If you love to go on camping trips when the camping sites are not crowded with other campers, then winter camping is the best option for you. With snow all around you, your camping can be an amazing experience.
The tranquility and the scenic beauty of a snow-draped forest glowing under the moon light is something to look forward to. However, a winter camping trip needs a lot more planning than the average summer camping.
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You need to be well prepared to deal with the cold weather outside and keep yourself warm.
Here are some amazing tips that can make your camping experience even in the winters, a memorable one.
- Dressing up Right
The first thing is to dress up right. You will need clothes to keep you warm when you are sitting idle. It is really tougher to be comfortable in the freezing weather when you are not in the move. Layering up is the best option. For the base layer, wear polyester thermal underwear.
When choosing clothes, make sure the materials are breathable. This will keep the sweat from accumulating. You can get merino wool and wool-fleece blends which will give you the warmth without any irritation. A neck gaiter or scarf should be included in your backpack. You can put it on or off easily to regulate your body temperature. A lightweight jacket which is breathable and waterproof is also a must.
Your wool or fleece stocking caps can be attached with a detachable hood to make it windproof. Pick polyester or wool socks instead of cotton socks. Waterproof boots are required if you plan to hike through the snow.
- Selection of Camping Site
The campsite that you choose when camping in summer and the tips that you follow while selecting a site, won’t work for you in winter. While during summer camping, you might prefer to select a secluded plot where there will be ample shade, the same won’t work for winter.
You will in fact search for sunshine in the morning. So, while setting up your camp, you need to find out where the sun will first appear at sunrise.
Your tent should be set up in such a way that you can benefit fully from the early rays of the sun.
However, you should keep in mind that the door of the tent should be shielded from the wind.
When camping in winters, campfires are a must. You need to keep yourself warm and campfires can be a great way to do so. When you reach your campsite, the first thing you should do is start the fire. Pack fire sources in plenty and plan in advance regarding the arrangements. The fire sources that you carry with you can either be high tech or low tech. if you want to go the traditional way, you can stuff dryer lint tightly into film canisters or old pill bottles. For a high tech option, choose magnesium fire starters.
- Preparing for Condensation
Condensation is unavoidable when you are camping in winter. On a cold night as you breathe inside your warm tent, condensation will form there, even if the tent is built to work for four seasons.
You have to be ready in the morning for your tent to “snow” down on you. Your body’s condensation can freeze the upper layer of your sleeping bag. This is the place where the warm air comes in contact with the cold air. Over time your sleeping bag can freeze and it can start “snowing” inside the tent.
You can use a vapor barrier liner for your sleeping bag to fight condensation. You can also dry out the sleeping bag completely in the morning, before you use it again.
Another way to lessen condensation is to vent your tent while you are sleeping. This might decrease the temperature but it will keep the tent dry.
- Food and Drink
It is necessary to have energy-rich food and warm drinks due to low temperatures and high calorie-burn activities during winter camping trips. The food you carry should have carbohydrates, protein and fat.
At least 50 percent should be carbs as they can easily be converted into energy.
At least 30 percent should be fat as they can keep your body warm for a longer time period.
Protein should be 20 percent as they can fulfill your hunger and repair muscle tissue which easily gets worn out during outdoor activities.
Keeping yourself hydrated is extremely necessary during winter camping. Drink water, whether hot or cold for hydration. You can also have warm lemonade, hot soup, hot tea or hot chocolate.
- Boiling the Snow
There is no use carrying water filters to your campsite. Mechanical filters can crack and fail to work. Chemical filters take a long time to work in the freezing temperature.
You should boil the water you are carrying and then drink. You can also boil the snow and use it for drinking. Fresh snow or glacial melt is not sterile. So, it is best to boil the snow.
- Sleeping Right
It is advisable to wear your clothes while you are sleeping. Stripping down before entering a sleeping bag makes no sense. You need to put on majority of your clothes that you have brought before you call it a day.
Sleep with your boots. You can use boots with removable liners. You can keep the liners warm by putting them at the bottom of your sleeping bag.
You can pour in hot water in a strong bottle, wrap it with a sock and place it inside your sleeping bag.
Apart from these tips, you should also make sure you are carrying ample sun protection like sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. You should also have maps and compasses to keep you from getting lost in the wilderness. First aid kits and repair tools should also be there in your backpack.
Follow these tips and your winter camping can be a warm and cozy experience right in the middle of the snow covered locations.
Do you go for winter camping trips? Is there any other process that you follow to keep yourself warm? Share your tips with us in the comments below.