Winter Camping Safety Tips

Macy Everyone, Owners Blog, Visitor

There is a difference between camping in the Summer and in the Winter. Although some of the tips might be the same, but there are a few things to remember that are unique to Winter camping.

One really big difference is that there is a possibility of camping in the snow depending on where you choose to camp in the Winter. Snow can cause a lot of difficulty with many things from packing and unpacking, cooking, staying warm, etc. Here are some things you’ll want to remember:

  • Use trees and hillsides to block the wind naturally. This will help you stay warmer.
  • Bring your own firewood as fresh or melting snow will make vegetation in the area wet, and unable to use for building a campfire.
  • Finding Water: If you are in an RV park, this might not be much of a concern. At LVL we ask that our Owners and guests in their RVs unhook their water lines when the temperature drops below freezing to prevent damage to RVs and to the hydrants. If you are tent camping, you may want to prepare by bringing water, or you may have to melt snow. If you choose to melt snow, be prepared for a long process.
  • Slips and falls are always a concern in snowy weather. Make sure to move slowly and carefully to avoid slips and falls on ice and in snow. Even melting snow can be a cause for concern as it can refreeze.

Cooking while Winter camping can be a task. Starting with dry firewood, here are some more tips to help you with cooking and eating while winter camping:

  • Make hot and simple meals. Look for easy, one pot options and meals that you can make ahead and bring along. Plan out your camping meals to avoid spending unnecessary time in the cold and winter elements. Keeping meals simple will reduce the time you spend in the cold not only during cooking but cleaning up as well.
  • Keep lunch breaks short. Use grab and go type foods like sandwiches and other quick snacks but stay moving as to avoid cooling down. Staying active will help you keep your core temperature higher.
  • Make sure that you remember to drink water! This includes hot beverages such as tea, and soups.
  • Secure your food. Wildlife are also looking for food in the winter. By keeping your food secured, you can avoid unwanted wild visitors that are looking for midnight snack such as raccoons and skunks. This also applies to any trash that you might have.

Let’s talk about gear! Whether you camp in an RV or tent in the Winter, the gear you have is very important. This can be the difference in how your trip goes.

  • Sleeping bags: Consider a cold weather sleeping bag that is rated at least 10 degrees lower than the coldest temperature that you expect to encounter. This means that you will have to do a little planning before your trip is set to begin.
  • Clothing: Layers are the key here! Your base layer should be something midweight that will be close to your skin. Your middle layer will be your insulating layer, and as a general rule thicker materials are warmer. Your outer layer should be waterproof and be able to defend against the elements as to keep your inside layers dry and warm. Hats, gloves, and socks are also very important to remember to pack enough of.
  • Although these two categories are important, it is also helpful to do some research and decide which items you will need to help you on your Winter camping trip such as extra matches for a fire, extra water, etc.

Winter camping can be just as enjoyable as camping in the Summer. While there is a little planning involved, and some different precautions to take, it can be very rewarding. Double check things before you are set to leave and do some research to decide what you need to do to make your trip more enjoyable. As always, if camping at LVL any staff member will be happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

Source: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/winter-camping.html