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How To Prepare For A Winter Camping Trip

submitted on 22 April 2023 by
Winter camping can be a thrilling and enjoyable experience, but it requires careful planning and preparation to stay safe and comfortable.

With the right gear, you can stay warm throughout your outdoor adventure. Here, we'll talk about how to stay warm on your trip - from insulated tents to down-filled sleeping bags and insulated sleeping pads. In this post, we'll discuss how to choose the best tent and sleeping bag for winter camping as well as other important pieces of equipment like vapor barrier liners (VBLs) and sleeping pads that are needed for cold weather trips. Read on to learn more about how to make sure your next winter camping trip is successful!

Choosing A Tent & Sleeping Bag For Winter Camping

When choosing a tent size for winter camping trips, select one that offers extra space - pick one that accommodates at least one person more than there will be sleeping in it. Insulated sleeping bags are essential since they provide warmth while inside the tent or around the campfire during cold nights. Heating your campsite with wood burning stoves is another great way to provide additional warmth when necessary.

To ensure safety on a winter camping trip, invest in 4 season tents which are designed specifically for colder climates; these usually have double-wall construction with lots of vents at the top and bottom, a durable rainfly, warm mesh, and a draft tube. Your sleeping bag is also important for winter camping; look for a down-filled bag with an EN rating of at least two lower than the temperature you expect to encounter. For example, if temperatures are expected to drop below 0F (-18C), choose a bag rated to -20F (-30C). Down is the best material for cold weather since it offers superior insulation.

In addition to choosing the right tent and sleeping bag, make sure you are prepared with other necessary items like vapor barrier liners (VBLs) and insulated sleeping pads. VBLs are made of Mylar or Tyvek and they help keep your body heat in while preventing the cold air from getting out. Insulated sleeping pads provide additional protection between you and the cold ground, so make sure to choose a pad that is rated for the expected temperature range. For milder temperatures, an inflatable pad should suffice while for colder conditions, self-inflating or foam-filled pads are best.

Clothing For Winter Camping

In order to stay comfortable during winter weather, it is important to dress in layers. A basic three layer system consists of a base layer which is worn against the skin, a mid layer for insulation from cold temperatures and an outer layer which is waterproof and windproof. The material for the base layer should be warm, sweat-wicking and quick-drying. The mid layer should be thick and warm depending on the temperatures you expect to encounter. The outer layer needs to be waterproof, windproof and breathable to keep your other layers dry and allow sweat to escape. With proper layering, you can stay comfortable in any winter weather conditions.

For more information about winter camping, we recommend our companion post here.

Now that you have the basics for a successful winter camping trip, layer up and keep all of your gear in good condition so you can enjoy many more cold-weather adventures in the future! Have fun out there! Happy camping!
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