Camping in the Winter
Weather we want it to or not (pun intended), It’s quickly getting colder as fall is creeping up on us. For some of you, that means grabbing a cup of coffee, staying inside, and staying warm. For everyone else, that just means a different kind of adventure. So what kind of extra gear is needed for camping in the cold? Really though, just be prepared to bring MORE than what you normally bring.
You certainly don't want to get cold because then it gets miserable and no one is having fun anymore. Aside from your regular clothes... bring these things and it'll help take the bite off that crisp weather.
- MORE firewood. Seriously at least TRIPLE what you planned on bringing. I say this because running out of firewood is the worst thing that could happen. At least for me. Sure, you could just rely on more blankets and layers, but nothing quite beats the instant heat from the flames off a fire. In the winter, fire isn't used just for heating up your food, keep the flames going until right before bed to keep your body temperature up. And what could be so wrong with not using all the wood you brought? Take it home and keep it for your next camping trip or leave it for the next people that probably didn’t bring enough firewood for themselves.
- Wool socks AND a regular pair underneath that. At least! Sometimes I wear two pair underneath my wool socks. It just depends on how cold it really is. The reason I do this is because the wool socks don't hug my feet as tight as a regular pair would. I’ve noticed that I stay warmer when I put my socks on in this order and it’s the most comfortable. Not that having layers and layers is very comfortable but it the least annoying.
- Thermal Underwear. I feel like most people know about this one, but it needs to be on your list. I wear these under my sweats and jacket.
- Sweats. Well, that's all I have to say on that.
- Jackets on Jackets on Jackets. I recommend at least two jackets on top of your thermal underwear. A thin one to keep that heat in, and then a thick sweater to give you that warm blanket feel.
- Gloves. This one is weird while you are camping because you are usually trying to do things with your hands that are really annoying to have gloves on for. But if you are anything like me, once your hands get cold it's difficult to warm them back up, so gloves might be a must for you too. And if you are not like me, just put them on while you are going on that last bathroom run before bed.
- Neck gaiter. It's like a scarf and a sock put into one. Many skiers and snowboarders use these. You can just leave it around your neck or pull it over your nose to keep your face warm too. This might seem a bit extreme for some people but if there is just the slightest breeze this will make a world of a difference.
- Hat. Whether you are bald or have luscious locks, keep that heat in with a nice thick hat that also covers up those ears.
- Extra Blankets. Does anyone else sleep with a blanket inside their sleeping bag or is it just me? It gets a little tight in the sleeping bag but it's great for keeping you warm. Get claustrophobic? Just throw one or two blankets on top of you inside your sleeping bag. The heat won't be able to escape.
- Hand warmers. I like to use these in my sleeping bag by my feet as well as holding onto them to keep my hands warm.
- Kettle. Obviously, this will be used to make hot water. But keep this in mind to specifically use for the next few things on the list.
- Hot water in a water bottle. This works a lot like the hand warmers do, but on a larger scale. I personally think it puts off more warmth and you can just put it in your sleeping bag wherever you need it most. If it gets too warm by your feet, kick it up by your hands and you it to cuddle with.
- Oatmeal for Breakfast. Using your hot water from the kettle, pour some oats into it. Add anything else you like adding to your oatmeal and it cooks itself from how hot the water is. Starting your day with something hot makes for a great morning.
- Hot chocolate, tea, or coffee packets. This is great for warming the soul and putting a smile on that face! Plus a little energy from that coffee couldn’t hurt.
Trust me on this list. I am one that gets so cold I can't stop shaking in my sleeping bag which causes me to throw up. No lie, it's happened twice now. So being prepared for the cold weather is kind of my thing.
There is nothing worse than not bringing enough things to keep you warm. That one extra blanket you thought you wouldn't need but brought anyway, might be the thing that keeps you warm and gives you a good night’s sleep. And if you have kids, bring double that plus 4 extra jackets. I'm only a little bit kidding on that.
I hope you don't let the cold weather stop you from getting outside and enjoying time with family or friends. Leave a comment and let us know what fun adventures you have planned this cold season.