Camping in the cold might be harder than you think. While camping there are many elements that will hinder you and the temperature is one of them while you are on a cold camping place
so like the question is camping in cold places fun? yes, it will be super fun if you do everything right and it might go very bad if you are doing the wrong things. In this article, I have written tips and I have answered some questions about camping in cold weather I hope you will find helpful.
if you have a thing for camping but if you haven’t gone camping before I have written a whole post on the guide to beginner campers you can check that out camping for beginners.
A quick overview of Tips For Camping In The Cold
- Put your water bottle upside down
- open a little space to overcome condensation
- Don’t get air mattress(Sleeping pad)
- Get mummy sleeping bag
- Drink hot things
- Wear tight cloth
- Check the temperature rating of the sleeping bag
- Eat carbohydrate packed food
- Get a heater
- Place your tent in a dry ground
- Swap your cloth often
- Get Gloves and socks
Put your water bottle upside down
The last thing you want while camping is to get up from sleep and have no water to drink and while camping in a cold place this will happen very often. As you know your water will freeze if the temperature is below 32° Fahrenheit.
Water freezes from top to bottom so that means if you put your water bottle normally the opening will freeze and you will not be able to drink from it. But if you put it upside down the top part will freeze and you will turn it over to get a drink.
Try to thermally insulate your bottle by wrapping it in duct tape, most duct tapes are very good thermal insulators. So wrap it 3 or 4 times to get the most out of it. Another easy way is to just to put your water bottle in a thick sock so that it will not lose its heat and freeze.
In case if your water freezes you have to start a fire and put it around the fire which will melt the water and you will be able to drink the water. Be careful not to put the water to close to the fire that will melt not the water but also your water bottle, I mean if it is plastic.
open a little space to overcome condensation
The air we breathe out is packed with water in a gas form, and it is unavoidable. You can not decrease the moisture of the air you breathe out but you can decrease the amount of condensation that will take place in your tent.
Condensation will happen when the humid air we breathe out make a contact with the cold surface of the tent. The water which was in a gas form will change back to its liquid form. There are tents which have two walls which might decrease the condensation but they will not stop it completely.
Your other choice is to buy a moisture absorber that you can easily find in online stores. They are not expensive and can do a lot of good, there are many kinds of moisture absorbers that you can choose from. Choose the ones that have the greatest absorbing capacity.
But my tip would be, just leave a little space on the door of your tent so that ventilation would take place. This will drastically decrease the condensation that will happen.
There are tents which will allow airflow but they will make you very cold. Especially if you are going to camp in a cold place it will be hard. So they will not be your best choice
Don’t get air mattress(Sleeping pad)
Many people find air mattresses and pads comfortable, but there are many you can choose from. Depending on what situation you want them for you can choose whatever you want. Air mattresses are not the best when you talk about camping in cold places.
If you already have an air pad or if you want to get an air pad for your camping trip you will need a very cold rated sleeping bag and a good heater to make you warm so that you can get a good night’s sleep.
Why? the main reason is the air that is in the pad will be almost as cold as the air outside. Your body will try to make the air as hot as your temperate. The air will suck up your body heat and you will lose a high amount of energy and that will make your body freeze. And you don’t want that to get a good sleep.
So what kind of sleeping pad you will have to get? foam sleeping pad. Foam sleeping bags are very good heat conservers, they don’t lose heat fast so that will make them good for cold sleeping conditions.
What if you already have an air sleeping pad. Get a thermally insulated blanket and put it under the sleeping bag. That will help you not to lose your body heat.
Get mummy sleeping bag
Mummy sleeping bags have less space in them compared to rectangular sleeping bags. So mummy sleeping bags will make you warmer.
Rectangular sleeping bags take more space and they are heavier so why not take a mummy sleeping bag. Mummy sleeping bags have broad shoulders and compact bottom which will trap your heat and make you warm and cozy.
Unlike a rectangular sleeping bag, mummy sleeping bags come with a hoodie that will absorb and retain the heat that is released from your head.
Some people might prefer a rectangular sleeping bag because of the space they have in them. And if you prefer wide space when sleeping you will want rectangular ones. But you have to know you might have very cold nights. So if you are sure you are ok with the rectangular sleeping bag get a thick blanket to add as an extra layer.
Drink hot things
It is no secret that drinking hot things will help to maintain body heat. So take a bag of coffee or anything you enjoy drinking like tea or milk. But milk won’t last long so be careful about that. So whenever you feel cold take a hot drink and that will make you warmer.
