Winter is steadily approaching, and with that comes the perfect opportunity to enjoy a different side of what nature has to offer. Winter camping not only providing stunning landscapes, it also gives you uncommon peace, quiet and solitude, as most warm-weather campers have retired at this point in the season.
As amazing as the adventure can be, it can also be very dangerous, or at the very least uncomfortable if not properly planned. Planning is key to ensuring that you experience all that winter camping has to offer while being as warm, cozy, and safe as possible. The following seven tips can assist with making your dream for a getaway to a winter wonderland possible.
1. Choose a Realistic Destination
While the thought of spending a week in the glorious Alaskan wilderness sounds exciting, you may need to consider several things prior to booking your flight. First, examine your limitations and expectations. Do you even enjoy cold weather or sleeping in snow? If you are not accustomed to such extreme weather, you may want to consider somewhere with more moderate temperatures.
2. Check the Weather
Before heading out, make sure to check the weather forecast for any imminent storms and the temperatures for each day that you are expected to be out. Keep in mind that winter storms often form unexpectedly so be prepared!
3. Dress and Pack Appropriately
Layers! Dressing in layers can help to regulate your body’s temperature and are a must for extremely cold temperatures. Warm boots, thermal underwear, a warm jacket, gloves, and wool socks are highly recommended.
4. Pack the Essentials
Sleeping bags are essential and should be rated to temperatures below what you will actually experience. For example, if the nighttime temperature is known to reach -15 degrees Fahrenheit, then your bag should ideally be rated to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Foam pads work well as a barrier between your sleeping bag and the snow. Stoves and fuel tend to be more ideal that relying on fires for cooking. Dry firewood may be difficult to locate in snowy climates, so stoves can provide the ability to cook as well as a heat source.
5. Winterize Your RV/Camper
If you plan on utilizing an RV or a camper trailer to enhance your comfort during your trip, make sure to winterize it property prior to setting off. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your model. One of the biggest concerns with RVs is freezing water lines. Also, if your RV comes equipped with a heater, ensure that it is working before you leave.
6. Warm Your Sleeping Bag Before Bed
Sleeping bags often take some time to warm up from just body heat, so pre-warming your bag is a great way to get cozy in no time. Boil water and then place it in a watertight container. Let the water cool a bit and after making sure that the container is completely sealed, place it in your sleeping bag approximately 20 minutes before bedtime.
7. Cook Warm, Hearty Meals
Canned soups, stews, and hot beverages such as coffee, tea, or hot chocolate warms the body temperature and helps to sustain energy during colder temperatures. Make sure to eat plenty of carbs and drink extra water to prevent dehydration.
Hopefully your extra planning will pay off and result in a winter camping adventure that you and your fellow travelers with never forget!