The weather in recent weeks hasn’t exactly been ideal for getting out and about, but the more determined outdoor enthusiasts among us would never let a little snow stop them from getting to grips with nature - and while winter camping might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is no denying that it remains a popular pastime.
So, if you’re planning your first overnight stay in the great outdoors in the coming weeks, be sure to think of everything you will need to ensure you don’t end up instantly regretting your decision. At Snooper, we’re dedicated to ensuring our customers make the most of their camping trips, so take a look at our must-read tips below.
It should go without saying that appropriate planning is absolutely essential ahead of any winter camping trip. You must spend time researching the areas and the conditions of where you are going to visit. Think about the following factors:
- The route you will be taking - will you stick to a trail, or be heading off the beaten track?
- The type of snow that has fallen - is it shallow or deep? Also, is it powder, packed or a breakable crust?
- The modes of transport you will take when you get to your destination - will you be walking or skiing?
Wearing several thin layers will keep your body warmer than a single thick garment. Make sure you’ve packed wool socks, thermal underwear, a warm jacket, gloves and boots. Your body will warm up the more physical activity you do, but it is important to retain heat even when you are resting, particularly at bedtime.
It may be worth researching the type of climate you will be travelling in too, as certain fabrics are better for different temperatures. For example, down garments are the perfect option if you’re heading to a warm climate, but may not be the optimum fabric for damp environments.
Base layers are a must for winter camping too. Opt for something manufactured from merino wool or insulating synthetics with another layer on top. Then, add a woolly or fleecy hat and neckwarmer. Even when you sleep, ensure you always wear a pair of thick woollen socks - and keep them dry, so you’ll always be comfortable during the night.
If you’re heading off on a winter camping trip, but are worried about keeping warm, it is best to eat your evening meal as late as possible. Obviously, the body needs fuel to generate heat, so eat your dinner immediately before sleeping - and the good news is, the heartier the menu, the better! Fat is metabolised more slowly than carbohydrates, so will last longer while you sleep.
Another tip for a comfortable night’s rest is to warm your sleeping bag before going to bed. A cold cover usually takes a while to warm up if it’s just going off your body heat, so pre-warming it is essential for getting cosy before sleep. In order to do this, boil some water in a watertight container, then - after letting it cool for a while - place the container in your sleeping bag around half an hour before going to bed.
Camping at this time of year may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but stunning views in icy conditions and a long walk in the snow can be extremely rewarding. With the right preparation, winter camping does not have to be a stressful experience, just don’t forget essentials such as base layers and a secure tent!