When I started doing tent camping, it never came to mind that I’ll be so addicted to this outdoor activity. But when the first time I went camping on a cold chilly day, I realized it’s not as easy as it used to feel!
Doing tent camping in 30 degree weather or less isn’t any trouble if you’re an experienced camper. But what about those who are new to it?
Those who are used to camping in 60-degree weather or more may find it very difficult to tackle the cold. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your desire for outdoor camping.
Because we are here with some useful tips and tricks that will help you prepare yourself for any kind of situation, even if you have to do tent camping in 5-degree weather!
The Gear Checklist
Every outdoor activity planning should start with the gear checklist. It makes you prepare for both predictable and unpredictable situations. So here are the things you should count for:
- Reusable straw
- Stainless steel water bottle
- Coupler strap
- Wind resistant grooved tent stakes
- Sleeping bag
- Tent brush
- Bottle insulator
- Synthetic base layers
- Nutrient-dense snacks
- First-aid kit
Now it’s time for camping like a pro!
If you have collected all the things you’ll need for camping in the cold; then it’s time for knowing how to do it like a pro! However, no matter how much preparation you take for the cold, always keep checking the weather. Because sudden changes can happen, and you may have to tackle camping in 70-degree weather, which you never expected at all!
What clothes should you wear?
Never wear something made of cotton while going for tent camping in 30 degree weather because cotton doesn’t work as an insulator. However, dresses made of merino wool will be a better option, which is excellent to lock the warmth inside.
Wear a beanie or wool scarf as well to keep your head and ears warm as they get exposed the most while camping in the cold. Also, never forget to wear gloves!
Your whole dress-up must cover your entire body. Wear long pants, a hoodie, winter cloth, wool socks, and obviously a pair of insulated boots. It’ll be safer if you layer up your clothing, such as base-layer, mid-layer, and outer layers.
Remember that the more layer of clothes you wear, the more comfortable you will be. Keep spares with you as well.
How to set up the tent?
Camping in cold means you’ve to deal with snow. So, before setting up the tent, flatten the snow first. Otherwise, when you sleep, the uneven surface beneath the tent will make you uneasy to sleep.
Also, while choosing the spot for the tent, make sure it has wind protection. A space covered with trees or hills is the right choice. Otherwise, there’s a huge chance that your tent will blow away.
Be careful about the ground, too, so that you don’t end up setting up your tent on thin or slippery ice.
How to stay warm?
Most of the campers struggle in a matter, that is, how to stay warm camping in a tent, especially when it’s the time for sleeping. Always sleep inside a sleeping bag that has the proper rating.
But don’t get fooled by thinking that a 30-degree rating is perfect for 30-degree weather. Choose the one that has at least ten-degrees lower rate than the weather you’re going for.
Also, never breathe inside your sleeping bag. Even though it keeps the bag warm, it becomes sweaty after a few hours due to the locked moisture. Instead, you can place a hot water bottle beneath your feet to maintain the warmth.
Finally, cover your face with a beanie or hoodie, or scarf so that only your nose and mouth remain exposed. In this way, you can stay warm and sleep well both at the same time.
What to eat?
Another most common question for camping in the cold is what to eat during the time. Indeed, you should bring some dry fruit or snacks with you, but if you want, you can cook your food too. A camp stove will be convenient for that.
Try to eat spicy food as much as possible. It’ll keep your body warm. Also, when you’re staying too long in the snow, your body needs hydration. That’s why keep a thermal water bottle with you and make yourself a cup of tea/coffee whenever you can.
You may have adequate knowledge of what to do while camping in the cold, but it’s not enough because you need to know what not to do as well. So, here are some of those forbidden stuff.
Never go alone
Don’t go camping alone. Because even if you check the temperature before starting the journey, it may suddenly rise, and you’ll be camping in 45-degree weather or more.
Camping itself is a troublesome activity, and the cold increases the risks even more. That’s why always make the plan with a companion.
Avoid camping with beginners.
If you’re a beginner in camping in the cold, then you must avoid choosing a camping partner who is a beginner as well. We understand you want to feel the thrill but acting foolish doesn’t fall under that criteria.
Go with professionals for the first few times, and after gathering some experience, you can plan to take your beginner friend with you.
It’s a misunderstanding that the more things we take, the less will be risks. Overpacking reduces the flexibility of moving anywhere, anytime. It also makes it difficult and wastes time to find something important when needed.
Light a fire before sleeping
It’s safe to light a bonfire before you go inside your tent for sleeping. It keeps the environment warm as well as keeps away the wild animal from coming near to you.
However, don’t try to waste your time creating your own bonfire in the middle of the damping weather. Take necessary fuel and other lighting ingredients with you to make the process fast.
You may find it quite difficult initially, but tent camping in 30 degree weather won’t feel that bad after a few times. Instead, you may start to enjoy it, and this is what I think now! Actually, camping in the cold is more adventurous, which you won’t find on a regular day.
However, no matter how perfect your preparation is, always maintain extra precaution, and if it seems that you aren’t able to tolerate the cold, pack-up and come back as soon as possible.
It’d also be better if you first check your body condition and, only after that, plan for a tent camping in the cold.