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Winter Camping Tips
Jan 29, 2016
It's winter, but that doesn't mean you have to be stuck inside for months. Winter camping definitely has its perks: solitude, no bugs and a beautiful snowy view. Here are 10 tips for your winter camping adventure.
Block the wind
You'll want to set up your tent in a spot that's protected from the wind. Hang up a tarp between two trees to block the wind, which will keep you warmer and make it easier to start a fire.
Pack the snow
Pack down the snow where you will set up your tent. This will help you avoid stepping into a soft spot and ripping a hole in the floor of your tent. It will also make it more comfortable to sleep, as the ground will remain firm and you won't have to readjust the soft snow when you want to switch sleeping positions.
Say NO to cotton
Your layers should be made of wool or synthetic materials, which are much better suited to camping in cold weather. Avoid cotton, since it loses its insulating qualities when it gets wet, from snow or sweat, and takes a long time to dry.
Adjust your layers
Shed your top layer as soon as you start feeling warm, as sweat will make you freezing cold once it starts to evaporate. Put on an extra layer before you stop moving and cool off so that your body won't have to work hard to warm back up.
Don't constrict your hands and feet
Make sure your boots and gloves aren't too tight, as that will restrict blood flow and only make you colder.
Sleep with the next day's clothes
Getting out of your sleeping bag in the winter cold is hard enough without having to pull on cold clothes. Sleep with your clothes for the next day in your sleeping bag so they are warm when you wake up and get dressed.
Sunscreen and sunglasses
Don't forget them! The snow is highly reflective, so you'll need to protect your eyes and any exposed skin.
Extra hats and gloves
You may lose them, or they could get wet. You can't go without these essentials, so play it safe and pack extra.
Keep water bottles upside down
This way the water at the bottom of the bottle will freeze first, and you will still have drinkable liquid on the top.
Prepare for the long night
Nights are long in the winter, so bring a flashlight or headlamp with plenty of batteries, as well as some activities to keep you entertained in the dark hours.
Of course, this is by no means everything you need to know for winter camping. Come prepared, make sure you have the right gear and stay safe! Check out this expert advice on winter camping from REI to learn more.