Camping in the winter? For many of us, this is definitely out of the question, as the cold temperatures and bad weather can be quite scary. However, if you want to upgrade your adventures and do something you don’t normally do, camping in the winter can be thrilling.
If you do this right, you’ll see that sleeping in a tent during the cold winter months is not that bad. You can easily enjoy a warm and comforting sleep.
What’s the secret? It all starts with adequate winter camping equipment. Of course, there are the pieces of advice we are about to share in the following lines.
Gear up for low temperatures
Although it can be cold in the winter, especially in mountainous regions, sleeping in a tent in such conditions can be done with the right kind of equipment.
So, make sure you are wearing clothes that are suitable for low temperatures. These clothes will prevent warmth to stray from your body while moving sweat toward the outer layers, so you don’t get cold as you move.
Pack several extra clothing items meant to keep you warmer during the night, if the case. Get a sleeping bag that is properly insulated. Check the minimum temperature for which the sleeping bag was made, before purchasing it. This will give you an idea about how suitable it is in your case.
An insulated sleeping pad is also highly recommended. This will form a protective layer between your body and the frozen ground. No matter how great your winter sleeping bag is, having an insulated sleeping pad can be life-saving in some circumstances.
Opting for an inflatable sleeping pad means that you will carry it around with ease, without compromising too much storage space. And you will enjoy the degree of insulation you need to stay safe and warm.
Your tent should be as small as possible
It is easier to stay warm inside a tent if there’s not too much space available. Bear in mind that all the air inside a tent is cold and it will consume out of your heat.
So, it’s best to reduce this space and keep it to a minimum. Consider your backpack and belongings and whether you’re camping alone or with a friend when selecting the tent for a winter expedition.
Never leave home before checking the weather forecast
A golden rule when camping, regardless of season, is to be prepared always. And you can’t be well prepared if you don’t check the weather.
Yes, the weather can be unpredictable, but at least you will have to chance to take some precautionary measures if you know how the weather could be.
Check to see how cold it can get and if there could be any hazards during your camping period. As a precaution method, get the contacts of the closest ranger station in the area where you plan to camp.
If you need any information or help, the rangers are the best people to contact while out in the wilderness.
Select a proper campsite
You should pick a spot that is protected and has an even surface for as much as it is possible. Once the tent is set, get inside and use your knees to even up the ground’s surface.
If you set your tent on snow, it won’t be too hard to do this. Don’t wait for too long to do this, as the snow is softer during the day. Avoiding any holes, provided by uneven ground, will keep you from losing warmth during the night.
Grab a friend in your outdoor expedition
Having a friend in the tent during the winter will keep both of you warmer. Besides not having to face the night alone, you will also have the chance to enjoy more warmth.
All you need to do is to get as close as possible to your friend. Having your bodies in close proximity will allow you to generate more heat together. Don’t worry, as the degree of weirdness in the wilderness is close to zero.
Insulate your tent
Besides keeping your body’s warmth to escape, insulating your tent will also increase the chances to enjoy a warm night in the tent. This is possible by reducing the space available within the tent.
So, use your equipment and belongings to pad the tent’s walls on the inside. A cheap yet life-saving solution would be to use duct tape on a blanket and use this to insulate your tent’s ceiling. You won’t believe just how much this will help.
Get warm with a hot water bottle
A bottle with hot water placed inside your sleeping bag will radiate heat for a rather long time. Your insulated sleeping bag will not allow the bottle to get cold too soon and you’ll enjoy a constant source of heat.
So, if you can produce hot water, placing it in a bottle is one of the best ways to stay warm.
Thermal lingerie is trendy up in the mountains
Even if you never used thermals before, you could use them when sleeping in a tent in the winter. In fact, it is highly recommended to have them on you.
They will preserve your body’s heat and keep you away from sliding toward hypothermia. It is worth knowing that thermals are recommended when camping during spring and autumn as well, not just during the winter.
Don’t wait to get cold to bundle up
If you feel like you’re not getting warm enough, don’t wait to feel cold until you toss on yourself another sweater. Anticipate temperatures dropping as the night approaches and dress up before you start feeling the cold.
Once you do get colder, it will be harder to get warm again. So, try to preserve your body’s warmth as much as you can.
Try to go to bed warm and not cold
Even if you prepared a nice warm bed in your tent, if you go to bed cold, you’ll most likely find it difficult to get warm. So, ideally, you should warm up before going to bed.
You either perform some physical exercises that will increase your body’s temperature or get a cup of hot tea. The main idea is to warm up from the inside before hitting the sack. When sleeping in a tent in the winter, every detail counts.