While camping I enjoy building a campfire, make coffee and take a drink sitting near the campfire. This is one of my favorite thing to do while camping next to hiking.
Wear tight cloth
Getting clothes which are specifically for cold weather is a good thing to do if you are planning to go out for a camping trip. Choose the ones that are thermally insulated that will help you to conserve your heat.
Wearing tight clothes will make you conserve your body heat. Wearing a tight cloth is like adding another skin layer to your body. It will make you more energy conversant and your body will have less work. As a result, you will be warmer and that will make your camping trip more fun.
Before you go to bed you have to make sure you have good clothing from head to toe. That will help you to maintain your body warmth. Our head is responsible for most of the heat we lose so don’t forget to cover your head with a thick piece of wool or cotton.
You don’t want to get wet, especially if it’s cold you have to have a good waterproof jacket. And if the place you’re going is swampy don’t forget to get water-resistant shoes. That will make your feet dry and clean.
Check the temperature rating of the sleeping bag
Goodnight sleep is one of the things you want especially while you are camping. You have to have all the necessities that you need for sleeping. And a good sleeping bag is one of the most important things. So make sure you get the right one.
Sleeping bag rating indicates the lowest temperature you can sleep with the sleeping bag. For example, if you get a 20°fahrenheit rated sleeping bag you can sleep comfortably at 20°F to 25°F.
You have to check the lowest temperature your camping site can go to. Then buy the sleeping bag which has the same temperature as the campsite.
There is no standard temperature rating system so it’s hard to find the perfect one. So what should you do? you will have to get a sleeping bag which is rated for a little lower than you want. If you want a sleeping bag for 30°F get 25°F that will make sure you will be comfortable and warm while sleeping.
Eat carbohydrate and protein packed foods
To get good heat in our body we must eat carbohydrate foods, they will give you enough calories to maintain your body heat.
Carbohydrates act as fuel for our bodies. most of our body heat comes from the carbohydrates we eat so you should eat a bunch of carbohydrate foods. That will make you more efficient in generating heat.
Get a heater
There are heaters specifically designed for tent camping. You will put them in your tent while sleeping and they will make your tent warm. They are very lightweight and suitable for backpacking so you might like taking them on your camping trip.
Most of them are rechargeable but you can choose the ones which work with replaceable batteries. And don’t forget to pack some batteries with you to replace if the batteries are dead. There are some heaters that can be recharged by solar energy but odds are you cant get solar energy in cold places.
And get a headlight, it will help you to do things easily at night. You can get a flashlight but you can not work with both hands. But with a headlight your both hands are free so you can work with both of them if you want to.
Place your tent in a dry ground
Placing your tent in a dumpy wet place will make your tent feel like you are in Antarctica. So find a dry spot and put up your tent.
To make sure the place is dry you have to dig 4 or 5 inches deep if it is damper than it looks on the outside choose another spot. You can’t just know if a place is dry by just looking at it.
Other things to consider are sun exposure and wind exposure. If you are in a cold campsite you want the sun to warm up your tent a little. So put up your tent in a place where the sun can find it. On the contrary, you don’t want the wind to get into your tent so make sure not to face in the wind direction.
Swap your cloth often
Sweaty clothes are not good to maintain good body temperature so you have to swap your clothes often. I mean not a new cloth every time but swap it and put it on fresh air then swap it again. Which will help to stay dry the whole time
You can get cloth which allow some kind of ventilation. But they will not give the same warmth as other clothes do, so make sure you’re getting the right one. There are some jackets which allow ventilation and also maintain body heat trying to get this kind of cloth before you go to a cold camping trip.
Get Gloves and socks
Getting good gloves and socks is a good advantage while camping. Not just for the cold but also the gloves can help when doing many things. Like when making a campfire you will need a glove to protect your hand. And you can even use the socks for thermal insulation. As I have mentioned earlier when I go camping to cold places I put my water bottle inside a sock. That will help to keep my water from freezing.
There are many thermal gloves you can find from online stores, choose one and take it with you. You will find it very helpful it will make your hands warm and active. Otherwise, trust me your hand will freeze.
And get good wool or cotton socks to make your feet warm. If you cover your head your hand and your feet you will find it easier to stay warm. But some thermal socks will make your feet damp so read customer reviews before buying one
You should not forget to change your socks often. Because they might get damp and the sweat will freeze your foot so don’t forget to get a bunch of socks to change when they get sweaty.