Camping can be even more enjoyable when you throw some challenging weather into the mix, which is why so many people are winter camping enthusiasts. If you feel like you’ve had enough of the normal temperatures and packing the minimum amount of stuff when you go into the great outdoors, this could be your next adventure.
However, camping in the winter comes with a whole new list of responsibilities, gears, and things you need to know. There’s a whole new level of safety to consider as well, so it’s not a trip that you could plan overnight and be ready for the following day.
We’ve rounded up some of the best camping tips for when you’re headed into cool conditions, as well as the essential list of gear you should have. There’s no denying the uniqueness of being in the great outdoors as temperatures drop, and as long as you’re prepared for the journey then you’ll be able to enjoy it just as nature intended.
How Does Winter Camping Differ?
Cold weather camping might seem as though it’s the same as regular camping, but this type of assumption is usually made by someone who’s never done it before. Not only will the temperature be lower and you might also be camping in the snow, but there are some other things that will be different as well:
There’s a lot of things you’ll have to take when you camp in the cold but it’s not a very detailed list. Most of it is about staying warm and being prepared for the risks of cold temperatures.
Where you decide to camp will also be different when you’re going out in the cold. Some areas are set up better for winter camping and also safer, so don’t just assume your regular favorite camping spot will do when it’s cold.
Camping in the snow means you can do things like build snowmen, climb frosty peaks, ski, snowboard, or go ice fishing. You might miss out on some traditional camping activities but there’ll be a new list of them for you to enjoy. Some people find winter camping to a lot more fun than camping in the summer, so you might surprise yourself.
Camping in freezing or low conditions brings with it a whole new list of safety precautions with the most obvious being frostbite or something more serious. Therefore, you need to stay warm and keep the blood pumping so you’ll need a lot of energy.
The Essentials For Winter Camping
No matter when you go camping, you’ll always have to check off your list to ensure you have all of the right gear. Camping in cold weather means you’ll have this list still, but there’ll be some additional things that you have to bring along.
- Sleeping pads: To keep yourself warm from the cold ground, pack two sleeping pads instead of just one
- Warm clothing: have a few different layers that you can remove when it heats up, rather than having to add to your clothes as the temperature drops. Bring a puffy jacket, gloves, socks, glasses, a hat, and waterproof jacket at the very least
- Regular supplies: All of the standard gear is required including tent, first aid kit, sleeping bag, and a camp chair
- Extra food: Being cold will burn up extra calories even if it doesn’t feel like it. Take along extra food and snacks, and staying fully hydrated regularly, regardless of whether you feel thirsty or not
Where Is Best For Camping In Cold Weather?
To find a great camping spot that’s good in winter, you can head onto one of many camping directories now available online. People will be able to point you towards the best spots for cold-related activities like skiing and snowboarding, as well as safe and covered places to set up camp.
The most important thing to remember when you’re camping in cold weather is that there are other dangers present. The most obvious one is avalanches, which can occur suddenly and without warning. Check your surroundings before you set up the tent and look for any potentially hazardous spots above or near you that could create an avalanche.
You’ll also need to ensure you’re sheltered from the wind, so do some checks when you arrive on site. Most people can withstand cold temperatures on their own but with an added wind chill there’s the potential to do some damage and make it seem as if it’s a lot colder than what it actually is. Pack the snow down before you start setting up your camp, and always be mindful of your surroundings during your stay.
Be Prepared For Anything
No matter what time of the year you go camping with your international friends, you should never venture out without being prepared or knowing the winter camping tips. There are so many known and unknown dangers in the great outdoors and it would be a shame to put a dampener on a good camping trip just because you weren’t prepared for the worst.
Being careful of the cold weather and educating yourself on frostbite and how to prevent it is a big part of this preparation. Secondly, you need to know your area and what gear to bring to make you comfortable and protected in these colder conditions.
There are so many amazing benefits you will have from winter camping and if you’ve never experienced it before, it’s something you’ll never forget. Provided you’re prepared for how different it can be, camping in winter is one of the most epic experiences for those who love the great outdoors.