For those interested in an exciting outdoor adventure in the cooler weather, winter camping may be the choice for you. Winter camping brings an entirely new element to the activity of camping. Not only do you see the great outdoors in a totally different light, it also offers different challenges from summer camping.
Winter Camping Supplies
It is important to have the correct supplies for winter camping, as this is can, at times, have a level of danger not present at other times of the year. Things to bear in mind include rapid changes in the weather the weather may be fine and sunny, although cool, when you leave to hike to your destination and within minutes a winter storm can blow up. Dress appropriately in layers for winter camping. Avoid wearing cotton. Cotton does not dry quickly and retains the water against your skin causing you to become even colder with the added risk of hypothermia developing.
For winter camping trips always wear nylon or wool clothing … wool should be used for socks. Dress in layers starting with a thin layer of clothing against your skin. There are some sportwool fabrics that are used in long johns, next a warm layer of clothing that may be a fleece type material and finally a quick-drying outer layer from a material like nylon or goretex. Always wear woolen socks to keep the feet dry and comfortable.
Make sure you have appropriate boots for winter camping. Boots must be water repellant or have a protective coating to keep them from absorbing water. Always wear a hat or a woolen beanie and bring an extra one just in case. A great deal of body heat can be lost through an uncovered head.
Wear or carry gloves and have them attached to your jacket to prevent losing them. Light weight glove liners can be added for extra warmth.
Winter-weight camping tents can be purchased, although sometimes they can be heavier to carry. Depending on where you are going and how far you are hiking, you may be quite comfortable in a three-season tent. A four-season or winter tent will stand up to strong winds, will repel all forms of precipitation and be able to withstand a heavy fall of snow.
If you do not have a tent you may be able to build a snow shelter for protection, however, you’ll want to practice building a snow shelter before you actually need to spend a night in one during a winter hike.
Make sure to bring a sleeping bag that is made to withstand the deep freeze of winter. There are many mummy-type bags that are extremely warm and designed to withstand temperatures of 10 degrees and below. A foam underlay may also be a useful addition to keep the sleeping bag off the ground and away from moisture. The pad can also be used to sit on during the day.
When winter camping make sure to bring food that may be eaten without heating up. Although there are water proof matches, sometimes it can be difficult to find tinder when winter camping. Have a supply of food that you carry with you when winter camping, in case you loose your original supply.
Winter camping is an exciting outdoor activity; however, it is imperative that the camper has the appropriate equipment for this venture.