Camping is one of my favourite outdoor activities of all time. The excitement that comes with camping, especially with friend or family, is one I never grow tired of. The feeling of experiencing nature, even in harsh weather, is enough motivation to learn how to stay warm camping in very cold temperature.
As exciting as it sounds, you must be extra careful not to go camping and end up having pneumonia. With the excitement comes a great deal of preparation if you want to be as comfortable as can be when camping. Talk to friends who have gone camping before (if it is your first time) to learn from their experiences.
Visit your local store and ask for the best gears you can purchase for camping. To get the best out of this experience, you will need quality gears as well as functional tips on how to stay warm camping in the cold. Keep reading to find out the tips that have been working for me for years
Ways To Stay Warm Camping In The Cold
You Cannot Get It Right Without The Right Tent
You'll want something really cool, big, spacious to sleep in. Except you're camping with the whole family, a big tent is essentially a stupid idea. If you will be camping alone, a smaller sized tent is recommended. You'd want to go for a tent that is big enough to hold all your gears and give you ample space to set up sleeping bag, but small enough to conserve heat. Too much space gets difficult to warm up. I prefer polycotton tents, they're better at minimizing heat loss.
Your sleeping bag
The most important detail to check when buying a sleeping bag is the tog rating. Tog rating tells you how well insulated the sleeping bag is, and how warm it is likely going to keep you. Sleeping bags with 1 season ratings are lightweight and probably will not keep you warm in a tent. Personal preference is to go for a 3 or 4 season rating sleeping bag, these are sure to keep you snug.
Don't Let The Cold Settle In Before You Cover Up
The temperature is definitely going to drop, especially during evenings. Don't get to the point where you're too chilled to move around looking for an extra layer of clothing to wrap yourself with. Be prepared for night time and get extra blankets around you when you notice the slightest drop in temperature. You're better off too warm than too cold, trust me.
Always Go To Bed Dry
After a long day of hiking or hunting or whatever it is you do during the day, your sweat glands would have produced enough sweat to make you feel uncomfortable. Do not think leaving your sweaty clothes on is a better idea for staying warm. Always change your clothing's after setting up your sleeping bag. Now, stripping naked in order to change might seem difficult, but fresh clothes provide more warmth than sweaty ones.
Once you've changed into a fresh set of clothes, layer up till you get really warm. Cover up every exposed part of your body, down to your feet. You don't want to leave any chance to get cold. Thermals can be a great addition to getting extra warmth. A decent set of long johns or leggings and a long-sleeve thermal top might sort you out. The idea is not to look fancy, but staying warm however you can, always.
Get Disposable Heat Packs
These little lifesavers can be very useful when camping in the cold. Popping open a few and placing them in your hoodie or your sleeping bag can make a huge difference. These are easy to carry around, so whether you're going hunting or taking a quick run to the loo, it wouldn't hurt to get extra comfy.
If you can, you should have your tent fitted with a tent carpet and/or rugs on the floor of the tent. They act as an insulating layer and reduce the cold coming up from the floor. If otherwise, you cannot afford to have a carpet fitted in your tent, a worthy alternative would be picnic rugs or inexpensive large rag rugs spread over the tent floor. They should also serve the purpose of insulation.
These little devices can be super helpful in the cold. You can either decide to go for the electric heater if you have a power source or the more affordable gas-powered one. However, heaters, no matter the type, should be used with extreme care. You don't want to heat yourself up all through the night and stay enclosed in your tent while they're on and working. You must allow space for plenty of ventilation, and never leave them unattended to for long periods of time or throughout the night.
Hot Water Bottles
You shouldn't leave home without these, even if you don't use them at home. And of course, you will need your stove and kettle to boil water. Once you fill up your water bottle with hot water, the best place to put them would be at your core, i.e, your groin. Popular claims would advise that you put them at your feet, but it is faster warming up your whole body by placing them on your groin. This way, it warms you up quicker and reaches all your extremities.
Take Extra Clothing
Head warmers, hand warmers, extra blankets, hoodies, heated gloves, heated boots…The list goes on. You will definitely want to be most prepared for the cold nights. There's no shame in throwing a hardshell jacket over your giant puffy.
Eat And Drink A lot
Your body needs calories to burn in order to stay warm, so snacking constantly keeps your inner fire lit up. Food containing high-fat and protein contents burn slower than entirely carb-dominated meals, which keeps you warm for longer.
You should also stay hydrated constantly. Make sure you always take a sip when you get thirsty, it improves your ability to stay warm. And as a bonus, drinking plenty of water reduces fatigue.