Weathering the Winter Camps
Chilling smartly and safely outdoors
As winter moves in full force across the northern hemisphere at this time of the year, most of us would prefer to stay in our warm, cozy homes, away from the snow and cold winds. However, the adventurous ones will want to make a trip out into the snowy woods to soak in some nature, have a fun ski retreat or just to get rid of cabin fever.
If you are planning to camp out in
the cold, the below few basic points can help you camp safely even in the
It makes good sense to bundle up for the trip, so bring along enough warm yet light clothes and thermal wear to stay warm. Build a checklist of clothes, accessories and protective creams that cover each part of your body, starting from your head and ending at the tip of your toe. For example, the head needs a winter hat; the eyes need sunglasses, especially if you are going to ski; you would probably need sunscreen and lip balm for the face and lips; the neck needs a scarf, so on and so forth. You can get attire made out of waterproof fleece, or winter clothes that have built-in heat technology. Makers of these fabrics have created them to be light and comfortable to wear, as well as being effective in trapping body heat.
The sleeping bag could be the heaviest camping necessity you need to carry with you. But don’t compromise on warmth over weight. Take note that body temperature creates warmth and not the sleeping bag. Sleeping bags with good insulation, such as those made of down, traps your heat and keep you toasty. And when you pick yours, besides checking what type of weather conditions it is suitable for, consider choosing one which covers you all the way up your head to keep the chills out, and which has less interior space so that your body does not need to heat up more areas in the bag.
Choose UL-certified camp equipment for cooking, heating and lighting to help ensure that the items are safe for use. Fuel will deplete faster in cold climates, so be sure to bring more than you think you might need, or get equipment that runs well in cold weather and on white gas, which works more efficiently in cold temperatures. A good rule is to plan on 1/4 quart of white gas per person per day if you need to melt snow for water. If water will be available, plan on 1/8 quart per person per day.
are some basic guidelines for those who would like to know how much fuel to
carry for your stoves and how to efficiently use them.
Watch the Weather
When you go out for an extended trip, keep a radio handy to stay up to date about the weather forecast, or – if you’re sure you’ll have a reliable internet connection - you can get a weather app for your phone or wearable. Typically, a basic, hand-cranked emergency weather radio will be your best bet when you’re travelling away from civilization.
Set up your campsite away from windy areas such as hill tops, ridge tops and open fields as your tent might not survive any strong gusts. Avoid camping or hiking on steep, snow-covered hills, mountainsides or in gullies. Look for where other campers or hikers visit regularly, they are possibly the safest places to go to.
Also, make sure to get updated
information on weather, road and trail conditions from people who know the
area. Talk to park rangers, locals at trustworthy camping supply stores, and
others with experience in safely hiking and camping in the area you want to
visit. Report to rangers, and let them know how long you plan to be in the
area, and let them know that you will be checking out with them when you leave.
A little bit of common sense often makes a big difference in your safety and
enjoyment while exploring the great outdoors.