Welcome to winter camping…

Winter camping may be a stretch for some and an adventurous cold weather outdoor experience for others. The shift in seasonal camping can be made in increments from the milder shoulder seasons of late fall and early spring. As one gains more experience, overnight camping trips in the middle of winter can extend your camping adventures throughout the entire year.

Check out these tips below, from how to make simple, inexpensive change-overs from summer gear, to winter tent pitching tips, to how to stay comfortable and warm in your sleeping bag.

Converting your summer gear to cold weather use can be as simple as adding a fleece/flannel liner to your sleeping bag.
Compacted ground snow provides insulation, snow up sides of tent blocks wind, grasses beneath floor provide warmth.
Special snow stakes – either nature “deadman” anchors or special snow stakes help you secure your tent on snow-covered ground.
Dutch ovens are great for creating one-pot-meals. Bowls keep food warmer than do plates. Always have some hot water in a pot on the edge of the fire for a quick ‘warm-me-up’ drink. Also, use hardwoods for maintaining a lasting hot bed of coals.

Other tips include how to make adaptations to your liquid containers and how to use snow to keep things from freezing.

Adding small amounts of snow to liquid water in bottle melts it without needing a fire or heat source.
The insulating quality of snow (small air spaces between the flakes) can be used to keep things from freezing, or protect from heavy accumulations of falling snow.

Lastly, consider spending your first winter campouts in a camper cabin. It’s a warm, cozy base for sleeping yet lets you venture outside to cook, enjoy the campfire and explore on foot, XC skis or snowshoes. It also helps you try out different types of layered and insulated clothing that you will need to wear during your future winter camping adventures.

Minnesota camper cabins are located in state parks, forests and county parks across the state. This book describes everything you need to know to select a cozy cabin for your first adventures into overnight winter camping.

As aways, Be Smart; Be Safe; Have fun!

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