Winter camping could mean a heated cabin for some, but it could also mean grabbing a tent to a remote location for others. No matter the type of winter camping you’re planning for, these tips can be extremely useful in all cases.
- Fireproof clothing
You will need to build a fire, whether it’s to cook, stay warm or simply to boost your morale. While doing so, always make sure that the outer layer of your clothing is fire resistant. Tiny errant embers could harm your favourite sweater, or worse. Wool, as a natural fibre, is the most fire resistant and hence the best option for this purpose.
- Extra gloves and hats
It’s best to always carry a spare set of gloves and hats. It’s very easy to lose gloves and hats since they’re small and hence, misplaced very often. Carrying a spare set could mean the difference between warm and frostbitten hands and fingers.
- Keep essentials warm
In sub-zero temperatures, everything has the potential of being frozen solid, including water and food. Being prepared for this kind of weather is the key. A strategy must be in place to keep you dry and warm at all times. This should include thawing your food and cooking meals, all while keeping the gear in working condition. Many prefer ‘hot tenting’ these days to regular tents. A wood stove in the tent helps keep you warm, drying your wet clothes along with cooking your meals. In case of ‘cold tenting’, a high-quality sleeping bag must be in place inside. A liquid gas stove is recommended in this case as canister stoves might not perform well in such low temperatures.
- Cooking in the winter
Cooking during the winter isn’t very different from cooking the rest of the year. A campfire, gas or wood stove, may be used with regular pots and pans. The only main difference is that you won’t have to worry about keeping certain food cold, as it will probably be frozen solid. Extra fuel and time will be required while preparing your meals. Another important aspect is that we tend to eat more when it’s colder. Calorie requirements run higher and so, bigger portions will be consumed. Meals must be prepared accordingly.
- Sleeping with your boots
Boots that come with removable liners are perfect for camping during winters. The liners can be placed at the bottom of the sleeping bags and kept warm. If you have single-layer boots, place them both in a waterproof stuff sack, right at the bottom of the sleeping bag. If not kept properly, frozen boots can lead to hypothermia.
- Applying Vaseline to exposed skin
People living in extremely cold regions have been using this method for years in order to provide moisture to their skin. Animal fats or Vaseline can be slathered onto any exposed skin such as ears, neck, face, hands and wrists. This can prevent you from suffering windburn and frostbite.
- Carrying winter specific gear
Your summer mesh tent cannot keep you warm or dry during harsh winter weather. A hot tent, capable of holding a wood stove can be chosen instead. Snowshoes will come in handy while moving through deep snow covered areas. It’s always a good idea to carry things you will need instead f things you want.
- Be safe and have fun
The clothes you’ve chosen to wear the next day can be placed at the bottom of your sleeping bag. This will help them and you stay warm. Make sure you’re carrying a few essentials like a first aid kit, a map, waterproof matches and a flashlight. Winter is a good time to be outdoors and explore nature. It provides with a great chance to revel in the solitude and quiet.
You can certainly have fun with a little bit of planning and understanding the different challenges which may arise. If you enjoy camping during the summer, why should winter be any different? These tips are sure to come in handy during your next school winter camping trip.