What You Need To Know About Winter Camping

When most people think of camping they imagine warm summer nights in a t-shirt and shorts; rarely do you think of piles of snow, freezing temperatures and sleeping with a parka on. For those brave few who are looking for a new adventure, here's some helpful tips on planning a camping trip this winter. If you can believe it there are plenty of activities to do while winter camping: ice fishing, snow hiking, cross country skiing and more.

First of all, if it's your first time, don't camp on an overnight trail far away from a car or shelter. It's easy to make mistakes or to forget to bring critical life saving items that you may need in the event of an emergency. Start by camping in a designated campground within quick walking distance of your car.

The two things you absolutely have to have is warmth and shelter. You'll need a tentfire starter as well as several layers of warm clothing to sleep in and a heavy-duty sleeping bag that's rated for the temperatures of the environment. Bring plenty of firewood if you can. However to retrieve dry firewood in the snowy woods, just look for fallen dead branches hung up in trees or cut down a dead standing tree; anything that's dead and elevated off the snow should burn.

Some important tips:
1. Always use common sense, if the weather channel says it's going to be -30 degrees C and to expect 3 feet of snow overnight, don't go camping.

2. Everything you wear is going to get covered in snow and eventually get wet, wear waterproof clothing and shoes.

3. You can't ever have too many layers, bring extra sweaters and coats just in case.

4. Always have a hatchet and knife on hand.

5. Remember that snow can cause ground to be slippery, be careful standing too close to the edges of cliffs, ponds and rivers.

6. Only cross a creek that you absolutely have to cross because you're almost guaranteed to get wet. Hypothermia can set it when temperatures reach anywhere below 20 degrees C.


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