When you’re heading out for a camping trip, staying warm and dry will be essential to your well-being. However, this is more difficult to achieve when the weather is colder. And while a cold spell doesn’t necessarily mean an end to your camping trip, it does require some additional preparation. Follow these tips to help keep warm and well, but remember this is not a definitive guide - you will need to adjust your equipment and plans according to the conditions at the time of your trip.
Pack Light And Pack Well
Packing light is imperative to any camping trip, but don’t go underprepared. Start with a clothing system that is going to keep you warm and dry, no matter what the weather throws at you. For campers and hikers, this will usually consist of a lightweight but insulating layering system made up of a base layer, middle layer and top layer.
Choose the materials carefully as well. For instance, alpaca has the flexibility to adjust to changing temperatures and wick away moisture. However, some synthetic materials won’t serve you well in the colder weather and could easily leave you saturated if you get wet.
The next thing is to pack the ten essentials. Although it might seem like it, these items don’t just apply to the warmer seasons. The ten items on the list make up most important items you’ll need on any camping trip, regardless of the time of year.
Be Ready For A Change In Weather
You can monitor the weather forecasts carefully, but unexpected changes do occur, especially in winter. Ahead of your trip, make sure you know where the nearest shelters are and have a map/app/compass to hand so you have directions for getting there. Also, take an emergency bivy bag, survival bag or shelter should you need it. And when choosing an emergency shelter ensure that it is wind and waterproof, and that it will help you to retain body heat.
Check if your regular tent is suitable for colder weather. If not, purchase a winter tent and extra insulating layers for the base of the tent. Moreover, you might want to take foil blankets in case of extreme cold.
Plan For A Fire
A campfire is going to provide both warmth and a means of heating up food during your camping trip, so, make sure you have ample means to light a fire. As well as firelighters, take an emergency fire starter kit and a flint striker. And always have a backup plan in case your main source of warmth lets you down.
Choose The Right Nourishment
Hikers and campers usually choose high protein foods and a mix of high and complex carbs as fuel for their trips, but in the colder weather, its fats that your body will value the most. Cheese, meats, seeds, nut butters, high energy oat bars, cereal bars, and candy bars are good, easy to pack choices, but don’t depend too much on high sugar foods for your calorific needs.
In addition, pack plenty of easy to warm meals, and lots of hot drinks; you could prepare some meals ahead of your trip, or buy dried meals that are designed with campers in mind. For drinks, hot chocolate always makes a great winter warmer. However, don’t ignore your body’s need for water.
Cold-weather camping trips certainly have an appeal. However, they do require some extra planning and you can’t leave anything to chance. Take more food and water than you think you’re going to need, make sure you have easy access to emergency accommodation, a means of lighting a fire, a phone in case of emergencies and pack adequate clothing,
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