Outdoor enthusiasts know that winter camping is full of unique joys. It has all the benefits of camping in the summer – spending time outside and making long-lasting memories with friends and family – without the mosquitoes. However, it is important to remember to pack your best gear and nutrition to stay warm when you go winter camping.
Warmth At Night
It’s impossible to sleep well when you’re on the bare, frozen ground. This is why you should use a sleeping bag and mat.
Montbell makes some of our best sleeping bags. The Down Hugger 800 #5 and the Down Hugger 650 #3 are designed with gathered quilting and seam orientation so the bags “hug” you warm as you sleep. Thanks to its Super Spiral Stretch System, the bag is elastic enough for wiggle room during the night. There are other special features like Flow Gate™, Tunnel Hood, neck baffles, Auto Locking Zipper, and more for winter conditions. Each bag includes a bias stretch stuff sack and a cotton storage sack for stowing the bag.
Both Sea to Summit and Exped make high quality sleeping mats. The Ultra Light and the Comfort Plus sleeping mats from Sea to Summit have Air Sprung Cells that allow you to back the mat tightly into your backpack and later inflate the mat for a soft night’s rest. Each mat includes a repair kit with self-adhesive patches, a quality stuff sack, and an extra silicone one-way valve flap. The SynMat 7 and the SynMat UL 7 from Exped are easy to pack and have microfiber insulation for more warmth and comfort.
Warmth For Day
We trust only the best to keep us warm during winter camping. Dressing in lightweight layers creates different levels of insulation against the cold. The best gear for the outdoors features down insulation or merino wool, both of which have already been tested and proven by nature.
Smartwool is one of the most popular brands for keeping warm – and with good reason. Designers at Smartwool use merino wool to insulate against the cold without absorbing any sweat or moisture, which would only make you colder. Smartwool creates hats, socks, jackets, mittens, and more.
Patagonia makes insulating base layers as well as outerwear with the latest in cold weather technology. As an added bonus, you can feel good about what you’re wearing – Patagonia works hard to be a responsible company that supports fair, safe labor for all of the employees in its supply chain.
Icebreaker, a company that uses the best materials – whether they’re merino wool, fleece, or microfiber – create gears that will move with you as you run your campsite. Icebreaker’s Apex Balaclava keeps your face warm despite any weather changes, and the Stratus LS Zip Hood has merino wool inside and 100% recycled polyester on the outside.
Warmth In Fuel
One of the best things about winter camping is being able to eat more calories than usual! When you’re in cold weather, your body needs to work harder than normal to stay warm, which means eating more fuel. Winter camping nutrition includes a combination of about 20% protein, 30% fats, and 50% sugars and complex carbohydrates. Instant oatmeal, pasta, soups, peanut butter, pancakes, cheese, meat, chocolate, and gorp are ideal foods for winter camping nutrition.
Winter Camping With Appalachian Outfitters
Visit Appalachian Outfitters to learn more about the gear and nutrition you need for winter camping!