Is tent camping in the Florida winter easy? Wait – Florida has a winter? Yes, the Sunshine State does get the occasional cold front that will make you want to wear socks with your flip flops. Winter camping means less bugs but requires a bit more planning and gear – here are our team’s tips on staying warm in your tent:

Nature-Based Methods

  • find the largest trees – put up your tent under trees with lots of leaves to help shield you from the sinking cold air
  • layer palm fronds or leaves under your tent – this will create air pockets and separation from the cold ground
  • use a hammock tent – hammocks put you under tree canopy AND get you above the coldest air that is at ground-level
  • camp near a spring –  Florida springs are a constant 72 degrees and will feel warm when you submerge in 35 degrees air temperature (it’s the getting out part that is cold)
  • build a campfire – warm up around the fire right before bed but don’t sip on too much whiskey as alcohol lowers your body temperature

The Best Gear To Keep You Warm

  • electric blanket – if you have electric at your camp site an electric blanket is THE BEST and MOST SAFE method to keep on while you sleep (place blanket under your body for warmest results)
  • heated sleeping bag – all new heated sleeping bags are just a click away on Amazon
  • thermal barrier insulating product or blanket – if you don’t have electric place a thermal barrier under your air mattress or sleeping bag
  • cot – having your body above the ground on a cot will help keep you warmer inside the tent
  • rechargeable hand warmers – we don’t recommend “single use” disposable hand warmers as they are wasteful but rechargeable ones ($25-$40) last up to 8 hours and make it cozy to fall asleep with under your blanket
  • hot water bottle – right before bed heat up a kettle of water and pour in your bottle to keep under the covers
  • clothing – wear long johns and dress in layers instead of sleeping in your thick one-piece snuggie
  • winter sleeping bag – bring a winter-rated sleeping bag
  • winter or ski cap – wear a soft winter cap over your head while you sleep as the majority of body head is lost through the head

Other Warming Tips

  • hike to the communal bath house – many campground bathrooms have electric hand dryers that will give you an opportunity to warm your body while you conduct your daily tick check
  • gas or electric heaters can be extremely dangerous in a tent –  we do not recommend
  • stash a pair of gloves for the morning and don’t forget to wear your ski cap instead of putting your head under the covers
  • don’t get any ideas to move the tent next to the campfire as tents are extremely flammable
  • and don’t forget to snuggle next to another warm-blooded animal – preferably someone or a dog you know

So there you have it. You can survive tent camping in the Florida winter – without taking your flip flops off!

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