During the cold winter months, even the most crowded camp spots clear up and quiet down. If you prepare well, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a comfortable and rejuvenating trip to the wilderness this winter. Experience moonlit nights, bug-free days and the glories of watching a sunrise on snow-capped mountains. Here are a few basic guidelines to plan a winter camping trip:
1. Plan Your Trip: Study maps of your proposed route and camp areas. Bring them with you. Don’t pull an “Into The Wild.” True, there is joy in being spontaneous and in the moment. But following a plan, however basic, will help you avoid problems later.
2. Weather: Check the weather forecast. Prepare for sudden storms and bad weather. Pack extra clothes, food and supplies just in case you get stuck somewhere.
3. Checklist: Make a camping checklist. This means you will need to write out a complete checklist of the items you plan to pack. Assess what you already have and need to buy. This may seem like a laborious task but skipping it means there might be a chance that you will forget your medicines or even worse, an extra pair of socks. Be sure to carry enough food and water with you, even on day hikes. Keep plenty of high-protein snacks on hand and drink plenty of water.
4. Pack Sensibly: Carry only what you need. That video camera, heavy book or bottle of wine seems like a great idea right now, but it won’t be while you’re carrying it on your back. Don’t forget the essentials such as medicines and a very basic first-aid kit.
5. Inform A Loved One: Make sure someone back home has a detailed itinerary of your trip and knows exactly when he or she should expect to hear from you. Be sure to call at the assigned time to avoid stressing the person out. It will also help just in case there’s an emergency.
6. Dress Appropriately: Wear plenty of layers. They’ll help keep you warm and you can take them off as and when it get’s uncomfortable. Wear protective gear such as hiking boots that will protect your feet and sunglasses that will help protect your eyes from the glare and wind.
Note: This list is just to get your mind moving in the right direction. Especially during cold weather, you’ll want to research your trip on the web and make you sure you are genuinely prepared for the unique challenges of winter safety.