Search Icon White

Standards Keep Winter Camping Safe and Warm

As temperatures drop across the country, increased snowfall and icy winds are leading some people to hole up in their houses, waiting impatiently for spring. But for many others, winter means an opportunity to experience a cool, blustery wonderland in our nation's parks and mountains. Standards play an important role in bolstering winter camping by setting down guidelines that make those activities safe and comfortable for all.

Though some hardcore winter camping enthusiasts make do without, most campers rely on a camping tent to give them a place to sleep during their snow-filled adventures. To help them, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed ISO 5912:2011, Camping tents, which sets down safety and performance requirements these outdoor abodes. The standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 83, Sports and recreational equipment, Subcommittee (SC) 2, Camping tents. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited U.S. TAG administrator to TC 83 is ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator.

Perhaps even more important than tents to winter camping enthusiasts are sleeping bags, which make it possible for campers to snooze safely even in subzero conditions. ASTM D4522-04(2012), Standard Performance Specification for Feather and Down Fillings for Textile Products, establishes performance specifications for the natural or synthetic fillings used in sleeping bags, pillows, and winter apparel, making it easier to determine whether these items function as they should. The standard was developed by ASTM International.

Another standard, ANSI Z21.73-2011/CSA 11.1-2011, Portable type gas camp lights, describes the construction and safe operation of portable camp light fueled by propane, butane, or liquefied petroleum gas. This American National Standard is intended to reduce the risks of injury associated with such lights, allowing for their safe use by campers in warm and cold temperatures. The standard was developed by CSA Group, an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer.

ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) developed ANSI/ISEA 105-2011, Hand Protection Selection Criteria, setting down guidelines for the classification and testing of hand protection items. In addition to helping gloves and mittens provide sufficient performance in regards to protection from cold - an important factor in winter outdoor activities - and other thermal factors, the American National Standard also covers protection related to mechanical, chemical, and vibration issues.

By providing guidelines to the makers of tents, sleeping bags, and other associated manufacturers, voluntary consensus standards help make safe, responsible winter camping a reality.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]