toyota 4runner driving over rocky terrain in the rain

Here at S.M.R.T. Tent, we’re big fans of getting out all year long. There’s mounting evidence that staying active and outdoors benefits and aids in our physical and psychological well-being, and we’re all for it! If you’re going to face the cold, we think it’s important to respect the elements, and keep in mind that being prepared is very important, the cold isn’t to be underestimated! 

In the spirit of getting out more, we want to share some winter camping tips, as well, share how roof top tenting can make for easy and enjoyable winter camping! We’ve designed all our roof top tents with four season camping in mind. The roof top tents keep you off the ground, meaning you won’t be sleeping on ice, snow, or a frozen surface! The mattresses in the tents add another insulating layer for warmth and comfort. Our favourite feature, it’s attached to your car, truck or SUV so your roof top tent can go as far as your vehicle can.

Please keep in mind that no article or blog post can replace experience. We highly recommend that if you’re new to cold weather camping, that you start gradually! We want you to remember that you’re responsible for ensuring you and your equipment are ready to face the cold! 



  • If you’re interested in winter camping, we recommend camping as the seasons change! This way you get your body and equipment eased into the cooling temperatures, and you start to learn how your equipment operates in the cold. 
  • Know your limits and be safe! 


  • Keep some sort of cross ventilation to allow airflow, keep mesh up so snow doesn’t come in, but the ventilation is necessary to prevent moisture build up. 
  • Adding thermal blanket underneath your back will help keep you warmer 
  • Shake your tent off before you pack it up 
  • Keep in mind that though our rooftop tents were built with winter camping in mind and will remain functional and hold up to the cold, you are still sleeping in a tent! It is a shelter, but it is not a cabin.


  • You’ll want to make sure that your sleeping gear is rated for the weather you’ll be facing, especially the fact it’s always much colder at night! It’s always a good idea to take a sleeping bag that is rated for a slightly lower temperature than forecasted. Your sleeping bag will come with different temperature ratings, comfort level, and lower limit rating. Do your research, great gear is easy to find for the type of weather you’ll encounter. 
  • Sleep with your toque on! Or have it close by. This will add to your overall body heat retention.
  • It’s a great idea to do some mild exercise, just enough to feel warm, before getting into your sleeping bag. This added body heat will warm up your sleeping bag faster, and the heat will be trapped. As well, circulation is a key component in keeping our extremities warm, and some jumping jacks or any movement to get your blood pumping will be helpful. 
Toyota Tacoma driving on a backroad in the snow, with a mountain view in the background


  • Make sure you pack lots of warm layers! Especially ensuring you will have dry layers to change into for sleeping. You’ll need to have a minimum of three layers for your outdoor winter adventures: base layer, middle layer and outer layer!
  • Your base layer should be a tight fitting, moisture wicking thermal. Your mid layer will be an insulator, wool or fleece are great options. Your outer layer will be especially important in keeping you dry. Look for materials that are wind and water resistant, GORE-TEX is always a good choice. Be sure to do the research on what types of layers you’ll need for the activities you’ll be doing, there are lots of options out there, and your best option is to find what is suited to your plans! 
  • Avoid cotton materials, they retain moisture and make you colder faster! We like to opt for wools (synthetic or merino). 
  • Choose waterproof boots, moisture wicking socks, a good toque, a neck warmer or face covering and a good pair of mitts or gloves!
  • Stay dry! Stay dry! Stay dry! Be aware of how your body is heating and remove layers before you begin to sweat during your winter activities. Always change into clean dry clothes before bed. 
  • Bring enough firewood, an adequate fire starter, and extra lighter(s) as you’ll be starting a fire in wet conditions. Make sure you start your fire on the ground, you may have to dig a hole in the snow, this will prevent your fire from collapsing as it melts snow. 


  • It’s important to remember that cold injuries can seriously harm a person and they can even be life threatening, so being prepared with tested and working gear is extremely important. 
  • Certain respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses can be induced by the cold. We recommend before you go far into the bush during winter, that you try sleeping in your tent at home or nearby, this way you’ll learn what your body can tolerate, or what gear you may need to update, ensuring you’re close to safety if necessary. 
  • Lastly, we recommend you familiarize yourself with cold induced injuries and the first aiding of these potential hazards. 


S.M.R.T. Tent will help you get out more

“The” Softshell

  • Now sporting 25mm internal frame poles with 350 gram canvas and 3 tie down points for the tent vestibule (covered ladder entry way) and a curved roof, this all helps with snow sluffing and weather resistance. 
  • 3 windows to open help with ventilation, necessary in winter camping
  • Annex available for “The” Softshell will act as a wind blind and an extra sheltered area. 

The Sky Loft  and Summit Suite

  • Both tents are a wedge style hard shell roof top tent, this design was specifically chosen as it improves the sluffing of snow dramatically. 
  • The Sky Loft has quilted insulated upper and lower lining that comes standard with this tent. Helps prevent moisture build up and adds insulation. You can add on an insulating liner for the Sky Loft which gives added warmth in cold temperatures, for those who plan to camp all year long. 
  • The Summit Suite has a liner on the roof of the tent to prevent moisture build up and comes with an anti-condensation mat underneath the mattress. 
  • The canvas on these tents was selected to be 280 gram canvas, this provides enough breathability, given the tents have a hard top and bottom, yet still durable to handle the cold and snow!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *