It goes without saying that it can get pretty cold out there during winter. Even when you’re at home with the heater going, you’ll still feel the chill from outside, at least to a point. So, you must think anyone who actually wants to go camping out in the cold is nuts!
However, if it’s a snowy place you’re thinking of camping at, then it’s perfectly understandable. In theory, you think you’ll just have to tough it out when you’re outside to enjoy such awesome white scenery. But talking about it and doing it are two different things, and you must be properly prepared to do it.
The fact is, no matter what you do, you can’t control the weather, but you can be prepared for it. Do some research on the weather trends that happen throughout the different seasons of the year for the region you’re thinking of going to.
You should also do research on any trail closures, changes to the terrain, or other hazards that may have happened recently. You could even get in contact with the local area authorities to get up to date info from those on the ground.
In any case, you have to know what type of weather and conditions you’ll have to deal with. Considering you’re in a place covered in snow, you’ll also have to be prepared for any potential challenges that can happen due to the snowy landscapes, freezing cold temperatures, and unpredictable weather.
Your tent is going to be your home while you’re out camping, so you need to really make sure that it’s set up properly to protect yourself against the elements. You’ll be in your tent more often than you would during a summer camping trip since it will be colder and get darker sooner, so keep that in mind.
If you’re bringing any sharp items along, keep them away from your tent if possible. Accidents happen, and you may make a tear in your tent if a sharp item is moved or used incorrectly. That will really make your camping trip far more difficult than it needs to be, especially if it’s a stormy winter’s night. Some sharp items that you may bring with you for camping in the snow are ice axes and ski edges.
Naturally, you’re going to be out and about exploring the wilderness, and not sitting around the campsite all day. Before you head off, put away and secure any items you leave behind that could be easily blown away by the wind or buried underneath some new snow. You should also do all this before going to sleep at night.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Australian snow is damp, wet, and gluggy. This causes it to stick to tents more so than light, fluffy powdery snow does. If it’s snowing heavily where you are, you may need to wake up at some point in the night to clear the snow to prevent it from building up further.
You’ll have to go outside to cook yourself some grub, and that means being out in the cold. If it’s not that cold of a night, then you can cook outside like you would any other time of year. However, if it’s really cold, there is a way to cook and keep relatively warm too.
First of all, just cook simple meals that are easy and quick to cook, meaning you won’t have to be out in the cold for too long. Secondly, it’s best to have hearty meals in such cold weather, such as soups and curries to warm your insides. Of course, cups of tea and hot chocolate are a great idea too!
They say that clothes make the man; bringing the right type of clothes to wear while camping will keep the man warm.
Although this is common knowledge for dressing for winter in general, you should wear layers of clothes to keep warm. However, you should avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes that may restrict blood flow, such as gloves, socks, and underwear. It is highly recommended that you wear clothes made from synthetic fabrics or wool. You should also bring along some fingered gloves, warm socks, boots, and a decent cap.
For bedtime, try your best to sleep in clean clothes. Although it’s perfectly understandable that you’d want to get right into your sleeping bag on a cold night, rather than getting colder when you’re undressed, you’ll physically feel better for getting changed.
But besides your personal comfort, wearing clean clothes is beneficial for your sleeping bag. If you always sleep in your sleeping bag while wearing unclean clothes, the sweat, bodily oils, and dirt on them will diminish your sleeping bag’s insulating power. Wearing clean clothes to sleep in will help prolong your sleeping bag’s lifespan.
Like with anything you buy, you want to get value for money. With this in mind, you should ensure that all of your gear is in good nick. Naturally, if you still have camping equipment from previous trips that are still good, then you obviously should just reuse it again.
There are different types of sleeping bags available, including those made for winter camping. These bags have draft tubes behind their zippers, hoods that keep the heat inside the bag, and draft collars above the shoulders. Keep your sleeping bag stored in the stuff sac it comes with when you’re driving to your destination.
If you’ve already got a sleeping bag that’s still good, consider getting a thermal sleeping bag liner. They add extra warmth to help you keep warm through the night, and they don’t take up much space in your vehicle since they’re small. They also help keep the bag clean and minimise the wear and tear your sleeping bag will inevitably go through.
When you use a sleeping bag, try to avoid covering your face with it, since your breath will cause moisture to accumulate inside it. Many sleeping bags designed for cold conditions come with a hood section, so use that to keep your head warm, along with a beanie.
For extra warmth for when you’re sleeping, bring a hard-plastic hot water bottle. Boil some water with a kettle and then pour the boiling water into the water bottle.