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Surviving the Night Winter Camping in a Teardrop Camper During a Winter Storm

Surviving the Night in a Teardrop Camper...during a winter storm

-By Evangeline M.
If you could play around with any type of adventure or overlanding product that you want without having to worry about how much something costs or even how difficult it is to install, what would you get? Welcome to my world. As someone who makes video reviews about products, I'm in a unique position where I get to try out all kinds of products and be completely honest about them. I'm actually encouraged to go on different adventures and put things to the test! With that kind of power and resources, what's a girl got to do? How about sleep overnight in the company parking lot during the biggest snow storm we've had all winter? My mission during this adventure was to answer 3 questions:1) Could I stay comfortable using etrailer products, and if so, which ones?2) Could I get away with stealth camping in our Hyk Outdoors teardrop camper overnight without getting caught? 3) Could I survive the bitterly cold night in a teardrop camper? (I'll spare you the suspense...I lived.)

My Must-Have Winter Camping Gear: What Did I Pack?

The right gear is crucial when going on outdoor adventures, so it's important to me that I understand how products perform in real-world conditions. This whole journey began when we started carrying Kelty sleeping bags, and etrailer needed a video review. I've had a lot of experience camping out in tropical environments, from the jungles of the Philippines to the riversides of Chile, and know all about the importance of quality, lightweight sleeping bags so that you don't drown in sweat in your sleep. I've also gone car camping in the heat of a Missouri summer and shot demo videos of our lightweight sleeping bags while constantly wiping sweat from my face.20-degree or even 0-degree sleeping bags, though? I'd never tried cold camping before. If I was going to review these cold weather sleeping bags, I knew I had to do them right. Why not actually put the sleeping bags to the test? We had a teardrop camper out back, plenty of winter gear to try out, and the winter's biggest snow storm yet rolling in. In typical etrailer fashion, everyone I talked to at work was really excited about my plans for a new adventure. They had so many ideas for trying out other winter products as well, so soon I had my list of gear ready to go. Here's what I brought along to try out:
  • Kelty Tuck Sleeping Bag - Mummy - 20 Degree: #KE43XR
  • 12-Volt Heater and Defroster #PTW5009
  • Heated Travel Blanket with Built In Timer #PT37ZR
  • Denver Mattress RV Bed Pillow - Soft - King #DV343491
  • Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern and USB Power Hub #GZ56VR
  • Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Lantern #287-32012
Out of this list, my favorite products from that night were the Kelty Tuck 20-Degree Sleeping Bag, the Performance Tool Heated Blanket, and the Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern and Power Hub. You can check out my review videos on each of them, where I go in-depth into how they work.
Sleeping Bag and Lights in Hyk Outdoors Teardrop Camper
Thermometer showing 11 degrees F
Phone showing -9 degrees
The cold was no joke that night. I really put my gear to the test!
My Overnight Winter Camping Experience: Did I Stay Warm? Did I Get Caught? All the guys I work with were very concerned about me sleeping outside in a winter storm. I kept having to remind them that I was parked in a parking lot, five feet away from my studio! If anything happened, I had easy access to necessities like food, shelter, heat, and internet! The downsides of camping in a parking lot though was that I woke up at 1:30 am to the very loud sounds of snowblowers, shovels, and snow plows. I scrambled out of my sleeping bag and could see the silhouettes of a crew of 5 guys with shovels and snowblowers. They even started shoveling around my camper wheels! I seriously debated on whether I should stay quiet in the camper, or suddenly pop out and surprise them. The decision was made for me though. By the time I got out of my sleeping bag and got my coat and snow boots on, they had already turned the corner and were clearing out snow behind the building. Despite the abrupt early wake-up call, camping in the parking lot was great for a trial run! I highly recommend doing this first to figure out what you actually need before you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere. I definitely suggest picking up a good cold-weather sleeping bag. That Kelty bag was so cozy that when my alarm went off at 6 am, I did not want to wake up at all. The only thing that stopped me from snoozing it 50 times was the thought of my coworkers coming to work and catching me sleeping like a baby.Plot twist: most of them were snowed in. It was just me and a couple guys that showed up that day. I actually couldn’t make it home for the rest of the week and had to stay with a nearby friend!So as for my goal of staying warm with products from etrailer, this was a success!As for not getting caught, I ended up sharing my plans with some coworkers and gave up on stealth camping, so this wasn't a total win.
Hyk trailer in parking lot during the day
Cold Camping in etrailer Parking Lot at Night

My Final Thoughts: Recommendations for Winter Camping

I definitely learned from this first experience camping in winter weather! Cold camping was fun; it was the filming that was the trickiest part! I constantly had to go out into the cold and change the battery in my outdoor camera. My Recommendations for Staying Warm While Camping in Winter
  • Pack the essentials. You can definitely survive the night (and even stay comfortable!) with just a few items. My sleeping bag, heated blanket, and power hub/lantern were the keys to actually enjoying my experience. They're really the only things you need other than the usual essentials like food, clothes, shelter, and water. The main things to remember are to dress appropriately, stay hydrated, wear a hat and socks, and prep some water bottles.
  • Consider your energy needs It was important for me to document my experience on video, so I had to worry about keeping my cameras charged. If you have devices like cameras, laptops, etc. that need to last while you're off-grid, invest in energy sources like like power banks, solar panel systems, etc.
  • Do a winter camping practice run. If you don’t feel confident with your ability to venture out into the frozen tundra, start by camping in your driveway! It does not take much time and you figure out very quickly what you need while having an escape route to your warm house.
Honestly, that cold camping night was a bit of a blur. I do remember having so much fun out in the snow and enjoying the quietness and stillness. Even though I wasn’t out in the mountains, there was a serenity to seeing nature take over our studios and warehouses for a night. It was a great time, but now I’m ready for the next adventure! Maybe I should take my cold camping set up to somewhere really cool next time! Or try something really random, like use a Prius to pick up a huge motorcycle? Any suggestions? Let me know in the comments below...if you had unlimited resources, time, and energy, what journey would YOU go on?
Evangeline M.
About Evangeline M. You’ve probably seen one of my hundreds of video reviews here at etrailer.com. I’m 5’2” on a good day with noodle arms, but that does not stop me from climbing huge trucks to drill holes into them or somehow getting kayaks onto roofs. Every day is a fun journey for me as I try to figure out the best way to make things work and look right. I also go on my own adventures outside of etrailer. I’ve been to 14 countries and all 48 mainland US states. I once accidentally mis-booked a flight and ended up backpacking Chile for a month and learning Spanish since I kept getting lost. Striving in strange and uncomfortable environments is my way of life. It’s a dream come true for me to get to be adventurous, helpful, and honest AND make it a career!
Related ArticlesRelated ProductsUpdated on: 3/28/22Written by: Evangeline M.


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