Tips for Camping in the Cold

Dressing

Cold weather requires a lot of planning for what to wear. The best way to stay warm and dry is to dress in layers. Start with a wicking layer (both top and bottom) that will transport sweat and moisture away from your skin. Next, put on an insulating layer like a fleece jacket or wool sweater. Finish with a wind and waterproof shell layer that will help trap heat and keep you from getting wet from the outside conditions. Add, remove or vent layers as necessary and always remember to put on dry wicking layers and take extra socks in case they get damp while hiking.

More: Tips for Winter Hiking

Unlike summer camping, where the sun rises at 5:30 am and doesn't set until 9pm, winter light only gives you eight or so hours of light each day to break camp, travel, and set up your new camp. This also means that night lasts up to 16 hours. So bring good company, a good book and a candle lantern, which will give you a nicer, warmer light than a flashlight, and burn for hours on a single candle.

More: Layering Options for Cold-Weather Excursions

Extra Tips

  • Pack more fuel for melting snow into water and cooking in the cold.
  • Stay hydrated--cold dry winter air just sucks the moisture out of you with every breath.
  • Always keep something, such as your pack or pad, between you and the ground.
  • Consider renting gear instead of buying it until you decide whether you like winter camping.
  • Wear gaiters when hiking or snowshoeing to help prevent your socks, boots and feet from getting wet.

More: 5 Campgrounds for Winter Sports Fanatics

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