For some it is unthinkable – to go camping in winter. Imagine – sleeping in the woods when it is snowing and the temperature drops below 10 ° F…
For others though it is much fun.
In this post we will be covering tips for winter camping. You will get the idea about this semi-extreme activity.
Wear Adequate Clothes
This one might be tricky. When going camping, your aim is both to stay warm and not having too much stuff on you. Think synthetics and wool.
Have a baselayer (long sleeve t-shirt and long underpants) made of well insulating synthetic fabric.
The second layer can be a fleece jacket. It keeps the warmth from escaping and lets your body breath.
Your jacket must be both windproof and waterproof. These days most hiking jackets have these characteristics.
Keep Your Tent Warm
You will spend almost a third of your time in your tent, therefore, it has to be taken care of really well. There are several ways you can keep your tent warm:
- Put some rocks by the fire for an hour or two and then bring them inside the tent for the night.
- Use a heater.
- Don’t close the tent vents. Even though it may sound counterintuitive, the vents are important to discharge the moisture produced by your breath inside the tent. The moisture makes it colder in the tent.
There is actually a great post about keeping the tent warm here: http://campingandcamping.com/10-tips-on-how-to-keep-your-tent-warm.
Remember to eat as late as possible. Just right before you go to sleep.
Eating late will keep your body producing heat during the night because it is going to process the food you have just eaten.
Be sure to eat fatty food. Your body will absorb it more evenly through the night.
Insulate Yourself Well
Before going to sleep, make sure you take care of your insulation. It is advisable to use an extra blanket on top of your sleeping bag. The blanket will serve as an additional layer of insulation and will keep the warmth inside.
You mus also make a proper barrier for the cold coming from the ground. For this reason you’ll have to use a sleeping mat. I would suggest using foam mat instead of inflatable one. An inflatable mat has nothing but the air inside and transmits cold very well. Foam mats keep you more insulated from below.
Keep Everything Dry
Dampness in winter may make things really bad.
Keep your sleeping bag from getting wet. Do not breath inside of the bag. If you do, it will accumulate condensate inside and will become wet really fast.
Keep your feet dry. This is very important. If your feet get wet, stop, make a fire and dry your boots and socks. Feet are priority number one when hiking in winter.
Winter hiking and camping can be really fun. Once you have mastered these few simple, but very important skills, you will enjoy your time in nature no matter the weather.