Winter camping is not for the faint hearted, but if you’re willing to brave the cold there are definite perks of heading into the great outdoors in the cooler months. While summer brings more pleasant temperatures, it also attracts crowds of people all vying for the best campsites, the most convenient carparks and not to mention the noise. With stunning scenery and frosty mornings, camping in winter is a great way to appreciate lush green views that can often be dried out over summer. The easiest way to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors in winter while braving the conditions is to make sure you’re well prepared with all the right gear.
Check out Anaconda’s ten must-haves below to help ensure that your winter trip goes without a hitch:
1. Tent – If you pick the right tent, then choosing a spot will be significantly easier. Winter brings strong winds and driving rains so it’s vital that your tent is up to the challenge. Pick one that clearly states three or four seasons and look for a spot that provides natural shelter from wind and rain, and away from any potential hazards.
2. Pack – Depending on where you are camping, you may have to carry your full kit, and winter camping gear is often bulkier than your summer get-up. Choose a pack that has the capacity you need without being too heavy.
3. Sleeping Bag – It is crucial that you take an ultra-warm sleeping bag that has been purposely designed to keep you warm in the chilly temperatures. It should be suitable for the lowest temperature that you can expect to experience and should be rated either three or four seasons. A foam pad or inflatable mattress under your sleeping bag will add warmth and will prevent your bedding from getting cold or damp, while a sleeping bag liner will add another layer for extra insulation.
4. Clothing – Choose clothes that are moisture wicking and breathable to ensure that you stay comfortable and dry. It is important to pack plenty of warm layers and to ensure that you always have a something clean and dry to change into, especially at night.
5. Outerwear – Your outerwear should be waterproof to help you to keep dry when you are outside the tent. Choose a jacket that is warm and large enough to fit comfortably over all of your layers.
6. Footwear – Your choice of footwear is very important, and cold feet can seriously ruin your camping experience. Experts also advise that you sleep with your socks and boots in your sleeping bag to help prevent them from getting wet or even freezing in more extreme temperatures. Choose boots that are comfortable and waterproof, with solid traction-particularly if you are going to be hiking in snowy conditions. If you are shopping for new camping boots, it is advised that you wear these in properly before your big adventure. Blisters are guaranteed to slow you down and put a dampener on your journey.
7. Tools – If you plan to make a fire, come prepared with fire starter paper and matches or lighters and remember that wood in the outdoors is likely to be damp in the cold weather. Pack appropriate cookware, knife, and always be prepared for any eventuality.
8. Stove – While campfires can be great, there is some evidence to suggest that they can confuse your body’s internal thermometer in the winter, plus damp wood makes it difficult to build a fire. Whereas a camp stove can be a quick and easy to cook food, melt snow for water and brew hot drinks – all of which are essential for keeping warm and toasty in the winter. Be sure to check the website of any state forest or national park you might visit to ensure you stove complies with local fire regulations.
9. Headlamp/torch – Whether you prefer a lantern, torch, or headlamp, lighting is a must to ensure safety in the dark. Remember that electronic equipment loses power faster in cold weather, and make sure that you pack extra batteries or candles for an emergency option.
10. First Aid Kit – It’s critical to take a first aid kit on any camping adventure, whatever the time of the year. Make sure that you choose a kit that contains everything that you could possibly need, and always ensure that you let someone know where you are going to be. If you are planning a camping trip this winter, then check out Anaconda for everything that you could possibly need for your intrepid adventure into the great outdoors.