Outdoor enthusiasts won’t let any type of weather keep them from enjoying nature, even the most extreme weather conditions. Many people feel cooped up all winter long and can’t wait for the snow to clear so they can enjoy the outdoors again.
The beautiful winter season is too often ignored because people are uninformed of the different landscapes it offers and the ways you can stay warm to enjoy it. Winter camping is especially convenient for those who enjoy winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing, and ice fishing.
Don’t hibernate during this beautiful season; instead use these tips to enjoy a different kind of camping.
1. Your first priority is to find a destination realistic to your wants. First ask yourself: what are my expectations and limitations when winter camping? If you do not like cold weather and do not wish to sleep in the snow, then look for a place with more moderate climates instead of the extremes.
If you like the snow and believe you can handle the more extreme cold temperatures, then you may choose a destination which allows you to enjoy this type of climate.
2. Just like if you were camping during the hot summer months, you will want to check the weather before planning your trip. Check for the high and the low temperatures and if any storms are in the forecast. Many times winter storms will come unexpectedly so it is best to prepare for a change in the weather.
3. Appropriate clothing is a key element when planning your winter camping trip. Without the right clothing your trip could be disastrous and dangerous. Warm jackets, snow pants, hats, and mittens are essentials, but don’t forget the under items to add an extra layer.
Thermal underwear, wool socks and warm boots are essential. Dressing in layers will make a big difference in extremely cold climates and will help you to regulate your body heat.
4. The right camping gear is especially important when winter camping. Do not make the mistake of packing your summer gear used during the hottest months of the year and think that you will stay warm.
When researching the right sleeping bag, make sure you know the most extreme temperature it will be used in. Sleeping bags come in all different styles and there are certain sleeping bags that are made to keep you warm in the most extreme cold weather conditions.
You must use a four-season tent, which will give you more insulation than a summer tent would. Bring an extra foam pad or air mattress that will help keep you warm from the cold air that comes up from the ground.
You may want to bring an extra stove to melt snow into drinking water and don’t forget to bring extra fuel for your stove.
5. If you are sleeping in an RV or camper, you will need to make sure it is winterized before you leave. With these types of vehicles, your biggest concern is freezing water lines. If your camper or RV has a heater, make sure it is working before you leave on your camping trip. These types of vehicles will keep you warmer at night than a tent would.
6. There is little worse than to get into a cold sleeping bag, which could potentially lower your body heat. There are ways you can pre-warm your sleeping bag before you crawl into bed. Be sure to pack watertight tight containers so you can do this.
All you have to do is bowl water and pour it into the watertight container. Make sure that it is completely sealed. This process could be counterproductive if you have a leaking water container. Put the hot water container in the bottom of your sleeping bag about 20 minutes before you go to bed.
This will warm up your sleeping bag and make it more enjoyable to get into bed. It will also help you maintain your body temperature throughout the night.
7. Space heaters are great to stay warm when your house is a little cooler than comfortable, but do not make the mistake of bringing one winter camping. It is extremely dangerous to use a space heater in a tent and cannot be done.
It could melt your tent or start it on fire. If you are camping in an RV or camper and there is a large open space, this may be an option. Use extreme caution if you plan on using a space heater and do not put it in your tent.
8. Don’t forget to pack plenty of fire wood. It is likely that you will not be able to find fire wood for your camp fire in the winter because a lot of the trees and branches have been used by the summer campers.
It is also hard because the wood will often be too wet for you to burn. Having a camp fire is even more important when you are winter camping because you need to rely on it to keep you warm.
9. Do not think that the food you usually plan on eating during a summer camping trip will suffice for your winter camping trip. The extreme cold temperatures require heartier meals. Canned soups are great for camping and are easy to cook.
It is also smart to bring your favorite hot beverages such as coffee, tea, apple cider and hot chocolate.
10. The nights are a lot longer during the winter months and obviously a lot cooler. You will most likely spend less time doing outside activities at night and may go to bed earlier.
Be sure to bring activities such as a book, cards, board games or anything you and your friends and family enjoy doing together.
The winter months are beautiful to spend outside and with these tips you won’t have to hibernate all winter long and miss out on the beautiful landscape of the winter season.