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Tips for making camp in the snow

11/24/2022 | Hints and tips | Ondřej Krotil | Reading time: 4 minutes
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Do you want to enjoy the nature with all that brings in any season of the year ? Then you will definitely not avoid that white stuff which is for some reason called snow. Snow is obviously a complication, but complication we can overcome. Let´s take a closer look at winter camping and what you will need for it. 

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Safety

Don´t go winter camping if you do not have the right gear. You are not only risking hypothermia or frostbite, but it can lead even to something more serious. So be careful before you go, ideally practise it for example in your garden first if you can. 

Man winter camping in the snow

What do you need ? 

There is a big difference if you bivouac or tent camping, but we will come back to this. Here is an essential gear for your winter camping. 

  • winter trousers
  • winter jacket 
  • winter socks 
  • winter footwear 
  • gloves 
  • winter base-layers 
  • winter hat 
  • jumper 
  • functional sweatshirt, shirt and underpants  

These are the essentials. Keep in mind, that you will also need things for food preparation as well as starting a fire so the list goes on : 

  • fires starter, lighter, matches 
  • mug
  • mess tin 
  • flashlight (headlamp)
  • stove 

To build a fire on the snow requires some knowledge. We need to practise it as well to avoid any complications.

Bivouacking  

Bivouacking is fast and effective. But only until the weather conditions are good. It is really unfortunate when we are bivouacking during strong winds or snow storm. On the other hand, we don´t have to carry a tent, which can be an extra weight and burden. 

Sleeping bag on a snow

Essential gear for winter bivouacking 

  • winter sleeping bag 
  • sleeping pad 
  • sleeping bag overbag
  • tarp, that can be used also as an underlay  

Tent camping 

We will use the same gear as with bivouac camping, plus tent. We can take tarp too, but it is not that necessary. 

How to avoid hypothermia ?

Hypothermia is not nice thing at all and can have serious health consequences. That is why having the right clothing is the first and important thing. But what is the right clothing? Trick is the right layering, which has been described many times already and it really works.

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Wear functional thermal base layers. You wil not be cold and it wicks sweat off your skin. Standard clothing doesn´t do that. The sweat stays on the clothing which gets wet very quickly and we will be cold. 

Tips and tricks 

Dig a hole: Cold air is heavy and remains by the ground. You can dig some holes around your tent or bivouac, which helps to "hide" it. 

Right sleeping pad : Sleep little higher if you can and do not forget the right and proper sleeping pad. The standard foam pad is not enough. We recommend (also) inflating pad, which provides better insulation. 

Candle inside the tent : this might be surprising, but even one candle can warm up your tent. We therefore recommend to pack at least one candle.

Warm socks: your feet get cold at night and that is why high-quality and warm socks are absolutely essential.

Emergency plan: anything can happen so you should have an emergency plan. Charged cell-phone is a matter of course.

Tent in a snow hole

Conclusion 

Winter camping is a real adventure, but every adventurer must be well prepared. Take preparation seriously so you won´t be surprised by anything. Once again, if you can, practice it first somewhere close to the civilization.  

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Author
Ondřej Krotil
This explorer and a criminalistic book author was born at the foothills of Giant Mountains. His biggest hobbies include mysteries, history, criminalistics and much more. Ondřej is currently working on such cases as unsolved murders, unexplained suicides, kidnappings or mysterious disappearances. He had been cooperating with Czech and Slovak media as an investigative reporter. Ondřej would like to make good use of his knowledge in the field of literature.
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