NEWSLETTER
Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
ADV Prepping8 Lightweight, Cold Weather Items To Add to Your Camping Setup

8 Lightweight, Cold Weather Items To Add to Your Camping Setup

 Camping add-ons to help improve your cold-weather camping experience.

Published on 02.26.2018

Motorcycle Camping in cold weather
 

For many Adventure Riders, the coming of winter doesn’t mean the end of the riding season. In fact, winter can be a great time to go camping. Places that are overrun in the summer are often yours alone to enjoy in the colder months — and they’re bug free too! But even if camping in cold weather isn’t your thing, you may still experience a frigid night from time to time when you’re on a long journey. Even during summer, freezing temperatures may be unavoidable when traveling through higher elevations.

Below are eight items to consider adding to your existing setup to help make cold-weather camping more pleasant. These items are also lightweight and compact, making them easy to fit in your luggage. So leave the mosquito repellent at home and get out under the stars, before the crowds come back!

Photo by Chad Berger

1. Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm Mattress

Cold Weather Camping on a motorcycle

Camping in cold weather is no fun if you can’t get a good night’s sleep. The NeoAir XTherm air mattress is 2.5 inches thick, has reflective material to trap radiant heat, baffled construction to add stability and keep you off the ground, a non-slip fabric so your bag stays on top and an R value of 5.7. That’s good enough for temps down to 0° F, so it’s more than enough to handle typical adventure-riding temps. It also weighs just 20 ounces and collapses down to the size of a one-liter water bottle. Price: $199.99.

Shopping Options:

AmazoneBay

 

2. Aqua Quest Guide Tarp

Cold Weather Motorcycle Camping

Tarps are the multitool of cold weather camping gear. Use one as a place to keep your gear free of morning dew, a hangout in the rain, a bike cover, a cooking shelter, a ground cloth under your tent, or as your primary shelter. They range in price from free – Tyvek home wrap makes a fine tarp and you can often find big pieces of it in the trash at construction sites, just add grommets – to $100 plus, depending on the size, cut, material and extras. If you just need something basic and lightweight to keep the rain off, consider the Aqua Quest Guide. It’s waterproof silicone-impregnated nylon, weighs one pound and the 10-foot by 7-foot tarp folds up small enough to fit in a pocket. Price: $59.99.

Shopping Options:

AmazoneBay

 

3. Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme Thermolite Liner

Cold Weather Camping on a motorcycle

We’ve learned that it’s best to pack a 30° to 40° F bag, warm enough for most nights camping off the bike, and toss in a Sea to Summit sleeping bag liner just in case temps bottom out. It’s silky smooth and super comfortable; use it all by itself as an ultra lightweight summer bag. It packs down to the size of a large coffee mug, weighs just 14 ounces and adds a cold-weather range to your lightweight sleeping bag – the manufacturer claims an extra 25 degrees. That may be a bit optimistic, but, it’s worth its weight on frosty nights. Price: $67.95.

Shopping Options:

AmazonCabelaseBay

 

4. HotHands Hand Warmers

Cold Weather Camping on a motorcycle

Portable heat doesn’t get much simpler than HotHands warmers: Open the package and apply to wherever you’re cold. There are designs for hands, toes, insoles and chest. Put them in your jacket pockets to keep hands warm around camp or one in the bottom of your sleeping bag when you tuck in for the night. You can even use them to keep warm while you ride. They’re cheap, small, packable, and last up to 10 hours. You’ll be glad you have them when the temps drop. Price: $21.96 (40 pack).

Shopping Options:

AmazoneBay

 

5. Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Jacket

Down Jacket Cold Weather Camping on a Motorcycle

Not the warmest down jacket you can buy, but adventure riding typically doesn’t happen in the arctic. What the Ghost Whisperer offers is 800-fill goose down in a very light, very compressible package with an impressive weight to warmth ratio. It weighs less than 8 ounces and packs into its own pocket, which includes a loop so you can hang it on your gear, attach it to your tank bag, etc. Put it on as a thermal layer under a windproof riding jacket and you’re ready for some seriously frigid temps on the bike or hanging out at camp. Price: $184.74.

