Winter camping is a wonderful way to get in touch with nature, build character and enjoy good times with your family and friends. These are some of the benefits of camping in cold weather and safety measures to keep you healthy and warm.
Benefits of Winter Camping
1. Deepen your appreciation for nature. It’s easy to love a spring day but winter can be more demanding. Whatever the hardships, enjoying fresh fallen snow and longer star-filled nights may convince you that the effort is worthwhile.
2. Learn to work as a team. Everything will be harder when you’re outdoors in cold weather. You’ll need to pull together to get the tent up before it gets dark and make breakfast when the ground is frozen.
3. Experience solitude. When the summer crowds are gone, you’ll have a lot more space to yourself. Enjoy the silence and the chance to see more wildlife.
4. Persevere through obstacles. Success in life often depends on being able to persist even when you run into complications. The skills you learn while camping will help when you’re pursuing other goals.
5. Become patient with discomfort. Much of the stress in life comes from our mind rather than from external conditions. You’ll return home a little wiser when you see how you can make cold feet feel warmer by remaining calm.
6. Develop more gratitude for common amenities. It’s easy to overlook indoor plumbing and central heating in our daily lives. When you go without them for a little while, you’ll feel more appreciative.
7. Learn eco-friendly habits. Many campers are becoming increasingly conscious of leaving as little behind as possible. You’ll help build a more sustainable world as you focus on ways to reduce your footprint, including using alternatives to burning fuel.
Tactics for Keeping Safe and Warm
1. Turn heaters off overnight. Portable heaters can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if used improperly. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and turn them off before you go to sleep.
2. Dress properly. Trap body heat by dressing in layers, starting with long underwear. Half your body heat really can escape through your head so choose your hat carefully and wear it all the time.
3. Eat hearty. You may need to eat more calories than usual because your body will be burning them up to fight the cold. A bedtime snack is especially good for raising your temperature a little. Focus on complex carbohydrates that are easy to carry around and simple to prepare.
4. Stay hydrated. Dry winter air can be dehydrating. Your body needs plenty of water in order to regulate its temperature and keep your blood flowing smoothly. Carry a thermos so you can drink liquids frequently. Plain water is best. Low-sodium soups are also a good choice.
5. Get the right gear. Selecting the right equipment will make it easier to protect your wellbeing and have a good time. Check out winter tents that provide more coverage and stakes that are designed for snow. Chemical heat packs can keep your hands and feet toasty.
6. Know your limits. Check the weather report and pay attention to local advisories. Play it safe with your own life and the lives of rescue personnel. You may be going into areas without a cell phone signal so ensure that someone knows where you’re headed and when to expect you back.
If you’ve been putting your tent away as soon as the weather turns cold, you may want to give winter camping a chance. With some simple precautions, you can stay safe while you experience a new sense of peace and adventure.