Camping is a year-round activity anyone can participate in. Of course, some seasons are more favorable than others, but this doesn’t mean the less favorable ones are impossible. When the temperatures drop, campers just need to take different precautions than they would in the summer or spring. Here’s what you need to remember about camping in cold weather.
Stay Two Steps Ahead
Campers always need to be overly prepared for trips, but it might be even more crucial during the winter. Stay two steps ahead by watching the weather. Meteorologists are pretty good at keeping the world informed, but weather can still be unpredictable.
Pack for the worst-case scenario. Have two bags for all the gear you know you’ll need, and pack an extra emergency bag for the more unpredictable days. Pay close attention to weather trends for the season and region. Also, research recent changes in terrain, trail closures, and other hazards. You need to know what areas are safe to travel to.
Arm Your Shelter
With all the research you’ve acquired from checking the weather, you know what your shelter needs. If you’re truly going the “roughing-it” route and sleeping outside, you need to ensure the tent can withstand the weather.
Instead of sleeping on the ground, it might be wise to go higher up. A rooftop tent is an excellent substitute, and there are lots of ways to keep the tent warm during the trip. Don’t try and decide which piece of advice you want to follow. Include them all. It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared.
Arm Your Body
There’s only so much armor your shelter can take on. The body needs an equal amount of protection, if not more. You need to consider daywear and nightwear. Camping in cold weather means you must layer.
Of course, you should have a puffy coat, a hat, and gloves. But the clothing you wear underneath is equally important. Bring midweight base layers, fleece pants, and a waterproof coat. You want to wear material that soaks up water so that you don’t freeze. Remember thick socks and plenty of thermal gear.
Stay Hydrated and Full
Staying hydrated and full is another way to arm yourself. Lots of body heat comes from a healthy body. Proper nutrition and hydration will keep you warm. Hydrate throughout the day and feed yourself warm meals for breakfast and dinner. A warm meal before bed will help you sleep through the night comfortably, and a warm breakfast will help knock off that morning chill.
You don’t have to reserve snacks and lunches for warm meals. Pack kitchenware suitable to accomplish these tasks. You should get the following:
- A cast iron set
- A cookstove
- Cooking utensils
You might want to include more, but these are three essentials.
Remember these tips when camping in cold weather, and you’ll barely notice the conditions aren’t naturally on your side.