Anytime you leave home for another sanctuary whether it’s a wilderness or a luxurious hotel, I bet you will never feel the same level of comfort. More especially when your intended destination is a deserted cold forest. It is expected that the camping site will lack some of those amenities in your real home that can keep you warm whenever the atmosphere becomes so cold and unbearable. All you may have is just your lamp and your camping arsenal to set up a temporary sanctuary.
Thus, there is every tendency that you will have a “winter war” if you don’t keep the surrounding cold in check. You will agree with me that camping during winter has always been more difficult than other periods in the year; at least my own experience during my last winter camping has proved this to be true.
But I realised that there are still some things we can do to fight the cold and still make our stay in the cold dispersed forest an enjoyable experience. You can still maintain a toasty warm tent no matter how chilly the weather gets. So that you fun will not be cut-short by a sudden fever forcing you to end your wilderness experience prematurely.
I will be sharing some tips you can apply to keep warm in your tent when camping no matter how freezing it gets. But before we do that, let’s make a list of some things we will need to stay warm in the tent.
- You need an adequate winter camping gear which is usually more than that required for winter.
- Map and a GPS device for easy navigation
- Sunscreen and Sunglasses for protection from the soon
- Lip balm to keep the lips moist
- Your clothing should comprise of jacket, gloves, base layers (should be made up of wool), neck warmers, dry socks, pants and vest.
- Flashlights for illumination with extra batteries
- A first aid kit for emergency situation
- A lighter for making fire
- You need tools a repair kit
- Food supply (ideally should be more of fatty foods such as cheese and milk)
- You need a steady water supply, it possible you should locate you tent close to a water tank. Fill your water bottles with water and take as many as you can carry
- More importantly you need a heater for tent.
Having gotten all the essential things we need for our winter camp, it is now time to look at some tips we can apply to protect ourselves from cold in the camp.
Take enough gear (if possible, more than enough)
One of the best ways to survive cold winter nights in the forest is to know your gear. This will help you remain warm no matter the minimal camping equipment that is available to you. It may happen that you don’t even know your gear, no worry, just make up the number by adding more to it. Conserve the heat within your tent by using two sleeping bags.
You can start with the warmer one and then use the two together when the cold becomes unbearable. To do this, just place the smaller one inside the other if they are not of the same size. Also place one or two roll mats beneath you mattress to isolate the cold from the ground. This is one of the most effective ways of maintaining a warm atmosphere inside the tent.
Know your body
I cannot emphasize the importance of knowing how your body respond to changes in the weather. Although this is not some kind of technique that will help you stay warm but I feel it is necessary to include it here just for some personal reasons which you will soon discover.
Everybody have different ways they respond to different situations. Some people are used to sleeping warm while others prefer sleeping cold. I think one possible reason for this is the disparity in several factors that characterize individuals.
Some of these factors include age, fitness, gender, fat content of the body and many others. Therefore the level of comfort that will be experienced by anybody during cold winter nights may also rest on these factors.
So an obese aged woman may not need the same gear that a fit vibrant young man is using. Knowing your body will enable you to know the gear you need. Even if you are unable to place yourself, you can bring more layers; better not to use them than to regret not bringing them.
Know what to wear
The light T-shirt you have probably been wearing during summer cannot be enough except you are an aquatic creature. If T-shirts and short sleeve clothes are the only clothes you want to use during your wilderness adventure in winter, then you should expect a disaster.
Don’t think you will last long because you can’t except you are alien. The best kind of clothing for camping in a cold forest include baselayers, insulating layers, hats, neckwarmers, and dry socks. See the list I made in the beginning of this post.
The dry socks are meant for keeping your legs warm when sleeping in the night. You should wear the baselayers together with an insulating layer. Use a woollen hat to cover the head.
Exercise before going to bed
It also pays to go to bed after a little fitness exercise just to generate some heat in your body. Normally the body generates heat through its metabolism and the reason for wearing heavy clothes or using sleeping bags is just to retain this heat.
However the cold can take away this heat gradually. That is why it helps to do some little physical exercise before bed in order to speed up the body’s metabolism so that some of the heat that has been driven away by the cold can be replaced.
This will help you go to bed feeling warm and tender. Some of the exercise you can perform include star jumps, press up, and sit up which can be performed inside your tent or sleeping bag.
Just like we mentioned earlier that the body generates heat through it metabolism, the same way food is needed to initiate this activity. Exercising is just meant to speed things up. Without something in the stomach you will not get anywhere.
Exercising on an empty belly will only make you hungrier. Food is the major source of fuel for body metabolism. So you need it to generate heat. The best way to conserve heat in the body during your stay in the winter cold is to eat late in the night preferably just right before you lay down to sleep.
Make sure the meal contains a lot of fat so that it will last longer in your body as your sleep. Try cheese tonight and you may be fortunate to have a really nice dream in wonderland.
Although camping in winter may not be the craziest idea but you can still get to experience the wonders of nature in a unique way if you know how to go about it. You can still get the best memories of your life with folks during your stay if you can apply the tips described above.
You will do more than just surviving in the forest. You can even use the cold weather condition to your advantage. There are certainly other tips you can direct to your isolation from cold but the ones described in this post are meant to get you started. They are not just simple but are very effective.