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Winter Camping

March 7, 2024
5 min read

Whether you’re hitting the backcountry, skiing or riding at a resort, or simply using your rig to hike or snowshoe and take in beautiful views, truck camping in winter gets you out in nature during one of the most magical times of the year. There are fewer people at national parks and campgrounds, and Nature’s palette of white brings out tones you’d never see in other seasons, be it auburn desert spires or stunning serpentine canyons. You can kiss expensive lodging goodbye on your next ski or snowboard trip by sleeping right next to the slopes. But there are tricks to winter truck camping, as well as essentials to bring. Here are a few tips to ensure your winter truck camping experience is safe, cozy and unforgettable—whether you're a seasoned winter camper or a newcomer to the scenic wilderness that awaits.

Insulation

Eliminate nighttime shivering by making sure your camper is well-insulated to retain heat. Consider adding extra insulation to windows and doors to keep the cold out and coziness in. Our new 600g Insulation is an easy thermal & aesthetic solution, or you can get creative and go the DIY route to achieve a similar result. Regardless, insulation will be your best friend while truck camping in winter to keep that coveted heat inside where it belongs.

Heater

Investing in a reliable heating source, such as a portable propane heater, will ensure your winter camping experience is as comfy as possible. A variety of heater options are available on the market, but if you want to skip the research we recommend our new Heater Kit, which includes a Truma Heater, LPG Tank Mount, and LPG 10lb Tank. After evaluating all options on the market, we realized that leveraging the Truma Heater is ideal for performance, quality and ease of use with its handy thermostat dial. Plus, the Tune M1 Integrated Exhaust System prevents condensation buildup, exhausts all fumes outside, and warms clean air inside the camper.

Sleeping Set-up

When it’s time to settle in and rest up for the next day’s winter adventure, use a cold-rated sleeping bag or comforter suitable for sub-zero temperatures. Layer your bedding with thermal blankets and insulating sleeping pads to prevent heat loss. Another recommendation: electric blankets, which plug easily into a Goal Zero-type power source with an AC wall outlet. They offer less power draw than electric space heaters and keep the heat where you need it. Tip: place it beneath you when sleeping instead of on top. Also, sleep in cozy PJs or base layers to add even more comfort to your slumber.

Winter Outdoor Gear

Winter Clothing: Dress in layers and include waterproof, insulated outerwear, thermal underwear, gloves, hats, and sturdy boots to stay warm and dry in freezing conditions.

Funhog Gear: Let’s face it: If you’re camping in a Tune M1, you’re likely a fun hog. The Tune M1 makes it easy to access such favorite wintertime activities as skiing/snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, high alpine lake ice skating, and more. Need gear? Click HERE for a list of other Colorado-made equipment and apparel.

Emergency Supplies/Safety Precautions

Emergency Supplies: Prepare for unexpected situations with a well-stocked emergency kit containing items like a first aid kit, fire kit, flashlight, extra batteries, portable shovel, healthy snacks, water and emergency communication devices.

Check Weather Conditions: Monitor weather forecasts before embarking on your trip and be prepared for sudden changes in weather. Avoid traveling during severe storms or blizzards. Check such websites as OpenSnow and Avalanche.org before traveling, or even the live cameras at the mountain you are headed to for live temperature and conditions information.

Stay on Top of Traffic: Stay on top of traffic by checking road reports and trying to avoid high-use times. Stuck on I-70? Grin and bear it (hint: humor yourself with the I-70 Things Instagram account).

Winterize Your Truck: Ensure your vehicle is winter-ready by checking antifreeze levels, tire condition and pressure, and battery health. Equip your truck with snow chains or winter tires for improved traction on icy roads. Also, bringing a jump pack is always a good idea.

Plan Your Route: Choose well-traveled routes and inform someone of your travel itinerary. Be aware of road closures and hazardous conditions and adapt your plans accordingly.

Stay Dry: Keep moisture out of your truck to prevent condensation and frost buildup. Use waterproof storage containers for gear and wet clothing.

Beware of Carbon Monoxide: Ventilate your truck properly when using heaters to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never run your engine or heater in an enclosed space and install a carbon monoxide monitor (with fresh batteries).

Campsite Selection: Choose a sheltered location for setting up your Tune M1. Look for sheltered campsites away from wind exposure, such as wooded areas or natural windbreaks, to minimize heat loss and wind chill. Also, select campsites close to water sources and help for potential emergency situations.

Want more tips? Visit the Tune Outdoor M1 Owners’ Group on Facebook

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