With over 7 years roaming many places to camp and explore nature, I know a thing or two about how to stay warm when camping. If you’re a newbie and going to have a fall/winter/early spring camping trip, these expert tips are best to follow:
Check weather conditions
…which is also a must of any outdoor enthusiasts.
By determining the temperature that you’re going to suffer, it helps to establish the best trip plan with optimal preparation. “The one who sees through life and death will meet with most success” – they say.
Take time and effort to search for the latest changes in terrain and trail closure as well as approach weather trends and weather systems for the region and season.
If possible, contact the closest ranger station to get the latest information about the weather around the campsite you’re going to the camp out.
What to pack
As the topic today is about ways to keep warm when camping, I’ll just focus on the related items and here they are:
- Camping tent: It’s good to go for a 3-season model from a reliable brand
- Sleeping bag: Its temperature rating should be a reasonably lower limit
- Sleeping pad: Should be built with closed-cell foam
- Base layers: Choose either wool or synthetic
- Tent stakes: Wind resistance feature is a top priority
- Tent brush
- Thermal clothing
- Stainless-steel water bottle
- Bottle insulator
- Snack: Choose the nutrient-dent
You may concern: Warmest Sleeping Bag for Winter Camping
While You’re Camping
Install your tent
Before setting up your tent, choose a flat, dry camping spot and get rid of any snow or obstacles. Then, flatten your sleeping surface with your boots or tools.
When done the tent, climb into it and smooth out the floor by your knees.
By using these shaping techniques, it helps to minimize significantly potential heat loss and ambient space.
Drink warm water/liquid and eat a hearty dinner
My go-to kinds of food for winter camping is only rich, fatty, and butter-filled. Don’t feel guilty for such a hearty meal because, in cold temperature, your body needs at least 6,000 calories per day to ensure keeping warm.
Always keep your head to toe dry and well-covered
Your head and the four limbs are where most heat escapes from your body so, by well-covered them, you can prevent this issue easily.
The most worth-considering is socks.
Never sleep in the ones that you wore all day long since they are sweaty and smelly now.
Always prepare a separate pair of thermal socks for bed and in the morning, when rolling up your sleeping bag, just pack them with it and you’ll never lose or mislead with other pairs.
The same with clothing. Don’t wear sweaty clothes and go to bed even if you’re too lazy about hygiene. Damped clothes will drop your core body temperature, making it harder to sleep.
Fill the stainless-steel bottle with hot water
This is a classic warm body trick that can instantly generate heat in your sleeping bag.
Before going to bed, boil water and pour it into the stainless-steel bottle that I suggested you carry. Then, place it inside your sleeping bag.
I myself prefer to tuck it right up against my belly or chest.
Never burrow deep or breathe into your sleeping bag since moisture from your breath can be trapped there, which loses the bag’s insulation
If condition permits, invert the tent daily, let it dry by wind or sunshine to move out moisture while drying out your gear
If waking up cold at night, munch on the snack that I told you to prepare beforehand to “fuel” up your body.
If you want to pee, don’t hold it in to avoid cold in the long run as your body needs calories to warm your urine.
One last note
Remember nobody is immune to cold. While preparing the best with the necessary gear for your mission, don’t forget to equip yourself some basic knowledge for your survival and safety. Take note of the symptoms and signs of frostbite as well as severe hypothermia.
Happy and safe camping!