Cold Weather Camping: Waking up to a sparkly frost-covered landscape transforms summer camping into a magical experience during the winter and nothing can beat snuggling up to an outdoor fire during cold weather. While many families plan camping trips for the summer, they often overlook winter due to concerns about the cold. Yet, the holidays offer tons of time to get outside and enjoy nature. Use these tips to stay warm during cold weather camping, and enjoy the opportunity to teach your kids to see the world from a different perspective.
Start with Your Shelter For Cold Weather Camping
Lightweight tents are preferred during summer when you plan to hike to your camping spot. However, you may need a four-season tent that is designed for snow or freezing conditions if you live in a cold climate. In addition to checking the rating, make sure your tent has a fly that covers the biggest part of the tent and can be secured with stakes in the ground. This will give an extra layer of protection from the wind.
Choose Cold Weather Sleeping Bags
In addition to your tent, you may need to upgrade your sleeping bags. Down is a preferred material for providing good insulation, but you will need to go with synthetic fillings if you will be staying in a moist climate. Your sleeping bags should also be rated for temperatures at least 10 degrees below what you expect for the overnight lows in your camping area.
Dress in Layers
Choose wool or synthetic fabrics for your clothing when you can for cold weather camping. Because cotton tends to retain moisture. It is also important to begin with a base layer such as long johns or leggings beneath your clothing, and add additional layers to stay warm. When sleeping, stick with a base layer, but go ahead and leave off your bulky outerwear since this can interfere with your sleeping bag’s insulating properties. Instead, wear a hat, socks and mittens if necessary to keep your extremities warm.
Staying active will keep you warm during the day, but you will need to carefully prepare your camping equipment to keep you warm during the night. Since most heaters are not safe to use in tents, it is best to focus on putting natural barriers in place between your family and the cold air. While it does take a little extra planning, the effort is worth it when your family enjoys amazing opportunities to explore the beautiful winter landscape.