Winter Camping: How to Enjoy the Outdoors in Any Weather

April 5, 2018

Cold temperatures and snowy conditions send many people hunkering indoors, but winter weather is no excuse to pack away your camping gear.

Winter camping offers exhilaration that’s almost impossible to find in the busy summer months. However, for a successful trip outdoors, you need to be prepared for the frigid temperatures. While packing plenty of warm clothes is a no-brainer, not all hacks are so straightforward. Use some of these winter camping tips for a cold-weather excursion that will get the blood pumping.

Wrap Fuel Bottles in Duct Tape
Fuel bottles are often made of aluminum, but touching one of these in freezing temps is a recipe for a severe cold injury. Wrap the bottle in duct tape ahead of time to provide an extra layer of insulation between your fingers and the metal. You’ll also need to take extra precaution in making sure the liquid fuel doesn’t touch your hands — that could result in instant frostbite. Wear a thin pair of gloves and work on a stable surface when you’re pouring the liquid, and bring the duct tape along on your adventure. You can use it for everything from repairing broken tent poles to lining your boots for extra warmth.

Crowd Your Sleeping Bag
Your body shouldn’t be the only thing in your sleeping bag. Before you settle in for the night, remove the liners from your boots and throw them in the sleeping bag with you. Boots often get damp while you’re walking during the day, which means they could freeze overnight if not protected. Likewise, stuff the bag with any extra clothes you plan on wearing the next day. This not only removes excess pockets of air in the bag, but it also puts your body heat to good use and keeps the clothes warm.

Use Wooden Utensils
Metal utensils are easy to use and sturdy, but when you’re cooking in the open winter air they’ll also get cold very quickly. Not only does this make them difficult to handle, but it also increases the speed at which your food cools off — which isn’t great when you’re looking forward to a nice, hot meal. Instead, pack wooden utensils and serving spoons for your excursion.

Put Your Matches in a Metal Container
When temperatures are freezing, plastic can crack or break and wooden matchboxes get wet, ruining the matches. Instead, opt for a metal container to store these camping essentials. For extra safety, make sure you pack more than one match container, and store them in several spots. You don’t want to be caught in the cold without a way to start a fire.

Pack a Mat
In summer you might not think twice about throwing your sleeping bag on the ground, but this can cause lots of problems in the winter. Even in the warmest sleeping bag, it can be especially hard to get comfortable when you’re sleeping on frozen earth. Carry a yoga mat or other sleeping mat to serve as a buffer between your body and the frozen ground.

Store Your Water Bottle Upside Down
It’s very likely your water will freeze, which can make hydration difficult. Because your bottle will freeze at the top first, store it upside down to increase the likelihood that you’ll have drinkable liquid near the mouthpiece.

Snowy weather and extreme temps are no excuse to hang indoors. Winter camping gives you a chance to get outside and test your limits, but you need to have the right essentials. With these tips and an energizing drink like Rip It, you’ll be ready to survive and thrive when camping in any weather.

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