(Video) A Clever Way on How to Insulate a Tent for Cold Weather

insulated tent

Cold weather poses a range of survival challenges, particularly if you are forced to spend one, or several, nights in the wilderness.

If that happens, any insulating substances you can find will make sure your night is spent sleeping and warm as opposed to shivering and trying to stay warm.

In a winter SHTF moment or survival situation, where you are forced to spend a night out in the cold, insulating your tent can mean the difference between toasty and misery.

This awesome idea, using a tarp and leaves to insulate your tent is one way to keep the cold and drafts at bay.

Do you have ideas for insulating your winter tent or shelter?

If so, tell us about them below.


  1. Denise Burgwin said:

    Great tip. Will remember this. One idea I had (but haven’t tried yet): tarp on ground, tent, inside tent, moving blankets on floor then sleeping bags, etc. Wanted to rig moving blankets on insides of tent, but haven’t found way to secure the blankets without compromising integrity of tent. Any suggestions?

  2. Ron Willingham said:

    another trick is to hang a tarp from the trees above, putting that tarp in a position to deflect wind on the sides and rain/snow from above.

  3. Nick Marceau said:

    Would this guy blow his damn nose already!! Only made it halfway through and had to stop because I couldn’t stand listening to him sniffing every 3 seconds.

  4. Mike Turpin said:

    Insulation between you and the ground is very important. Should have left the leaves down.

  5. Lyle Patrick Johnson said:

    Lay tarp, add layer of insulation (leaves, bows etc) place tent on top…so that should give you 3 layers, normally tents have a thicker bottom which is good in normal situations. I also add my sleeping pad between my sleeping bag and the tent floor.

  6. Don said:

    Take the time to size the tarp for the tent BEFORE you put the tent down. I’ve found to my chagrin that if it rains or even if the morning dew is heavy and dripping it will drip under the tent floor at the corners the way he put it down. Also, make sure any leaves, etc are only against the faintly … if they are against the tent itself it can compromise the ability of the tent wall to repel moisture.

  7. Kylan Van Emmerik Sr. said:

    This video is a horrible suggestion to a “survival” possibility! This would not save you! If you do not have gear to withstand the elements, anyone who does this would not make it. There are so many other things you could do with what he has around him to “better” your odds! This would change what? 1 ° ? At the absolute very worst he could have folded the tarp over, in half, then set the tent on top…. This is honestly a very poor choice for a “survival” situation….

  8. Shawn Conn said:

    Good tip. I always used a trick Ron Hood taught and that is to fill two large lawn bags with leaves or pine needles and use that as insulation. I lay my sleeping bag on that and it keeps me warm all night. I’m trying to figure out a way to keep from losing so much heat through the dome of the tent. Just short of covering the whole thing in duff I can’t seem to figure anything else. Lol

  9. Shawn Conn said:

    Rule of thumb is that you need to be off the ground with at least 4″ of insulation when compressed. His idea is good to block drafts. He also said he has a really good sleeping system, so I’m guessing he means his bag setup is a polar one of some type.

  10. Ray Drozd said:

    Iv done something similar to this but I filled the tarp with leaves, folded it over and put the tent on top of that then stuff leaves in between the screen and rain cover

  11. Lee Spivey said:

    If you suspect rain do not lay tarp where will run under tent! Putting pointed objects toward your tent might not be a good idea either. Ray Drozd’s suggestion about leaves is better than clearing the ground.

  12. Michael Haggard said:

    Cover with leaves or snow after erected to help insulate it, but don’t weigh it down and leave breathing ventilation.