Camping in cold and freezing temperatures can be a great experience if you've prepared well and stay safe. Researching the camp location and planning ahead is necessary to pack smart. Bringing the right gear will make or break your trip, so it’s important to know what you'll need to stay warm. Here are five must-have cold weather items for your next winter camping trip:
Fleece-lined clothes is essential for staying warm while cold weather camping. Fleece is soft, breathable, and can be layered. It is important to layer correctly to prevent sweating, which can lead to hypothermia. Most hikers will recommend four layers, including a layer of fleece to keep body temperature regulated. Choose breathable fleece-lined clothes that is comfortable and can handle the elements.
Staying warm and comfortable at night is important- a sleep pad can provide both. Not to be confused with a sleeping bag, a sleep pad is a pad as a cushion and extra insulation inside your sleeping bag. There are different styles and types to choose from, from inflatable pads to memory foam. Make sure the pad you choose can handle inclement weather.
Snow shoes are often overlooked as an important survival item, but they are necessary for winter hiking and camping. They enable hikers to walk on snow safely without the threat of sinking. Smaller, more compact shoes work best for icy, packed snow. Larger, longer shoes are made for loose, powdery snowfall. Find a pair that fits correctly and matches the types of snow you may encounter. Ask a professional at an outdoors shop to assist you in finding the right shoe style.
Warmers inside your gloves and boots are great ways to stay warm on your trip. They're helpful in preventing frostbite and hypothermia, along with other cold weather conditions. Most disposable warmers stay warm for over eight hours, while rechargeable ones can last even longer. Rechargeable warmers have their benefits and can even act as a backup battery charger. Disposable warmers may be easier to use with no charging required, but are only used once. Both types of warmers will work, so it is ultimately a choice of convenience.
Goose-Down Sleeping Bag
The right sleeping bag will determine how your trip will go. A Goose-down bag is a great option for extreme temperatures to prevent hypothermia and other deadly conditions. A weatherized sleeping bag must have a temperature rating of at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to provide insulation for below-zero temperatures.
Planning a winter camping trip does not have to be a headache. Ask experienced campers for recommendations when shopping and packing your bags. If it's your first winter camping trip, consider inviting an experienced hiker on the trip to help guide you on your trip. Finally, perform a test run with all equipment you plan to bring to ensure your trip will go smoothly.