Do you enjoy camping in the snow or during the winter season? Winter season adds the flavor of outdoor experience with dazzling snowy landscapes of great mountains, flouring pinewoods, and a sweet taste of hot choco added with barbequed food and campfire stories during the mesmerizing night sky of sparkling constellations of stars.
Here are some tips for first-time camping in the winter season:
1. Pick a campsite that is suitable for winter season
Winter nights are very long and very cold. We need to emphasize that staying dry is the key to a promising winter camp. A small campfire should keep any wet clothes or gear dry. The best principle for choosing a suitable campsite is picking a spot that’s good protection from harsh winds with a clean source of water. Don’t camp on patchy snow where the area has potential vegetation and avoid areas like bottom and top hills that expose you to build-up risky situations such as avalanches or landslides. Ensure your camp is clean and your tents are safe and secure. When you are heading outside basecamp, make sure to create landmarks or safe routes to help you find the way back in case of snowstorms or when it gets dark.
2. Make Layers
Start with a close-fitting base layer. Your base layer should consist of long underwear made from polyester or polypropylene. Next would be an insulating layer, which can include your favorite down jacket or wool sweater. The insulating layer should be something that you can easily take on and off to control your body temperature throughout the day. Avoid wearing “pure” cotton or wool as these materials do not work well to wick moisture off. Your last, outermost layer should protect you from the elements such as wind, snow, and rain. Think of hardshell jackets that are wind and waterproof.
Your top layers are just as important as your bottom layers. Hiking pants, snow gaiters, and wool socks are a staple when seeking the outdoors in the winter. Accessories such as gloves and headwear such as a beanie or balaclava will keep you warm throughout your adventure.
3. Bring the Right Gear & Food for Winter Camping and Hiking
Winter camping is not your typical camping experience; therefore, having the right gear and food for camping in the winter is essential for a successful trip.
Make sure that your gadgets and batteries are 100% fully charged before going on a winter trip because cold temperatures can drain batteries quickly!
If you are not using your gadgets, pack them up in your sleeping bag or jacket pocket to sustain your gadget’s energy and life performance.
Staying dry and warm is an easy guideline for winter camping. When you're out in the cold for a lengthy amount of time, having the appropriate equipment might be crucial to your enjoyment of the trip. Similar to what you would bring on a hiking trip, winter camping gear should be warm and durable. Here are the essentials you must have:
A shelter that can withstand winter weather is essential. Picking a tent for a winter camping trip. A standard 3-season tent is a good option if you don't expect any storms. A four-season tent is highly advised if you are prepared for strong winds and significant snowfall because it has stronger poles and thicker fabrics that can endure almost all of the wind and snow. But if you want more room. Choose a tent that can accommodate one more person who will be sleeping there as a precaution since it will be filled with your equipment.
Everything you would need for winter backpacking and camping would be extra, so you would need to carry twice as much as you would in the summer. Although it's important to pack as lightly as you can, make sure you are ready for any winter weather you may encounter. The general recommendations for a 2-4 day journey are as follows: Lightweight backpackers carry a minimum 65-liter (3,967 cubic inch) pack. An 80-liter (4,882 cubic inch) minimum pack is required for deluxe trekkers.
SLEEPING BAG AND SLEEPING PAD
There are many factors to take into account while selecting a sleeping bag and a sleeping pad. But because it's winter, the most important factors to take into account are insulation and cushioning. And everything should be doubled or more to give you more insulation and a layer on top of that to keep you warm and dry. Use a bag that is rated at least 10°F lower than the coldest temperature you anticipate experiencing if you want to ensure comfort on chilly nights. If you get too warm, you can always vent the bag. Winter bags can be identified by their draft tubes hidden behind the zippers, their draft collars placed over the shoulders, and their hoods, which aid in trapping heat within. Add a sleeping liner or an extra sleeping pad if you are unsure if the sleeping bag is warm enough for you.
For winter camping, the majority of liquid-fuel stoves and certain canister stoves are suitable. Although they could be heavier and take longer to boil, liquid-fuel stoves can function well in below-freezing conditions and burn white. Canister stoves, on the other hand, are portable, lightweight, and quick to boil, but they struggle in cold climates. However, if it has an internal pressure regulator, you can level it out.
Another piece of advice is to keep your fuel canister warm by putting it in your sleeping bag at night or jacket pocket when you're about to camp and getting ready to cook. This will improve the operation of your stove. And of course, always bring extra! Extra backup stove just in case. Extra fuel since you may use it in higher elevations. Extra base wood or plywood for your stove. Extra water for your canister, to keep it above freezing temperature.
Some campers throughout the colder months of the year pull sleds for longer trips and activities. A sled helps you carry more weight while reducing the strain on your back.
Research your route and the trail conditions in advance because a sled isn't suitable for off-road use, especially on bumpy roads and narrow trails.
You may want to check our store to see if you have the right items for the season. Check out some of the gear we have to offer for your next winter adventure.
4. Construct a strategy for eating, drinking, and urinating
You expend a lot of energy while traveling across chilly, snowy environments. Before, during, and after your activity, it's crucial to eat well and drink plenty of fluids to maintain your energy level and stay warm. Enjoying a hot supper when camping in the winter is extremely satisfying. Don't spend too much time cooking and try to limit yourself to one-pot meals. Take fast lunch breaks with simple sandwiches or a quick snack that will give you enough energy to hike. It is beneficial to consume protein, lipids, and carbohydrates. Remember to keep your food in a secure location. When trekking, you typically have company, so store your food out of the reach of bears or other creatures that could be curious about it.
Drinking is another "don't forget" reminder. Maintain your fluid intake. Make sure you force yourself to drink water throughout the day to stay well hydrated. Making hot beverages like herbal tea or hot chocolate or enjoying a bowl of soup are effective ways to warm up and replenish fluids when camping.
Additionally, utilize bottles to store your water, particularly insulated bottles. If you run out of water, you can still drink from melting snow in this situation. Set aside a location to collect snow that is pure and white. Activate the stove. In your pot, pour a little water before adding the snow. By adding water, you can avoid burning the snow, which might leave it tasting bitter. Add more when the snow melts. You are then prepared to start the next day.
Since you have maintained your hydration, you would need to urinate. It's a good idea to urinate before bed. Consider using a pee container if you can't face the idea of urinating in the snow.
5. The Sun is your best friend
As much as possible get a spot where the sunrise is available, the sun will help you, and your gadgets and tools keep warm most of the day.
When morning comes, make use of the time to dry up all your equipment and gear. It’s always the best time to travel and hike when the sun is up.
Always bring books for break time or anything that helps you relax during resting hours. You'll need enough energy to hike and enjoy the tranquility and essence of winter camping! Always make moments that are enjoyable and challenging!