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While the winter may not be as pleasant as the summer for many people, there are still various activities that one can enjoy. For example, many people go ice skating, snowboarding, skiing, and even camping in the snow. Contrary to popular belief, camping in the snow can be a great deal of fun if you have the correct equipment and approach. Taking on board as many winter camping tips and tricks as possible will be critical to having a successful winter camping trip.
Some folks may think that camping in the snow is no different to camping on the beach for example. But there are some pretty obvious differences and ones that need to be understood before you head out to the freezing cold temperatures. In this article I will provide some top snow camping tips to help you enjoy the unique beauty and unmatched experience that camping in the snow offers.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 It’s Going To Be Cold – Dress Appropriately
- 2 Snow Camping Equipment Is Critical
- 3 Choosing A Tent For Winter Camping
- 4 Winter Camping Tent Tip: Keeping The Heat Inside The Tent
- 5 Tips For Cooking While Camping In Winter
- 6 Winter Snow Camping Tips And Tricks Are Endless
It’s Going To Be Cold – Dress Appropriately
One of the most important factors to consider when camping in the snow is the attire. It is essential that you always bring plenty of warm clothing along to travel through the snow. Waterproof trousers and jackets are ideal because these items will keep the body warm and prevent water from soaking into the clothing. Children waterproof trousers, boots and jackets are especially important to prevent children from getting frostbite or catching a chill.
The waterproof material must be breathable as well as waterproof. By being breathable it will encourage skin ventilation and prevent any sweating. Synthetic material is beneficial because it removes moisture from the body instead of retaining it. This feature is significant as it helps prevent sickness that can be caused by changes in the weather. Many people think that breathable items are not necessary, but you will sweat underneath warm clothing and this needs to be accounted for when camping in the snow.
If your current tent is quite old and or is not waterproof. This can be easily fixed with tent waterproofing spray. All you have to do is spray this product onto the material of your tent and no longer will snow melt into water and leak inside the tent.
Snow Camping Equipment Is Critical
When considering snow camping tips, it is important to opt for suitable snow camping equipment. Remember, a sleeping bag is not just a sleeping bag and a tent is not just a tent – they all have pros and cons. When viewing sleeping bags, one must consider that not all of them are created for winter camping.
To ensure that the sleeping bag will withstand snow the bag should use waterproof fabrics. Insulation should be fairly thick to offer maximum warmth and comfort. Make sure you check that it is suitable for winter temperatures. Most sleeping bags will disclose this on the packaging.
Choosing A Tent For Winter Camping
Before you buy just any ole tent to take out into the snow, do your research first. Also determine beforehand whether or not you will be cooking from inside the tent. As it is usually cold, wet and bright white with snow outside, many campers prefer to buy a tent with a stove port. What this type of tent does is allows you to use a stove tent inside the tent without dying from the fumes that cookers put out. The tents have a outlet in which pipes are connected to the stove to release the poisonous gases.
But it’s important that you use a tent stove designed for camping. Don’t just take any stove inside a tent as it can end very badly. These stoves are designed for the tents with the ventilation outlets that certain tents offer. A good tent for cooking must have proper ventilation and a flue pipe that emits the gases outside the tent.
Winter Camping Tent Tip: Keeping The Heat Inside The Tent
The two common types of tents are nylon and canvas. While nylon certainly can be used for winter camping. Canvas tents offer greater warmth. A nylon tent doesn’t retain heat inside the tent as well as a canvas tent.
Canvas tents are generally more heavy duty as well. Which is ideal for the harsh conditions that cold weather camping can offer. They will handle more weight from the snow landing on them as well as surviving stronger winds. But it’s important to make sure the tent is either waterproofed or you spray on some waterproof yourself.
Camping tents should always be watertight because snowy areas have large levels of moisture and this can cause leaks. If the snow falls during the night, it is important that the tent be able to hold the snow on the roof or have it automatically fall off. A tent fly can be supported using snow pegs to handle the weight of the snow and if the weather is cold enough you may not need to worry about melting snow.
Another great tip for staying warm while winter camping is to choose an air mattress for winter. By this I mean an elevated sleeping platform. As the earth gets freezing cold during winter, if you sleep directly on the ground you are going to freeze. Even if you are laying on top of a air bed with a sleeping bag. This is because the earths coldness fills the air mattress and absorbs your body heat. Instead of the air bed maintaining your body heat. So by sleeping raised on a cot air bed, the earths chill has less impact on the heat that is distributed insides the air mattress. Resulting in a warmer nights sleep.
