These winter camping safety tips will come in handy if you are planning to camp during the cold season.
While we wouldn’t recommend winter camping for families with young children, families with teenagers or responsible pre-teens may just find a weekend of winter camping both challenging and fun.
However, there are some extra precautions you need to take when taking that winter camping trip.
Here are some winter camping safety tips that can make that winter camping trip safer and more comfortable. If you plan to go camping during the summer, then you should also read summer camping safety tips.
#1. Always Check the Weather before Setting out Camping in Winter
Avoid traveling in blizzard conditions or camping when heavy snowfall is expected. Even when winter camping you want to camp when the weather is good.
#2. Don’t Camp Alone
When planning a winter camping trip, make sure that you never camp alone. You want someone there to help should you have an accident or become overcome by the cold.
#3. Make Sure You Wear Layers of Clothing
Experts recommend that when winter camping you wear two base layers of clothing (regular underwear that is moisture wicking) and thermal underwear.
Then your regular clothes (select clothes that will help you retain your body heat), and your outer wear.
Your coat should be fireproof. Make sure that you wear two pair of socks a thin pair and thicker pair, hat, gloves, and water proof boots (with removal linings if possible).
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#4. Coat Exposed Skin with Vaseline
Vaseline helps to keep your skin from frost bite or drying out in the cold weather.
Bring More Food and Water and Clothing than You Actually Need
When camping in winter you never know when a storm may hit, making it impossible for you to break camp on the day planned.
So, make sure that you have enough food, clothing and water for an extra few days in case the worst happens.
#5. Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol thins the blood and after drinking a few beers or glasses of wine or other alcohol beverages you may find it difficult to get warm.
#6. Invest in a Thick Sleeping Pad
Cold seeping up from the ground can chill you more than cold air around you. So, make sure that you have a thick sleeping pad to help prevent the cold from seeping up from the ground.
#7. Make Sure you Have A Winter Sleeping Bag
Choose a sleeping bag made specifically for lower temperatures (those below 0 degrees Fahrenheit.)
When you wake up in the morning, if it doesn’t happen to be snowing, turn the sleeping bag inside out and lay it on top of your tent or on your car to dry out.
#8. Wear a Clean Pair of Socks and a Hat to Bed
You lose most heat from your feet and the top of your head while sleeping, so keeping these two areas covered well will help you to keep warm.
#9. Hang a Candle Lantern from the Top of Your Tent if Possible
If your tent has a loop for hanging a lantern or a light, then hang a safely constructed candle lantern from that loop during the night.
Not only will it provide some light should you need it, but it will also help to keep your tent warmer. Make sure that the lantern is not hung over the area in which you are sleeping.
#10. Keep a Pee Bucket on Hand
There is nothing worse than getting up in the middle of the night and having to run out into the cold to go to the bathroom.
A pee bucket can help you avoid frost bite or the biting cold and can be emptied in the morning.
#11. Sleep With Your Boots or Boot Linings
When winter camping you are going to need to keep your boots from freezing overnight.
The best way to do this is to place your removal boot linings at the bottom of your sleeping bag. If your boots don’t have a removal lining, then wrap them in a garbage bag and then towel and place them at the foot of your sleeping bag.
Winter camping can be a fun experience as long as long as you plan ahead and take care to make sure to keep dry and warm.
Hopefully, these winter camping safety tips will help to make your camping experience fun, comfortable and safe.