If you think winter camping is a little challenging and a tad difficult, you are right. It can be tricky. There is a much steeper learning curve than season camping because you need to prepare for it. You will need to carry a lot more gear and weight, and you also need to learn a few more skills. Here are some winter camping tricks and hacks that can help ensure your safety and keep you comfortable while on the wintry trail.
Create a Pit Under the Tent’s Front Vestibule
Make sure to create a 3-feet pit under your tent’s front vestibule, so you’d have a convenient place to sit down when you need to put on or take off your boots. You can also increase the amount of camping gear you can store under your tent’s vestibule fly.
Bring a Backup Stove
You need to prepare for all eventualities when you go on winter camping. This means bringing a backup stove just in case the first one fails to work. White gas stoves can malfunction, and it is frustrating when they fail to work. They need to be cleaned properly. It is also important to use only clean fuel. Canisters can fail to work when it gets too cold. The fuel can vaporize. This is why you should definitely consider bringing multiple stoves when you go on a winter hike. Ideally, the best ones are those that share the same kind of fuel.
Wear Oven Bags to Keep Your Feet Dry
Keeping your feet dry can be a challenge in winter. If you wear gaiters, your feet will likely get wet from sweat. Unfortunately, wet socks can freeze at night even if you sleep with them in your sleeping bag. If you want to keep them dry, make sure to put oven roasting bags under your socks. They will minimize feet sweating. They will also keep your feet warm. Your socks will also stay dry because the bags will keep the socks from absorbing your sweat.
Pack Plastic Grocery Bags to Use as Snow Anchors
Fill plastic bags with snow and bury them. Make sure that their handles show above the snow’s surface. This will allow you to immediately guy out the tent without needing to wait for the snow to harden. They are also incredibly easy to remove and reuse. You won’t have any issues transporting them from one place to another.
Wrap Fuel Bottles with Duct Tape
During winter, the temperature of white gas or liquid fuel can dip below zero; although they stay in liquid form. When it touches your skin, it can cause severe frostbite. In fact, when you touch an un-insulated fuel bottle in sub-zero temperature can already cause injury. You can avoid this by wrapping the bottle with duct tape.
Pack Boil-in-Bag Frozen Food
You can enjoy delicious meals when you go winter camping. The nice thing about the chilly weather is that you can pack boil-in-bag frozen meals. You do not have to content yourself with crappy meals which take forever to rehydrate. Boil-in-bag meals are available in most supermarkets. You can also choose to make your own.
Sleep with Your Boots in Your Sleeping Bag
Damp boots tend to freeze overnight in winter, so you need to keep them warm. You have to sleep with them in your sleeping bag to keep them from freezing. Otherwise, you may not be able to use them in the morning.
Use Wide Mouth Bottles and Carry Them in Insulated Pockets
Wide mouth bottles are best for winter hiking or camping. It is easier to pour boiling water into these types of bottles in the morning. You need to store your bottles upside down, so the top or opening won’t freeze shut. Keep them in insulated water bottle pockets inside or outside your pack. You can also keep them inside the pack surrounded by insulating gear or clothing.
Bring Extra Large Fleece Blanket
Ensure your comfort by bringing along an extra large fleece blanket like Pratico Good's picnic blanket. It measures 60" x 80", and it folds down to a portable size of 10" x 16". It has waterproof cushioned backing which makes it perfect for all outdoor activities. It offers extra comfort and warmth.