Camping is a fun adventure for the whole family. Every camping trip takes a little planning to be sure you have necessary supplies and safety equipment. However, camping during the winter has specific cautions that should be taken. Being prepared for anything is essential during the cold.
Clothing is particularly important during the winter. Whether staying at the campsite or venturing out for a hike, it is important to maintain your body temperature and avoid ill effects of cold weather such as hypothermia. Always wear a hat. Up to eighty percent of your body heat can be lost through your head, so wearing a hat is essential. Dress in layers. Wear several layers of clothing and choose outer clothing that is waterproof. Wear warm, wool socks. Wearing two pairs of socks is advisable for warmth and comfort. Always wear boots that are suited to cold weather and are waterproof. Keeping your feet warm and dry is critical for warding off hypothermia.
Make sure you have a warm fire at your campsite and that tents or sleeping arrangements are properly insulated from the cold. Choose sleeping bags and sleeping mats that are waterproof and have warm linings. Make sure you get into the sleeping bag already warm and dry. Do some exercises and warm up by the fire before entering your tent and going to sleep. If you have wet clothing on, change out of it and only sleep in dry clothes.
You will be less hungry in the winter but do not neglect nutrition. It will help keep your energy level up. Warm drinks will help. Cup of soup or canned soups are great for adding nutrition and warmth to the diet. Stay away from coffee, tea and alcohol if you are feeling the effects of hypothermia as they will thin the blood and actually advance symptoms.
Be prepared for emergencies. It is not uncommon to have a sudden drastic shift in weather leaving you stranded and unable to return to your campsite. It is also possible to have an accident such as slipping on a slippery slope or having a fall through the ice into freezing water. Being prepared for such disasters may mean the difference between life and death. Always have waterproof matches, food and water supplies, blankets, and first aid kits available.
Taking some time to plan and prepare for camping in the winter is essential for staying safe and making the most of your experience. Make sure you have items to stay warm and nourished. Plan for the unexpected and have gear available in case of emergency.