Winter Camping Tips To Keep You Warm
Camping brings us close to nature. And winter camping allows us to witness altogether a different face of nature. Getting back in the laps of nature during winters is one of the best ways to get tired, have zero amenity still sleep with a smile on your face.
The adventure of walking through the snow-covered green meadows below the snow-clad summits while the sun plays hide and seek through the forest branches slowly filled us with love for solitude.
The sight of the water body frozen at the top and gushing through the rocks, sometimes twirling and forming those rapids in the lowlands is mesmerizing!
And as you walk around cautiously trying not to trip and maintain balance while carrying the backpack you notice the cold breeze blowing through your face is such a huge relief.
At your campsite, you have to perform a lot of tasks in order to survive the cold. Pitching tents, arranging woods for your campfire, cooking, and finding a dry and warm place to sleep. All these chores are certainly going to make you feel like a member of The Famous Five by Enid Blyton.
Some of the factors to assess before you start back-packing for winters:
- Fitness level.
- Condition of your Tent.
- Weather condition.
- Camping destination
- Camping gears.
It surely is exciting to head out and camp in the quiet of a cold night but ensuring that you have everything you need to chill and not freeze would be the best start to your camping trip.
Now without further ado let’s head over to the helpful winter camping tips to keep warm:
Table of Contents
Winter Camping Tips: 12 Helpful Tips To Keep You Warm
1. What to do when you have found a place to Camp?
Assuming that you have found a place deemed worthy of your comfort parameters, you should determine if that area is dry enough, flat enough, and well protected from elements like wildlife and natural conditions.
Before you begin setting up the tent you need to clear away the snow until the bare ground is exposed and then flatten the ground with tools or your boots. Once the tent is set up, you will need to smoothen out the area where you will be sleeping. According to experts, you need to prevent the snow from melting and then freezing up again, since it would be harder to manipulate then.
You can also choose to dig a partial trench in the ground, cover it in salt and an insulation pad. This technique is a good way to prevent heat from escaping.
Keep in mind how your body might lose heat
- Radiation: Your body is susceptible to lose 50% of its heat through radiation. You need to keep it covered and well insulated at all times.
- Evaporation: Your body loses a lot of its heat through sweat in order to keep you cool. Ensure you are dry at all times as sweating in the cold can lead to hyperthermia.
- Conduction: This is the loss of heat through physical contact. Your body conducts heat at 68 degrees F and usually takes place when you are asleep.
- Convection: Your body is releasing fluids in the form of sweat and gas in the form of evaporation via which heat is being lost so it is also important to drink plenty of fluids.
2. Check for Bad Weather Conditions or any type of Oncoming Hazards
Probably the most important tip on this list which as the Boy Scout’s saying would go – “Be prepared”! As a general rule of thumb whenever you’re planning a camping trip always check the weather conditions.
If you’re opting for a winter camping trip then keep in mind the possibility of cold-weather fluctuations. Keep yourself a step ahead of the trending weather changes, research the probable weather that is apparent in the terrain you wish to visit.
Also, if it is a commonly known camping site then ensure you let the forest authority know about your whereabouts and the time you wish to return to the station.
3. Insulate your surrounding by not leaving out too much space
The open space around you can cause the temperature in your tent to drop. It is essential that you employ methods to fill up this space so as to conserve heat.
- Companionship: If you are traveling with a friend or a travel mate then you can keep each other warm by bringing your sleeping bags close to each other. This would help eliminate the ambient space around the tent.
- It’s okay to be a bit Messy: When you’re in the tent spread out your carry bags and equipment around the perimeter of the tent to further eliminate space.
- Create a Radiant Barrier: In case you are experiencing a high rate of condensation then you can make a DIY space blanket also known as a Mylar Blanket or Emergency Blanket or simply buy it online (details are given below). This can be done by duct-tapping a blanket onto your tent’s ceiling to preserve the heat arising from condensation.
4. Use a warm water bottle to increase the heat
Adding a hot non-insulated stainless steel water bottle near your sleeping bag (like shown below) would help heat your tent through the emitting radiation. Make sure that the bottle is pure stainless steel by checking that label since harmful chemicals can dissolve into heated water.
Another pro-tip would be to keep the hot water bottle close to your groin and not your feet. Since your groin or your waist is the core portion of your body, the heat travels through the body faster. You can easily notice the difference by applying this minor adjustment.
Keep in mind that you should approach hot water with caution so as to prevent any burn. Ensure the lid is tightly closed so that there isn’t any leak and cover in insulating material to keep the heat from escaping too fast.
5. Keep your head outside of the sleeping bag
Your sleeping bag is your best friend on cold winter nights, so treat it gently. When you climb into your sleeping bag, tuck in your shoulders and your head then begin retreating into your cocoon slowly. In order to ensure the heat inside your sleeping bag lasts a long time, keep your head in the open.
Here’s the sleeping bag from ALPS that we recommend you:
If you keep yourself completely enclosed within your sleeping bag then the moisture you release through your breath would begin to condense on the material of your bag and make it damp. This would reduce the insulation within your bag allowing the heat to escape.
