If you have never camped in winter before, then it is a truly unique experience that you are missing out on. Provided that you select a good location where it’s not unsafe or illegal to do so, the trip can show you a side of nature that very few have seen, especially in this modern age and time.
On the other hand, if you are not equipped with the right gear to endure such an adventure, the experience can soon turn sour. After all, winters can be extremely harsh when you are camping out in the wild, so preparing for the adventure properly is of the utmost importance. As to what you should be packing, we have the following suggestions.
If the temperatures are likely to get close to or even dip well below freezing point, you will need to take a mountaineering tent. Mountaineering tents are meant to shelter climbers who brave blizzards and relentless snowfall, so they should have:
• Heavy duty (40D) ripstop nylon/polyester tent fabric
• Significantly longer rainflys (68D ripstop nylon/polyester)
• Sturdier poles in greater numbers than any other type of tent
• Minimum ventilation and minimal usage of mesh paneling (if at all)
• Dome tops to make snow accumulation impossible
The backpack will need to carry a lot in it, so you need a big and moderately heavy bag for this adventure. Choose something in between an 80-liter to a 100-liter backpack if you are going to be camping in the middle of a snowy winter. Understand that lightweight bags will not cut it and you need the extra space more than the initial comfort offered by a lighter bag.
Cold Weather Sleeping Bags
Aside from the tent itself, your sleeping bag is going to be your biggest defense against harsh, cold winds, and freezing temperatures. Find out the lowest expected temperature at the time of your visit and buy a sleeping bag that has been officially rated to handle even lower temperatures (by 10-degrees Fahrenheit roughly).
Do read this article from The Camping Geek before buying a cold-weather sleeping bag, as it’s more than just a guide to finding the best sleeping bags for winter camping. The post explains everything you need to know regarding how to choose the right sleeping bag for camping out in the cold. Note that when or if it gets cold enough, a sleeping bag will no longer remain something that will help you to sleep comfortably but will instead become a necessary piece of gear to survive the night.
In addition, do not forget about liquid-fuel stoves, snowshoes, appropriately tinted pairs of snow goggles, and at least three-layers of winter clothing. It should be noted that flashlights, bottles, flasks, and other regular camping gear were not mentioned here because they should always be in your camping backpack by default, irrespective of the season.
Finally, always let someone know your route and how long you expect to be gone, so in the event of a disaster, emergency responders have an approximate idea of where to search.
Subscribe to Jebiga for a dose of the best in gear, design, rides, tech and adventure.