As the staff of a ski and snowboard shop in Mammoth Lakes, we’re practically required to love cold weather and the snow that comes with it here at ASO Mammoth. However, since we offer outdoors gear for use all year long, we know that there are some people who can’t wait for the cold weather and snow to pass and for camping season to begin.
If you’re counting down the days until the snow melts and the campgrounds open up, or you just love camping in cold weather, we have a list of tips below that will help you start your camping season as early as possible. Check it out below and plan your camping trip today!
Keep Your Water and Food from Freezing
You will be hot after carrying camping gear through snow and to your campsite, but that doesn’t mean your food and water will be too.
Even in your backpack or other gear, it is easy for your food and water to freeze while camping or backpacking. If this happens, then it means you have an extra, and time-consuming, step before you can eat or drink anything. Insulate your water so that you don’t take a break and discover that you’ll need to melt your water before you drink. Or, you can bring foods that you can eat frozen. For example, meats and cheeses are easier to eat frozen than a granola bar, so if you pack them you don’t have to worry about keeping them from freezing.
Make Sure Your Clothes Are Dry Before Going to Sleep
Although most of the moisture around you may be frozen, when it comes into contact with your warm body ice and snow melt and leave you wet and cold.
For this reason, it is extremely important that your check your clothes for moisture, liquid or frozen, before you go to sleep. Whether it’s sweat or ice that melts while you’re sleeping any moisture inside of your sleeping bag or clothes will make it difficult to stay warm. Even though it’s a pain, it’s important that you check your clothes for moisture before going to sleep and change them if you find any.
Insulate Against the Ground with a Closed-Cell Foam Pad
When camping in cold weather, even with a tent, sleeping bag, and clothes between you and the cold ground, you will lose heat from your body to it if you fail to insulate yourself against the ground. For the coldest temperatures, we recommend placing a closed-cell foam pad between your sleeping bag and the ground to make sure that the body your heat produces stays there.
Sleep with a Hot Water Bottle
You can also stay warm at night by heating up water before you put your fire out for the night, pouring it into a water bottle, and placing the water bottle near your feet inside your sleeping bag. Doing so will keep your feet warm as well as keep all of the air inside your sleeping bag warm.
Remove Frost from Your Gear
In cold weather moisture is your enemy, so if you see frost forming on the outside of your tent or any of your gear then it is important that you knock it off before it has the chance to melt and soak in. Whether it’s your tent, your backpack, or even your shoes, make sure you knock off frost whenever you get a chance.
Don’t Wait to Go to the Bathroom
It can be difficult leaving the warmth of your sleeping bag or tent, but you shouldn’t put off going to the bathroom and hold in your urine. Your body will use calories to keep it warm, so if you need to go then force yourself to get up so you can save your energy to enjoy your trip!
What’s your tips for camping in cold weather? Let us know in the comments below!