Camping in winter is a different task and a different experience. But only some people go camping during the winter season because many people think that winter camping is harsh and is extremely impossible. But when it comes to reality if you have the right gears and the right plans it will be great fun.
To have a successful winter camping you need to make the right plans. In addition to this, you need to face the challenges of extreme cold and unpredictable weather.
If you are a beginner for winter camping first choose a location that is easy for you to stick to the plans. Make your first winter camping trip simple without staying too long.
Want to give it a try? Read this blog and keep these things in mind while camping and have some fun.
Things you need to pack
As you are camping in extremely cold situations the priority you need to give is to the things that keep you warm.
- Insulating top or jacket
- Rainwear pants and jacket
- Base layer, Middle layer, and Outer layer
- Warm hat
- Gloves or mitts
- Hand and toe warmers
- Waterproof boots
- Sleeping bags
- Lanterns, headlamps, or candles
- Blankets that keep you warm
- First aid kit
- Insulated water bottles
Avoid clothes that are made of cotton. Take clothes that are made of wool as these will keep you warm during the cold conditions.
Starting a fire
If you stay outdoors like staying in tents then definitely you need to make a campfire to keep yourself warm during the cold conditions. If you want to start a fire then you need to carry fire starters like waterproof matches, lighters, etc.
Due to winter many campsites and campgrounds will offer limited services. In some parks, there may be no wood for sale. So please bring enough wood as winter cannot be predicted.
If your campsite is too far from your parking area then please bring a sled to drag your supplies.
Camping in snow
The main difference when you are camping during the winter is snow. So there will be a different experience when you are camping in the winter season. When you reach your destination in a campground or campsite don’t rush and unpack everything.
First, take some rest and have some snacks and relax. Now take some time and look for the perfect site for camping. After finding the perfect spot for camping look for these things:
- Look for natural wind protectors like trees, hills, etc. They will block the cold winds and make you more comfortable.
- Look for the water source nearby.
- Set up a camp on the snow or bare ground. Don’t set up a camp on vegetation.
- Look for an area that is avalanche-free. So don’t camp below or above the slope.
- Don’t camp underneath the hazardous trees as you never know when the trees may break.
- Maintain some distance between you and other campers.
- Look for the east direction and camp accordingly as the sun rays will help you warm up faster during early mornings.
- Look for landmarks. These may help you during snowstorms.
Setting up a tent on snow
When camping in snow most people will camp by building igloos. But most of the beginners will make a tent. If there is not that heavy snow then makes a tent as usual you make it on bare land. If there is snow then follow these tips.
- First look for the tightly packed snow. Loose snow will start melting fastly and make you feel uncomfortable when you are sleeping. So before setting up your tent walk on the snow to check whether it is tight or loose.
- If it is too windy then try building a snow wall to reduce the impact caused by the wind. If it is not possible to build a snow wall then try digging the snow a couple of feet. This will also help you to reduce the impact caused by the wind.
- If you are planning to stay in a tent then don’t use standard stakes for your tent. Some stakes are specially designed to work in the snow. So go for them. Also, make sure that your tent is secured properly.
- Do not bring any sharp items into your tent. By mistake due to these sharp items if your tent tears then it will be a disastrous night.
Food and drinking tips
When you are trekking in snowy conditions your body uses a lot of energy and also loses a lot of water. But as it is really cold you don’t recognize that your body is losing water and you won’t be thirsty. So you need to stay hydrated. Follow these recommendations:
- Eating a hot meal is satisfying during the winter season. Don’t eat heavy food. Keep your diet simple so you won’t suffer any digestion problems during the chilly winter nights. Consider the foods that are very easy to cook.
- As it is winter the food cools down fast. So don’t take long breaks as you cannot enjoy eating food when it is cool. Make your lunch simple by preparing some sandwiches that are good in proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Prepare as many sandwiches as you can so that you can heat them when you are hungry.
- As it is winter there is no need for you to fear bears as they become lazy and go for hibernation. But other animals will sense the smell of your food. So you need to store your food securely from these animals.
- As it is very cold you cannot feel thirsty at all. But when you stop drinking water for a long time or do not intake water at regular intervals your body may be dehydrated and you will get symptoms like nausea, headache, etc. So it is very important to keep yourself hydrated as you do during the summer times. The best way to do this is to drink herbal tea or hot chocolate that will keep you hydrated and keep you warm as well.
- Bring some insulated water bottles with you. As it is cold the water may freeze. So if you use insulated water bottles the water will stay hot for a long time and remain unfroze so you can sip water whenever you need it.
- If you don’t have enough water with you, you can melt down the snow and prepare some water. But you need to make sure to collect clean snow that is without impurities.