Shopping Options:

AmazoneBay

 

6. Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Cold Weather Camping on a motorcycle

Save the gourmet food prep for warmer temperatures. When it’s cold and you’re getting off the bike for a night of camping, you need hot food or drink, now. That’s what the Jetboil Flash does best. The whole stove stores in its own mug, and Its unique “flux ring” design concentrates heat so efficiently it will boil water in about 100 seconds. You can get accessories for it, from cooking pots to fry pans and it weighs just 13.1 ounces, but keep in mind that it does one thing really well: boil water quickly. If you want to be able to simmer try Jetboil’s Sumo, MicroMo or Joule models. Price: $99.95.

Shopping Options:

AmazonCabelaseBay

 

7. Klean Kanteen Insulated Wide Bottle

Cold Weather Camping on a motorcycle

Speaking of hot liquids, sipping some throughout a cold day of riding can help keep you warm. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of coffee shops where adventure riders roam. So make something hot to drink in the morning, fill up the 20 oz Klean Kanteen, tuck it in your tank bag and sip from it every time you stop. Klean Kanteens are made for outdoor use and abuse, weigh just 13.4 ounces, and have double-walled vacuum insulation to keep liquids hot for up to 14 hours. We like the wide version because it’s easy to fill, and you can add ice to keep cold drinks cold in the summer up to 40 hours. Price: $26.40.

Shopping Options:

AmazoneBay

 

8. Uco Titan Stormproof Matches

Cold Weather Camping on a motorcycle

Lighters are useful, compact and weigh almost nothing, but you should always have a foolproof backup. Uco Titans are about the beefiest matches on the market. They’ll burn after being submerged in water, buried in dirt, covered in snow, or blown by the wind. And each match lasts 25 seconds. That’s peace of mind when your lighter is wet or out of fuel and you’re staring down a cold, dark, fire-less night. Price: $8.29 (25 pack).

Shopping Options:

AmazonCabelaseBay

 

Bob Whitby Author ProfileAbout the Author: Bob Whitby has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

Author: Bob Whitby

Related Stories

hydrapak stash collapsible water bottle

Hydrapak Stash: Water Bottle That Collapses Into a Small Disc

Every inch of space in your luggage is precious when you are on the road an...

Sea to Summit Ultralight Camp Chair and insulated sleeping mat

Sea to Summit Ultralight Camp Chair / Mattress Combo Review

You can save a lot of weight when you carry items that have a dual use. The...

Fozzils Solo Pack Tableware

‘Fozzils Solo Pack’ Fold-Flat Tableware for Ultralight Packers

Adventure Riders on the eternal quest to slash weight and save space for of...

Comments
 5

Leave a Reply

5 thoughts on “8 Lightweight, Cold Weather Items To Add to Your Camping Setup

  1. Bob, you nailed it on these items you’ve recommended. I have the air mattress already. Fabulous and packs so small. Will get the other items as budget permits. Thanks friend.

  2. Cool!
    I love seeing what others carry for light weight
    Gear. I have the Ghost Jacket, and the ThermoRest.
    I use a Hennesy Hammock with the high-tech
    ThermoRest , I also carry a Monarch Chair. And use
    The MSR Whisper Lite stove(uses gasoline), with
    Ti nesting pot and Cup. I’ve still not done this on
    my steed, but on my Mountain bike, and road bike.
    Thanks for helping me out so I could read this post

  3. Just returned from camping on Mt Baker, 6 nights on a 30-50 foot snow pack, both guides carried a mattress pad AND blow up mattress. both had lightweight down sleeping bags because of space and weight, if you are going to carry a down sweater (and pants) any way, just wear them in your sleeping bag like PJ’s if it gets cold, saves quite a bit of weight.
    And # 1 if camping in the winter bring a sponge or Chamois to wipe down the inside of the tent, amazing how much condensation 1 person can cause.

© 2016 ADV PULSE. All rights reserved.