Winter is almost here and you are probably thinking about all the outdoor activities you’re going to miss during the cold months.
But why not embrace the new opportunities that winter brings?
You can experience amazing adventures, test your survival skills and enjoy a magical scenery in nature with this year’s most popular activity – winter camping!
The winter camping experience
If you’re a fan of quiet places where you can enjoy the company of carefully chosen friends, winter camping is the right thing for you. If you choose to go to a camping site, it will be easy to book a nice place for a very low price and enjoy the camping experience to the fullest.
Moreover, you can camp almost anywhere. You can relax sitting around a campfire or choose some other fun activities.
You can also spend your day hiking, sledding, skiing, ice fishing or ice skating. However, before you decide to go fishing or skating, don’t forget to check with a person who knows the area to make sure it’s safe.
The absence of insects to annoy you is another winter camping benefit. If you add the cold air and the softness of the snow, you can be sure you will have a comfortable and tight sleep at night.
Most winter campers point out that this outdoor activity has some amazing benefits. They will often talk about getting a boost of confidence and an unbelievable feeling of self-sufficiency.
If you embrace an adventure in winter camping, you will come back home feeling stronger, both physically and mentally.
Don’t underestimate the laws of nature
While winter camping is fun and fulfilling, it can be dangerous, too. Laws of nature can be ruthless, especially in winter.
Don’t get scared though, just prepare well. Take into consideration all the risks and avoid ruining your winter camping experience.
Be aware that you will be exposed to cold temperatures for a long period of time. You have to make sure that you have all the knowledge and resources to keep yourself warm and avoid frostbite and hypothermia.
Physical activity of any kind will help you warm up very fast. Just be careful not to sweat because getting wet in the cold will only make things worse.
That’s why you will need layered clothing. Wear many light items of clothing, so that you can take them on and off (like layers) to keep yourself at a comfortable body temperature.
Avoid cotton because it stays wet for a longer time than other fabrics, and can cause hypothermia. Wool is the best choice for cold temperatures because it’s warm even when it’s wet, and doesn’t burn easily.
Always keep your feet warm and have spare socks to change when they get wet.
You can ensure a warm body temperature with proper meals, rich in protein, carbohydrates or fats. Forget about your weight loss diet and take camping food which will help your body fight the cold.
Keeping hot water bottles in your sleeping bag is another way to keep yourself warm.
If you go winter camping for the first time, it’s highly recommended that you pick a destination close to your transportation vehicle or a trailhead.
It’s best if you can position yourself close to a warming hut. It would be useful in case you find yourself struggling with the camping conditions.
Lack of water
You may think that dehydration during winter is impossible with all that snow around you, but in fact, it happens all too often. Eating snow is the worst thing to do to, because it takes a lot of energy for the body to heat it.
It also takes a lot of snow to provide enough water for your body. That’s why eating snow leads to hypothermia and dehydration at the same time.
It’s best to first melt the snow and extract water from it. However, the water you extract will freeze if you don’t insulate it properly. You can put the water in bottles in your sleeping bag or keep them covered in an insulated jacket.
Lots of safety hazards
It may be easier to keep yourself safe during summer, but safety precautions in winter are crucial. That’s why you should plan to do winter camping with at least one more person or in the company of few more people.
The weather in the mountains can change quickly. You may face storms and you should be prepared for that scenario. Terrains covered with snow will make it very hard to get oriented.
Equip yourself with some kind of navigation before you go venturing out in the snow.
You should also be very careful when walking close to tall trees. If you get hit by a large amount of snow falling from the top of a tree, it can injure you or leave you trapped.
Learn about the area you picked for camping as much as you can.
Equip yourself with the proper equipment
You should contact specialized stores and check all the details they offer for a safe and fun winter camping. You will have to equip yourself with proper equipment for your basic needs.
You can choose to use a three-season tent or a snow shelter. Whatever type of shelter you choose, it’s best to also carry a sleeping bag cover as to prevent condensation and melting snow.
A ground sheet is a must because it will help you achieve good insulation for your temporary home.
Your cold weather sleeping bag is one of the best investments for winter camping. You will need to get a sleeping bag that corresponds with the type of shelter you have chosen.
Whatever kind of sleeping bag you choose, keep in mind to layer it with some type of over-bag, as well as with a sleeping pad under it.
You will need two different types of clothing for winter camping – trail clothing and camp clothing. It’s crucial that your clothes are insulating and breathable at the same time.
A winter jacket would be essential. Take extra shirts, hats, socks and gloves or mittens with you.
Keeping your feet warm will be crucial for you, so you will need proper footwear. Depending on the conditions of the area that you picked, you may need boots, crampons and snowshoes.
Camp Stoves, canisters, pots, shovels, axes, candles, batteries, butane lighters are some of the additional items that you have to think about for a fully enjoyable winter camping experience.