By Darryl Alder
Jan 25, 2017

16 Cold Weather Camping Tips

Snowdrifts have a habit of swallowing up unattended camping gear. Melted snow can soak  unprotected clothing, equipment and food.  But, with each winter camping trip,  you will figure out a few more ways to make your cold weather adventures more rewarding.

fieldbookHere are a few winter camping tips from the Fieldbook:

  1. Organize provisions and extra clothing in plastic bags before departing from home.
  2. Leave your sleeping bag inside a waterproof stuff sack until you need it. Stash utensils inside cooking pots.
  3. Tying brightly colored nylon cord to knives, compasses and other small items make them easier to find if they slip away.
  4. Before going to bed, make sure everything is stored in your pack sled, or in your shelter; items left outside could become covered by snow fall during the night.
  5. Carry butane lighters, flashlights and extra batteries in the inside pockets of your clothing where body heat and help improve their performance.
  6. Fill an unbreakable vacuum bottle each morning with hot beverages or soup, so you can enjoy it later in the day.
  7. water-bottle-in-the-snowFill your water bottle, tighten the lid, and tuck it into your sleeping bag to keep if from freezing. Or, you can fill it, tighten the lid loosely and bury it upside down in six inches of snow (be sure to mark the spot with a long stick or ski pole).
  8. Keep water from freezing quickly in narrow necked bottles, by using only wide- mouthed water bottles. Plus, the larger caps are easier to manage with mittens.
  9. Insulate water bottles with a piece of sleeping pad foam secured with duct tape.
  10. Take an insulated mug for hot drinks and soup.
  11. Protect your stove from surface cold and a hot stove from melting into the snow by placing it on a square foot of ¼ inch plywood.
  12. wintercampcookingUse a windscreen designed specifically for your stove to help concentrate heat.
  13. Cover pots with lids to speed up cooking.
  14. Cut an 18 by 18 inch piece of closed cell foam from an old sleeping pad, to kneel, sit or stand on to insulate you from the cold ground and snow.
  15. Pack a small whisk broom to sweep snow off your clothing and out of your tent.
  16. Carry a weather thermometer. Knowing how far the temperature fell during your expedition can give you something to talk about when you return home. You’ll also have a sense of how well you have prepared for treks at various low temperatures and can make adjustments for upcoming adventures in the cold.

Test your knowledge of winter camping with this quiz in Scouting Magazine.

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