Winter is a beautiful season.
Camping is an adventurous and exciting outdoor vacation.
What do you get when you mix the two together? A winter wonderland!
Don’t let the snow stop you. Camping in the winter can be a fun and unique experience for the whole family to enjoy. Imagine building your very own version of Frosty the Snowman outside your tent, or enjoying a delicious cup of hot cocoa by the fire. Sounds like the perfect getaway, right?
We’ve put together a guide for you to follow to make these ideals a reality.
What to pack
We’ve gone over some of the basic gear you need to bring, in terms of the tent and sleeping bags, but let us divulge deeper into what you must have in order to stay warm and toasty!
Layers, layers, layers!
You’ve been hearing this expression from your mother since you were a youngin’ getting reading for school, but now you’re sleeping outside in negative weather conditions so listen up! Start with thermal polyester undergarments as your base. Opt for breathable fabrics such as fleece or wool, but stay away from cotton based attire. It’s important to not neglect your feet and pack proper hiking socks made out of wicking polyester or merino wool. In terms of your boots, choose a waterproof pair to ensure your feet stay dry when maneuvering through the snow.
Pack an extra pair of gloves
We want to make sure you keep all 10 fingers. It’s recommended to pack an extra pair of gloves, just in case anything happens. Some other additions you can look into purchasing are polyester glove liners, gauntlets to lay on top and chemical hand warmer packs! Pro tip: stock up on chemical hand warmer packs to throw into your boots and sleeping bags as well!
Petroleum jelly is your friend! Cover your exposed skin in Vaseline and you’ll be less prone to windburn and frostbite. This winter camping hack dates back to the Inuit community going on lengthy hunting expeditions.
It’s important to use lithium powered batteries in all your electronics. This chemical withstands the cold temperature much better than alkaline or NiMh batteries. Also, they are lighter in weight and have triple the lasting time.
Pack down the snow
Prior to pitching your tent, we recommend packing down the snow underneath. This technique prevents you from stepping on a soft patch of snow in your tent and risk tearing the floor.
Flip your water
Ice forms from the top down, so keeping your bottles or water container face down prevents it from being frozen.
Flip your sleeping bag
This hack only works during periods of time where it’s not snowing. If not, you can turn your sleeping bag inside out and let it dry out on top of your tent during the day. Face it towards the sun and it’ll absorb more solar energy.
Create a tarp wall
When choosing your campsite, it’s ideal to pick a spot between two trees. This wall acts as a barrier to wind. If you’re experiencing heavy forces of snow coming from a direction, angle the tarp to barricade against it. You and your tent will be warmer!
Open the vents
This last tip might seem like a crazy thing to do in below zero temperatures, but opening the vents reduces condensation. If you keep your interior concealed your breath will slowly condense, resulting in snow and water vapor inside. No one wants this!