Now that cold winter weather is fading away amidst springtime’s warmer days, many people are bringing their camping gear out of hibernation. However, spring weather is unpredictable and may drop at any moment. If the weather forecast takes a turn for the colder, don’t cancel your camping plans just yet. When you prepare properly, camping in cold weather can be surprisingly enjoyable. To have a pleasant outdoor experience despite dropping temperatures, implement these cold weather camping tips for a chilly trip.
Invest in a Quality Sleeping Pad
When the weather warms up, you may enjoy sleeping on the ground or using an air mattress. On cold weather days, however, you’ll need a quality sleeping pad if you want to avoid chattering your teeth all night long.
Ultimately, no number of blankets will keep you warm if the surface you’re sleeping on is cold. As such, the cold ground and air mattresses consisting of chilly air are not suitable sleeping surfaces. To stay warm, you’ll need a sleeping pad with a high R-value for optimum insulation.
Bring Fire-Starting Materials
When the weather is cold—or worse, wet—you’ll probably struggle to start a fire. Unfortunately, cold days are when you need a fire the most to stay warm. As such, make sure you prepare for situations when firewood becomes frozen or wet. To ensure that you’re still able to start a fire, pack sufficient kindling, such as cotton balls, toilet paper, dryer lint, and other extremely flammable materials.
Once you’ve started your fire, keep a close eye on it. While you want to doze off next to the warm flame or keep the fire going so that you don’t have to restart it later, doing so is extremely dangerous and could cause a disastrous wildfire. As such, you should still make sure to follow proper fire safety protocol and fully extinguish the flames even if you only need to leave the fire unattended for a short time.
Leave the Vents in Your Tent Open
Another cold weather camping tip for a chilly trip is to leave your tent’s vents open. While many people close these when the weather is cold to prevent chilly air from getting inside, doing so could actually make the space colder.
When tent vents are closed, condensation from your breath can cause the inside of the tent to get moist. If the weather is cold enough, such moisture will freeze and create an even chillier environment than if you just let a bit of cold air in. As such, you should always leave your tent vents open even when the weather is especially chilly.
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