Hot drinks, catching snow in your hair, snuggles all around, sunrise over a snow-carpeted landscape, the quiet of the forest after a snowfall – how we all imagine a winter camping trip to be like. But it is so much more than that.
Winter camping trips are a true unfolding of the elements of nature, where you experience the raw beauty of winter, the ebb & flow of winds, the warmth and life of sunshine and the flow of wildlife in the cold. Suffice it to say that winter camping trips are a must for anyone with a penchant for experiencing the raw allure of nature.
Winter camping trips are also a great time for family bonding and exchanging stories with each other. So if you are planning a winter family camping trip any time soon, you need to know some tips and tools to keep this trip budget-friendly, fun, and most importantly, full of warmth and bonding.
Shelter & Sleeping bags
Going camping with your family and friends is a lot of fun but a proper shelter is crucial in determining the overall mood of the camp. Choose a spot that is somewhat protected from wind and rain, like under a tree canopy. Also, make sure you specify a water resource spot near the camp; it can be a nearby lake or clean snow patch so you don’t have to wander far in search of water at night.
When you have to sleep and the night temperature becomes unforgiving, you need suitably warm and insulated sleeping bags to ensure you don’t get frostbite or even a cold temperament the next day. Make sure to cover your head too while sleeping to lock your body heat.
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Winter camping trips can turn into disastrous ventures if your clothes fail to protect you from the cold and the wind, especially if your kids are affected. So be sure to pack multiple warm layers along with waterproof pants, jackets, shoes, and gloves. Keep extra warm, wool socks and hats nearby too because your body readily loses heat from the head and feet.
Before starting on your day’s activities, monitor the weather. If the sun is shining then it could get really hot as snow reflects sunlight so, layer your clothes such that you can take them off easily in steps depending on how hot it gets throughout the day. If the wind seems to be picking up, do keep additional, insulation layers handy to stave off any teeth-chattering wind.
Portable Stove/ Fire-lighting Material
For a family camping trip, it’s highly convenient to keep a personal, portable stove with you. You can easily make meals on the go without having to worry about any firewood or residual smoke.
But an open fire is a very attractive option for everyone. You can make a bonfire out of it and plan a story-telling activity around the fire. This turns into a really memorable spot for all as they sit down together for meals around a fire and enjoy the heat and cold together. Although you will have to make some effort to find wood for it. Don’t forget the matches and flint too.
So both options are open to you. I suggest enjoying a campfire for one night at least while keeping a stove handy.
Winter sports, like skiing or sledding, require a lot of energy. Also, our bodies constantly burn a lot of calories to keep us warm during the winters, and going out into the harsh cold of raw nature elevates this burning. So in order to keep our bodies sufficiently fed and energetic, we need to eat a lot while camping or trekking through snowy landscapes.
So take along foods and snacks packed with protein and energy. Camping trips are no time to go easy on the food. So keep snacks with you at all times and don’t shy away from hearty, hot meals.
Lastly, you usually don’t get thirsty in winter but that doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need it for proper functioning. So even if you have to force yourself and others around to drink water, make that effort. Keep personal water bottles near you at all times and drink hot beverages, like tea, or soups to stay hydrated.