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A Beginner’s Guide to Winter Camping

So, you want to take a Winter camping trip with your significant other, or your group of friends, but are worried about the weather? Don’t worry; we have a full guide here to assist you with planning your winter trip so you can enjoy your trip fully.

Braving a camping trip during the winter months is no easy task, and you will need to ensure that you are well prepared in order to have a successful and enjoyable trip. You do not want to be returning home early because you have fallen ill from being unprepared!

What You Need to Know About Camping in the Winter

The weather during winter can be extremely harsh, but with the right clothing and equipment, you’ll be able to enjoy the wonderful snow scenery in some parts of the country. You can have yourself a perfect winter wonderland. Below, we have detailed the top tips and things that you need to consider before embarking on your winter camping trip.

Preparation

Group hiking

As mentioned before, preparation is key to ensure that you will be able to enjoy your camping trip to the maximum. You will need to do your research on where you will be taking your trip so you can learn more about the destination. Try and choose a scenic, yet sheltered, spot to take your Winter camping trip. Even though it’s very important that you choose an area with breathtaking views, it’s even more important for your destination to have weather that will be bearable to camp in.

If you are planning a trip where there will be a lot of snow, it may be a good idea to camp near open water or a water source. This will ensure that you will not be spending your whole time melting snow for things like washing and cooking. Always look up the weather forecast before you go. Weather in the wintertime can be very unpredictable and you certainly do not want to be caught in a storm out in the wilderness.

Equipment

Camping equipment

The type of equipment, and clothing, you decide to bring with you will be vital in ensuring that you will not be suffering because of the weather. For clothing, ensure that you bring comfortable and warm clothes, including many layers. Your other equipment will need to be durable enough to withstand the strong, winter weather. Even though it will be winter, the sun in some parts of the world can still be extremely strong. Make sure you pack sufficient sunscreen and sunglasses.

You also need to ensure that your boots and tent are not damaged and are completely waterproof. The last thing you would want while camping in winter is for your tent to flood! Ensure that you have a sleeping bag that will keep you warm all night long. Even if your sleeping bag is of the highest quality, you could always add an extra layer on the inside. This extra layer will create another insulating space between it and the sleeping bag, ensuring that you are kept as warm as possible. Purchasing a groundsheet or a sleeping mat will ensure that you are not lying on the freezing ground all night long.

When you are packing, pack for the worst-case scenario in terms of weather. This way, you will not be caught off guard while out in the wilderness. Take extra clothing, food, and water. Ensure that you have a detailed map and you have alternative routes at hand if need be. Perhaps the river will flood one day, and you will not be able to cross the bridge. You will need to have an alternative route on hand so you won’t be stranded in the dark or the cold.

Purchasing skiing or walking poles could also be an excellent investment. These could help you maintain stability while you are hiking through the winter snow.

The very short days in winter will mean that you will be spending a lot of time outdoors in the dark. As you will be in a new place, it’s advisable that you pack a lot of light sources to enhance safety while out in the wilderness. Headlights, torches, and even torches on your phone will be adequate for this. Don’t forget the batteries!

Fire Equipment

Orange Camp fire in the snow

Ideally, you will be in an area with enough wood to make a fire. This will help to keep you and your friends warm while you are eating dinner or hanging out after a long day of hiking. You should purchase products such as petroleum jelly, dry lint, and a lighter to assist you with fire making while you are out there.

Food and Water

Winter picnic

You should aim to eat high-calorie foods that are rich in carbohydrates. Not only will these types of foods help with your energy levels during hiking or walking, but they will also help keep your body warm throughout the night while you are sleeping. Food such as chocolate, nuts, cereal bars is all easy and quick ways of ingesting carbs.

Pitching your tent

Man fixing his tent during winter camping

Like we have previously mentioned, the days in winter can be incredibly short, depending on where you are in the world. You should aim to have your tent pitched and set up for midday or at 1pm. This will ensure you will not be stuck in the dark trying to set up your tent. Make sure you also choose a good spot to camp. You should look for an area that is as sheltered as possible with a good water supply nearby. It should be a safe distance from any trees that could possibly fall on top of your tent during the night.

Now that you have read our guide, we’re sure you are well prepared for your winter camping trip! Always ensure you know the area, the hiking routes, and that you have researched the forecasted weather. If you follow all these tips we have given you, we have no doubt that your camping trip will be successful and enjoyable.

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