Most people think that camping is only a summer activity. However, that is not always the case! Camping when the weather is cooler can be a great time and many people find that it may be even better than camping in the warmer months.
You can avoid all the heat that comes with Summer weather. In addition, during those colder months you are less likely to experience a random thunderstorm, so that is always a plus!
However, going camping in the cold does mean that you have to prepare better, and it may require that you do things a bit differently than when you went camping during the summer.
Tip 1: Keep Warm at Night
To avoid being miserable while camping in the cold, be sure that you are keeping warm at night. The good news is that there are several ways in which you can do this!
- Try to drink something hot right before you go to bed as this can help you to feel warmer when the temperatures start to drop.
- Wear a beanie even though you are in the tent. A lot of heat is lost through our heads, so keep these covered.
- Stay in an individual sleeping bag rather than one that connects to others. When sleeping bags are connected it can let the cold air seep in.
- Consider using a heat-safe water bottle with hot water and putting this into our sleeping bag at the foot. The head from the bottle can make it feel like you have your own heater.
- Be sure that you have a ground pad to lie on; this will help to stop the coldness in the ground from penetrating your tent.
Tip 2: Have the Right Tent
Be certain that you have the right winter camping tent, as this can make all the difference! A winter tent is meant to withstand certain temperatures and maintain the heat inside instead of letting this go outdoors. A few of the traits to look for in a good winter tent:
- The fabric is thicker and meant to stop the cold wind. It is often made of tightly woven nylon or polyester.
- It is waterproof to avoid moisture simply sitting on the tent and freezing later. Be certain that what you get has been given a DWR treatment.
- It should have a solid structure, as wind could be an issue during those colder months.
- Consider a tent that offers a vestibule as this can make it easier to go from a warm tent to the frigid outdoors.
Tip 3: Dress for the Weather
Dressing for the weather may sound simple, but many people underestimate just how much clothing they will need.
While you may arrive at your campsite during the day and a long sleeve shirt is comfortable, as the night comes, the temperature falls.
Ideally, you will want to dress in layers to avoid having to undress and dress again when it starts getting cold. Remember this:
- Start your bottom layer with something that is dry wicking
- Put on an insulating layer over this something like fleece or wool
- Finish you layers with something that is waterproof and wind resistant to help block the outside cold from penetrating into your layers.
Also, remember to wear footwear that is moisture proof and bring extra socks in the event that you need more than one pair to combat the temperatures.
Tip 4: Stay Hydrated
This is vital! Did you know that you may even have to drink more when camping in the winter than when you do in the summer?! Why is this?
The body is going to be using more fluids to keep your body warm in the colder weather.
Plus, when you are camping in the colder weather you cannot count on sweat to signal that you are becoming dehydrated. Bring plenty of water and keep drinking while outdoors!
Tip 5: Have Hearty Meals
Many people stick to sandwiches, chips and the like while camping in the summer.
However, when it comes to cold weather camping, you will need food that is heartier and often in higher calories since your body may be burning more. A few ideas:
- Canned soups can be great for lunch
And don’t forget to bring plenty of snacks. Since you are outdoors in the colder weather, you may be surprised at how often you are hungry!
Tip 6: Plan Entertainment
When cold weather camping you may not be able to stay outdoors as long, depending on where you are camping and the weather that you are experiencing.
That is why you will want to plan some entertainment for those dark nights. A few ideas:
- For those in an RV, be sure to bring some of your favorite movies
- Bring a book to read
- Have some board games on hand if there is a group camping
- If it is snowing, bundle up and make a snowman
The list is endless and only limited by your imagination.
Tip 7: Bring Firewood
This tip only applies if you are able to bring your own firewood into the campgrounds that you may be in.
While many people when camping find wood lying around the area, remember that by the time cold weather comes around, these campgrounds have seen thousands of campers. And all of these campers have found the discarded wood pieces to use.
There may be none lying around. In addition, if you are camping while it is snowing, you may not be able to scavenge for this wood.
Check the requirements for the campsite that you will be camping at and then bring whatever wood you may think you need. Be certain that:
- Your wood is not bringing in foreign bugs to the camping area
- That you have permission to have a campfire where you are camping
Tip 8: Bring a Shovel
If you are going to be camping in the outdoors while there is snow on the ground, which can be a fun experience, remember to bring a shovel. Why?
If you have a shovel you can dig into the snow and play your tent in this. With the snow around you, it can make for a great wind barrier!
Those who camp outdoors in the snow find that this is one way to stay warm!