We have North Face sleeping bags rated to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit. We have been buying North Face products for decades and find them to be extremely well made. We carry a 1500W electric heater to use on those occasions when we are in campgrounds with electric to save our propane. We keep the interior temperature at 55 degrees and dress accordingly. When it is really cold, we have used a full four gallon propane tank in five days. We never leave the camper without a liter of water per person, especially in Utah high country.
Other gear we carry with us are hiking poles, stout warm boots, LED head lamps, backpack with extra warm clothing, and energy bars.
Low Water Use Hygiene
Instead of a shower, we use baby wipes. Alcohol based hand sanitizers are in the cab as well as the camper for frequent use. A tube of Bacitracin ointment is handy for the inevitable cuts and scrapes.
Coffee and Food
The most efficient way we have found to enjoy our morning coffee is our small Bialetti stovetop percolator that makes one cup at a time very quickly. This eliminates the need to keep a volume of coffee hot.
Our food choices on the road are very simple. We eat foods that are boiled like oatmeal with raisins and nuts, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, low salt canned soup, spaghetti and sauce, fresh fruit, soy milk, yogurt, etc. We carry high quality chocolate chips, walnuts, and raisins to make our own trail mix.
A winter capable camper for us must have a Thetford cassette toilet. If you do not have a Thetford cassette toilet system, make sure your holding tanks are heated and that a nearby dump station is open for use. Many dump stations are closed during the winter. Pit toilets are numerous and maintained in the winter throughout the southwest. There is a pit toilet in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah that we saw buried under ten feet of snow with a tunnel shoveled to the front door. It was located near a slope used by back country snow boarders and had a sign stuck in the snow on the roof that said, “No Shredding”.
The rewards of winter truck camping are many. For one, there are many less people at the parks and other destinations. Sometimes the campgrounds are practically empty.
Our Alaskan is a fully winter capable camper, however it was manufactured in 1994 and since then there have been technology changes that we will be looking for in our next camper. We will be looking for a hard-side truck camper with a wood frame, high R-value insulation, a Thetford cassette toilet, a compressor refrigerator, and Dometic acrylic thermal pane windows. If you and your truck camper rig are up to it, winter camping is a wonderful experience.