Winter is the perfect time to go outside and camp or backpack your way along the trail. Everything will look different as every rock, hills, roads, and mountains are entirely covered with snow. It can be a challenge though to go camping or backpacking in the snow, but there are ways to make it more enjoyable without worrying about getting frostbite or hypothermia. Here are some six essential tips for winter campers and backpackers.
Bring a Map and Know Your Trails
- Going on a trip without knowing your trails can make you lost. That’s why it’s really important to bring a map with you and pay close attention to way finding during your winter journey. Places like the Appalachian trail is blazed white, making it harder to find blazes in the winter. Meanwhile, in the Adirondacks, some trail markers on the ground are entirely covered in snow, which is why cairns are built for helping you stay on track.
Bring a Warm-Water Filled Nalgene Bottle with You
- Cold winter nights can unexpectedly become more colder. To help you stay warm, bring a Nalgene Bottle filled with warm water with you during sleeping. You can put anything inside it, maybe a hot cocoa, or hot choco, or anything that’s warm. The best part besides of keeping you warm during your sleep, you can have a hot beverage to drink on when you wake up in the morning.
Keep Your Water from Freezing
- If you’re in a location where the cold weather is stronger than normal, there may be chances where your water bottle can freeze faster than it should be. To prevent this from happening, add electrolyte mixes like Gatorade or Nuun to your Water. This makes your water freeze slowly. Turning your bottle of water upside down can also help ice to form at the bottom and not on the mouth of the bottle.
Bring Something to Sit On
- Keeping yourself active is the key to stay warm during your journey, but there’s nothing better than to sit down around a nice and cozy campfire at camp. When our bodies get contact in the ground, it loses a ton of heat which makes us cold. Insulate your body from the ground as you can. The Therm-a-rest Z-Lite mattress is the best choice when it comes to this. It’s great to be used as a sitting material or even a sleeping pad.
Bring a Pillow
- If you want to get that comfortable sleep you’ve been wanting for during your winter journey, it’s advisable to bring a pillow with you. Doing so prevents you to use your extra clothes to use as a pillow just because you didn’t bring one.
Bring Extra Fuel
- Cooking things can take a little longer outside in the cold. Sooner or later, you won’t notice that you’ve run out of fuel on your stove. It’s important to bring lots, and I mean lots and lots of fuel for your trip. This prepares you just in case you’re in the middle of nowhere and convenience stores are out of sight where you need to buy more fuel. Also, make sure that your stove is working properly before you leave. You don’t want to bring a broken stove and go into caveman mode in your winter camping right?