How to Prepare For A Winter Camping Trip: Essential Issues and Expert Suggestions
Winter camping is an excellent way to relax and enjoy the pristine beauty of the wilderness in a snowy background. However, winter is an unforgiving season so you must learn how to prepare for a winter camping trip before you head out into the snow. In the case you are completely unfamiliar with the issue, this article could offer you some useful tips and tricks.
From the choice of tent heater to the place that you should set up your tent, there are a lot of different propositions and opinions. Therefore, you don’t have to strictly follow the information below, in fact, feel free to make changes if needed. This is your trip after all so it’s a good idea to make sure that everything matches your taste. As long as the adjustments are logical, they should considerably improve your winter camping experience.
Winter Camping Preparation
Depend on personal preference and camping style, people could come up with a wide variety of winter camping loadout. There is no such thing as the perfect set of gears and supplies that could work in all camping situation.
The best loadout of someone else may appear to be unsuitable or outright inadequate to you. Nonetheless, for most of the time, the following items are what you should consider taking with you into the snow:
- Sleeping Bag: To keep your body warmth during nighttime, it’s important that you pack a well-insulated sleeping bag. Before you buy a sleeping bag, you have to make sure that the temperature rating of the bag is sufficient. In winter, the temperature could drop pretty low at night and that is why you have to come prepared. The last thing you want to experience is to contract hypothermia in the middle of nowhere.
- Tent: Beside the sleeping bag, you also need a tent to shield you from cold winds, snows and other elements. Similar to the sleeping bag, exam and inspect available tents to determine which one could match your needs and requirements. After your purchase a suitable tent, the next thing to do is to set it up for a test and see how things turn out. If you detect any flaw or defect, quickly return the tent and get a new one instead of keeping it.
- Clothes: A good amount of body heat escapes through your skin so your choice of camping clothes is quite important. You are advised to wear at least three layers of clothes: wool undergarment for the first layer, fleece shirt and pant for the second and waterproof coat for the third. Winter masks and pairs of socks, gloves and boots are necessary as well because they cover your skin and let you move around with ease.
- Foods And Drinks: In order for the body to stay warm, you have to keep yourself hydrated and consume an adequate amount of nutrition daily. In most of the case, it’s recommended that you go after foods and drinks that are hot, easy to prepare and non-perishable. Pasta, soup, and oatmeal are excellent choices while snacks could work as a quick dish. Avoid energy bar and similar items though since they may get too hard to eat.
- Cooking Supplies And Camping Gears: A portable burner, a lighter, lightweight cooking utensils and the burner fuel should be enough for most of the time. About the gears, you could bring whatever you like but it’s best that you attempt to keep things light. In general, you should take a shovel, a heater, a flashlight, a first aid kit, hygiene supplies and a map. These items alone should ensure an acceptable level of comfort and safety.
In The Snow
- Check Out The Weather Condition: Right before you head out, you should take a look at the weather forecast and see the all potential outcomes. In the case rough weathers are expected, you have to pack extra supplies and equipment. If there are reports of heavy snow, extreme temperature, violent blizzard and so on, you should consider postponing the trip. It’s unwise to go camping in adverse weather and put yourself in danger.
- Choose A Suitable Place To Set Up Your Tent: The camping ground should be smooth and even with sufficient cover. Natural wind protection would cover the tent and its occupants from cold wind along with falling debris, more or less. While setting the tent, it’s advised that you orient the entrance away from the wind to minimize potential exposure. Doing that would also allow you to enter/leave the camping tent without difficulty.
- Keep Your Socks, Gloves And Boots Warm: Many novice campers only care about themselves and simply neglect other important items. You definitely don’t want to walk around wearing ice cold socks, gloves and boots so keep them somewhere warm. For example, you could store these items at the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep them warm throughout the night. A couple of thermal insulated storage bag would work as well.
- Construct A Fire Pit: A bright fire could provide the camping ground with a good amount of heat and light. Firsts, grab a couple of rocks and stones in order to secure the pit before you get a fire going. Start the fire by putting twigs, branches, dry leaves into the fire pit then light everything up with the lighter. After that, you should sustain the flame by wood logs. Do remember to check out the local regulation beforehand though.
- Travel In Pairs: While some people think that traveling in pairs is unnecessary and a nuisance, it’s still the best way to ensure camping safety. If an unexpected accident takes place, having someone around to help you could make the difference between life and death. In the case you decide to travel alone, you should inform your friend/relatives on your location along with your intention as a safety measure.
- Beware Of Hypothermia: Signs of hypothermia include shivering, hyperventilation, pale skin,… Seek medical attention at once if you or your fellow campers exhibit these symptoms.