Every once in a while, organizations like the Boy Scouts of America or a school club will decide to take a winter campout. It’s supposed to be survival training, although it will be in a controlled environment.
Naturally, you might be somewhat concerned about your kid going off into the wilderness in subzero temperatures—especially if you’re asked to go along. However, you don’t have to worry about the safety of this event if you have the right gear.
Separating the bottom of the tent from the ground is one of the best ways to increase temperatures inside the tent. A good, heavy duty tarp is all you need. It also protects the bottom of the tent from getting holes and can be used for additional shelter on top of your tent.
- Thermal Sleeping Bag
Most sleeping bags have a temperature rating, designating that they’ll keep you warm until your surroundings reach that temperature. The temperature you’ll need will vary depending on your location. If you’re camping in higher elevation, temperatures will typically be lower than areas closer to sea level.
Check out the average temperatures at night for the location of the campout. Double check it before they head out as well. Throw in a couple extra blankets just in case the temperature fluctuates.
Putting on more layers will trap body heat inside your clothing so that less heat escapes. Start with long underwear, a thin, tightly-woven layer that will reduce heat loss. Check out long underwear made from smart wool, a thin material that uses modern weaving technology to reduce heat loss. You’ll also want a pair of jeans and snow pants for your bottom half.
For your upper half, wear a t-shirt, flannel, sweater or jacket, and thick winter coat. You’ll also want a beanie and a hood on your coat. Layers are ideal because as the temperature fluctuates, you can always shed or put on more clothing to stay warm.
- Waterproof Hiking Boots
Snow will melt as it comes in contact with your warm body and feet. Water in your shoes leads to blisters and will make you colder. Waterproof boots will keep your feet warm and dry.
Duck brand boots or similar styles will do the trick. Wear a pair of smart wool socks to keep your feet warm as well.
A headlamp is an excellent tool for a winter campout, even though it may not be an obvious addition to your list. The days are much shorter in the winter, with less than 12 hours of daylight during some parts of the season.
A headlamp makes it much easier to move around the campsite and perform essential tasks while keeping your hands free. You’ll be able to light a fire, cook dinner, and set up your tent without holding your flashlight in your mouth (which will stick to your lips if it’s metal).
- Mini Shovel
Removing and flattening snow is a part of any winter campout, but it’s not always ideal to cart around a huge snow shovel. Invest in a mini shovel instead. Oftentimes, you can find a small shovel with a collapsible handle so that it’s easy to pack in and out.
- Fire Starters
Matches and lighters make lighting a fire simple, but it’s always smart to have a backup plan. Sometimes lighters can freeze, and matches can get wet. A flint and steel lighting tool ensures that you can light a fire no matter what conditions are like.
You might also want to bring some dry wood and a fire starter log, just in case you can’t find any dry wood. Winter camping without a fire would be miserable.
- Flash Booties
This is an invention designed for camping in the winter. It’s a down-fill insulated soft bootie that’s meant to keep your feet warm while you’re in your tent. Heat escapes easily through your feet, so flash booties will prevent that from happening, so you can sleep well.
Winter camping can be an excellent experience, as long as you know what you’re doing, and you’re prepared for the event. Keep these tools on your shopping list, and you shouldn’t have any problem staying warm and enjoying your adventure.