During the hike, make sure to keep these in mind.
- Don’t worry about skis or snowshoes if the snow is shallower than about one foot. Just keep it simple, you’ll probably want gaiters though.
- Frequently turn around to survey your route. This way you will easily recognize the route more on your way out should the snow or wind obscure your tracks. This also works for all seasons
- Stay warm. It’s easier that re-warming. So make sure you do not let yourself get chilled or sweaty. Think about the upcoming temperature and layering changes to stay ahead of these. Keep the temp in mind. If it gets a bit windy, then add more layers of clothing. If you feel it’s getting a bit warmer than it should, shed some layers.
- Hydrate often. It is very much easy to get hydrated during the winter.
- Don’t let yourself get starved. Calories keep you warm. But don’t overdo it as you also need to move around. You can’t do much of that if you’re stuffed.
When you’re at camp, remember to:
- Put on all your warm clothes immediately when you arrive. This will preserve the heat that you generated on the hike in.
- If you’re camping non snow, make sure to stomp out a tent platform immediately. You can do this using your skis, snowshoes, or even just your boots and a shovel. Be sure to make it larger than you think you’ll need and pack it flat. After that, let it set up hard before trying to pitch your tent.
- Set up camp so you can cook food and drinks for your sleeping bag. If you brought a vestibule, make sure you prime your stove first outside the tent and bring it in. Give it plenty of ventilation.
- If you’re not planning to spend lots of bag time, make sure you plan to do so. Long, dark hours can’t be escaped. So make sure you plan some activity to pass the dark hours. A good book to read, or a good conversation with your friend, some games and multi-course meals are great ideas.
- If you feel like you’re starting to chill, prevent it from happening by moving around. Do some stretches, exercise. Anything you can do to generate metabolic heat.
- Bring hot water bottles. These will be your new best-friend during winter camping. Place it close to your body at all times. They are guaranteed to pump heat for about six hours or so.
- The mornings are probably the toughest time you’ll encounter because these are when the temp are usually the coldest. You will need to emerge from your camping bag before dawn. Or you will end up getting chilled because of the cold and because you are inactive. Get up, go for a walk until you feel warm enough and come back to break camp once you have gotten warmed up.
Any other suggestions and tips you’ve got? Make sure you let us know down below!