Tips for Planning a Cold Weather Camping Trip

Snow tentThough cold weather can be discouraging, an avid camper won’t mind braving low temperatures for a chance to get outdoors. That being said, cold weather camping isn’t always easy. There are a number of things that can get in the way of a good camping trip when it’s cold outside.

With adequate planning, however, cold weather camping can still be a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Here are a few things to think about when it comes to planning a cold weather camping trip.

Check the weather. This is always important, but it’s absolutely essential when camping in cold weather. Check the high temperatures as well as the low temperatures. Consider the humidity level as moisture and cold don’t mix well. Sunshine can add a lot of warmth, but a lack of sunshine can leave you shivering, so be sure to check cloud coverage. You should, of course, check for the chance of precipitation, and know exactly whether it’s sleet, freezing rain, hail, or snow that’s in the forecast.

Bring more warmth than you need. Always assume that you’re going to be colder than you think. This is especially true for car camping, but it’s a good idea to bring some extra warmth even if you’re backpacking. It’s worth the weight. It’s better to have a jacket and not need it than to be freezing and unable to get warm. As always, wear layers.

If you’re car camping, bring some firewood. It’s usually easy to find firewood, but it’s not always guaranteed that it will be dry or plentiful.

Handwarmers aren’t going to crank out a ton of heat, but they can help keep the feeling in your fingertips.

Plan on bringing some warm drinks – like cocoa, coffee, tea, or cider – to help keep you feeling cozy and warm.

Some people sleep warmer than others. A 25 degree sleeping bag could be fine for one person, but leave another chilled to the bone. Figure out whether you’re a warm or a cold sleeper.

Many people choose to sleep without a rainfly during the summer, but this isn’t really an option during the winter. Bring your rain fly. A tent fly will help trap body heat and keep you warm. A fly will also, however, trap moisture. This can lead to tent drip.

With a little planning and preparation, cold weather camping can be just as fun as any other season. Stop by the store for more ideas on how to stay comfortable while camping in the cold.

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