Camping is America’s favorite past time. There is nothing better than to be one with nature. Most people came during the summer months. However, some like to go out in the cooler weather to see the beautiful landscaping blanketed with snow. By doing this, you will endure completely different elements than that of the summer months. It will be cool or cold and the snow is more of a “dry” wet, meaning that you can brush it off before it soaks through your clothing. Let’s take a look at how to stay warm when winter camping.
You will most likely be on snow, so you will want to find a spot and pack it down. This allows for an even floor in the tent. Be sure you pack a tent, sleeping mat, and bag that are properly rated for the temperatures that you will be facing. Most sleeping bags are made for summertime camping, since, that is what many people do.
You will want your head covered when sleeping. This can be a hat or the mummy-style bags work well too. You do not want to breathe into your bag due to excess moisture. However, you can pull the sleeping bag all the way around your head, leaving a small hole for your nose and mouth.
Table of contents
Prepare your winter camping experience!
Who doesn’t love camping? Camping is an excellent way to enjoy nature and have an adrenaline-pumping experience. Going out camping with your family and friends makes you have an unforgettable journey that brings you all together and gives you a taste of the wildlife. If you are planning to go camping in the winters and are afraid of feeling cold throughout your adventure, this article is for you! In this article, we discuss some tips you can use to make sure you stay warm while in your winter camping adventure.
Insulate your tent
Insulate your tent the best you can. Put gear around the perimeter. Place a blanket over the top of the tent if possible. And, sleep with what gear you can, such as boot liners. This allows you to have warm boots in the morning. There is nothing worse than sticking your foot inside a cold boot in the morning. You should wake up fairly warm, start by keeping it that way with warmed boot liners and clothing. Remember to also put in your outer layers, such as gloves and hats. This will ensure you have warm gear in the morning but also puts a layer of insulation around you as well.
An insulated closed cell sleeping mat is what you need to be a barrier between your body and the cold ground. This needs insulation or the cold ground will literally suck the heat right from you. You can also double this up if you’d like to get better insulation.
A Warm Sleeping Bag
Since you will be sleeping in a tent in winter, you will need something that can provide you an added layer of heat. So bring a sleeping bag designed especially for winters, one that will be rated for the expected temperature.
Make sure your sleeping bag is the right size and has the right amount of insulation. Closed-cell foam sleeping pads provide excellent insulation and are the best kind available. Microfiber lining can also help you stay warm at night. Furthermore, do not forget to add extra outer layers like a blanket or even your jacket to improve the quality of sleep you get. This Coleman Mummy style sleeping bag is rated down to 0 degrees and is available for a good price!
Before you go out for adventure, you should determine what kind of sleeper you are. If you are a warm sleeper, you might need to take some extra layers along with you. Wearing plenty of layers will keep you warm throughout the night and will give you a sound sleep.
Non-insulated water bottle
Sleep with a non-insulated water bottle that has been filled with heated water or snow. This will radiate the heat for you and it is very economical as well. Put these heated bottles near your core, inner thigh, or neck, these are the areas that you need to keep warm.
Don’t get too warm
Do not let yourself get too warm, as you perspire, the moisture can turn cold rather quickly, so always dress in layers. Don’t wear clothing that is too tight and might cut off circulation, and get a pair of really nice thick socks to sleep in. Synthetic fabrics and wool are best over cotton for the winter weather. Cotton tends to absorb and does not wick away moisture, which is not good in cooler weather.
Investing in the right gear is essential if you wish to enjoy winter camping. Stay away from cotton clothes, instead use wool as an inside layer. Also, ensure the presence of additional insulating layers to keep you warm and cozy.
Remember that winter camping is all about layers. Choose a number of thin clothes then stock them up with a warm, waterproof, and windproof layer. In addition to that, pay attention to your hands, head, feet, and neck. Ensure each clothing layer is a combination of waterproof, windproof, and as warm as needed.
Another thing to keep in mind is to take an extra pair of clothes when out in the wild. The clothes you will be wearing during the trip will eventually get wet from perspiration and falling snow. To avoid such a situation, make sure you have plenty of dry clothes that you can change into in case you get wet.
Before you go to sleep, it is a good idea to have a hot drink that will keep you warm until you reach your sleeping bag. This is essential because going to sleep when you are feeling cold will end up in an uncomfortable sleep since your body will take more time to warm up. Hot drinks can also be used all throughout the camping trip.
If you want to feel warm fast, physical activity is the best solution. Doing a few sit-ups can help you greatly if you want to feel warm right before you go to sleep. Jumping jacks can also help you feel warm.
Winter camping calls for more energy and your body will therefore need more calories than it does during regular camping. For a majority of people, approximately 4500 calories plus will give them enough energy needed to maintain warm and stay strong during hiking and normal camping activities in the snow.
In terms of weight, that translates to around 2 plus pounds of food per person in one day.
The good thing about winter camping is that it allows you to bring cooked frozen meals and enjoy them instead of preparing a bad, dehydrating camping meal. When it comes to cold weather, boil-in-a-bag stew-like meals work great and can be found easily in most superstores.
Stoves (more than one)
Stoves will not only help you keep warm, but also come in handy should you decide to prepare a snack or cook a meal. However, stoves can fail in winter without a warning. Both gas stoves and canister stoves are not 100% reliable when going for winter camping, which is why it is always best to pack more than one stove. This little camp stove is one of our favorites and is super small and durable.
Consuming fatty foods will help you keep yourself heated during your trip. Olive oil and cheese are good additions to your meal plans since they will help your body generate heat.
Do Not Sit on the Ground
The easiest way cold can be transmitted to you is when you sit on the ground; avoid doing that at all costs and keep a small chair or stool handy whenever you feel the need to sit. We all know this when we are inside but sometimes we forget it when we are outside. It can be warmer on higher ground. If you are sleeping in snow try to dig out some snow pits, this traps the cold air in the pockets and allows you to have warmer air.
Use Foot and Hand warmers
Using these will make a lot of difference when you are out there in the cold. When packing your clothes, do not forget to pack hand and foot warmers to give you an extra level of comfort.
Using all these tips, you can enjoy your winter camping adventure while feeling warm and cozy inside. Camping in winter will not be the same and will be more enjoyable once you incorporate all the ideas mentioned above on your trip next time.
Flashlights are a must during winter camping. To make sure your light sources do not give up on you, use lithium batteries. That’s because alkaline batteries tend to malfunction in cold temperatures since they are made with a water-based electrolyte solution. On the contrary, lithium batteries are way more powerful and strong in terms of performance, making them a perfect option for headlamps, flashlights, and other similar essential electronics.
If you want a complete list of all the camping stuff you need ? Download our complete winter camping checklist.