The moisture you notice on the interior surface of your tent in the morning is due to condensation.
6. Wear Right and Avoid Frostbite
Avoid following myths like sleeping naked in your sleeping bag would keep you warm. This is entirely not true as at 30 degrees Fahrenheit, your body begins to lose an exponential amount of heat. Be sure to layer up as much as possible.
Don’t dress in tight-fitting clothing as this restricts your muscles that prohibits proper blood flow. Conserve your energy as much as possible. Do not run too much or do anything that causes a lot of sweating before you enter your sleeping bag.
You are susceptible to lose a lot of heat through the top of your head, therefore covering it would help preserve it. Wearing a beanie or a normal jacket hood may not be that reliable since they tend to come off while you sleep.
As an alternative, you can wear an AstroAI Balaclava, which stays fixed and traps the heat in your body. A balaclava also comes with its own ventilation ducts. You can also partner it up with a beanie or winter cap for maximum warming.
Avoid wearing any cotton clothing as it does not have the ability to prevent moisture, rather it soaks it and serves as a bacterial breeding ground.
Instead, you should go for moisture-wicking synthetic material like polyester, merino wool, or polypropylene which has the ability to redistribute moisture through its capillary action.
7. Keep your bladder empty
In cold weather, one may often feel like unburdening themselves. It is crucial that whenever you feel the need for nature’s call, you answer it as your body burns calories at a faster rate to keep your urine warm.
So, it is important to keep your urine bladder light to prevent loss of energy. Carry a designated pee bottle with you on your adventures. Today there are modern peeing funnels, like the WeemsicalFandezi Urination Device specially designed for women. Practice peeing with one of these funnels in the shower if you’re a first-timer, so that doesn’t seem like a first-time activity when you’re out in the field.
If you wish to take extra measures and are the type to recycle whatever they carry, then you can reuse the warm pee bottle as a heat emitter in the tent. Just ensure that the lid is tightly shut.
8. Install Proper Ventilation
Living in a tent is the same as living in your home which requires some of the conditions to be replicated. One of these conditions is proper ventilation. Ventilation allows the air to flow through the layers of your tent.
When you breathe, you release vaporized water through your mouth and nostril, which then condenses on the inner surface of the tent. This condensation then freezes or makes the inside of the tent damp which ends up making you feel like you’re in an icebox.
When buying a tent you should look for one which has an accessible flap covered in a net that prevents the entrance of bugs. Proper ventilation in a tent ensures that the temperature remains properly regulated at all times.
9. Wrap your sleeping gear
Winter gear supplies you with warmth and comfort. But, when it comes to overnight sleeping inside your gear it is not fair to rely on it for long and cold hours. Now, you do not have to start worrying, just make sure to keep a camping blanket in your luggage.
Get out Gear Double Puffy Camping Blanket is lightweight, extra puffy, and waterproof. Nowadays, materials like nylon are used to make camping quilts or blankets as they provide synthetic insulation. The added layer of a blanket is enough to protect you from cold winds throughout the night.
So, wrap it carefully over your sleeping bag and tuck it in the corners neatly.
10. Keep your stomach full and body hydrated
The fuel for your body is food and water. While camping you burn more calories as your body goes through a lot of calorie-burning activities. So it is necessary to supply energy throughout the day and night as well. Cook meals that are rich in protein and carbohydrates. For a lazier option carry high-calorie snacks.
Hydration is the key to a healthy functioning body. Make sure to consume enough warm fluids. It is not a good idea to drink anything cold. While backpacking, stuff your favorite hot chocolate, coffee, and soup. Keep a tap on your caffeine intake as it might dehydrate you.
Consuming too much caffeine can also keep you up all night. And next morning you would feel what the exact opposite of being energetic would be.
11. Use Reusable Straws to avoid spillage
Imagine you are all warm and cozy inside your tent, you are enjoying a mug of hot coffee or chocolate and accidentally you spill some of it on your dry camping gear. Unfortunate indeed! So carry a reusable straw to avoid any spillage in your tent or gear.
Flyby Portable Reusable Drinking Straws are made of metal and come with a case that protects it from germs and dirt. So, you can enjoy your drink whenever you want and wherever you want.
12. Hygiene is important
It is of course more difficult to maintain good hygiene in the cold, it is still quite necessary. Good hygiene habits help regulate the temperature in your body so make sure you carry all the prerequisite tools one would require for proper sanitation, for example, a Comco Portable Toilet Bucket Seat with a lid.
Camping in the cold is one of man’s greatest thrills. The chilling calm of the winter morning and the icy mystery in the night can make for great stories to share with family and friends. Survival teaches a person many virtues but it needn’t be a hefty and intimidating experience.
With these expert tips, you can camp out on any frontier, no matter the cold. Hell, you could also choose to climb Everest (But, with due consideration).
Take good care of your camping gear and your camping gear will take care of you! Happy Camping.
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