Camping in cold weather has certain perks, like fewer crowds, no bugs, and the opportunity to experience nature in a new light. Here are some hacks to help you make friends with the backcountry colder seasons.
Bring a Solid Tent
Make sure you invest in a good four-season tent that has sturdy poles and heavy fabrics that can protect you from strong winds and snowfall. Also, take steps to manage condensation and airflow. Leave a couple of vents open on your tent to avoid moisture build-up so your tent doesn’t become a wet sauna. Use a foam sleeping pad to create another layer of insulation between you and the ground.
Protect Your Campsite
Use nature to your advantage when you set up your tent to sleep. You can block the wind by setting up near a hill or a group of trees. Avoid setting up in a low valley where ground moisture rises.
Warm Up Your Sleeping Bag
Boil some water and put it in a heat-resistant water bottle to keep in your sleeping bag overnight. This hack will keep you warm through the night, and you’ll have water to drink when you rise in the morning.
Warm Up Your Pockets
Throw a set of hand warmers into your jacket pockets to add a little extra warmth. Handwarmers can go in your sleeping bag, too.
It goes without saying, but dressing in layers when out in the elements will keep your body temperature warmer. But layer wisely. When you’re out hiking or being active, you’ll naturally warm up and your body will sweat. Shed layers when you are warm so your clothes don’t become damp. Store those damp clothes outside of your tent in a dry pack.
Cover Your Head and Feet
We lose some of our body heat from our head and, of course, our feet, so wear a nice warm hat and socks. Merino wool socks are a good choice for warmth and to help wick moisture. A balaclava-style head covering gives extra coverage to your face and neck and is great for hiking when it’s very windy.
Stay Hydrated nd Nourished
It’s easy to forget to drink enough water in cold weather. Stay hydrated and eat plenty of nourishing food to keep your energy up. If possible, prep a hearty soup with broth, vegetables, and protein ahead of your adventure, and just warm it up on your camp stove. Drink hot tea and avoid beverages like alcohol and excessive coffee, which can dehydrate you.