The Scout Motto– Be Prepared takes on a new meaning, aside from “Be Prepared for anything”, the motto speaks to a Scout that thinks two steps ahead while camping. This skill is found in those that really understand good camping.
Whether you are talking about leave no trace principles or camping gear, Being Prepared rings true for all good campers.
In the winter you must be prepared for anything and know how and what to use and when.
Good campers keep their packs packed all the time, only taking out what they need for a task or situation, then back to the pack it goes.
A good camper knows that once the sun goes down and the temperature drops basic skills become more difficult and challenging. Being prepared for those tasks makes them easier. Cooking on a chilly night is made easier by preparing the cooking area before dark, a wind screen, attaching fuel cells, doing the prep work at home can make you dinner meal something to enjoy rather than a laborious task.
Preparing for the next day starts the night before and even earlier than that. Before it gets dark, packs should be packed and stored properly, either in the tent vestibule or under a pack cover in a place that affords easy access. All your gear should be in the pack except for what you need in the tent for sleeping. Your clothing for the next day placed in a stuff sack and used as a pillow will ensure you have warm, dry clothing in the morning. Your boots should be inside the tent, under your sleeping pad. This will keep them warm too, or at least not frozen. They will be there in the morning, ready for you to put on. The laces will not be frozen and you will not have an couple inches of snow in them.
Gloves and damp items can be hung in the tent or placed under the sleeping bag. They may not dry, but they won’t get any more wet. If your gloves are slightly damp, putting them in your sleeping bag may be enough to dry them for the morning.
A quick check around your tent, snow cave or shelter before you call it a night in is a must. Check for shovels, water bottles, and other gear that need to be stored.
Make sure to relieve yourself in the appropriate area before you settle down for the night. Doing it in the middle of the night can be a bit unpleasant.
Being Prepared for the morning after a winter camp starts by being a good camper and knowing how to camp. You need to practice this all the time, develop good habits in good weather and you will enjoy winter camping.