Have you been thinking of camping this winter? If so, you might want to prepare yourself.
The outdoors can be more dangerous this time of year than you’d expect. With the lower temperatures, icy precipitation, and slippery roads, you need to be prepared if you plan on spending any time away from civilization.
To help you out, here are five tips to having a safe and fun camping trip this winter.
Know the lay of the land.
Camping is always a bit dangerous even during the warmest times of the year. During the winter, the cold weather has a number of hazards it brings to the table. Always check weather forecasts to know what to expect ahead of time. Also, be sure to know where all hospitals and emergency rescue teams are located and how long it will take them to get to you should the worst happen. Know if slippery roads will potentially delay them.
Also, if you’re camping in a mountainous region, make sure you know where avalanche zones are so you can avoid them. Lastly, try not to go camping alone. If you do, make sure you tell someone exactly where you’re going to be and when you plan on coming back so they know to start a search if you don’t come back on time.
Always take a mummy bag.
Mummy bags are sleeping bags specifically designed for cold weather. They have extra bits of insulation to keep you warm as you sleep. This is actually very important because temperatures can drop suddenly at night, and you can be affected by hypothermia without ever waking up. This extra bit of warmth can actually mean the difference between life and death in some instances.
Sleep with a hat on.
Another good piece of advice when you go sleeping is to wear a hat. Most sleeping bags can leave your head exposed which can actually be problematic in cold weather where a lot of heat can escape through your head. A winter cap worn while sleeping can prevent this and make sure that even your head is protected from hypothermia.
Don’t drink too much alcohol.
Although drinking alcohol can make you feel warm in cold weather, it actually does the opposite. Large amounts of alcohol actually lower your body temperature and increase the risk of hypothermia. Not to mention that being drunk increases the likelihood that you’ll do something unwise, like passing out in the snow. As fun as it might be, it’s better to be safe and only drink yourself silly in the safety of your warm home. I’m not trying to be preachy, but you should keep this in mind for your own well-being.
Increase your calorie intake.
Even if it doesn’t feel like it, the cold is going to cause your body to exert itself a lot more than it would in temperate conditions. The extra strain on your body is going to make you burn through calories more quickly and wear you out. That’s why it’s suggested that you consume a lot more calories if you’re spending a lot of time in the cold. For dinner, take some potatoes to cook on the fire, and for lunch try taking some dried jerky to munch on.
I hope you found these five hints helpful. Safety should always come first while camping especially in wintertime. For all of those camping this winter, have fun and stay safe.