Winter camping is a great way to get outside and enjoy some frosty fun and even better excuse for an adventure and extreme cuddling for couples in love too. If you’ve never camped during the winter before, then you’ve missed out on waking up to snow-capped mountains and enjoying a hot cup of coffee in the morning silence. However, even the beauty of a moment like this couldn’t make up for a brutal night of camping in the cold when you’re not fully prepared.
A day frolicking in fresh snow followed by a campfire circle? Wonderful. A night shivering in a tent? Not so wonderful. In addition to the National Trust’s top tips for holiday camping success, here’s how to get comfortable camping during the winter and make it enjoyable for the whole group.
First Thing’s First: Winter Camping Gear
If you make it to your campsite without the proper gear, you’ll be out of luck. The best way to avoid the biggest problems happens before camping even begins. It starts with packing.
As you prepare to make the trek and enjoy your chilly adventure, make sure you bring these items along:
- Stainless steel water bottle and bottle insulator – These are good for hot or cold beverages.
- Foam sleeping pad – Make sure it’s closed-cell as it will keep in more warmth.
- Sleeping bag – Check for its temperature rating; you want one that works for low temps.
- Base layers – These should be made of wool or synthetic materials to preserve body heat.
- Wind-resistant stakes – Don’t let your tent blow away from the cold winds.
- Food – Keep your meals and snacks dense in nutrients to fuel your body.
- Hot packets – Hot packets like Hothands are great to keep in gloves and boots to stay warm.
- Urination device – These are great for the ladies, so you don’t have to expose yourself to the cold when nature calls.
- Gloves, hat, ear protection – Having at least one of each will keep your important parts warm and toasty.
- Hiking boots – You don’t just need any old pair of shoes. You want to invest in a pair of high-quality hiking boots, such as Timberlands, KEEN Targhees or other vetted options.
10 Ways to Make the Most of Winter Camping
Now that you’re packed and ready to go, follow these tips to ensure the best camping experience:
Double-check weather conditions before going.
Even if you love the cold, camping amidst a heavy snowstorm won’t be fun for anyone. Make sure the forecast is clear, and the temperature will be tolerable for the whole group.
Protect and insulate your camping space.
There’s nothing worse than freezing through the night while camping. Take our word for it and insulate your camping space by following these suggestions:
- Sleep with a buddy. Sleeping next to someone else is one of the best ways to stay warm and reduce ambient space.
- Pack it in. Keep all your additional gear and stuff around the perimeter of the inside of your tent to insulate it.
- Utilise space blankets. If you want a little extra heat, you can tape a space blanket to the ceiling of your tent to trap in warmth.
Make the most of hot water
We don’t just mean drink it. Use a sealed, full bottle in your sleeping bag for warmth. Critical areas like the inner thigh, core, and neck will especially benefit from it.
Keep hands and feet warm
These areas will lose heat first. Avoid expending extra energy trying to reheat these areas and let the Hothands take over. Stuffing them into your socks and gloves usually does the trick.
Take advantage of fire
Campfires are extra magical during a winter camping adventure. Use it to keep warm, heat a yummy dinner, and gather the crew around for storytime.
Cold? Stay full.
If you’re especially cold during the night, a small snack can help. By giving your body extra nutrients, it will burn the calories for energy and warmth.
If you brought electronics like a phone with you, keep them warm inside a sleeping bag or a sock to avoid damaging them.
Don’t push it
If you’re having trouble staying warm, don’t take that evening hike. Listen to your body and preserve your energy as much as you need.
Hold your loved ones close
One of the best tips for camping in the winter is to snuggle up with loved ones. It will preserve body heat and make for a cozy sleep.
Wear the right clothes.
Synthetic or wool materials are the best choices. Cover your feet, hands, and head at all times.
Camping in the winter presents unique circumstances and challenges. Despite that, it can be an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime. Make the most of your winter camping trip with our tips, and you’ll find the beauty in the cold!