag – it’s guaranteed to keep you warm (close it tight!)
  • Eat! Best warm and drink tea, if you are hungry you will freeze faster.
  • Take (ski-)shoes with you in your sleeping bag, as well as clothes – especially if it was wet, otherwise it will freeze overnight. It is best to take an extra bag for the shoes.
  • Down socks are my absolute favourite to have warm feet – e.g. the Sidekicks from Enlightened Equipment.
  • Who still keeps cold, I recommend warm pants – also here I have mine from Enlightened Equipment. Looks funny, but is super small compressible and light, blocks wind and insulates excellently.
  • And for those who are warm in the evening, but wake up in the morning in a sleeping bag and feel cold, I recommend the following: Pull your legs as close to your body as possible and tense all muscles in your body. Hold this for a few seconds, release, repeat – until the warmth returns.

Product recommendations

As mentioned at the beginning, I have no cooperation with the brands mentioned, but simply recommend what I personally found good for my taste and use. Here is the list of the mentioned products:

  • Sleeping pad Exped “Synmat HL MW” (discontinued), successor model: Link 

  • Enlightened Equipment winter sleeping bag “Conundrum” (customized) Link

  • Enlightened Equipment Quilt 3-seasons “Revelation” (customized) Link

  • Exped 1-person tent 4 seasons “Vela Extreme” Link

  • Hilleberg Two-person tent 4 seasons “Allak 2” Link

  • Enlightened Equipment thermal socks “Sidekicks” Link

  • Enlightened Equipment thermal pants “Torrid Apex” Link

Did you like this post?

Since this was my first blog post I would be very happy about feedback – was that helpful? What would you like to read about next? Or what should not be missing in your packing list for the winter? I welcome comments, either below or by mail:

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