Winter camping

September 17, 2020

The temperature is getting colder, you can feel cold gusts of wind blowing past, leaving redness on your skin. A short day before dark, you need to do a lot - put up a tent, provide yourself with warmth and food. Thick layered clothing and deep drifts get in your way. But you know it's worth every second! This day is full of colors and unforgettable impressions, and big moon illuminates your path. This is the first day of your winter trip.

Some people may think that people avoid camping in winter. But this is not true. Cold season is really amazing. Winter camping has its advantages. In winter, there are much fewer insects and people. You can fully experience the beauty and serenity. Trees shed their leaves, and rivers and lakes are frozen. Winter offers a different landscape, and when it snows, winter is a great time of the year to enjoy outdoor activities. A lot of people prefer camping in the snow. This is because they are carefully prepared with the right equipment. The key to a successful winter camping trip is having right gear and all useful information a winter camper needs. It doesn't matter if you are skiing, do fishing or camping - getting right training and equipment is 90% of success. This article will help you prepare for your winter trip.

Get a suitable winter tent

First of all, you should think about a tent, which will be your home and shelter for the entire winter camping. Many people have a question: what are differences between summer and winter tents, and how to understand if a tent is suitable for winter season? Winter tents have some design features.

  • Synthetic fabrics are commonly used for winter tent awning. Most often used lavsan, polyester, nylon. For winter shelter, it is preferable to use polyether-based material, for example, polyester or lavsan. The method of weaving threads is also important. The most commonly used weave is Taffeta, Oxford. The best indicators of strength are fabrics with a Ripstop weave, where threads with high strength are woven into the material. The fabric should have impregnation with a polyurethane coating. It is desirable that the tent is waterproof (at least 2000 mm H2O). Despite the increased density of the structure, it is made breathable, thus providing ventilation and preventing condensation.
  • Cold-resistant modifications are necessarily designed for use with a stove. Manufacturers provide a special chimney hole that is resistant to high temperatures.
  • Winter tents are equipped with warm floors for many hours of overnight stays. Also, for winter models, a wind skirt is required. This is the fabric at the base of the tent. Such a skirt can be dug into the snow layer, thereby improving the thermal performance of the tent.
  • There are several options for the awning: single-layer, double-layer and three-layer construction. Adding additional layers makes the structure heavier. To increase the stability of the product, materials of increased strength are used. Most often these are aluminum alloys.
  • Tent color. Bright models work well in photos and videos, but they are noticeable when hunting. Whites and other light colors are not very popular, as it is not very practical. Camouflage and black colors are popular among tourists, fishermen, hunters.

Pay attention to MORZH tent. It meets all the requirements and is suitable for winter camping.

Heating the tent

Prepare for the cold climate in winter. If you are planning a day hike without spending the night, and the air temperature is no colder than -10 degrees Celsius, it is quite possible to do with a warm suit, insulated gloves and thermal underwear. If temperature drops below 20 degrees Celsius, warm clothing is not enough, therefore it is important to think about an additional heating method.

Without a tent with a stove or heater, it is easy to freeze in minutes. Remember that spending a long time in the cold can have negative consequences for your health.

There are several types of heating devices:

  • Battery powered electric heaters. It should be said that they require a lot of energy to heat a large tent or prepare food. Devices of this type are not very popular among tourists.
  • Gas heaters. The gas heater is a metal structure with an attached gas burner. Generates heat during fuel combustion. Such a device is not fireproof. It should not be installed near items that could catch fire. In general, the gas heater is very efficient and functionally useful. It quickly warms up the tent, allows you to regulate the fuel flow and cook food.
  • Dry fuel. Easy to use, easy to carry. 10-15 minutes burning without unpleasant smell and soot. But you should light a new pill after 15-20 minutes.
  • Wood stoves. This is one of the most reliable and effective ways. This option ensures long-term maintenance of the required temperature in the tent for up to 6-8 hours or more. Firewood is the most affordable and environmentally friendly type of fuel. Stoves should go with a spark arrestor and be easy to transport.

Choose a place for the camp

Question of choosing a place for a tent should be taken up when it is light. In the dark, it will be extremely difficult to assemble the structure itself and inspect the area. Try to choose a site so that your camp becomes a complete resting place. Choose flat areas. It is advisable that there are no old trees nearby. If the wind begins at night, such trees may fall. Never sleep in ravines or directly under mountain slopes. If you notice traces of previous avalanches or landslides, it is better to look for another, safer place to spend the night. Even if there are no signs of previous natural disasters, still investigate the area for potential hazards.

Suitable clothing to keep the body warm and dry

You will spend several nights in the cold. You will feel very uncomfortable and may even harm your health if you do not choose right clothes for yourself. Certain requirements are imposed on winter clothing: it must be based on the principle of layering, insulated. The material is moisture resistant, quick-drying, breathable, able to protect from cold weather. The layering principle is a reliable way to ensure your comfort during winter seasons. The convenience of such a simple solution is that you can easily and quickly change number of layers of clothes in accordance with your level of activity and weather changes. Dry clothes make a person feel more comfortable, but during the day our body sweats. Even at rest, our body emits approximately 0.03 liters of moisture per hour!

Let's take a closer look at what the layered principle of equipment is:

  • Base layer. These are clothes that come into direct contact with your skin. This garment is commonly referred to as thermal underwear because it plays a major role in regulating your body temperature. Thermal underwear usually made of polyester, elastane, polypropylene, wool, cotton, or a combination of these.
  • Middle layer (thermal insulation). The insulating layer keeps your body warm. Fleece sweaters and trousers are classic examples of insulation ideal for winter camping. They are excellent thermal insulators and continue the work of the base layer. Wool, down and fleece are suitable.
  • Top layer (weather protection). Protects against adverse weather conditions including snow and wind. These are usually synthetic materials. The jacket and trousers should be spacious so that you can comfortably wear them on top of all previous layers.

You also need to choose shoes. Snow camping requires waterproofing and insulation, so you must wear appropriate winter boots. Right footwear is more than 50% of success and a certain guarantee that you will return from the hike only with excellent impressions. Boots should not be tight (it should always be possible to put on an extra pair of socks). Do not save any on shoes and choose quality materials.

It is necessary to mention the main winter accessories. You will definitely need a hat. If the hood of your jacket reliably protects your head, then you will not need a fur one. An ordinary fleece or windblock hat is enough (this material is not blown by wind). Also do not forget about mittens and gloves. You can take fleece gloves and waterproof, insulated mittens. Thin and dense socks, leggings, glasses for protection from sun and wind are not superfluous.

Healthy eating

To keep your body warm at winter camp, you need to increase your calories. If camping takes place during a period of warm or cool days and cold nights, or during long camping with a heavy backpack on your shoulders: 3000-3500 kcal or 790-900g of food for 1 person per day. In cold weather, during long journeys with a full backpack, it is recommended to consume 3500-4500 kcal or 900-1050g for 1 person per day. When making a menu for a winter hike, you should avoid moisture-containing foods. There is no need to carry extra weight on yourself. Everything should be dried: dried meat instead of stew, crackers instead of bread, milk powder instead of condensed milk. Dry vegetables and dried fruits. You can take lard. It does not lose its taste when cold. For breakfast, it is best to eat high-calorie foods, mainly carbohydrates. For lunch and dinner, you should eat fat meals and plenty of water. Here is an example of a menu for a winter camping:

Breakfast - cereals, milk powder, ghee, nuts, raisins, honey, porridge.

Lunch - dry soup, salted or smoked lard, crackers.

Dinner - stew, pasta, mashed potatoes, dry cream or milk.