Cold Weather Camping Time

It’s getting to be that time of year.. time for some Cold Weather Camping.  This is one of my favorite times of year to camp.  Kind of a weird thing to say, as I love to camp all year long, but camping in the Fall and Winter are great and I look forward to it each year.
Camping in the cold presents many different challenges and require a bit more skill.  Maybe it is that challenge that I love or maybe it is the solitude.  The quiet of winter camping.  The brisk mornings and the feel of my down bag when I am toasty warm at night.  Regardless, it is a great time to get out and camp.  There are fewer crowds and less restrictions.  But there is more to know and do.  So lets talk about just a few things to keep in mind.
First.  BE PREPARED.  Start your preparation well in advance.  Test new gear or gear you have not used in a while out before you get out there.  Set up your tent, test your new bag or stove in your backyard.  Get to know how to use all of your gear way before you venture into the wilderness on a cold weather camp out.  You need to know how it all puts together and works before you end up in what could become a survival situation.
Next.  Slow down.  The cold takes it toll on your body.  You will walk slower in snow and the cold will slow down you normal in camp routines.  Understand this and know how far you need to hike to get to camp.  Maybe shorten your milage knowing it will take longer to get there.
It takes longer for your food to cook too.. so be prepared to use more fuel and start cooking earlier.
Finally.  Don’t take short cuts with your gear.  What works in the summer may not be suitable for winter camping.  Don’t go cheap.. you will pay for it in the end.  Get quality gear for winter camping, in some cases you life may depend on it.
I saw a great quote today that really sums up the preparedness you must have for winter camping.
“Winter Camping isn’t just a summer outing with more fleece.  Cold temperatures require a different level of planning and thinking- but if you can learn to camp comfortably in that environment, you can tolerate anything.” – Marco Johnson, Senior Instructor at the National Outdoor leadership School.
Get out and camp in the cold.  You will love it once you learn to do it right.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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