February 5th, 2022 | Updated on June 25th, 2022
Winter camping has its own advantages. In the winter there are fewer insects and far fewer people. In winter you can fully experience the beauty and serenity of the pristine winter wonderland.
In order to fully enjoy the beauty of winter landscapes without fear of freezing, you can check out this article. It provides an overview of the essentials required for a successful camping experience during the winter months.
Basic Things To Think About When Going Winter Camping
- Setting up camp in the snow: choose a place protected from the wind and free of avalanche hazards, and then prepare a tent site by tamping down the snow.
- Hot drinks and food rich in calories: A proper meal and hot tea will keep you warm. Prepare hot, nutritious breakfasts and dinners, and don’t forget to enjoy quick snacks and lunches. Be sure to drink hot tea throughout the day.
- Use of gear designed for winter camping: you’ll need a sturdy tent, a warm sleeping bag, two mats, and a gas burner suitable for low temperatures. Perhaps, you can consider one of the snow tents.
- Choosing warmer clothes: standard medium-density base layers, fleece pants, down jacket, and waterproof jacket and pants. Don’t forget accessories such as warm socks, hats, gloves, and sunglasses.
- Prevent colds: Unfortunately, frostbite and hypothermia are common problems during winter camping. That`s why it is essential to have the proper gear to prevent these problems. A great idea would be using a hot tent wood stove.
How To Set Up Camp
When you get to your destination, you should not immediately unpack your belongings. It is recommended to take time in order to explore the area and choose a suitable location for the future camp.
Therefore, you might relax, have a snack or a drink, put on some warm clothes, and check the surroundings. You should definitely consider the following aspects when setting your camp.
- Protection from the wind. It is a great idea to look for a natural barrier from the wind. This could be a group of trees or a hill.
- Water source. Sufficient water supply is inevitable for a successful camping experience. Therefore, before pitching your tent you should check if there is a good source of freshwater nearby. If necessary, you can melt snow.
- Avalanche safety. You have to make sure you are not on a slope that could slide.
- Dangerous trees. Don’t pitch your tent under dry, damaged trees or branches.
- Privacy. It’s nice to have some distance between you and other campers.
- A place in the sun. Choose a spot that has good sunshine at sunrise. This will help you get warm faster.
- Landmarks. It is worthwhile to find and mark landmarks for yourself. This will help you find your camp in the dark or in a snowstorm.
Pitching A Tent In The Snow
Setting up your tent doesn’t differ much between summer and winter, but before you start putting it up pay your attention to the following points:
- Prepare the site: sleeping on loose snow is uncomfortable, so stomp on the snow with snowshoes or skis or just your boots before pitching your tent.
- Build a wall: if there is no natural protection from the wind on the ground, try to build a protective wall if possible. If there is a lot of snow, you can dig your tent out in the snow, this will help lessen the impact of the wind. Do not cover the tent completely, you need to leave room for ventilation.
- Use snow: Standard tent stakes are of little use in the snow. Instead, use buried bags of snow or special stakes designed for use in the snow to secure your tent. Make sure your tent is securely secured so it won’t blow away if the wind suddenly picks up.
- Stay away from sharp objects: Keep objects with sharp edges away from your tent that can damage your tent, including things like ice axes, crampons, and ski edges. Damage to your tent on a windy snow day can have disastrous consequences.
Cooking When Camping In The Winter
One of the joys of winter camping is the opportunity to build the kitchen of your dreams. Using a shovel, you can shape the snow into whatever shape you want. It can be a cooking surface, seats, tables, and even a storage cabinet.
Use your imagination to make your kitchen as comfortable and functional as possible. If you have an awning or tarp, you can take it with you to create a protected place where you can comfortably cook or eat. Stretch out the tent or tarp, then dig out the area below so you can stand up.
Food And Drinks During Winter Camping
Your body uses a lot of energy when you travel through cold snowy landscapes. It’s important to eat well and eat before so you can conserve energy and stay warm.
Here are some recommendations concerning food and water:
- Enjoy hot and simple food: hot food during winter camping is especially nice, but try to keep your meals simple so you don’t freeze, removing many plates from the table in the cold. Think about high-calorie foods that don’t require a lot of cooking time. Freeze-dried snacks and breakfast foods are also good choices.
- Take short breaks for lunch: simple sandwiches or quick snacks are good for lunch, as well as energy foods that contain protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Try not to stop for long lunch breaks, where you cool off. Instead, take short breaks to snack on food, or just chew while you move.
- Securely store your food: bears tend to be in deep hibernation during the winter, but there are other animals that will happily snack on your food if you leave it available. Put your food securely in your backpack or secure it to a tree.
- Don’t forget to drink: you may not be particularly thirsty as you are on a hot summer day, however, it is important to drink water regularly throughout the day. At camp, making hot drinks such as herbal tea or hot chocolate is a good way to keep warm.
- Make water from the snow. In winter, many streams and lakes are frozen or buried under snow, which means you may have to melt snow to get water.
In order to melt snow, you should follow the next steps.
- Designate a place to collect clean, white snow.
- Turn on your heater.
- Put some water in a pot, then add the snow (adding water helps take away the unpleasant taste).
- As the snow melts, add the rest of the snow in portions.
Don`t Leave Any Traces
Even in winter, “Don`t leave any traces” ethic should be followed. Here are some considerations which should be taken into account for winter camping:
- Set up camp at least 60 yards from trails, water sources, and other campers.
- Don’t scatter personal hygiene items and other trash.
- If you are going to build a fire, use deadwood. Do not cut or break branches of live trees.
- Respect the wildlife and view it from a distance. Winter is a vulnerable time for animals.