Don’t Starve Winter Guide

Don’t Starve Winter Guide by Light

This guide will show you how to comfortably survive winters of any length, how to prepare for winter and what to do during winter. Its aim is to give you a good understanding of what winter brings and how to deal with it.


Hi there :) Welcome to my Don’t Starve guide about winter. I’ll keep things short, and give you some tips and tricks to use when dealing with winter.
This guide is focused on winter survival and relatively advanced gameplay, and as such presumes basic knowledge of crafting recipes and game mechanics on your part. I linked some of the game features I talk about to the Wiki page, but if you are totally new to Don’t Starve, please visit some Basics Guides or the Don’t Starve Wikipedia.

During Summer

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Winter starts at around day 20 on default settings. That means you have 20 days to prepare. Here is what you should do during summer to enjoy an easy winter:

Make some Traps before winter comes, because you can easily replenish the materials needed in summer. Alternatively, make 2 or 3 chests and fill them with rabbits. I prefer the second option myself because it allows me to kill many rabbits at once. This is useful when I’m insane to quickly get some nightmare fuel or hair from Beardlings.

Build several Drying Racks. They are useful because dried meat lasts longer and replenishes sanity. Ideally, you will have more than 5 racks by day 20.

Build at least one Ice Box. It’s very useful in winter because you won’t have to leave the base looking for food as often. The gear needed can be acquired near the teleportato, or in the ruins. It’s not easy to get it, but it’s a thousand times worth it.

Build Bee Boxes and Farms near your base. I myself build 4 beeboxes and 6 farms, but it’s up to you. Ideally, you will have built these at around day 10-12, because you want these to be up and running so that you can stock up food for winter. You want the beeboxes to be surrounded by flowers (plant butterflies) , because it speeds up their production.

Build a Birdcage, and keep growing plants on the farms until you get dragonfruit. Then feed the bird to get dragonfruit seeds, and grow some more. Repeat till you have about 10 dragonfruit seeds. These will be useful in winter as a good source of vegetarian food. More about that later.


Find a level 3 spider den and destroy it. Then re-plant it closer to the base, but not too close! Spiders roam about during dusk, and you don’t want them to attack you at night, unprepared. You can then farm this den for silk, which is super important for all sorts of things.

Keep collecting Reeds. The more the better. You will need it in winter, but it does not grow then, so ideally you will have at least a stack (40) by day 20.

Make the Beefalo Hat. This is the most important tip of this section. Forget about heat stones and fancy suits. This hat is all you need to keep warm. If you stay close to the fire during the night, you will not start freezing until about mid-dusk of the next day. Plus, you can wear a backpack when travelling and quickly switch to armor without risking freezing – something you cannot do with vests.

Before Winter

“Winter is coming.” – Ned Stark

At about day 17, you will have to switch focus to fully preparing for the upcoming winter. Here are some suggestions to consider.

Make a new Backpack, and put in one or more spears (or other melee weapon), some boomerangs, a stack of healing items, and any darts you may have along with one or two armor suits. This is your emergency backpack. If you get ambushed by hounds, deerclops or anything at all, you pick up that backpack and you’re set. Better than panicking in front of 6 chests trying to find that one tentacle spike, believe me!


Stock up on twigs and grass, because they grow very slowly during winter. Ideally, you will have a stack of 40 each in a chest plus more growing near the base in case you run out. If you decide to plant grass or twigs, keep in mind they take time to grow so day 19 is too late for a planting day!


Build a chest near your favorite cave entrance and put in a warm piece of clothing, some basic tools and enough grass and logs to start a fire. Do the same for any Touchstones you may have activated. This will prevent you from freezing to death should you die in the caves or resurrect at the touchstone.

Make sure you have easy access to all of these resources: Wood, Grass, Twigs, Rabbits and Spiders. You should also know where to get stone, gold and other items in case you run out.

Farms do not produce food in freezing temperatures so now is the time to stock up! Remember the dragonfruit seeds? It’s time to plant them and harvest dragonfruit. Ideally your ice box will contain a stack of honey (40), at least 10 dragonfruit and at least 25 other vegetables, a stack or two of Monster Jerky and some other meat. If you have good access to rabbits, don’t worry about non-monster meat so much.

After you’ve stocked up, grow some more vegetables/berries but don’t harvest them. They will not rot until you do so leave them be in case you run out. Also, keep at least one dragonfruit grown on a farm so that you can get more dragonfruit when winter ends. Do the same with bee boxes: let the bees collect honey 2 days before winter and leave it in, in case you run out of honey in your ice box.

During Winter

“Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.” – Sinclair Lewis

One thing to understand about winter is that it is not the time to sit around the fire. In fact, it offers new challenges and provides unique resources which you should take advantage of. If you followed the above points, you should be fine for survival. However, here are some suggestions to make winter not just about surviving, but about enhancing your base and character.

As for food, you’ll be fine with 2 Honey Hams per day. That’s one meat (or 2 small meats) with monster jerky in a crock pot with honey and a filler vegetable. It’s the best food because it’s easy to make, you can use monster meat, and it fills you up and heals you a lot! Use the dragonfruit to make Dragonpies. Take these with you into caves rather than honey ham because you will not be attacked by rabbits.

One of the first places you should visit is the Walrus Camp. The camp is deserted in summer but in winter it spawnsMactusk the walrus who drops really cool loot! Kill the walrus and his minions, and make a Walking Cane from his tusk. This is essential as it allows you to move faster. Keep visiting the camp every 2 days or so until you have both the walking cane and the Tam o’Shanter hat which you should wear near the fire when you can’t freeze to combat sanity. At any other time, you should always wear the beefalo hat to avoidFreezing. Since the Tam o’Shanter is difficult to acquire, it is recommended to leave it at the emergency chest when you enter a cave. Like this, if you die in the cave you won’t lose the hat.

Make a Sewing Kit and keep your beefalo hat repaired! If it breaks in winter and you don’t have a spare, you will be in big trouble.

It’s hunting season! Make some Boomerangs and keep hunting the blue birds in your spare time. Apart from the meat, they also give you the azure feathers which you can use to make Blowdarts. Remember the reeds you collected in summer? Blowdarts are very strong but expensive to make so use them either in emergency situations (put a stack in your emergency backpack) or for boss fights. If you play as Wendy, you have to use birdtraps to get the feathers because she is not strong enough to kill animals with a boomerang.

Another animal you should be on lookout for is the Koalefant. It gives you manure when alive which you can use as free fuel, and drops 8 meat (which you can use to make 8 honey hams, enough food for 4 days!) and the trunk which can be turned into a puffy vest. Since the beefalo hat is enough to keep you warm, it’s wise to place the vest into one of the emergency chests near your cave or a touchstone.

Finally, you may have a special visitor in winter. His name is Deerclops and he’s going to test your preparedness. If you hear him thumping towards you, grab your emergency backpack and ready up for battle! You might want to lure Deerclops away from your base so he does not destroy any structures. Lead him through tooth traps if you placed them, fire blowdarts at him, lead him to that spider den you have nearby. It’s up to your imagination how to deal damage: if you’ve prepared you will have the iniative. In any case, melee is not recommended. If you beat Deerclops, take his Eyeballand consider yourself a pro at winter survival :)


I hope you found some of these steps useful. If you followed my tips diligently you should now be prepared to face any type of winter-related danger. Once I exited a cave and had the hounds coming at me from one direction, and Deerclops from the other. I must admit I did not survive that one! :D

Thanks for reading! HAVE FUN!!

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