Only seasoned and more than a little passionate campers would ever dream of spending a long weekend in the cold conditions of a tent in a forest, by a lake, or even on an RV campsite.
If, however, this certainly sounds like a bit of you, then you have come to the right place, as here is camping in cold weather: 101.
Make Sure You Wear the Right Clothes
First and foremost, and as you would expect, wearing the right clothes will make a huge difference to your enjoyment level of the entire vacation, and interestingly enough, sleeping under a sleeping bag will not necessarily mean you will be warmer at night.
Especially if the weather forecast states that the temperature will be below thirty degrees Fahrenheit, follow these tips:
- Wear a beanie or other warm hat when you sleep (you lose heat through your scalp)
- Avoid any clothing item that is too tight, as this can constrict the blood vessels
- Wear wool or synthetic fabrics
- Never get into your sleeping bag or blanket too hot, as this will cause your temperature to drop too quickly.
Pack High-Calorie Snacks
When planning the ultimate Lake George camping trip, for example, you will be pleased to know that there are many refreshment shacks and larger cafes packed full of snacks to give you energy.
However, especially if you intend to stay in a less renowned campsite, you should pack high-calorie snacks, such as protein bars, nuts, and candy bars, which is the best way to fuel your body and keep warm during a cold night.
Additionally, try not to leave it too long between eating a hot evening meal and bedtime, as this will also help keep your body temperature manageable.
Buy a Quality Sleeping Pad
The main reason for heat loss when lying on the ground is conduction, and to combat this, make sure you invest in a sleeping pad to go inside your sleeping bag.
Even air beds that self-inflate are only insulated down to around thirty degrees Fahrenheit, so a high-quality sleeping pad that is both coated and aluminized, as well as an R-3.5 rating, underneath the mattress will make a world of difference.
Slide a Hot Water Bottle Inside the Sleeping Bag
As long as the hot water bottle you bring is of the stainless steel and non-insulated water bottle variety, then your sleeping bag will remain toasty for a couple of hours after you have gone to sleep, even in particularly cold temperatures.
You could choose a BPA-free material as an alternative to stainless steel.
Reduce the Ambient Space in the Tent
Finally, for winter camping or camping in extreme conditions, you should also set up and organize your tent to reduce ambient space to a minimum.
Lie your partner’s or friends’ sleeping bags as close to your own, and attach each bag with a coupler strap for an even cozier sleep. Insulate the tent by lining your bags and other belongings along the edges and duct-tape a space barrier that can be erected and removed at night and in the morning.