Tips For Cooking While Camping In Winter
It is highly recommended that you carry a camping stove or equipment to create a fireplace at the campsite. In addition to preparing hot food, the camping stove can also be used to melt snow into water. Canned food can also be thawed on stoves as they are at risk of freezing. One of the most common uses of a stove is to heat a camp site and help dry clothes.As mentioned above, using a stove inside the tent is possible, but only if you use the correct gear. Don’t try and cut corners here as it can lead to serious injuries or even death.
Campfires can perform the same functions in the snow as it does on dry land, but it will take skill and time to create a fire at a snow camping site. Once you get the fire going you are not only offering great warmth to fellow campers, but you are also opening up greater cooking opportunities.
The absolute best way to cook on a campfire in my opinion is by using a cast iron dutch oven. These heavy duty pieces of cookware will last you a life time while providing you with numerous amounts of cooking ideas while your out camping. The vast variety of cooking styles from one heavy duty pot is incredible. Especially if you get a skillet cast iron lid model. This can now be turned into the best breakfast the snow filled campsite has ever smelled.
Making Coffee While Winter Camping Tricks
There are many ways to make coffee while camping, so if you love the coffee bean as much as I do, then you are in for a treat. Many new campers think they have to give up the dream of drinking a freshly ground coffee while sitting around the campfire in the middle of winter. This is certainly not the case. There are many ways and methods to make fresh coffee, so don’t starve yourself of one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Winter Snow Camping Tips And Tricks Are Endless
In conclusion, camping in the snow can be enjoyable but you do need to bring the correct equipment to make it tolerable. Using the correct camping gear and wearing the correct attire is essential for an enjoyable experience.
These are just a few basic winter camping tips and tricks to get you going. Naturally the more you do it, the better you will become. Learning something new and exciting after ever fun filled snow adventure. So be sure to always keep learning and applying new tricks and tips you pick up along the way.
6 thoughts on “Winter Camping Tips And Tricks”
As I live in a rather warm climate to go camping in the snow sounds a bit strange to me. Also, the fact that I easily freeze makes snow camping and me not seem to be a good match.
Then I came across your post and I must admit it has changed my view if not 100% but still a lot. Your post is very informative, good tips and some safety warnings which are the right thing to give.
To chose the right type of tent if you plan to do the cooking inside is very important. The same as the tip to sleep on a platform on your air mattress to keep warm.
I liked the bit about the Dutch cooking pot, some centuries old and still going strong. I know by experience how it is to cook in cast iron. Food tastes great the only inconvenient being it is rather heavy.
Hi Taetske, you’re absolutely right about cast iron dutch ovens being rather heavy. I wouldn’t recommend them for hiking. But for car camping in the winter they are amazing. The kids just love the soups and stews we cook up. You are missing out if you don’t experience winter camping at least once in your life. It really is a unique experience that has to be done to fully understand. If you’re lucky you may even be able to go ice fishing which is very fun.
Thanks for these great tips. I don’t often camp in the winter but do in the spring and autumn and it can be pretty cold in the UK then although I haven’t braved camping in the snow yet! I think your tip about the air mattress is great and I will look into those. Do you have any you recommend?
Hi Gail, I know it’s cold. But camping during Winter is an experience you simply got to embrace. There’s a few really good air mattresses on frames that are elevated. Anything like this will certainly help. Anything you can do to make a little warmer inside the tent is ideal.
This is one thing I really want to do when I head out to the Rocky Mountains on January and this is a really helpful guide to be prepared for an amazing experience…
I have one questions though… in your guide your write about Choosing A Tent For Winter Camping..
Can you point me out to some options? Maybe share with me which one you like the most…
Thanks a Lot and have a nice day 🙂
Hi Kevin, the Rocky Mountains in January sounds like a great trip. Must admit I’m a little jealous. Depending on how cold it is going to get, I would recommend a canvas winter tent. These tents retain heat much better while keeping the cold outside. Plus they are stronger and have better wind resistance. Would love to see some photos of your trip when you get the chance.