Winter camping means having to deal with harsh elements and cold weather. The latter is perhaps the most outstanding feature of the winter camping experience. Cold weather can be a source of great discomfort to many, but for some survivalists, camping in the snow poses an exciting challenge. It is a way to put their skills to the test, especially if you are camping in a blizzard. If you’re well prepared and know what you’re doing, winter camping can help you better understand your capabilities as well as your limits.
Tips For Winter Camping Every Survivalist Must Remember
Even though pitching a tent during winter months is not everyone’s idea of fun, it can still be made enjoyable and comfortable. The important thing is to be prepared as you will be needing more gear than you would while camping in the summer.
There are lots of benefits to be gained from winter camping. Unlike summer camping, there are fewer campers, more space, and cheaper fees. You won’t be bothered by bugs. If you are properly equipped, you will enjoy a restful sleep. The campfire also becomes more enjoyable in the snow. To make the most of your winter camping experience, you need the right gear, the right attitude and these tips that we have collected.
1. Prepare for winter camping
Winter camping requires a lot of preparation for everyone who is planning to embark on this “cool” adventure. Having the right or appropriate gear and clothing alongside mental and physical preparedness can lessen any hassle that winter camping may bring. In the event of a survival situation or when SHTF, how prepared and equipped we are will be one of the deciding factors of our fate. For more details on what to be included in your pack, check here.
2. Go to bed warm
Even if we can get some good insulation from a sleeping bag, sleeping pad or winter camping clothing, it is useless bedding down if you’re already freezing. Winter campers need to do a little bit of jumpin’ jacks before hitting the sack or perform sit-ups or press-ups while you’re in your sleeping bag. Find out more tips to stay warm when winter camping by clicking here.
3. Eat for warmth and energy
If you want to have warmer nights, then your food should adapt to it. Physiologically, our body burns sugar to produce heat for itself and eating warm food can increase its sensation. As we devour hot porridge or a steaming bowl of chicken soup, we become warm thus making us more comfortable. Remember, we need to maintain a certain level of body heat and energy to survive the cold weather. Find out more winter camping recipes here.
4. Pack the snow
Pack down your campsite before you set up your tent. Your body heat can melt the loose snow thus leaving you with uneven flooring to lay or sleep upon. You should also position your tent away from the danger of an avalanche or falling trees. Learn more ways how to set your winter tent here.
5. Stay dry
Whenever you’re winter camping, you need to stay dry at all cost. You will feel the biting cold especially when your layers get wet. Bringing extra clothing is always helpful and will protect you from the harshness of the cold. Staying dry also extends to your gears. Protect your winter camping kit with a waterproof layer or place it inside your tent or shelter.
6. Start fall and winter trips early in the morning
You must always remember that the sun goes down early during the winter season. So starting your trip early in the morning is always better than starting it in later in the day. It will be best to set up your winter tent or find the perfect site before it gets dark.
7. Snow is a variable matter and only rarely is one situation like the next
Before you set your winter tent, you need to pick a flat spot with a lot of trees around it. This will act as a natural windbreaker. Since snow is a variable matter, you need to be aware where you are setting up your tent. Anchor your tent safely and securely.
8. Keep your matches in a metal, not plastic, container
We all know the importance of fire in our daily lives. It helps us cook food and stay warm. If you’re one of those people who loves camping during winter months, it is advisable for winter campers to keep their matches in a metal container instead of a plastic one because it easily breaks when it gets frozen.
9. Put boiling water in your water bottle and sleep with it at your feet
If you want to have a non-frozen water that you can easily drink in the morning then you have to fill your water container with boiling water. Put it in a sock, place it at your feet or keep it inside your sleeping bag to provide extra warmth.
10. Don’t go alone
I know that there are times that you want to go camping alone and away from any distractions. But it is always best and safe if you have someone to accompany you. So in the event of an emergency, help is just around. And always leave a message or a detailed trip plan at home so your loved ones will be informed of your whereabouts.
11. Improve zipper pulls
Zippers are important to winter clothes. They let you put on clothing quickly which is essential especially to those people who are exposed to extreme conditions. Most zippers that are included in jackets are not made for thick mittens or gloves. So you have to use a little ingenuity and improvise by adding a 3-inch lanyard. For more improvisation on a zipper pull, click here.
12. Regulate your temperature on your hike
Regulating your temperature is necessary for a winter hike. You don’t have to get sweaty or chilled, instead, you need to be aware or anticipate the weather coming your way. You have to act upon it before you even experience it. For example, it is better to put on additional layers before reaching the summit or a spot where the temperature is much lower.
13. Don’t cook in the tent
Cooking inside the tent is a recipe for destruction. Not only it can burn your tent but it can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. You can always choose a spot outside your tent where you can set up a waterproof tarp. If the weather is intolerable, at the very least you can cook inside the vestibule but with sufficient ventilation. Find out more about cooking inside the tent vestibule here.
If you want to see more winter camping tips and tricks, then you need to watch this video below!
The unprepared will have to deal with the cold realities that winter camping might bring. To greatly enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of winter camping, you have to be prepared – and the preparation for this kind of trip needs undivided focus. Having the proper gear and arming yourselves with knowledge about camping in extreme weather conditions will make your wilderness exploration an adventure to remember.
Penny for your thoughts? Tell us what you think about these winter camping tips by dropping your two cents in the comment section below!
Up Next: Winter Storm Survival: How to Stay Warm and Survive the Cold
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Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in February 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.