ESSENTIAL RULES TO ENJOY WINTER CAMPING
Posted on November 19 2018
Do you know you can also do winter camping like a pro? Long and warm days are gone till next year, and while it might be hard for some of us to let go of the summer vibes and admit that autumn is already here and that winter is coming, an optimistic thought and new adventure pop out in mind: winter camping!
For those of you who never thought about winter camping, think again: beautiful snowy landscapes and the best of it, it is not crowded at all! Ok, it is true that there is shorter daylight and especially and most important, it is COLD! But once you’ve gone for it and done it, it is an amazing experience that we should all experience at least once –or twice or three times… you might get addicted to it!
You could choose among different kind of winter camping experiences, from a couple of days to extreme trips for those who have been hooked by this kind of venture previously.
No matter what you decide on, below you will find a few recommendations for winter camping followed by ENKEEO's 4 big rules to outlive the chilly weather conditions.
Do not go alone on a winter camping trip
The wildness is staggering, but it is also unforgiving, so you should always have at least a camping mate to carry the adventure along with. Remember that 2 heads are better than 1, and sharing expert knowledge on winter adventures is always the best choice.
Let your family/friends about your adventure
It is advisable to share your plans and schedule to your family or friends. In the unlucky situation of an emergency, it will be easier to contact you or find out your location.
Make some previous research
It is a good idea (kind of a mandatory one) to study a few maps to get to know the area. During the rest of the year you might decide to go blind on your trip, but choosing to go unplanned for winter camping it is not the smartest choice.
Is it an avalanche zone?
It is vital to recognize symptoms and highly risky avalanche areas. Most of the avalanches are triggered by the human himself. You should be aware of what is around you and in the case of danger, change your route or postpone your adventure if needed.
via @cvttents | Instagram
And now, our 4 essential rules for a great winter camping experience:
RULE #1: STAY DRY AND WARM
There is no worst feeling in the world than to go winter camping and noticing the cold under your skin and inside your bones while you are outdoors for a long period of time and being unable to do anything against it (apart from trembling). This is why you should know what to wear before you regret it later.
Regarding your BODY. It is recommended to wear 3 layers of clothes:
- First layer: UNDERWEAR. It is not like you will forget about it, but it is important to mention that you should avoid cotton fabric, why? Even though it is a good insulator, the moment it gets wet, it loses this property because the fabric fills with water and will absorb like a sponge. It is better to wear synthetics or merino wool, both fabrics are very good insulators and get dry very fast. So remember cotton is a no-no for winter camping
- Second layer: INSULATING. Think about wearing clothes that will retain the body heat.
- Third layer: OUTER LAYER. You should wear waterproof, windproof and breathable clothing.
For your FEET you can wear 2 pairs of socks, the inner one should be very thin and both, inner and outer pair, should also be made with synthetics or merino wool. For your boots, make sure that they are comfortable and good for the weather. Finally, you can also add a pair of GAITERS for further protection against the cold and to avoid water leaking inside your boots.
Do not forget to carry a HAT (since we lost body heat through our head) and a couple of pairs of GLOVES. As the saying goes “If your feet are cold, put on a hat”.
via @probablyinthewoodstoo | Instagram
RULE #2: LEAVE NOTHING LEFT TO CHANCE
We cannot foresee the future during our winter camping trip and we cannot control all possible scenarios, but if we add these objects to our backpack, we will at least be prepared for possible obstacles that we might face:
- Carry some extra clothes: you never know when you might need them
- Take maps (or a GPS/navigation system): getting lost in the middle of nowhere isn’t funny, especially when it is cold
- Wear sunblock (and sunglasses and lip balm)
- Carry with you a lamp, we can recommend you the ENKEEO Camping LED Lantern, which is foldable, it has a backup mobile power source and it’s water resistant
- Prepare a basic first aid supplies kit
- Add some tools (knife, tape…)
via @survival.life.outdoor | Instagram
RULE #3: SHELTER
Winter camping is an activity to which you have to be fully prepared. Not only you should know what to wear on also what you carry around: backpack, sleeping bag, and tent.
Since you have to carry more things to be prepared for the winter camping weather conditions, we recommend you to wear a bigger backpack than the one you could wear in summer. If you are planning a weekend adventure, you might think about 60L. Moreover, if you are carrying your skis or any other object, make sure that you can secure them to your backpack.
Your sleeping bag must be able to resist at least around 10-15°C (10°F) lower than the minimum temperature. Remember what we mention about your clothes not been made of cotton? The same applies here. You need insulation to keep your body warm at night. Add a Sleeping pad to help you to keep your body heat.
The tent, your shelter for the cold nights. Be sure that it is waterproof to fight against the rain and the wind, that it has a rigid structure (you can always get extra poles to add sturdier resistance) and if possible, that it is easy to set up, since you might have to do it with gloves on, which makes the setting up harder.
via @westonshirey | Instagram
RULE #4: SET UP THE CAMP & TRICKS
A few tips and proved pieces of advice to perfectly set your camp up for your next winter camping adventure.
- Before getting on with the adventure, plan (realistically) where you want to camp and how long does it take you to walk that distance.
- Arrive early to avoid setting up the tent in the dark.
- Pack down the snow. It is very important because you will avoid soft snow, which can cause that you step up inside the tent and tear up the tent floor.
- Keep your boots inside the tent and if possible inside a waterproof bag. I said before that there is no worst feeling than feeling cold, well, there is something worse, waking up to a pair of completely freezing boots!
- Are you setting up your camp base near a water supply? Are you planning on melting the snow? If you want to carry a small cookware pack to prepare some warm food, you can use the same pack to boil water and kill the bacteria. This way you don’t have to carry a water filter as well.
- Last but not least, avoid at all costs breathing inside the sleeping bag. It is very tempting and it works in the short term, but again, think of the insulation. If you breathe inside the tent, the moisture from your mouth will remain inside the bag and won’t keep you dry.
Enjoy your winter camping adventure this upcoming season, play with the snow, admire the beauty of our landscapes, and be careful, it is addictive!