Winter camping is fun – but it can be much harder to do than in the summertime. Learn what supplies you need to bring and how to prepare for it.
Whether you are with friends or family camping gives you the chance to enjoy the beauty of nature without being bordered by the madness of traffic and the people moving all around you. While many people will do this in the summer there are a few who prefer the winter months to go out on their trek.
First, you should decide on what dates you would like to go. Talk with the individuals you are going with and decide how many days that you all can handle. If you have not camped during the winter than you might want to only be gone for two days and one night. The weather can be difficult to manage if you are not used to it.
The hardest thing about going during the winter months is to know what food you need to bring along. It is best to bring foods that are already prepared and are easy to consume. You don’t want anything freezing on you so be sure they are stored in a safe place. Also, be sure to bring along a good amount of water and any cooking provisions you may require.
In a different bag, you need to store the safety equipment. You should bring with you a first aid kit that is filled with ointment, bandages, rubbing alcohol and anything else that might come in handy. This needs to be with you at all times when you leave the camp. Make sure to give each individual a mini first aid kit to store in their packs.
Every backpack needs to be filled with their personal items and water. The rucksack needs to be large enough to hold everything including the tent and camping tent lights. However, it has to be lightweight enough to carry when you are walking to your destination.
Some more tips on winter camping.
Plan for the coldest possible temperatures in your area.
Whether it starts in October or ends in April, winter can be brutal. The most important thing about winter camping is planning. In the summer, make a mistake like getting wet and you can survive. But get soaked at 20°, and you’re in trouble.
Winter camping begins with a good night’s rest.
Camping, as opposed to day-tripping,
means sleeping outdoors. Proper gear and proper preparation dictates the difference between jogging in the bag or snoozing until sun-up.
Liquid intake is critical in winter camping.
It’s a white desert out there! Dry winter air saps internal water reserves – especially while cross-country skiing, fishing, or hiking. Drinking liquids will help keep you warm.
The hardest thing about winter camping is getting out of bed.
Mornings will generally be the coldest time of the day. Be it 10° or –20°, it’s hard to face the reality of leaving a warm nest. While still in the bag, I drink from my water bottle, eat another candy bar, stretch in place and start putting on all my clothes. When my hands get cold, I grab the hand warmers.
Prepare nearly all your food at home and make twice as much as you normally eat.
Regardless of how much I eat on winter trips I always lose weight.
Keeping warm during the day depends on your clothing.
Technology has provided today’s winter camper with more and better choices than cotton and wool. Polypropylene, a synthetic fabric, holds little moisture and actually moves body dampness away from the skin into outer clothes. I start with polypropylene underwear tops and bottoms.
Take care of your extremities with the proper hats, gloves, and boots.
Seventy percent of heat loss can come from your head, so a good hat must provide warmth and wick moisture. I believe in being prepared and take a musher’s hat, wool watch cap, fleece headband and fleece balaclava.
Lest you think winter camping is all work and no play… What’s there to do for fun on a winter camping trip? Plenty! Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking the backcountry and ice-fishing to name just a few.