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Unlike summertime camping where most people envision favorable conditions such as warm weather, clear nights and a blooming nature, winter camping can become very uncomfortable if you don’t make adequate preparations.
However, just like camping in the summer, winter camping can add whole new fun as well as challenges to a normal camping trip.
In fact, camping during the winter has various advantages: there are no dangerous insects, annoying critters, and other pesky things that are common during the summer.
Much as winter camping can just be plain cold with unique hazards and risks, there are features that can make it enjoyable.
The following are top winter camping tips to make your trip unforgettable:
1. Make pre-trip preparations
For a winter camping trip to be successful, you must make adequate preparations ahead of participating in the trip .
- Be prepared for the worst by carrying all emergency supplies especially if you’re going off the beaten track.
- Do exhaustive research about the area you intend to camp so as to learn about any nearby villages and resources such as shops, hospitals, roads, and restaurants. Consider checking the amount of time it takes to get to various places so that if you take longer, you will know that you’re off track.
- Don’t go on a camping trip alone. Go with friends for safety purposes.
- Leave an itinerary of your camping trip so that someone will know where you are and can raise an alarm if need be.
- Before you leave for a winter camping trip, be sure to check future weather reports to get an idea of the conditions of the camping site. You should also get a good grasp of the area. Its a good idea to be prepared for any condition as weather has a tendency to change unexpectedly during the winter.
2. Carry a camping tent
A camping tent will keep you safe from crawling creatures like scorpions and snakes. Your tent should strong, sturdy and waterproof to shied from strong wind and driving rains. It’s also advisable to carry strong poles that are sturdy enough to hold the tent up in strong winds or should it snow.
3. Winter clothing
Keeping warm during winter camping ensures you are comfortable and therefore you need to carry the right clothing to enable you overcome the cold.
When winter camping, it’s essential to wear layers so as to regulate body moisture and temperature. It’s recommended that you wear a few layers as opposed to one thick layer. It’s also advisable to avoid using cotton layers as they are known to absorb moisture which can cause you to get cold quickly. Typically, you are required to wear three layers: base layer, mid layer and outer layer.
- Base layer: This one is like a second skin that helps to trap warm air. The most ideal material that is used as a first layer is the merino wool. In situations of extreme cold, you can wear up to two or more base layers.
- Mid layer: The mid layer acts as an insulating layer. Fleece lined clothing make the best insulating layer.
- Outer layer: This layer serves to keep you dry. The material that is commonly used as an outer layer should be water and wind-proof.
Other things to keep in mind are as follows:
- Nearly a half of your body heat gets lost through the head. It’s therefore advisable to wear a knitted hat when you are inside and a windproof one when going out.
- Gloves should not be too tight on your hands as they can constrict the blood flow and keeps your hands from warming up.
- Wear waterproof trousers that contain insulation to retain heat in a snowy environment.
- Wear dry, thick socks or a thinner pair underneath a thicker pair. You should carry a spare incase they get wet.
- Always carry extra clothing in case the temperature gets lower that you expect.
- Carry with you a sleeping bag to make your winter camping trip more enjoyable.
Cold feet are very unpleasant and therefore its good to ensure you have the right camping shoes to will make your journey through the camping site easy.
If the area you are camping is densely forested, put on hiking shoes. Skis are ideal when travelling downhill and across flat plains, but when climbing mountains it’s ideal that you wear snow shoes.
Any shoes you choose should have waterproof outer shells such as oiled leather or plastic.
5. Food and water
Include plenty of carbohydrates in your diet to provide fuel for hiking and keep the body warm. Consider carrying one-pot meals as they are easy to cook in winter.
6. Obtain the Right Equipment
Apart from the normal camping equipment, there are other basic items you need during camping.
- Ensure you have a sharp multi-purpose knife. A combo knife is preferred for purposes like skinning prey.
- A reliable source of light. A LED lantern light is perfect for providing adequate light around the campsite. Be sure to carry a LED flashlight to help you move around at night. Additionally, you can include a LED headlamp to free up both hands for optimized efficiency and convenience.
- Ensure you carry adequate storage space for your essential supplies. The storage equipment should be airtight and waterproof.
- Beef up your survival kit. In addition to basic first aid supplies, ensure you have a whistle, an emergency blanket , waterproof matches, candles, among others.
- Obtain any maps you may need and be comfortable with basic map reading skills like using a compass.
7. Additional camping tips
- Eat a considerable amount of calories to keep you warm
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Exercise a bit before going to bed
- Use body warmers
- Do not layer too much
- Take a windbreaker with you to shield you from the wind
- While at the camping site, do not sleep as if you are in our bedroom back at home. Be cautious of the surroundings. It’s recommended that you sleep in turns.
- In your company, ensure there is a person with basic wilderness first-aid skills.
There you have it! With these winter camping ideas, the advantages of winter camping can certainly outweigh the harshness that the cold can bring!
Thank you, Louise and TheAdventureLand blog for sharing these tips! If you would like more camping tips, check out our other posts including a First Time RV Camping Checklist and Tips for your First Time Camping with Kids!
Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand, where she and her associates blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”