Camping Outdoors in the Winter

2:20 p.m. on October 21, 2011 (EDT)
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I am soon to be homeless, but! I have a storage unit and sleeping bags, I am looking for a fabric

to prevent condensation so I won't wake up to dampness on top of me, ie; a damp frost cover I use to envelope my sleeping bag...or I can build a make-shift tent inside the storage unit...what fabrics prevent condensation...thanks, Pip

3:19 p.m. on October 21, 2011 (EDT)
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 Hi Pipkreps and welcome to Trailspace.

I sorry to here that your in a position of having to be homeless unless this is a decision  that you've made on purpose. Am I to understand that you do not have a tent? What area of the country (city?) do you live in? I do remember reading a book where by people were living in storage units. Though not the best of situations and did not offer heat it did offer shelter from the elements.

Most anything you use over a sleeping bag will that is not water permeable will work to keep moisture, freezing moisture (frost) of off your sleeping bag, but that is a worry that is usually reserved for the lesser weather of the first of the 3 seasons. For the winter I would be thinking more in terms of a tent.  Even if you plan on setting up in a storage unit it could be scuh tha if yoiu were caught yoiu would be kicked out and then still in need of a tent.   A 4 season tent would be best but with that beings said I've seen many people use lesser tents with fortification of their tents with lean-tos, sheets of plastic, and or tarps and other things which we can discuss later depending where you live. The main reason I'm asking where you live is there will be a huge degree of difference in regards to winter weather............. if your are in Florida (where is it still can get cold in the winter) to Colorado (where it will get cold in the winter).  Will you be moving to a permanent spot where you can set up camp or will you always be in different places and have to tear down camp every day?  How are you set for all of the other gear that you will need.......... Cold weather clothing, stove, pots and pans, backpack, etc.?  You mentioned that you have sleeping bag(s).  What are they rated to temp. wise and do you have a good sleeping pad? 

There are many more questions that I could ask but I need to get the basic's down to figure out what the true situation is.

Take care.


4:37 p.m. on October 31, 2011 (EDT)
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oh boy.  i hope you can find a warm place to stay this winter.  a friend, a relative, a safe shelter in the city or town where you live.  it's one thing to sleep out for recreation, and another entirely to sleep outside by necessity.  don't be afraid to spend some time looking for a place to stay or ask people for help; check local religious organizations.  you will be better off if you don't sleep on the streets.   

if i had to sleep out for a winter, my #1 solution would be an inexpensive tent.  keeps not just you but also your immediate belongings dry, assuming the tent doesn't leak.  to help with condensation, find a tent with a rain fly - separate piece of waterproof fabric that stretches over an inner tent made of breathable nylon.  tents are also a somewhat warmer option because you tend to heat up the air inside a little. 

if you had to sleep with a bag inside a cover, the US military makes bivy bags of gore tex that you can often find used or inexpensive at army surplus stores.  gore tex does allow some moisture to escape as you sleep.  keep in mind you can't close a bivy bag completely, your face has to be exposed to the air; you can suffocate if you completely close a waterproof bivy bag.

finally, stringing up a tarp low over where  you're sleeping can keep moisture off your sleeping bag and allows moisture to dissipate.  but, you're more exposed to the elements with a tarp.  this is a very inexpensive option, basically you could use utility cord and a utility tarp with grommets at the corners, as a rock-bottom inexpensive option.


June 22, 2018
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