Camping during the winter months may seem like a stupid idea because of the chilly weather. If you are up for the challenge and the adventure, it can actually be fun!
However, camping during winter has its risks. For instance, your health can suffer if the cold is too much for the body to take. Also, you will most probably end up complaining of discomfort.
In the rest of this post, we will be listing down some of the most important winter camping tips, which will provide an assurance that you will have an epic time despite the weather!
Start with the Right Tent
One of the most important is to have the right tent. Take note that not all tents are the same. There are some that are made using thin fabrics, which are perfect only for the summer. For the winter, thicker fabrics are preferred, which will provide an assurance that the cold from the outside won’t penetrate inside. Also, if it is snowing, a tent with steep walls will be good as this will prevent the snow from accumulating on the top.
Bring the Right Sleeping Pads
Sleeping pads are lifesavers! They make camping more comfortable despite the fact that you are devoid of the luxuries of a fully-equipped bedroom. However, during the winter, you cannot bring just any type of sleeping pad. You have to bring one that is designed specifically to provide the insulation that the body needs when the temperature is low. Specifically, you have to look for a closed-cell foam sleeping pad.
Reduce Ambient Space
This is one of the simplest ways to make winter camping more bearable. If there is a lot of vacant space in the tent, expect that it will be colder. When it is cramped, on the other hand, it will feel warmer. With this, one thing that you can do is to sleep with a companion. It will be good to have someone to hug to make the cold more manageable. If you have to sleep on your own, however, you can stuff the tent with extra gears to provide additional insulation.
You should invest in winter clothing to make you feel more comfortable when you are camping. From head to toe, whether you are hiking or sleeping, you need to have the right outfit. For instance, when you are trekking, find the right boots, pants, top, and even headgear. Your hands should also be covered by thick gloves but should be comfortable enough so that you can still move. When you are sleeping, wear clothes that will make the body insulated. Wearing layers of clothing will also be good as long as this does not limit your movements or make you feel uncomfortable.
Mind your Sleeping Routine
Camping in the winter also entails the need to be more mindful of your sleeping routine. When you are sleeping in the wild, you have to make some changes. For instance, before you sleep, it is a good idea to walk around for a couple of minutes. This will help in your metabolism and will also keep the body warm as you try to hit the sack. It will also be good to have good hot dinner hours before you go to sleep.
Start a Fire
No, we are not asking you to set the campsite in a fire! Rather, what we are suggesting is that you build fire in the campsite. However, be sure to not sleep with the fire still burning. It should be extinguished before you finally sleep. Start a bonfire during dinner or when you are having drinks. You can also enjoy smores or BBQ! Tinder and cotton wool pads will help to easily start a fire. Unless you want to go old school and start a fire using rocks, make things easier by bringing a lighter or match with you.
Use a Bottle with Hot Water
While there are some expensive gears that can help in managing the temperature when you are camping during the winter, you can always use a bottle filled with hot water. This is a simple and cheap trick that can prove to be highly effective. Before going to sleep, boil water has to be put it in a bottle. The bottle can now serve as an instant warmer. You can place it inside the sleeping bag or near your tummy and legs.
Pee if you Have To
Especially when you are already snugged in a sleeping bag, going outside of the tent to pee can be a struggle. With this, it will be best to have an empty bottle inside the tent, which can be used when you need to pee. A pee funnel will be handy for women. At all times, do not try to resist the urge to pee. Emptying your bladder is actually a good thing because this will provide the body with more energy to fight the temperature. Just don’t forget to keep your pee bottle away from your drinking bottle so as not to be confused, especially when it is dark inside the tent!
Bring a Tarp
A hammock tarp will be beneficial in many ways when it comes to winter camping. If it is thick enough, it can also be used as a blanket to provide additional warmth on the top of your sleeping bag. The tarp can also provide a comfortable and warm area where you can sit down outside of the tent. It can even be used as a cover-up if in case the clothes you are wearing are not effectively keeping you warm. If your tent needs an extension, you can also use the tarp.
Last but not least, you should stay vigilant when you are camping. Be wary not only about yourself. You should also keep an eye on your friend. Hypothermia and frostbite are some of the most common problems in winter camping. The easiest way to prevent these is to stay warm. Also, do not tough it out. If you know that you can no longer do it, do not hesitate to admit. Safety should be the main priority of all campers.
Going camping on a winter is a one-of-a-kind experience. Before you say NO to it, take note of the tips that have been mentioned above. These things will make sure that you will be safe and comfortable in the campsite instead of continuously regretting being on the campsite!