How to Prepare for Winter Camping

Many people associate camping trips with summer months, warm temperatures, and afternoon trips to the lake. However, many people camp in the winter surrounded by bitter temperatures and blankets of snow. If you’re brave enough to camp in the winter months, it’s important to prepare for extreme conditions.

Pre-Plan Your Trip

In the summer, it can be easy to hop into your car on a whim and drive to a campsite with sunscreen, sneakers, snacks, and sunglasses. In the winter, it is vital that the trip is completely planned out ahead of time. You should also be certain that a group of people are tagging along with you. Camping alone is dangerous but in the winter, it’s especially risky. You should be well aware of weather conditions, avalanche areas, and sleeping arrangements before you venture outside. Make sure you know how much food to bring, that you have a map of your desired location, and that you have plenty of matches and lighters for starting fires.

Dress Accordingly

Bringing the appropriate clothing for a winter camping trip is vital. Bringing clothing might seem like a simple task but your overall safety can depend on it. Wearing several layers ensures that you can always make yourself warm enough or cool enough if the temperatures vary.  Your outer layer should be waterproof and windproof because it will constantly be exposed to the elements. Reliable boots are also a must for anyone winter camping. They will insulate your feet in cold temperatures and repel water in the event of snow, rain, or freezing drizzle. Be sure to break them in before you start hiking. You should also be prepared with hats, gloves, and plenty of socks.

Gather Your Gear

You must understand the appropriate gear needed for your camping trip. Depending on whether you are snowboarding, skiing, or snowshoeing, most winter camping trips require different types of gear. However, some gear can benefit all winter campers. Many campers should consider bringing a sled on their trip. Sleds can easily pull gear and reduce the weight of the items that you are carrying in a backpack or duffle bag. Make sure that the terrain you are headed to would allow you to easily pull a sled behind you. If you plan on getting any rest during your camping trip, come ready with a good sleeping bag. They are heavily insulated, very soft, and typically pretty large. Sleeping bags will provide you with a comfortable and appropriate sleeping arrangement. Sleeping bags should be kept as dry as impossible so they function at their best.

These tips cover the mere basics of what you need to have a successful winter camping trip. It is important to research and understand what you need specifically for where you are headed. Camping in the snow can be just as much fun as camping in the sun, as long as you have what you need.