How Cold Will It Get Camping?
When camping at high altitudes or during the flat season (spring or fall), temperatures can change rapidly. It can easily drop from 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to sub-zero at night. To figure out exactly how cold it’s going to get, you need to check the elevation of the weather station and compare it to the elevation of your campsite.Below is important information to help you know what temperatures to expect when planning a camping trip.
Understand how altitude affects temperature
There is less air at higher altitudes, which means the air can’t absorb as much heat. Therefore, high altitude areas will be much colder than lower altitude areas.
The general rules are:
l When there is no snow or rain, the temperature decreases approximately 5.4°F per 1,000 feet above sea level (9.8°C per 1,000 meters above sea level).
l If it’s snowing, raining, or you’re in a cloud, the temperature drops about 3.3°F per 1000 feet (6°C per 1000 meters).
If you want to go camping in cold weather, you’re going to need the right gear. This includes:
1. The right tent
2. Thermal sleeping bag
3. High R value sleeping pad
4. Clothes That Won’t Make You Sweat
Plan for Sudden Weather Changes
The weather in autumn and spring can be unpredictable, especially at higher altitudes. One day can be very warm, but the next day it can drop to frigid temperatures. This can make for a painful and even dangerous camping experience for anyone unprepared.
With these drastic temperature changes in spring and fall, you’ll need to plan for summer and winter. You need things like UV protection and warm clothing, plus a good midlayer and shell in case the weather turns colder than expected.
Gear Requirements for Camping in the Cold
Cold Weather Tents
Tents don’t actually absorb that much heat. What they do do is keep out wind and snow (which is important for warmth).
However, your tent choice does matter due to condensation. When it gets colder, condensation builds up inside the tent, collects on the roof and starts dripping onto your head. This means you could get wet and catch a cold.
Single-wall tents are especially bad at condensation. Therefore, when camping in cold weather, use a double-layer tent. If you must use a single-wall tent, leave the door slightly open so condensation does not form.
Cold Weather Camping Sleeping Bag
Sleeping bag ratings are very misleading. The numbers you see listed are actually lower bounds. Therefore, a sleeping bag rated at 30 degrees Fahrenheit is not suitable for 30 degrees Fahrenheit weather. The bag will keep you alive in that temperature, but you probably won’t feel warm. Instead, you’ll want to make sure your sleeping bag’s comfort rating matches the campsite’s temperature.
Weather can be colder than expected, especially in spring or fall when the weather changes quickly. To make sure you don’t catch cold at night, choose a sleeping bag that’s less comfortable than your expected temperature. (Example: If you expect nighttime temperatures to be 50F, choose a sleeping bag with a comfort rating of 30-40F.)
Tips To Keep Warm While Camping
When you’re camping outside, the weather can change like this. One minute you’re telling a story around a campfire, and the next you’re sheltering from a raging snowstorm in your tent. Staying warm and dry is important not only to enjoy the camping experience but also to survive. Hypothermia and frostbite kill hundreds of people every year. Being prepared and wearing the right gear is one way to ensure you don’t become a statistic.
Cover Your Wrists!
If your hands start to feel cold, cover your wrists immediately. When it’s cold outside, people often forget to pay special attention to their wrists. There are large arteries in the wrist, and they are close to the skin. These arteries release a lot of body heat. The best way to protect your wrists is to buy a base layer with thumb holes. Thumb holes on the shirt keep your wrists covered at all times.
If you don’t have a shirt or coat with thumb holes at the wrists, fasten your gloves and pull the sleeves of your coat over your wrists. This will reduce some of the heat escaping!
H and W armer
When it comes to hand warmers, you have two different options: disposable and rechargeable. Disposable hand warmers are great because they’re inexpensive, fit your hands and gloves perfectly, and work really well.
Disposable hand warmers typically last for several hours and provide just enough heat to warm cold hands. If you sleep with glove liners, you can place a couple of hand warmers under each liner and get a good night’s sleep in a warm, blissful state.
If you’re looking for a camping hand warmer that lasts longer and has adjustable temperature settings, the Ocoopa Union 5s rechargeable hand warmers could be the right choice for you. Rechargeable hand warmers are more expensive than disposable hand warmers, but they really last a long time. They will last up to 6-15 hours. Ideal if you’re waiting for inclement weather inside your tent and need to keep warm!
Avoid Sleeping Bag Mistakes
Despite having a cold-weather bag, any one of these mistakes can make it too cold for camping.Don’t mess with down sleeping bags: Down sleeping bags are usually good for very cold weather. However, they only provide insulation when the down feathers are fluffy. If you use a down bag straight out of a compression bag, the feathers will be squeezed together and will not provide insulation. Therefore, you must fluff the down bag before using it.
Sleep with your head in a sleeping bag: If it’s cold while camping, your first instinct may be to stuff your head in a sleeping bag. But this causes the steam you exhale to enter the bag. Even a small amount of humidity can make you feel cold! If your head is cold, wear a hat.
Choose a sleeping bag that’s too warm: While it’s wise to exercise caution when choosing a sleeping bag, don’t use a 0-degree sleeping bag in 40-degree weather, either. You end up sweating a lot at night. Sweat can make you cold when you sleep.
Use an adult sleeping bag for a child: the extra space means the sleeping bag won’t keep you warm either. Buy a child-sized sleeping bag for your child.