Camping in the Cold

Camping in the Cold

My family and I have been camping for many years now. I picked the outdoor bug from my dad and I am glad I passed it on to my children. My wife initially did not love camping, but seeing as she was the minority, she had to join us.

I do have a lot of experience and many memories of incredible fun. However, I also have my more-than-fair share of nasty memories. There was that time in Texas when a copperhead crawled her way over our sleeping bag, chasing after a rodent that had come into the tent. I also remember once shivering so much from a cold I thought my body would drop out of the skin. I had underestimated the weather some, and I paid dearly for that.

And that is where I got my most important lesson for camping in cold weather. I learned that no matter how much experience you have in camping, the weather is not a respecter of persons.

If you are preparing to camp in cold weather, here are a few tips for you:

Keep your eyes peeled for the weather

tent cover in snow

That is right, you have to keep your eyes peeled for the weather. Know the forecast for the days that you will be camping and then carry the appropriate gear for the weather. Plan your trip well, know the nearest places you can turn to should the weather turn quite nasty, like a blizzard or something.

Camp in a well-sheltered place

Do not set up your tent right in the way of 70 mph winds. You should find a good, and a nicely sheltered spot to do that. It is not too hard.

Follow my tips below:

The sheltered side of a large boulder or rock – Rock solid would be perfect for breaking the winds and preventing your tent from toppling over or from being shredded to pieces. Besides, in cold weather, the winds make you feel much colder.

Wood shelter – This does not mean that you should set up your camp right under the trees. Keep it some distance away. The reason is that trees in the wilderness have dead branches that are likely to drop over your tent. Some are big and they can cause serious hazards.

Stake your tent firmly – When the weather is cold-nasty, it is not the time to go camping with a pop-up tent. Soft and light is good for beach camping, but for alpine camping, you may need something stronger and firmer. Stake your tent firmly to the ground.

Do not sleep on the cold hard ground

This is very important – you should not sleep on the cold hard ground in cold weather. That would be nasty on your bones. Bring a sleeping pad made of foam, and make sure it is a closed cell foam pad. That should insulate you from the hard ground.

Know how to insulate a tent

happy couple on a sleeping bag

You do not necessarily have to buy a 4-season tent and even if you have one, you may still have to insulate it to make it warmer. Firstly, do not bring your wet hiking gear inside the tent. It will sip up all the warmth. Secondly, you should sleep close to your camping partner. Two people get warmer faster.

Bring a camping tent heater

Today, there many cordless heaters, light in weight and portable that will run for hours keeping a tent warm. Carry one, and only turn it on when you feel the cold is too much to bear. You will be glad you brought it along.

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