Winter camping is the time for the people who love camping to put their camping skills to the test to see if they can tough it out in the extreme cold weather. You may think you know what you need for camping but winter camping is a totally different ballpark.
Look over these winter camping tips because you never know what you might learn that might just help you on your winter camping trip.
Pack and Prepare Appropriately
When you are going camping, even if it was in the spring, you need to pack and prepare before you make your journey. Camping requires you to make a lot of preparations because having the right gear and clothing can really determine what kind of camping experience you will have. Some basic things you should definitely pack are listed below:
Proper Clothing – in the winter it is very important that you have the proper clothing to keep you warm. Make sure depending on what environment you are in you have the right stuff. If you are in a very cold environment you will want to have on plenty of layers, socks, jackets, and possibly some heated clothing.
Heated jackets (link) are one of the best ways to keep your core warm. When you wear one of these, the heat starts to make your blood flow throughout your body causing it to warm up. Check the weather where you will be camping ahead of time so you will know exactly what kind of clothing to pack.
First Aid – First aid kits are one of the most important items you can bring on your camping trip. You never know when you may have an injury that needs tending to. This is especially important when doing activities outdoors that way you can properly clean and dress your wounds.
Satellite Phone/Walkie Talkies – When you are out camping sometimes it is difficult to get cell phone service. If you have a satellite phone or a two-way radio that you can bring with you it will be extremely helping in any emergency situations.
Food – Food preparedness is a must when you are going to go camping. Make sure you have enough food to last you for three meals a day plus snacks for the number of days you are planning on going camping. Check out our best camping food list to know exactly what you need to pack.
Cleaning Supplies – If you do not take care of yourself it can lead to sickness or even infections. You should always think about packing a bar of soap, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer. Remember to wash your hands regularly before eating to not catch any disease while on your trip.
Matches/ lighters – starting a fire is important for any time of the year camping. For one, you will need a fire to cook any food that you may have brought that needs to be heated up. The second reason being, if you are camping in the winter, a good campfire will really keep you warm when hanging around the campsite.
Packing the Snow
Packing the snow is important because if you put your tent or campsite on soft snow you can easily tear a hole in your tent or make the floor of the tent uneven. When you pack down the ice you are creating a hard surface for you to step on and sleep on. This is also important because when you are in the campsite your body heat can melt snow.
Keep Yourself and Your Clothes Dry
Camping in the winter means the weather will be very cold. You will want to stay as dry as possible to keep you warmer. You want to pack extra clothing just in case yours get wet. Get yourself a great pair of waterproof boots to keep your feet dry. Your feet lose the most amount of feet the fastest.
Remember you can boil snow down and drink it. It will have been boiled so all the bacteria and anything that could harm you should be killed. I would still have a backup plan if I were you as to a water filter, just in case you need it.
Did you know a yoga mat can actually keep you warm? It\s true, yoga mats are great for keeping a barrier from you and the snow. When you are in your tent lay down a few yoga mats and put your sleeping bag on top of that. Not only will it give you some extra support it will also provide a layer from you and the snow which will keep you warmer.
In the winter we all know the drill; the sun sets early and we have longer nights. On those long winter nights, you are going to need something to entertain you. How about a book? You can relax in your warm sleeping bag and read a nice good book before falling asleep. If you go to bed too early you will most likely wake up before the sun is even out yet.
Tell Someone Where You’re Going
It is important that before you embark on the camping trip that you share it with someone. It is good for a loved one to know where you are going to be and when to expect you back. Say if something were to go wrong then that person knows when you were supposed to be back and can get some help to find out where you are. I cannot stress this tip enough; it is a life saver!
Use Metal Containers
When you bring matches or even a lighter you need to keep them in a metal container. Plastic containers can easily break if they freeze. So, make sure you pack plenty of matches. Fire is very important on any camping trip, but it is especially important on a winter trip. Also, when cooking use wooden spoons; metal spoons can freeze and actually keep your food cold when it’s cooking.
Bring Extra Fuel
If you decide to bring portable propane to make sure you bring more than enough with you. Fuel will run out faster in colder weather. You will be using it to cook and warm up so it will go fast. Try to bring around ¼ a quart for each day that you will be camping. If you have someone coming camping with you, bring ¼ quart for them each day as well.
Use Lithium Batteries When Possible
Battery powered devices take a lot of battery power when you use them constantly during camping. Lithium batteries are way more powerful than alkaline batteries. They are known to perform better in colder temperatures, that is why you see them used in heated socks, heated jackets, etc. the battery will last up to three times longer than the alkaline batteries. So, before you embark on your camping trip see if you can get some lithium batteries.
Did you learn anything new from the winter camping tips above? Having the proper knowledge before you go out will help you to have an easier time. Relax and take in the beauty that mother nature has made for us. Remember to be safe and have fun!