This is camping done right.
If you are going to hunt and fish like a king you are going to have to be able to camp like one. This guy here is on the right track - he's camping in late fall/early winter and can still drive a peg into the ground. He's gone a little overboard with a camp cot - that is gear and weight you don't need for a truly well appointed minimalist winter camp. As a boy I dreamed of camping and hunting like this but my parents had no interest in it and I had to learn to do this the hard way - trial and error.
First things first. YOU CANNOT CAMP LIKE THIS ON THE CHEAP. You might be able to survive... but to get up in the morning and wake up comfortable, feeling refreshed - you need top notch gear.
Don't buy those shitty blue plastic tarps from Ukranian Tire or Walmart. You need a good marine grade tarp and something 15x15 foot at least. Bigger is better - expect to spend over $100.00. The cheap blue ones rip and aren't worth the time of day. As a kid I could not for the life of me - string up a tarp and have it hold without the damned knots sliding. Tarps flap in the breeze, ropes get wet - keeping that tarp up and tensioned was impossible! During the night my tarps always gave in to wind and rain no matter how funky I got with the ropes and knots.
Meet the simple wooden rope cheater. Operation is intuitively obvious. Your tarp
will now hold against most normal weather in the Spruce/Moose country.
Get the kids to make 'em...they love stuff like this.
Those cheaters can be made from scrap wood or dowels and you can cheap out on ropes for this application. They will slip too...but not as badly and re-tightening them and taking them down is a snap! This is a must-have item. Now you can have a small fire under the tarp, and keep everthing dry!
Helpful tip: shoot anyone that dares to cut a rope! NEVER, ever cut a rope! Cutting ropes is a sign of stupidity and weak moral character! Learn proper rope management and storage too!
Sleeping bags: SPEND MONEY. Be careful here - most bags carry a survival rating. A -40C survival rating is just that: in -40C you will survive the night...but you WILL NOT enjoy it. Look for a comfort rating or get the lowest temp survival rating you can find for a winter sleeping bag. If you get the good bag you can cheap out on your sleeping pad. I bought a bunch of these blue foamies to sleep on and recommend two for sleeping on the ground in winter.
This is also a must-have item, without it moisture and cold will negate the insulation of the sleeping bag and you are in deep trouble. Remember: you don't want to survive the night - you want to enjoy it and be ready to hunt the next day!
Master the art of 'tarping up' for your hunting camp. If ya do it right you will have all the comfort and benefit of an outfitter's wall tent without the bulk - at least for normal weather. If you get howling blizzards of rain and sleet...THEN you will need an outfitter tent... but most of your camping and hunting needs can be met with the set up I've listed here - plus your usual camping and hunting gear.
Winter camping on it's own is fun too... but you have to have good gear to take advantage of it.