Most of us believe camping is mainly a summer activity. However, there are many people who enjoy the gorgeous winter landscapes so much that they don’t mind camping or backpacking in cold weather and snow. This can be a very pleasant experience, provided that you take all cautionary measures to be warm and comfortable even in freezing temperatures. Taking into consideration that you won’t be bothered by bugs or by other people eager to enjoy the great outdoors, chances are you are going to have a wonderful time.
If this is your first time, you should try to gather as much information on winter camping as possible. Your goal is to find out what you can expect from such a trip and what accessories and equipment you need to buy, in order to stay safe. Discussion forums can be an excellent starting point, as their members are usually experienced individuals who love to share their best tips with newcomers like you. Don’t shy away from asking all your questions in these forums, and you are going to receive lots of answers.
Winter weather can be tricky, so you have to be prepared for many difficult situations. First of all, you shouldn’t go by yourself. The bigger the group, the better. Ask a few of your friends if they would like to try this kind of experience, and go together. In addition, you shouldn’t leave home without a plan. you need to know exactly where you are going to camp, what amenities you can expect to find, what are your sources of water, how close the main road is, and many other similar details. You also need to know if you have mobile phone coverage in the area. It’s strongly advisable that you do, as you can never know when a snow storm may strike and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. You have to be able to make phone calls, so avoid areas with weak or no mobile network coverage.
Winter camping requires special skills such as skiing, route finding and snow travel. If something goes wrong, you should be able to go to the next village to ask for help. If you don’t have such skills, it’s better to refrain from taking such trips. You can join a group of experienced mountaineers, people who are used to camping in adverse weather conditions, and learn the basics from them. They are going to give you detailed instructions on what to bring with you and what to do in emergency situations.
Blogs written by adventure lovers can also be an excellent source of information for preparing your winter camping trips. These people are happy to provide exhaustive details on their experiences, together with lists of their favorite camping gear and equipment. You can learn what items are better than others, what to expect when buying a specific brand and model of tent and many other tips and tricks that might save your life. You should be aware that camping in extreme weather conditions is a dangerous adventure, so you should treat it as such. If you underestimate the power of nature, you could end up in a very big trouble.
The weather forecast should be your best friend. Study it carefully before you go. In case of avalanche warnings, cancel your trip immediately, as this is one of the most difficult situations that may occur. You could be buried under mountains of snow, so you risk to lose your life in a terrible way. This is why, even if there’s no avalanche warning, you should consider informing some of your friends about the exact location where you intend to camp, so that they can alert the authorities, should anything happen while you are there. If nobody knows where you are, there are less chances for the rescue teams to locate and save you.
Before leaving, put together a detailed checklist, and make sure you’ve packed all items on it. If you leave something essential behind, you may get in trouble later on. In addition, check all your gear to see if everything works properly. Check that your skiing boots are compatible with the bindings. Consider buying a solid pair of mountaineering boots, as they are much better for snow trekking than traditional hiking boots. Windproof equipment and warm socks should also be part of your must-have items. Beware at the snow, as it can hurt your eyes. You need a good pair of special sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun and strong winds.
These are only a few of the winter camping tips you can find online. For more information, go ahead and join several communities of experienced trekkers and mountaineers. They are usually very friendly people, so you may end up with a bunch of new friends to travel with. Since they have already been exposed to bad weather camping experiences, they already know what to expect and what are those items they’ve missed the most during those trips. Their advice is priceless, so listen to them carefully and do what they tell you to. This can make the difference between life and death, should you be caught in an avalanche or in another dangerous situation. Winter is unpredictable, so you are never safe when the only thing that separates you from the elements is a tent. However, if you are careful, you are going to love these adventures, as they are more rewarding than many others.