Yes, winter is cold. And snowy. Cold and snowy: either one of these things is enough to make people curl up in bed, but both of them? Now we’re entering hibernation territory. Yet don’t be so hasty, because winter actually offers those brave enough to go on adventure a thoroughly unique experience. Visit any of America’s National Parks and you’ll have them virtually all to yourself, even the busiest ones. It’s quite possible that you could have a campsite more or less to yourself, and also have a view of a park that seldom few people get to see. So don’t wait for spring to arrive: get out there now, and have a trip that will live long in the memory.
Packing the Supplies
Camping in winter is essentially the same as camping in summer, only you need greater quantities of stuff – and to know exactly what your equipment is capable of. Check out Tents and Camp Gear for advice on tent and other equipment would best suit your needs. You’ll also need much more wood than you would need in the summer months, as you’ll need to keep a fire going all day, rather than just the evening, so make sure you pack the corresponding amount of firewood. Additionally, you’ll need to check the temperatures that your sleeping bag is able to withstand. If it is within the threshold of what you’ll be camping in, give it a quick check to make sure there are no rips or other vulnerable sites that will let cold air in. Finally, having some sort of heat in the tent will be imperative if you’re staying for more than one night. Hot water bottles are a good option, as is stuffing a thermos down at the bottom of your sleeping bag.
There’s no such as weather too cold to be out in; only inappropriate clothing. You’ll get warm naturally by hiking, but you won’t always be hiking around. It can be uncomfortable, slightly, but there is good news. By spending some time in the cold, your body will learn how to lose weight fast, because cold weather increases thermogenesis – which aids weight loss. So you’ll be getting your body ready for the summer while also having a good time in winter! Not that you should be freezing. Thermal layers under your trousers and shirt should be enough to keep you warm at any time of the day. A hat and thick gloves are also obvious, but it might not be so obvious to wear them at night, inside your sleeping bag. The general rule when sleeping in cold conditions is either A. Lots of layers, or B. Naked. Whichever you choose, a hat is imperative as your head will be exposed.
Things to Consider
Before setting off on your journey, make sure your car is in healthy condition. Driving in the winter is different, and driving in the mountains is different regardless of what time of year it is, and you’ll need a car that will be able to handle both comfortable. Also be aware that many roads in National Parks and other rural areas are closed during the winter months, so make sure you’ve got an alternative route in mind to take – and always fill up your car with fuel whenever you can!