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  • Writer's pictureThis Maple Life

Tent Camping With Kids in Chilly Weather: Tips, Insights and Our Top Gear Picks

Updated: Mar 5

Tent Camping With Kids in Chilly Weather, tent, snowy trees, graphic

Wintertime is almost over, but the chilly weather might persist. Nevertheless, we believe that any season is great for exploring the outdoors and, for your kids, it is also a good way to learn about resilience.

The average temperature in the winter around Vancouver goes from 0 to -5 degrees Celsius. Therefore, it is not as cold as other places in Canada and can be the perfect place to camp with your kids. As for the right age to take your kids camping, it will only depend upon your kids' unique interests and prior experience. For instance, if they have experienced camping in other seasons, and enjoy it, they will have a rough idea of what to expect and even be excited about it.

Note: If your kids are still breastfeeding, you might want to delay chilly weather camping or go to your adventures extra prepared, so you can still enjoy the moments without being miserable. A llama wool poncho will be a great addition to your wardrobe if you decide to go!

ocean, sunset, rocks, three girls, dog, snowy mountain, cold weather, outdoor gear

Tent Camping With Kids in Chilly Weather: Tips, Insights and Our Top Gear Picks

Tip 1: First things first. Dress your Kids in Layers

As you are stepping out of the vehicle, you and your kids should already be dressed in layers. It is always better to start warm than to try to warm up. You know your kids best and what works for them, but we usually do two to three layers depending on how chilly it is. Ideally, the first layer would be wool, because it regulates your child's temperature better and, even if wet, will stay warm. The mid-layer will usually be fleece pants and a sweater and, as an outer layer, we use rain or snow pants and a puffy, rain or snow jacket, depending on the conditions.

Top Gear Pick - Base Layer:

Top Base Layer Picks, Merino Wool, Fleece set, cold weather, graphic
  1. Reima Merino Wool: We love this base layer! It is comfy, snug and, most importantly, warm. The material is soft, so it is not only good to wear during the day, but perfect to use as a layer during sleeping as well. The sizes that reima offers go from 12 months to 14 years, which is amazing.

  2. Kid Iksplorer Set: This merino wool Kid Iksplorer Set is perfect for your little explorer. Its lightweight merino fabric is breathable and regulates temperature for every season. One thing we love about this brand is that when your child outgrows it, you can exchange it for store credit or cash with the Iksplor More Re-Sell program.

  3. Toddlers' Burton Fleece Base Layer Set: This set is ideal for keeping kids cozy, dry, and at ease throughout the day. It is also a more budget-friendly option compared to our other two sets but still an excellent discovery. The heavyweight DRYRIDE Ultrawick fleece is stretchable and breathable, while the anti-piling fabric offers long-lasting warmth and softness.

Top Gear Pick - Outer Layer:

Infant Hi-Loft Down Sweater Bunting Patagonia

Infant Hi-Loft Down Sweater Bunting: Consciously made, this piece was key in our daughter's camping wardrobe, and, to be honest, she kept wearing it well beyond the recommended age as it has a lot of room to grow in.

The material is soft and waterproof, which makes it ideal for chilly and somewhat wet conditions, and we loved the built-in gloves and boots that just helped maintain her body temperature at all times.

Bunting suit, orange, snow, girl playing in snow, mountains, blue lake, rocks covered in snow, trees in horizon

Bring Them a Good Pair of Gloves, Socks, and a Hat or Balaclava

Extremities are important to keep warm since they are the first ones to lose heat. Therefore, when gearing up for camping in chilly weather with the little ones, toss in the winter must-haves. Grab a good pair of gloves, cozy socks, and a cute hat or balaclava to keep them snuggly warm while they explore the winter wonderland.

For younger kiddos, there are puffy suits that are perfect as they cover their feet, hands and have a nice hood as well.

Top Gear Pick - Hat and Gloves:

Kuling Rain Hat and Kuling Gloves: We came upon this Swedish brand while searching for the best gear for forest school and could not be more happy. The recycled material is waterproof up to 8000 mm of rain and windproof; the hat has fleece ear flaps to keep those little ears warm; and the interior of the gloves is all fleece. 

toddler girl watching sunset, lake, snowy rocks, mountains, branches

Pack Them a Few Pairs of Shoes

Let's talk shoes! Throw in a mix of boots for snowy stomps and a spare pair for those unexpected wet surprises. Whether it's raining or camping near water, having that backup pair ensures dry and happy feet, gearing up the little adventurers for whatever comes their way.

Top Gear Pick - Shoes:

Top Shoes Pick, boots, wool slippers, toddler tykes, graphic

Kanibou Waterproof Winter Boots - Big Kids: We love these boots for so many reasons: they are tough yet lightweight and comfortable, grippy, warm, waterproof, and also breathable. 

Although the insulation is rated at -32 °C, it is perfectly wearable in lower temperatures without being too warm, so little feet will be happy.

Padraig Cottage: These cute little wool slippers are the perfect addition for nighttime wear. They are a favourite because they are so warm and comfy that you will want to get a pair yourself.


Offer Them Warm Food and Drinks

red mug, tea bag, log, rocks with snow, lake, snowy mountains, cold morning

Winter camping calls for tasty treats to warm little hearts. Whip up comforting hot meals and treat the kiddos to steaming mugs of hot chocolate because nothing beats the cold like a belly full of warmth. 

Keeping hydrated also helps with the body temperature, so even though we don’t feel as thirsty in cold weather, it is imperative to keep drinking plenty of fluids.

Here are some recipe tasty ideas for you to try while camping.

Make a Fire and Encourage Them to Keep Moving

Father and daughter campfire stories, fire on the beach, camping in chilly weather

Turn up the fun with a crackling campfire! It's not just for warmth, it's a hub for stories and giggles. Elevate the adventure by incorporating engaging games for the kids, such as a scavenger hunt. Easily print and laminate them for a waterproof twist an entertaining activity that guarantees loads of fun. Encourage the little ones to stay active with snow games, short walks, or light exercises. This ensures that keeping warm becomes an immersive and enjoyable part of the winter camping experience!

Check out our free downloadable scavenger hunt sheet below!

Young girl playing with bubbles in the mountains, snowy, chilly campimg weather

To Wrap Up

As winter winds down, consider a family camping getaway. Vancouver's mild climate offers the perfect backdrop for cool adventures.

Make sure your kids are bundled up with smart clothing choices: our gear suggestions cover everything from cozy layers to hand and foot protection. Footwear picks ensure warmth without sacrificing style.

Pack smart for changing conditions, including cozy wool slippers for nighttime comfort. Combat the cold with hot meals and cocoa, making the winter experience delightful from head to toe.

Turn the campfire into a hub for stories and giggles, with waterproof scavenger hunts and active games ensuring a warm, joy-filled winter camping experience.

As winter goes away but the chilly weather persists, take the chance to make simple and lasting memories in nature with your family.


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