Essential Tips for Winter Camping and Backpacking Adventures

Winter is the perfect time to go camping or backpacking outside the cold, dark, weather. To help you get prepared during your journey, here are some tips for you to get the most out of your winter venture.

  • Keep Everything Warm Inside Your Sleeping Bag

  • Keep all your water in liquid form inside your bag, doing so will make cooking in the morning much easier. Also, put your bottles and clothes with you inside your sleeping bag. Clothes can add warmth which prevents you from getting ice cold in the morning. Bring a large freezer bag and put your boots inside them and lay them next to you in the bed.
  • Use Everything to Protect You from the Cold Ground

  • Once you get cold, it’s hard to keep yourself warm again. Overnight, you lose most of your body heat since you’re in contact with the ground. Make use of your sleeping pad and put it under your feet. A camping chair is also great to be used as an extra padding to insulate you from the ground as you sit around the fire.
  • Bring Extra Clothing and Use Them as Layers

  • If you’re that kind of person that easily gets cold, then it’s better to bring extra clothes that you can layer to keep you warm. Heavy jackets are the best choice to insulate yourself overnight. But remember, wearing too much can make you sweat which is not good during the cold weather.
  • Learn How to Warm Yourself

  • If wearing layers of clothes don’t help, then it’s time to get yourself moving to warm yourself up. Try doing some constructive activity such as scouting the area or gathering some firewood to make you active and warm. If this doesn’t work, try doing some jumping jacks for a few minutes before going to bed.
  • Educate Yourself About Frostbite and Hypothermia

  • If you’re a newbie in this kind of activity, it’s better to go with friends who have the experience to help you educate about frostbite and hypothermia. It’s important to learn about the difference between the two so that you’ll have a safe trip.
  • The Weather Can Make a Difference

  • If you’ve been camping on the same spot during warmer days, then it’s important to know that everything will be different during the cold weather. The steep hills you once climbed will be covered entirely with ice making it nearly impassable compared to its warmer version. You may be lucky when you’re stuck in a particular place while backpacking during summer, but in winter, it’s dangerous. So it’s better to prepare yourself by packing some crampons and Yaktrax just in case you’ll encounter ice along the trail.
  • Be Mindful of How Your Gear Will Behave in the Cold

  • The cold can cause a lot of damage to your gear such as ceramic filters cracking when it freezes, or pump water filters will freeze the moment you stop pumping, and some batteries won’t work until they’re warmed up again. Iodine tablets also take several times longer to purify water when it’s cold. Alternatively, use coffee filters or a clean bandana to filter water before using iodine or boiling it so you won’t have to deal with crunchy water that came directly from a source.
  • Bring Lots of Fire-Starting Equipment

  • Butane lighters don’t work in the cold. But using a match or a zippo can keep them warm inside your pocket. Different stoves also require different temperature levels for them to work. So make sure that you’re at a place or shelter where the temperature levels are normal so your stove will work.