Winter Camping Basics

Cold-weather camping is a great way to enjoy the peaceful moments and surroundings that only winter can provide—unspoiled snow-covered landscapes, early-morning nights and warm fires—but even some seasoned campers struggle with it. This prospect is hesitant.

Staying comfortable while winter camping is easier than you might think. Check the weather forecast to make sure your tent, sleeping bag and clothing are ready for the weather. It’s best to keep things simple on your first trip - stick to the routes you usually travel in winter and save for week-long excursions when you have more experience.

l Layering

The key to winter camping attire is a form-fitting undergarment that traps body heat. A pair of polypropylene trousers works well as a cheaper option. You’ll also want a layer of insulation that you can put on and take off as you warm up and cool down throughout the day. A down jacket, lightweight cardigan, or even your favorite cardigan will do. Your outermost layer should protect you from wind, snow, and rain, so choose a shell with a weatherproof lining.

l Keep d ry

Second winter camping adage: stay dry. Water conducts heat better than air, so wet clothing will quickly lower body temperature. Even sweating profusely will calm you down in the long run. Take your time and peel off a few layers to limit sweat.

Wet feet mean freezing feet, and waterproof boots and leggings (as well as snowshoes) are a must when trekking through deeper snow. If you’re going to be hiking in deep snow, normal hiking boots that have been treated for water resistance should be fine.

l Choose the right sleeping bag

First see if you can use what you have. You can avoid spending big bucks on a brand new winter bag by purchasing a sleeping bag liner, which increases the temperature rating of your sleeping bag by 10 to 15 degrees. If the predicted minimum temperature is outside the range of your sleeping bag, you will need to purchase a sleeping bag that is 0 degrees or colder.

l Don’t f orget the hand warmer

Finding gear that provides winter warmth while remaining lightweight and compact in your overnight pack can be difficult. But Ocoopa Union 5s would help you a lot in winter camping,the rechargeable hand warmers provide you with 4-level adjustable heat enhancing the hand-warming experience,which provide you enough warmth. And the camping hand warmer must be your best hand warmers this winter.

l Choose y our c amp site w isely

Finding the right winter campsite takes a lot of effort. As always, the guiding principle is to avoid elements. Avoid foothills that form cold air troughs and summits that may be exposed to wind. Choose a flat spot and compress the snow where you plan to pitch your tent by walking on it—compacted snow insulates better than loose snow. Make sure the tent is secured and the door is perpendicular to the prevailing wind.

Winter Camping Basics

Perhaps the biggest difference between summertime camping and winter camping is the possibility that you’ll be camping on snow (assuming you live somewhere near where it snows). When you reach your destination for the day, rather than immediately unpacking, take some time to find the right camp spot. Relax, have a snack, put on some warm clothing layers and examine the area for these things:

Wind Protection: Natural wind protection, such as groups of trees or hills, can make your experience more comfortable.

Water source: Is there a good water source nearby, or will snowmelt be required?

Avoid camping on vegetation: In dappled snow conditions, camp on snow or in established bare-ground campsites.

Avalanche Risk: Make sure you are not on or below slopes where you could slide.

Dangerous Trees: Do not install under unstable or damaged trees or branches.

Privacy: It is good to have some distance between you and other campers.

Where the sun will rise: A spot with exposure to the rising sun will help you warm up faster.

Landmarks: Keep an eye out for landmarks to help you find camp in the dark or during a snowstorm.

C amping in C old W eather C hecklist

P itch a tent in the snow

While snow shelters can be built, most novice snow campers spend the night in a tent. If you’re not out in the snow, pitch your tent as usual. If you’re going to be in the snow, here are some tips:

l Flattens snow: Loose snow is more likely to be melted by your body, making sleeping uncomfortable. Get around with snowshoes or snowboards, or boots, before setting up your tent.

l Build a wall: If it’s windy, build a wall of snow around the tent if possible. If that’s not feasible, dig the snow a few feet below the tent and vestibule. This helps to reduce the impact of wind. But don’t completely seal your tent. It still needs to get enough ventilation.

l Dig out your vestibule: You can dig out a bench under the vestibule of your tent to create more room to store gear and make it easier to get in and out of your tent.

l Use snow stakes: Standard tent stakes are not very useful in the snow. Instead, bury snow-filled bags or use stakes designed for snow. Make sure your tent is securely fastened so it doesn’t get blown away when the wind blows.

l Keep away sharp objects: Keep any items that could tear tents away from your shelter and do not bring them inside. This includes items such as ice axes, crampons, and ski edges. Tearing down your tent on a stormy winter day can be disastrous.

Y our winter kitchen

One of the joys of camping in the snow in winter is being able to build the kitchen of your dreams. You can use the shovel to scoop up snow and shape it to make cooking surfaces, seating, tables, and even storage cabinets. Use your imagination and make it as elaborate as you want.

If you have a floorless tent or tarp at home, you can take either of these with you to create a protected place to hang out while preparing and eating your meals. Put up a tent or tarp, then dig out the area below so you can stand up.

L eave no trace

Even in winter, it’s important to follow the no-trace camping ethic. Here are some dos and don’ts for winter camping:

l Stay in deep snow as much as possible.

l Camp at least 200 feet from trails, water sources, and other campers.

l Put human waste and toilet paper in plastic bags when camping in the snow. At lower elevations, you can dig a hole about 8 inches deep in the soil, bury the droppings, and place a rock on top to prevent animals from digging it out.

l If you catch fire, use dead wood. Do not chop or snap off branches of live, dead or fallen trees.

l Respect wild animals and observe them from a distance. Winter is a vulnerable time for animals.