This article originally appeared in Conde Nast Traveler.
It's only natural to think that weekends spent outdoors must come to an end as temperatures drop and snow begins to fall. But if you’re curious about winter camping, we’ve got great news for you: A night under the stars, even in December, can be done safely and comfortably, no matter where you're based. Winter camping also offers easy access to seasonal activities—like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing—and the promise of Instagram-famous trails without summertime crowds.
We’ve compiled a list of essential gear and expert tips to prepare you for winter car camping in nearly any scenario, even if you're a true beginner. (We'll leave the winter backpacking to the pros.) Below, we break down how to keep your toes warm when it’s below freezing, tips for layering like a pro, and advice on decking-out your regular old sedan for a night in the great outdoors. Consider this your winter camping checklist—whether you're planning on snow camping at an altitude in Rocky Mountain National Park or just trying to stay dry in California’s coastal redwoods, we’ve got you covered.