Do you belong to a region where there has been no sign of snowfall ever at all? Because I am. I live in a region where the climate is semi-tropical. It never gets colder than 25 °F.
I wait a whole year for winters to come so that I can go camping with my family for camping in the places where it snows. We enjoy a lot except that our bodies cannot tolerate too much cold like those who live in the Polar Regions.
After having several camping tours to freezing cold places, I have found out some ideas which actually work and save you from catching a cold.
Here are a few best ways to keep the body warm during camping trips like these:
1. Learn to burn
I guess it’s the most important thing to do. You will need a heat source to do everything. For warming up, cooking, making tea or maybe to keep your surroundings lit at night.
Practice two or three different infallible ways to start a fire before-hand. Also, keep in mind that it will be different to do it in that much cold. Make sure that it is durable too and does not end fast.
Find or keep a supply of fuel to light up the fire. If you are going to find and cut the wood yourself like me, keep a sharp and folding saw or something like this with you.
One way to start a durable flame is to make a small cotton ball and soak it in any oil, preferably mustard oil. Then burn it with a match stick or lighter. It will burn for at least 15 minutes so you can burn the fuel easily.
2. Keeping boiled water in anti-explosive rubber bottle sack under your feet
I have bought a hot water bottle for around 13$. You can put boiled water in it and keep it wherever you need. But I prefer to keep in my feet because warming the feet can help you warm your whole body. It’s heavenly. And the water won’t spill out of it.
And if you forgot to bring the bottle, or you do not want to carry extra luggage, you can make a DIY bottle too. Just take a regular water bottle containing boiling water, close it tightly and put it in a woolen sock.
Just be careful to avoid spilling.
3. Create a temporary shield against the wind
Find a place to set your camp between some trees. Take a tarpaulin, or any thick sheet, tie it between two trees against the direction of the wind. It will make a huge difference in the temperatures of your camp.
If there are any kids with you, let them do it. They will enjoy doing it while playing around.
4. Avoid sweating yourself
It sounds weird but you should avoid sweating completely. Even if you want to warm up by moving and running, don’t reach to the point where your clothes start getting damp.
Your body is going to use all its heat to dry out the sweat and then can end up colder. You won’t want that to happen. So just remove extras while you move and wear them back afterward.
5. Use the heat reflectors of the windscreen for layering up the sleeping bag for insulation
People often recommend exercise mats and bag packs for this purpose but shockingly, windscreen heat reflectors worked as the best extra insulation layer for my sleeping bag.
One possible issue is that they may slip too much, but you can make stitches to ensure that they stay put while you sleep. It will keep you warmer.
6. Get cozy before going to bed
Relax and warm up your muscles and body before getting into sleep. Jumping jacks could come very handy. You can try slow-paced marches too but don’t overdo it to prevent sweating.
You will feel more relieved and comfortable.
7. Stuff your stomach with good calorie foods
Good extra calories can be your best friend in freezing cold weather. Try to eat something healthy like nuts or cereal. Munching on the Doritos won’t make your body happy enough to make you feel warm
If your normal calorie intake was 2200, go ahead and take 4000 while you camp. If the temperature drops from 32°F eat even more. It will boost the metabolism and boost energy, resulting in a warmer body.
I know over-eating can be difficult and uncomfortable for some. So, take almonds with you because it is one of the richest calorie nuts. A fist full of these won’t have much fiber to make your stomach explode.
8. Lie above the ground
Play “The floor is lava” game. Your sleeping bag should be above the surface of the ground because the heat moves from a hotter body to a colder body. If you keep body contact, it can drain out the natural heat from you.
The wood stash can come handy in this case. Make a floor with it and spread any sheet or traveling bag on them to sleep over it.
9. Put on a warm beanie
Keep a beanie or a hat to wear it before sleeping. The head generates almost 50% of the body heat. The brain needs to stay functional all the time which is why it is less temperature sensitive. When you will put on something on your head, you can conserve that heat for a while and it can help you to stay warmer. Food will warm up the inside and this can keep the outside warm.
10. Keep an extra pair of necessary clothes and shoes as a backup
I remember how one of my shoes got wet with the socks and I had to spend 2 days in the agonizing cold with that one freezing foot.
Don’t take such risks and keep two pairs of everything if you can. And if that’s too much, then at least keep those which are inevitable, like boots, cap and gloves or mittens.
If you follow these basic tips, you can go on camping and come back as a happy person. You will be able to enjoy to its fullest. Happy camping! Let us know how it went after returning in the comments below.