Before you dismiss winter camping, consider the benefits: no mosquitoes, crowds or ice for the cooler needed! Discover six ways to make any winter camping trip a runaway success.
Winter camping can be a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and the colder weather. You can make it an even more amazing experience by being fully prepared. Here are a few key things to keep in mind when planning your winter camping adventure.
Choose your campsite carefully
Start by choosing a campsite near drinking water. A spot near a stream is a great place to start. Check the area for adequate firewood, as well. You may also want to choose a spot facing east. This way you’ll get warm sunlight early in the morning.
Map it out
Map out your plan before beginning your camping adventure.
- Once you plot out your route, estimate the time it will take you to reach camp.
- Find out what time the sun rises and sets so you can plan for navigating while there is still light.
- You should also leave a copy of your route map with a friend or family member, just in case.
Plan your menu
There’s nothing better than food cooked over a campfire—especially after a long day of hiking and burning calories. Preparation is key to making it happen.
- Bring a large pot to melt snow and boil meals.
- Keep food preparations as simple as possible by trying to plan one-pot meals.
- Hot drinks are a good idea to keep you warm and hydrated.
- Snacks are also important.
- Pack energy bars, nuts and other sources of fat and protein.
- Avoid foods like honey and peanut butter that solidify in the cold.
Some tips for the trip
- Be sure to pack warm sleeping gear and clothes. Staying warm will be essential.
- If you have room in your sleeping bag, keep your clothes for the next day in there. This will keep them warm. Your body temperature drops with sleep so warm clothing will be a welcome treat in the morning.
- Don’t forget sunglasses. Sun reflecting off the snow can cause snow blindness. It can also lead to nausea and headaches.
- Stay hydrated. Your body is going to burn a lot of energy if you’re trekking through snow. If you become dehydrated you are more likely to develop hypothermia. Store your water upside down because water freezes from the top.
- Pack a full supply of protein bars and hearty soups. Between the cold and the energy expenditure, your body will need the carbohydrates.
- Pack clothing made of wool or synthetic fabrics. Cotton soaks up water, making you cold and wet.
By being organized and prepared, winter camping can be a great way to experience the great outdoors even during the brisk winter months.