You have decided to take on the challenge of winter camping, good for you! It can be rough road though. The wind howls through the tent and will be sure to shiver any camper to the bones. Snow forms to the face, turning you into a polar bear. Your body aches and screams for rest, demanding food and a warm place to sleep the night away. At the same time though, beauty abounds. Trees hush their leaves. No one else is out camping, allowing you to listen to the silent air and exhale a sigh of relief.
To enjoy the Winter weather, you need to learn how to stay warm camping. In this article, 5 Tips to Stay Warm when Winter Camping in Cold Weather, you will learn all about how to handle the cold winter air. Afterwards, you will realize that is not all so bad, so let’s get started.
1. Fill Your Bottle with Hot Water
Just because you are camping does not mean you cannot bring along your own space heater. No, I am not talking about the one you put in your house, but boiled water and your trusty water bottle. It will be your cuddle buddy for the night, keeping you warm despite the frigid air outside. When you tuck a boiled water, water bottle under your sleeping bag covers, the cold will not seem so bad. If the bottle is too hot at first, then be sure to wrap a layer of fabric or clothing around it and sleep with it by your side or next to your crotch.
2. Let the Bladder Loose and Release the Wasted Heat
Why is your pee warm? Well, it is because your body spends energy heating it up. If you release that pee on your next bathroom break, then your body has less to heat up and can better keep you warm. The same goes for “the other end.” Be sure to make sure your rear end has been fully excavated before rolling into that sleeping bag. Once you make sure to go to the bathroom before falling asleep, your body will heat you up better and longer.
Sometimes I wake up during the night and I have to pee. I tend to drink a lot of water because it is good for me and it bites me in the butt when I sleep at night. When you wake up at night and need to pee, do so immediately to save yourself some headache. That way you won’t be alternating between should I go to the bathroom or not? It is better to pee a little than not at all. If you are a guy, you can use a collapsible pee bottle or, if you are a woman, then you can use a pee funnel along with the pee bottle.
3. Fill up on Food and Feel the Warmth
Food is the source of energy for your body. Without it, you will curl up and go to sleep to never wake up, so your body breaks down food to turn it into energy. When you have food in your belly, your body can turn that into energy to keep you warm while camping. High fat food are perfect because they have a high calorie to weight ratio, maximizing the heat you get from the amount of food.
4. Keep Your Socks and Most of Your Clothes On
There are key points of heat escape on your body, the hands, feet, and head. When you bundle these areas up, it keeps the heat in. I used to be against sleeping with my socks on; but since I have started wearing them with me in bed, I have noticed they help me get into a deeper sleep because of the warmth they provide, increasing my alertness for the next day.
The only clothes you should have on below the waistline are underwear and socks. When you have cool, relaxed legs, you fall asleep faster. Be sure to stretch them before jumping into bed. This will release the lactic acid and calm you down for a restful night.
5. Get High Quality Gear to Keep You Warm at Night
There is a big difference between a $100 sleeping bag and $400 sleeping bag, quality. The price difference is large, but you feel the difference. On the latter one, the heat does not leave. All the energy you expend keeping you warm stays with you and the result is you are more rested for the day ahead. The difference makes all the world for the regular camper.
If you cannot afford high quality gear and have to go with the lesser option, then you can work around that issue. I cannot buy high quality gear at this point in my life. I just do not have the money, but there are tricks of the trade to make it work. If you have plenty of clothes, then you can sleep warm. Pack them on the inside of your sleeping bag along with any other gear. It will act as pseudo insulation, keeping you warm despite the lower quality gear and the cold outside.
An inexpensive option is a pack of hand warmers. For a long time, I was against hand warmers. “They’re a waste of money and outdoor companies sell them like candy to children!” I would say. But not too long ago my sister gave me some for the Winters at UC Santa Cruz and let me tell you, it made a world of a difference. When my palms are cold, I just use one of the packs of hand warmers and my mood changes. I feel happier. They are a must have for Winter camping.
If you are hiking somewhere icy this Winter, then I recommend you check out my review on the Yaktrax Ice Cleats. No matter your age, it sucks to slip on a patch of ice. Your bones may break and a trip to the hospital is expensive. Play it safe this Winter and check out my review to save you a lot of headache down the road.
Final Thoughts to Help You Sleep Warm Tonight
Awww, you say, as you sip your cup of coco. The gale force wail of the Winter weather does not seem so bad when you are nice and warm. In fact, it is even cleansing. You can forget your stresses and focus on the joys of nature even in the harshest conditions. You breathe the cold air in deep and exhale your chocolate filled breathe. The mug does a lot to bring a smile to your face.
If you have any thoughts, questions, or think I missed anything, please comment below and remember to share the article. Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!